Our School

Our School


Bethlehem Children’s School is located on a wooded four-acre property in science1Slingerlands, New York, our students are supported academically and nurtured creatively as they grow into thoughtful, well-rounded individuals. At the end of their time with us, children leave Bethlehem Children’s School fully prepared to take on the challenges of middle school, high school, college, and our world.

We are proud of the fact that our current student body comes to Bethlehem Children’s School from many different public school districts in the Capital Region.

Regular school hours are 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. The school day continues to 5:30 p.m. with our aftercare program. On some evenings we also open our doors to the wider community for enrichment classes for children and adults, too!


bcs_old_signIn the fall of 1994, a group of parents met to explore the idea of forming a child-centered, inquiry-based elementary school in the Capital District. The goal was to create an educational environment that narrows the gap between family, community, and education.

The planning committee met regularly to develop curricula, locate a suitable building, raise funds, hire faculty, publicize and promote the school, and to fulfill all the requirements necessary to establish a non-profit educational organization.

As a result, Bethlehem Children’s School opened its doors September 1995 with 15 students in a single multi-aged classroom of children aged five to nine.

In our fourth year, we purchased and moved to our present location, four beautiful acres in Slingerlands, New York. We now have three classrooms and more than 30 students.

Bethlehem Children’s School programs begin with our youngest learners – the Tiny Sprouts, ages two to three, then our Primary room, ages three, four, and five, and concludes with our innovative elementary school program that goes up to 5th grade.

Mission & Vision

Bethlehem Children’s School offers a multi-age experiential education for the whole child, emphasizing nature, wisdom and wellness.

The vision of Bethlehem Children’s School is to inspire a life long love of learning while developing a deep connection to self, others and the world.


School Staff

Christine Vaughan
Head of School

Jennifer Congdon
Director of Finance & Development (outgoing)

Peter Koch
Director of Finance & Marketing (incoming)

Amy Harbison
Director of Operations & Facilities

Simone Paoletti-Albrecht
Primary Teacher & American Sign Language Teacher

Laura Smith
Primary Assistant

Mackenzie (Kenzie) Casey
Primary Assistant

Bridgette Akins
Elementary Teacher

Jill Crammond
Tiny Sprouts Teacher & Art Teacher

Sara Knaggs
Tiny Sprouts Assistant

Janine Murphy
Yoga Teacher

Karina Cascione
Science Teacher

Deb Cavanaugh
Music Teacher

Lynne Shatsoff
Curriculum Director

Board of Directors

Bethlehem Children’s School is a non-profit organization with 501(C)(3) status. Our board of directors is responsible for establishing and safeguarding the mission of the school for the long term. The board sets policies and procedures that are consistent with the mission, and pursues both short- and long-term budgetary planning. The board is made up of dedicated volunteers from a variety of professional backgrounds; their skills, interests, and diverse backgrounds contribute in many ways to benefit the school.

Christina LaVera

Christine Vaughan
Vice President

Michelle Beaulieu

Anne Lemon

Rob Beaulieu
Stephan Brown
Julie Darling
Elish Melchiade
Emily Saunders
Tom Waters
Melinda White


Bethlehem Children’s School encourages students to develop a

Plastic bottle greenhousepositive relationship with the environment. As a graphic and tangible example of sustainability and recycling , the school undertook a project to build a greenhouse incorporating recycled two-liter soda bottles.

A generous grant from General Electric provided for a substantial part of construction costs, and additional help was provided by GE volunteers when they assisted with the project and participated in classroom instruction and activities.

Delmar architect Jeff Chaney, a LEED coordinator, created renderings and plans to guide construction. Parents, faculty, students, and other school community members joined together to collect and clean the 2,000 bottles required for the greenhouse’s walls.

School GardenThe school is proud to now have a physical focus on environmental education emphasizing our green philosophy.

Unique in the region, news about our recycled bottle greenhouse will be shared with like-minded schools and organizations, and we are confident it will serve as an inspiration for similar projects elsewhere in the future. Curricula related to our greenhouse program will likewise be available in the future to interested schools and organizations.

A tremendous thank you to the Bethlehem Garden Club for their donation to our greenhouse!