The Imprescia Family, Woodlynde School
Nickie Imprescia moved from New York City to Wayne so she could send Lucy to the K-12 school. Find out why.
Nickie Imprescia was at her wit’s end: by the time she was in second grade, her daughter, Lucy, had been in four different schools, and nothing was working. Lucy was struggling with nearly all of her schoolwork, and testing showed she had significant learning differences.
Nickie started doing research, desperately looking for a good option for Lucy. A specialized school in Manhattan was out of reach financially, and she worried that a public school would separate Lucy too much from her peers.
When Woodlynde School turned up in her online searches, it seemed like an oasis. For Lucy, who’s now a 10-year-old fifth grader, the coed, college preparatory school that runs from kindergarten through 12th grade was the answer.
“I wanted her to have the same school experience as anybody going to a mainstream school. I wanted sports, I wanted activities, I wanted all that,” Nickie said. “Woodlynde is the only school that offered that.”
So Nickie moved from New York to Wayne, and enrolled Lucy at Woodlynde in the middle of her second grade year. Lucy’s transformation began almost at once.
“She’s doing so well. It’s not just reading and math — she feels so good about herself,” Nickie said. “She couldn’t count to 10 and now she loves to write little stories and do all sorts of things she couldn’t do before.”
That confidence is spilling over into other activities, too. The Imprescias live near the Wayne Art Center, where Lucy has been able to nurture a talent for art.
“We would not have had the time for anything but schoolwork if we weren’t at Woodlynde,” Nickie said. “Homework was hours and hours in first grade. She has really blossomed artistically, and it’s quite amazing.”
Perhaps most importantly, Lucy is socially engaged. Nickie remembers dropping her off at her Manhattan parish school and watching other girls exclude her. At Woodlynde, nobody makes fun of her for not keeping up.
“Everybody’s different, and everybody’s welcoming,” Nickie said.
Imprescia especially credits the teachers and administrators for fostering an environment that’s open, honest, and takes each student’s individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses into account, every day.
“Across the board, I have not come across a teacher there who doesn’t get it,” she said. “They’re there because they want to be there, and you really see that difference in the way they teach the kids.”
Want to know more? Visit Woodlynde online or join us at an open house on the second Tuesday of every month.
Photographs by Casey Kallen.