Scarsdale Adult School E-News

November 2023

History in Cliff Notes:

85 Years of Scarsdale Adult School

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In the 1930s, amidst the recovery from the Great Depression and the revived interest in music and arts projects funded by the Work Progress Administration, a group of residents in conjunction with the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale and the Scarsdale Council of Parent Teacher Associations began working toward the establishment of an adult school to provide cultural, educational, and recreational courses.

On November 9, 1938, SAS instruction commenced, with 263 students in 11 ten-week courses meeting Wednesday evenings. The school eventually incorporated in 1952 and was granted a NYS Board of Regents charter. At that point, enrollment had ballooned to over 1400, with a healthy personality development course single-handedly attracting more than 500 students. Now in its 85th year, we enroll nearly 10,000 attendees on an annual basis.

The most popular courses at the school’s inception were, in order, photography, “what every woman should know about money affairs,” music appreciation, and rhythmic gymnastics. Other courses included public speaking, interior decorating, typing, woodworking, ceramics, art, and metal work. Tuition was $5 per course. Over he years, additional subjects were added and many are still in the catalog to this day -- for example, world languages, current events, writing, photography, and bridge.

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The curriculum has often reflected the concerns of the times. Subjects offered immediately prior to suspending operations temporarily during World War II included first aid, home nursing, and motor mechanics. The turbulent 1960s yielded classes in psychology, the suburban adolescent, and literature of alienation. The first computer class appeared in 1969. The school responded to the growing Japanese community with a two-month course in 1987 entitled ''A Japanese Sampler,'' focused on various aspects of Japanese culture including cooking, dance, flower arranging, calligraphy, and origami. With uncanny foresight, SAS even offered "pandemic preparedness" in 2007!

As the subject matter evolved, so did the days, times, and venues for classes. What began as a program meeting one evening a week at Scarsdale High School for ten weeks in the fall has now blossomed to a seven days a week, year-round school with morning, afternoon, and evening instruction, lectures, discussion groups, and guided tours, both online and in-person, at more than two dozen convenient locations.

SAS began and continues as a completely self-supporting community-driven organization, independent of the Scarsdale School District and Scarsdale Village. The costs of instructors, operational fees, and staff salaries are met by class registration and the generous tax-deductible contributions of the members of our Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee, ongoing supporters, and new donors. Tuition remains low to provide affordable adult education opportunities for a greater number of students.

To celebrate SAS's storied 85-year history, please join us on December 3, 2023, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at Temple Israel New Rochelle. Our 85th Anniversary Afternoon of Learning promises an amazing keynote, superb breakout sessions led by our fantastic instructors, and a feel-good celebration with a champagne reception and hall of fame induction. We hope to see you there!

Classes Starting in the Next Three Weeks

All class listings are for the Eastern Time Zone. Course numbers appear in parentheses.

Week of November 12, 2023

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Special Event

  • Author Visit: JJ Elliott, There Are No Rules for This (2023) (12244)


  • Must-See Buildings in the U.S.: Duke University in Durham, North Carolina (12027)

Art Appreciation

  • Dada and Surrealism: The Surrealist International from 1939 to 1946 (12063)
  • British Regal Women and Their Collections, Homes, and Gardens (12228)

Arts & Crafts

  • Crazy for Collage (11998)

Career and Job Search

  • Creating Your LinkedIn Profile to Get Noticed (12163)


  • Let's Play Mah Jongg: Beginner Series (12001)
  • Let's Play Mah Jongg: Supervised Play (12003)

Health and Wellness

  • Reduce Food Cravings Without Depriving Yourself (12139)

Literature, Film, and Television

  • BookTalk with Harriet Sobol: Trust (2022) by Hernan Diaz (12046)

Walking Tours

  • Walking Tour: Contemporary Galleries of New York City (12073)
  • Walking Tour: Red Hook's Art and Food Scene (12232)


  • Finding Your Voice through Memoir Writing (12177)

Week of November 19, 2023

No new classes being this week. Postural Therapy Movement (12261) is the only class scheduled to meet on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. Scarsdale Adult School will be closed for Thanksgiving on both Thursday, November 23, 2023, and Friday, November 24, 2023.

Week of November 26, 2023

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  • Must-See Buildings in the U.S.: Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library in Boston, Massachusetts (12028)
  • Chrysler Building, One of America’s Favorite Buildings (12169)

Art Appreciation

  • Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition at the MoMA (12070)

Arts & Crafts

  • Gift Wrapping Basics and Beyond (12311)
  • Knit Hat and Fingerless Mitts Workshop (12135)
  • Introduction to Beadweaving (12267)
  • Bookmark Making Workshop (12312)


  • Canasta: Supervised Play (11990)

Literature, Film, and Television

  • Book Chat with Anna Katsavos: Mad Honey (2022) by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan (11975)
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Walking Tours

  • Walking Tour: Max Beckmann: The Formative Years, 1915-1925 at the Neue Galerie (12201)
  • Walking Tour: Ever Rest, Jasper Cropsey's Art and Home (12214)
  • Walking Tour: Penn Station and Moynihan Hall (12204)
Printer-Friendly Interactive Flipbook
Catalog of Fall Classes
All upcoming classes are listed in our Printer-Friendly, Interactive Version of our Fall 2023 Catalog. New classes are added regularly.

Class times are for the Eastern Time Zone. Please check regularly for additional options to keep you engaged and learning, whether from the comforts of home or through our expansive number of in-person options.
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Scarsdale Adult School | 914-723-2325 | P.O. Box 205, Scarsdale, NY 10583 |
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