Nursery & Kindergarten
As children take a first step on their own into the warm, homelike environment of our early childhood classrooms, they are met with nurturing teachers and a rhythmical day of free play, song, artistic activity, storytelling, purposeful work, healthy food, circle time games, and ample outdoor time on our lovely campus.
Monday – Wednesday
8:00am – 12:30pm
7:30am Early Drop-off Available
Mixed-age Nursery-Kindergarten (2 classes)
3, 4 or 5 day options
Monday – Friday
7:30am Early Drop-off Available
Mixed-age Afternoon Program
2, 3, 4 or 5 afternoon options
Monday – Friday
12:30 – 3:30pm
Extended Care available until 5:30pm
Our early childhood program accepts children from age 2 years, 3 months (as of September 1st) to 6 years. We offer a variety of schedules to accommodate the varied needs of our families.
For the youngest children (under 2 years, 9 months), we offer a 3-day morning program in our Nursery Class (Monday – Wednesday) and the option to stay for our afternoon program.
For children ages 2 years, 9 months to 6 years, we offer 3, 4, or 5-day options in one of our three morning classes. 5 mornings are required for kindergarten children transitioning to 1st grade the following year. We also offer 2, 3, 4, and 5 day options in our afternoon program.
RHYTHM OF THE DAY
In contrast to the often hectic pace of daily life, children in our Nursery and Kindergarten experience a predictable rhythm which becomes familiar and nurturing. Beginning each morning with warm greetings, typically outside, the day includes free play, song, artistic activity, storytelling, purposeful work, healthy food, traditional circle time games, and ample outdoor time on our lovely campus..
Imaginative Free Play
In well-guided free play, the children create a busy, imaginative world that fills the classroom with singing, building, discussion, and laughter. By surrounding the child with raw materials for play, their world can become whatever their imaginations suggest. Each morning the classroom becomes an ever-changing "laboratory" offering new challenges in the realms of physics, construction, human relationships, and artistry. Through these experiences, each child has the opportunity to grow and develop in their actions, thoughts, and feelings. The qualities we value in adulthood are fostered here: creative and flexible thinking, inner conviction, self-discipline, personal freedom, and self-knowledge.
During cleanup time, all the play materials return to their "homes" on shelves and in baskets, as the children sing and help alongside the teacher. The atmosphere is one of cooperation and lightheartedness. Many parents find that the children proudly bring these helpful habits home with them!
At circle time, we come together as a group to act out stories through verse and song and to play universal children's games. This is also a time to experience the rhythms of the seasons through special circle activities.
We gather together around the table to share conversation and a healthy snack of fruits or vegetables, whole grains, and a vegetarian protein prepared by the teacher and children together each morning. Snack is served family-style: a happy mood and warm conversation are encouraged!
A story is told each day. The children listen as the teacher tells a fairytale, folktale or nature story. Our nature stories form a basis for science through their vivid, penetrating images of the natural world in all of its cycles. Often these stories later weave into circle time, free play and puppetry.
We journey outdoors together every day to tend our garden, walk in the woods, run and play. We dress for the elements so we can fully experience and celebrate the seasons and changing weather. Our 12 acres of meadows, woods and streams host our many seasonal activities including apple cider pressing, maple sap collecting, and vegetable harvesting.
At noon, we close the morning with a circle of verses and seasonal songs, followed by lunch. The children bring their lunches from home and enjoy a family-style meal around the table before a 12:30 close to the morning program.
The afternoon program begins with quiet rest time, flexible to the needs of each child. Following a snack, the children spend the afternoon engaged in indoor and outdoor activities, and free play with friends.
In the early childhood program, our three classes are arranged in mixed-age groupings. There are many benefits to a mixed-age class:
- Multiple years in one classroom creates consistency for the child. The child feels safe and builds strong connections. Relationships between teacher, child, and child's parents deepen as they work together.
- Older children take on new responsibilities in a mixed-age class. They develop leadership capacities and develop skills through the multi-layered, play-based curriculum.
- Younger children are met with appropriate spaciousness, time and tenderness as they grow and learn. They see what is possible for them creatively and developmentally as they witness older children strengthening their skills.
- Younger children keep imagination and wonder alive in the classroom. Older children encourage, inspire and support their younger peers, while taking up the rules and responsibilities of the classroom.
- Children develop cooperation and social flexibility amid the broad range of skill-sets and capabilities in each classroom. A family-like feeling emerges, with true care and connection between each student and teacher.
Continuing the journey : grade school
Graduation from Kindergarten marks the transition into the exciting world of academic learning. Eager to understand the world around them, most Kindergarten students continue on to our Grade School for a whole-child approach designed to meet each student in a developmentally appropriate way.
Visit Grades 1-8 >