Fiddleheads Forest School is an entirely outdoor, nature-based program where the premise for our day-to-day activities is play and exploration. As children engage with the world around them and inquire about it we will supplement with curriculum to further engage their curiosity.
At Fiddleheads Forest School we will…
Promote social skills and positive self-image through group play and cooperative learning
Develop activities that encourage cognitive growth, problem-solving skills and development of physical motor skills
Encourage problem-solving and reflection by asking open-ended questions and provide information in response to children’s ideas, insights, and concerns
Provide a supportive, safe learning environment to encourage discovery, questioning and experimentation
Cultivate emotional literacy and empathy to develop self-esteem
Nurture self-expression, creativity and reflection
Encourage family involvement to help students appreciate the wisdom of their first teachers — their families
Celebrate diversity of all living things and the individuality of children and families
Instill respect and appreciation for the natural world
NEW! Afternoon Enrichment Program
Class options: Tu/Th
Class size: maximum 12
Student to Teacher ratio: 1:6 (12 kids, 2 lead teachers + 1 or 2 UW student interns)
Our afternoon enrichment class is designed to support the development of budding scientists and young naturalists in an entirely outdoor preschool enrichment program. Students will have the opportunity to engage in project-based learning and develop inquiry skills in an incredible natural environment.
Interested? Apply Now!
Daily Morning Preschool Classes
Fiddleheads offers a 10 month preschool for children ages 3-5. We have two outdoor classroom spaces located in the Washington Park Arboretum.
Class options: M/W/F or Tu/Th or M-F
Class size: maximum 14
Student to Teacher ratio: 1:7 (14 kids, 2 lead teachers + 1 or 2 UW student interns)
Classrooms: Trillium and Magnolia (both classrooms have 2, 3 and 5-day options)
9:00 am: School Opens
9:00-9:30 am: Drop-off, exploration and free-play
9:30-9:50 am: Meeting and snack
9:50-11:45 am: Small group lessons, adventures and walks
11:45-12:20 pm: Lunch
12:20-1:00 pm: Individual and group work time
1:00 pm: Pick-up
Enrollment & Application Process
Application and Enrollment, 2018-2019
The application for the 2017-2018 school year is closed. Applications for 2018-2019 will be posted in early 2018.
At Fiddleheads, we believe that equity and cultural responsiveness are cornerstones of Nature-based Early Childhood Education. As a school and as individuals, we are deeply committed to supporting and reflecting our diverse population of students and families in our policies, practice, and educational philosophy. Equity is a continuing journey, and this year we are reviewing our enrollment applications to ensure that they represent our commitment to diversity and equitable practices at Fiddleheads and in the Nature-Based Early Childhood Education movement. As a result, our applications are not yet available. We appreciate your patience!
Applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be available
no later than January 26th.
The deadline for enrollment applications is February 16th.
We will contact families regarding enrollment or waitlist status beginning the week of February 19th.
Accepted families will have the opportunity to visit the school prior to enrollment.
Lottery process — The selection process to fill open spots is a lottery. We filter for age and gender as we strive to create a balance in our classes. Beyond those two constraints, the selection is random. Those who do not receive a spot are added to our waitpool and will be contacted if a spot opens up and their name is randomly seklected from the pool.
FINANCIAL AID: Here at Fiddleheads, we are committed to making outdoor preschool accessible to a diversity of families. We believe every child should be able to access the wonder, joy, and educational value of forest school. We continually strive to reflect that belief on every level of our practice—from our curriculum design and community development to our outreach, school policy, and beyond.
Each year, we designate a limited number of spaces set aside for families qualifying for financial assistance as a part of our continued commitment to fostering equity in education. If you would like to be considered for one of these spaces, please e-mail email@example.com.
Your child must be 3 and no older than 5 by August 31, 2017 (i.e. if your child turns 6 before 8/31 he or she is not eligible to enroll).
Children should be toilet-trained (no pull-up diapers) by the start of preschool. Unlike traditional indoor programs, your child will frequently be sorting through many layers of clothing on their way to and from the bathroom. The ability to know and regulate toileting is an important part of their success in this environment. We also recognize that children of differing abilities may toilet at different times in their development. We are committed to working with families of children with special needs who are not yet toilet-trained in order to be as inclusive as possible.
Your child must be prepared to (and want to!) be outside rain or shine.
Your family must be interested in a 10-month preschool program.
2018-19 Class Options
Tuesday/Thursday Class, 9am-1pm:
Tuition is $3,400 for the 10-month program. Parents are encouraged to pay tuition prior to the first day of preschool, but may choose to pay in monthly installments of $330/month due on the due on the 1st of each month.
Monday/Wednesday/Friday Class, 9am-1pm:
Tuition is $4,960 for the 10-month program. Parents are encouraged to pay tuition prior to the first day of preschool, but may choose to pay in monthly installments of $482 per month due on the 1st of each month.
5-Day Option, 9am-1pm:
Tuition is $8,060 for the 10-month program. Parents are encouraged to pay tuition prior to the first day of preschool, but may choose to pay in monthly installments of $783 per month due on the 1st of each month.
Our Afternoon Enrichment Program has limited space available for the 2017-18 school year. Interested? Apply Now!
NEW 2-Day Afternoon Enrichment Option, 2pm-4pm
Tuition is 1,800 for the 9-month program beginning October 2017
Parents are encouraged to pay tuition prior to the first day of preschool, but may choose to pay in monthly installments of $200 per month due on the 1st of the month.
Our afternoon enrichment class is designed to support the development of budding scientists and young naturalists in an entirely outdoor preschool enrichment program. Students will have the opportunity to engage in project-based learning and develop inquiry skills in an incredible natural environment. This class is open to students ages 4-6.
Too young for 2018-19? Sign up for our interest list to receive updates.
2016-2017 School Calendar
September 14th: First Day of School
October 14th: School CLOSED, In-service
November 11th: School CLOSED, Veterans Day
November 21st-23rd: School CLOSED, Home Visits
November 24th-25th: School CLOSED, Thanksgiving Break
December19th- January 2nd: School CLOSED, Winter Break
January 16th: School CLOSED, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 20th-24th: School CLOSED, Mid-Winter Break
March 17th: School CLOSED, In-service
April 10th-14th: School CLOSED, Spring Break
May 29th: School CLOSED, Memorial Day
June 16th: Last Day of School