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.
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: 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
Enrollment for 2017-18 Preschool has closed! Fill out an application to be added to our waitlist.
Our Afternoon Enrichment Program has limited space available. Interested? Apply Now!
Too young for 2017-18? Sign up for our interest list to receive updates.
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
Those interested in a 10-month preschool program
2017-18 Class Options
Tuesday/Thursday Class, 9am-1pm:
Tuition is $3,300 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 $4,820 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 $7,830 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.
NEW 2-Day Afternoon Enrichment Option, 2pm-4pm
Tuition is 1,800 for the 9-month program. 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.
We are now accepting applications! We will begin notifying families of enrollment or waitlist status beginning August 28th.
Limited financial assistance is available for the 2017-18 school year. Applications for financial aid will be available after the lottery takes place.
Application and enrollment information is available in January each year. Space in each class is filled through a lottery at the close of the application period in February for enrollment during the following school year. Staff work to ensure a balance of age and gender in each class, but otherwise rely on the random lottery process to determine class enrollment.
The application for the 2017-2018 school year is open.
Applications must be submitted by February 17th in order to be considered for the 2017-18 school year. We will notify families by February 24th of their enrollment or waitpool status.
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 drawn from the pool.
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