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What is the student-teacher ratio? How many children are in each class?

In our 2-year-old class, our ratio is 1:4. In our mixed-age classes of 3-5-year old’s, our ratio is 1:6.  In our 2-year-old class, we have a maximum of 10 children.  In our mixed-age class, we have a maximum of 18 children.

Do you go out in all weather?

Yes, but sometimes we must adjust our outdoor time.  We do play outside in the rain and the snow.  If there is a thunderstorm however, we stay inside.  If there are high winds, we won’t go on a woodland walk but will instead play in an open area. If it’s below zero, we abbreviate our time outdoors.  We follow the local school districts in terms of school closures for snow days.

Do you offer snacks and lunch? What if my child has food allergies?

We serve one snack in the morning. We choose healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables and grains.  Lunch is sent from home.  We tailor our snacks to accommodate children with allergies.

How do teachers communicate with parents?

Our teachers are very accessible and are always available to meet. We have one formal parent / teacher conference in early December.  Optional meetings are available throughout the year.  Teachers send home newsletters every two weeks with a narrative describing the current events in the class and a private link to lots of amazing photos.

Does your school celebrate holidays or host special student / parent events?

Our school celebrates “nature-centered” holidays such as the Winter Solstice, Arbor Day, Earth Day and the 1st Day of Spring.  We have a family lantern walk on the Winter Solstice and a “get to know you” family potluck in the beginning of the year.  Parents are invited to be special guests in our classes and may join for a nature walk or to celebrate a child’s birthday.

What is the transition like from a nature-centered preschool to a traditional kindergarten?

All of our graduates have transitioned successfully to kindergarten.  In fact, because our preschool does not mimic an academic setting, kindergarten is an exciting novelty and children arrive ready to begin their academic learning.

Do you have an indoor space?

Yes, we have beautiful classrooms decorated in a Reggio-inspired way. There are lots of open-ended toys, loose parts and natural materials.

How is each Little Leaf location different?

Because we are a place-based school, each location provides a different experiential context. At Andrus-on-Hudson in Hastings, our preschool is located on the grounds of a nursing home which offers us opportunities for intergenerational experiences.  At the Lenoir Nature Preserve, the trails and preserve provide the backdrop for the school. At Bethany Arts Community, we have a private forest and garden beds for growing food.

Do you offer financial assistance to help cover the cost of tuition?

We do offer full and partial scholarships for families who qualify. Please contact us for more information.

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