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Observational Drawing
  • What makes CNS unique?
    You only have the first school experience once, and at CNS every detail is important. A visit to CNS brings our intentional practice to life. Most of all, on a tour you can see first-hand the impact of accomplished teachers on the implementation of our approach. Beautifully staged environments, parent communication, individualized assessments and emergent curriculum which allows each child to reach their full potential are all made remarkable by our incredible faculty members. It is worth meeting them in person and seeing the CNS difference for yourself. It is joyful, and inspiring.
  • How do we support working families?
    Most of our families are working parents. These families pair CNS with other childcare to have a school and home experience either with a nanny, grandparent, or family childcare. Often this balance is more affordable and flexible than full-time center-based care, and provides time for outside opportunities like museum visits, music classes, and free play. We value mixed delivery options for families, and for the richest childhood experiences.
  • What is the daily schedule at CNS?
    Learn more about a typical day.
  • How are skills and standards integrated in an emergent curriculum?
    Learn more about our approach, how standards are integrated, and our dedication to giving teachers time to plan a thoughtful curriculum each day
  • Does tuition cover the full cost of CNS?
    Like all independant schools, we rely on fundraising to meet our budget. Learn more about Why We Give.
  • What are the benefits of a mixed age classroom?
    CNS is fortunate to implement research-driven best practices. Mixed age classrooms are a wonderful example. Since the work of Lev Vygotsky and Maria Montessori, mixed age groups have been shown to provide more flexibility for preschoolers and their particular stage of learning, when experienced teachers can individualize curriculum or “scaffold” a child’s particular “zone of proximal development”. Learning style, interest and can actually vary widely with young children. Since not all 2- year-olds, 3-year-olds or 4-year-olds are in the same place developmentally or academically, our Reggio Emilia inspired emergent curriculum avoids “pre-set skills” in “pre-set grouping”. Mixed classrooms are consistent with this approach, as each child can be taught or grouped with other children as needed, regardless of age. Additionally, children in mixed-age group classrooms have the opportunity to master needed skills and concepts before moving on to additional levels. Our highly trained teachers at CNS are able to carefully integrated skills specific to each learner. Mixed aged classrooms also give children deeper relationship with their teachers and peers, with less transitions each year. Older children have the opportunity to be role models to others, and younger child get to see that their friends have mastered what they are working on, which can grant them confidence. Parents also have the opportunity to build a longer relationship with their child’s teacher. This partnership benefits children greatly. Just as it is important for adults to not only spend time with people in our exact stage of life, children often learn and thrive better around children of different ages, in mixed age preschool. Research has shown the mixed age classrooms produce positive results for children, and that these positive results last longer than for children who attend age based early childhood education programs. Parents and teachers of children in these settings often find that the benefits are numerous. At CNS, we are grateful to be able to follow the lead in this aspect of our curriculum. For more information, you might enjoy this article by Peter Gray.
  • How does CNS support families in making the transition to next schools? Where do children go for next schools?
    Each fall, the directors will give information sessions regarding the admissions and applications process to public, independent, charter and parochial schools. They will also offer meetings and conferences to consult each family that would like to individually discuss their needs and intentions. When families are applying to next schools, they send journey books and full reports followed up by conversations to help each family find a match. Our alumni have attended Boston Public Schools including the Warren-Prescott, The Eliot and The Harvard Kent; suburban public schools including schools in Wellesley, Brookline, Hingham, Lincoln, Newton and Melrose; parochial schools including St. John’s; independent schools including Advent School, Atrium, Belmont Day, Brimmer and May, Buckingham Browne and Nichols, Cambridge Friends, Dexter-Southfield, Fessenden, Kingsley Montessori, Learning Project, Milton Academy, Park School, Park Street School and Shady Hill School; additionally, some families have home-schooled. All of our alumni have made successful transitions and felt well prepared because of the strong foundation from CNS.
  • When should we apply to CNS?
    If CNS is your first choice, apply before November 15 at 10 AM. All applications received on or before that date and time are put into one pile. If there are more applications than spaces available, they are drawn at random. If accepted, families have 15 days to submit a deposit. If you applying to several nursery schools, or applying later in the school year, we welcome applications anytime after February 1. In keeping with our committment to first-come, first-served, applicants are admitted within 15 days and deposits are due within 15 days of acceptance.


Kids Playing Outside


Admission Season Begins


Drop-in Tours begin at 9 am, and repeat every Friday in October


Sibling Applications due


Open House, 3-5pm


Open House, 5:30-7


Applications due for Early Admissions


Rolling Admissions


First Tuition Payment due


Incoming Family Orientation


Class Placements, Home Visits, Play Dates


Second Tuition Payment due


Back to School Night

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