Creekside Forest School

Creekside Forest School is a nature-based preschool program for 3- and 4-year-old children at Indian Creek Nature Center. We are creating Champions of Nature in an outdoor learning environment that educates the whole child through play-based learning.

About our Curriculum

At Creekside Forest School, we use an Emergent Curriculum and the Flow Learning Sequence as our approach to teaching and learning, which ensures a balance between learning, skill-building, social development, and play. These two complementary methods serve children’s social, emotional, and physical needs while providing them with essential kindergarten readiness skills. Here is a great feature on how Flow Learning and Emergent Curriculum intersect at a nature-based preschool.

For example, in a classroom using an emergent curriculum, the students may show great delight at catching a bullfrog in the wetland with an ICNC Naturalist. That event may lead to studying the life cycle of amphibians back in the classroom with the preschool teachers, making frog sounds with everyday objects, and exploring books about amphibians while resting in the shade on a hike. They may even capture a tadpole to watch the life cycle in action from an aquarium in the classroom over several weeks in a classroom aquarium, releasing, with their classmates, the critter back into the wetland. The children’s collective interest in the wetland extended into other areas of learning with the support of the teacher.

We believe:

      • In immersive outdoor learning.
      • Learning looks like play.
      • Curricula can be guided by the seasons and take place in all weather.
      • Teaching and learning start with inquiry and occur cyclically.
      • In being environmental stewards and living lightly on the earth.
      • Early childhood education fosters critical lifelong skills.
      • In celebrating the diversity of life.


Morning Preschool

Days Attending: Monday-Friday

Drop off: 8:15-8:30 AM

Class in session: 8:30-11:30 AM

Pick up: 11:30-11:45 AM

Afternoon Preschool

Days Attending: Monday-Friday

Drop off: 12:15-12:30 PM

Class in session: 12:30-3:30 PM

Pick up: 3:30-3:45 PM

Drop Off & Pick-Up Times

The morning session begins at 8:30am, with check-in starting at 8:15 AM. Early Bird Care is available for children needing to arrive earlier. The afternoon session begins at 12:30 PM, with check-in starting at 12:15 PM. Lunch Bunch is available for children from 11:30 AM-12:15 PM. This is a supervised lunch period where children can eat their packed lunch with staff. Depending on weather, lunch will be outdoors on the patio or in the preschool classroom. Families should pack the child’s lunch in an insulated cooler with ice packs. 

When the weather is cooperative, teachers will greet families outdoors for check-in and check-out. If the weather is poor, we will meet at the preschool classroom door.

School Calendar & Important Dates

Preschool Open Houses

Tuesday, January 4, 2022 from 10-11 AM and 1-2 PM

Tuesday, February 1, 2022 from 10-11 AM and 5-6 PM

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 from 1-2 PM and 5-6 PM

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 from 1-2 PM

Registration is recommended for all open house dates. Click the button below to tell us you’re coming!

Private in-person or virtual tours can be scheduled with the director of education for families who are not able to attend an open house. Tour will include Amazing Space and immediate surrounding grounds with plenty of time to ask questions. 

Important Dates

First day of school: Tuesday, September 7, 2021
No School (staff development): Monday, September 27, 2021
Family Night: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 5-7pm
No School (staff team building): Friday, October 29, 2021
No School (staff development): Monday, November 8, 2021
Fall Student-Led Conferences: Tuesday, November 16, 2021 from 4-8pm
No School (teacher comp day): Friday, November 19, 2021
Thanksgiving Break: November 24, 2021 – November 28, 2021
Winter Break: December 22, 2021 – January 2, 2022
No School (MLK Day): Monday, January 17, 2022
Family Night: Tuesday, January 25, 2022 from 5-7pm
Winter Student-Led Conferences: Tuesday, February 15, 2022 from 4-8pm
No School (teacher comp day): Friday, February 18, 2022
Spring Break: March 14 – 18, 2022
Family Night: Tuesday, April 5, 2022 from 5-7pm
Last day of school: May 27, 2022

Ready to register? Follow these steps:

  • Families attend a tour with the director of education or attend an upcoming open house to ask and answer questions. Virtual options are available via Zoom. At that point interested families should complete an application. There is no application fee. The application secures your child’s spot on the waitlist.
  • When a spot is available, the Registrar will contact families to complete their child’s formal preschool registration and place a 50% (of one month) tuition deposit to secure a place in class. This deposit will be applied to the first month’s tuition. If the class is full, families remain on the waitlist (no 50% tuition deposit required).
  • Enrollment remains open if class size is not at capacity. In the event that a spot in a full class opens mid-year, families will be contacted in order from the waitlist.