The Cibolo Nature Center & Farm has a new name — same great mission.

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Welcome to The Nest Nature School opening in Fall of 2021!

The Nest is the premier nature-based preschool in Central Texas located on a unique campus with abundant natural wonder.

Are you interested in learning more or enrolling in The Nest?

Learn More or Enroll

Nest Nature School is hiring!

Apply Here

If you have questions, please contact

Sarah Mortati, Director of Administration

Nest Nature School

sarahm@cibolo.org

914-471-5915 (mobile)


About The Nest

At the Nest Nature School we are nurturing strong bodies, inquisitive minds, & wild hearts.

Hands-on experiences in nature and research-based teaching methods support an education where every student can thrive.

The Nest Nature School provides a rich child-centered learning environment built on our uniquely developed curriculum that prioritizes exceeding developmentally appropriate Pre-Kindergarten learning standards. Our curriculum incorporates play and learning in nature to best support the whole child academically, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually to ensure that they are prepared for Kindergarten and beyond. We believe in supporting the whole child to foster a deep love for life-long learning, a sense of wonder for the natural world, and confidence in their brains and bodies.

Our Philosophy

STRONG BODIES

We believe that healthy children have daily opportunities to cultivate strength, confidence, and self-awareness.

INQUISITIVE MINDS

We believe in supporting academic, social, and emotional goals using experiences in and with nature.

WILD HEARTS

We believe in a nurturing environment that supports a sense of wonder, empathy, and understanding of the natural world.

SCHEDULING OPTIONS

The Nest school day is from 9:00am to 2:00pm with multiple scheduling options:

  • Mon-Fri (5 day)
  • Mon, Wed, Fri (3 Day)
  • Tues, Thurs (2 Day)

Highlights of the Nest

  • Experienced staff dedicated to creating a nurturing and loving environment
  • Fully licensed nature-based preschool
  • Small class sizes with low teacher: student ratio
  • Enrollment for children ages 3–5 in mixed-age classrooms
Sign Up for More Information

Our Campus

Our unique campus located at the Herff Farm is an integral aspect of our school. Located in the heart of Boerne, we provide our students access to over 65 acres of pristine natural spaces including the Cibolo Creek, prairies, trails, forests, and gardens. Each class is situated on our campus in individual learning cottages, each complete with a beautiful indoor space, an open-air screened creative space, and individual picnic decks for lunch. The outdoor learning spaces will include spaces for children to grow vegetables, play in a small forest, experience a sensory garden, build and make nature art, and of course, sliding and climbing and jumping.

Children will be able to explore with their class the Cibolo Creek waterfront, the Herff Farm Teaching Garden and the Monarch Meadow. With our school campus fully integrated into this majestic natural setting, we are able to use Mother Nature as another teacher.

More Information

How can I enroll?

We are excited to welcome you to the Nest! Please fill out the Interest Form by clicking the “LEARN MORE OR ENROLL” button above and we will send you information for next steps to enroll. Our Director of Administration will contact you to discuss tour opportunities and the full enrollment process. We look forward to hearing from you!

How can I add my child to the waitlist?

To get more information or to join our Waitlist please complete the Interest Form at the LEARN MORE AND ENROLL link located at the top of this page. Our staff will be in touch to follow up with more details.

How will I know if my child is ready to attend?

The Nest enrolls students ages 3 through 5 for our mixed-age classrooms. The student must be 3 years old by the start of the schoolyear (beginning of September). If your child has a birthday later in the fall semester and are still interested in enrolling, please contact our administrative team to discuss options.

In addition to meeting the age requirements for enrollment, we ask that your child is showing confidence in independent toileting and dressing themselves. Our students spend much of their school day in our outdoor classroom settings. We find that the student’s safety, comfort, and quality of experience is highest when they are confident in these self-care skills prior to attending.

What is the daily schedule at The Nest?

Our regular school day hours are from 9:oo am to 2:oo pm. Students arrive between 8:45 and 9:00am and after checking in with their teachers will spend the first part of their day outside exploring our diverse outdoor learning areas with their classmates. Classes will then come together for Circle Time to discuss their lessons, plan, and schedule for the day. School will provide a nutritious morning snack before classes venture on their hike to explore the prairie, splash in the creek, visit the chickens in the teaching garden, play in the mud area, or one of the other unique natural spaces at the Cibolo. After lunch in their covered classroom porch, students will have an opportunity to explore their classroom centers and art spaces and have 1:1 time with their teachers to further their independent learning plans. Students will finish their day outdoors at one of our outdoor learning areas.

Are meals provided by the school or must families provide their own?

At the Nest we support establishing healthy habits and growth for whole child development. The school will provide a nutritious morning snack for students, and families will provide a lunch for their student. We encourage families to pack wholesome, healthy, and hearty lunches for their child to make sure they have plenty of energy for our day. The Nest is able to support and accommodate student dietary needs and restrictions.

What is your schoolyear calendar?

The Nest schoolyear follows a traditional academic calendar from September through June and generally follows the Boerne ISD academic calendar. We recognize the Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and Spring Break that align with the Boerne ISD calendar, but other school holidays are subject to review.

Starting in Summer 2022, year-round programming will be available, including summer programming. Please check our website in Fall 2021 for details.

What hours can my child attend school?

The primary program schedule is 9:00am – 2:00pm
Optional Before Care and After Care is available to extend the school day to 7:45am – 5:30pm.

How do teachers and school administration communicate with and support families?

Parents can expect regular emails with updated information from the teachers as well as ongoing communication about school happenings and individual student progress sent each week through Seesaw, our classroom communication portal. Families will also have opportunities to attend regularly scheduled parent information sessions throughout the year around child development-based topics, as well as opportunities for social gatherings outside of school including family meetups, parent book clubs, etc. Teachers provide opportunities for student-teacher conferences every semester to discuss student progress and revisit individualized academic and developmental goals. Staff will accommodate ongoing meetings with parents as needed to ensure that each student’s needs are being fully met.

What happens in case of inclement weather during school?

At the Nest we go outside every day and believe that being outdoors and understanding how to adapt and prepare for all weather (cold, rain, heat) is paramount to the resilience and a beneficial learning experience for our students. Of course, this requires partnership with our families to provide appropriate seasonal clothing including a warm jacket, hat and gloves, raincoat, boots, etc.

Our students’ safety is our highest priority. In cases of inclement or extreme weather, we will adapt our day to be inside as necessary to support the comfort, safety, and experience of our students and staff.

What steps is the Nest taking to support school safety in light of COVID-19 considerations?

The health and safety of our students, families, and staff is our highest priority. In addition to our existing high standard for safety and sanitizing on our site, we have created additional protocols to engage our school community in addressing additional COVID-19 considerations. We have increased daily and weekly cleaning and sanitizing protocols, implemented physical distancing, limited personnel access for our site, increased our time spent in outdoor learning and play, plus many additional steps.

Please contact us and we are happy to further discuss the steps we are taking to protect and support our school community in light of COVID-19.

What is The Nest’s curriculum based on?

Our curriculum is based on a play-based and child-centered model that weaves academics into play and nature. We may visit the creek and investigate water levels to evaluate short and long-term trends, play in the mud and improvise counting opportunities with frogs, or jump on rocks along the creek to engage counting, balance, and coordination. Our experienced teachers prioritize dedicated daily one-on-one time with each student to advance individualized learning and skill-building.

Our curriculum is customized with attributes from Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf methodologies, all integrated to support extended learning opportunities, authentic challenges and skills building, and individualized learning that stems from students’ innate curiosity.