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

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Welcome to The Nest Nature School!

The Nest is a nature-based preschool in Boerne, Texas located on a unique campus with abundant natural wonder.

Interested in joining us at the The Nest?

Please follow these steps to start the Enrollment Process

Step 1: Sign up for a Tour

Visit our campus with your child (or children) to better understand our program.

Step 2: Review our Parent Handbook & FAQs

Learn more about our school policies in our Parent Handbook and see our FAQs below.

Step 3: Join the Waitlist

Place your child on our waitlist & receive additional info by clicking the button below.


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
  • Access to 65-acre Herff Farm for daily classorom hikes
  • Five outdoor learning and play spaces on school grounds
  • Small class sizes with low teacher: student ratio
  • Enrollment for children ages 3–5 in mixed-age classrooms

Our Campus

With the laughter of children filling the fall air at the Nest Nature School, we are reflecting on what makes the place so magical. Every morning when the children arrive, as soon as they pass the front gate, you can find them running with excitement to their classroom to greet their teachers. They know that they have a fun day in store for them full of learning indoors among friends and outdoors under the canopy of the oaks in our many outdoor learning and play spaces. Of course, time outdoors in nature is a key element to the school with approximately 70% of their day spent outside.

When we designed the Nest, we knew that we wanted to maximize the use of the beautifully wooded campus to enhance children’s learning through play, a core tenet of our educational philosophy. We were excited to work with Adam Bienenstock of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, a world-renowned designer out of Ontario to design our outdoor spaces.

Because we have four classroom cottages, we decided to create 5 “mini-parks”—one central play area and four others between each of the classrooms—each serving its own purpose for the children’s physical and social-emotional development.

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.

Contact Sarah Mortati, Director of Administration

sarahm@cibolo.org or call 830-357-7711

FAQ

How can I enroll my child?

Please review our Enrollment Process above and follow the listed steps. Our school calendar is September through May, and our enrollment season begins in January. We will reach out to families on our Interest List in January with next steps and availability. We will reach out to families to fill spots as they become available throughout the year.

How can I add my child to the Wait List?

Please review our Enrollment Process above and follow the listed steps. Once the Wait List form is completed, you are confirmed on the Wait List. Note that there will be a small fee associated with this form.

How will I know if my child is ready?

The Nest enrolls students ages 3 through 5 for our mixed-age classrooms. Your child 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, you child must be able to toilet independently, and be confident in 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 your schoolyear calendar?

The Nest schoolyear follows a traditional academic calendar from September through May 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. We also have summer programming options from June – August.

What hours can my child attend school?

The core school day schedule is 9:00am – 2:00pm
We offer an optional Extended Care program from 7:30am – 5:30pm.

How do teachers communicate?

Families can expect regular weekly newsletter emails from their classroom teachers with focus on curriculum for the week, pictures, updates, and important reminders. Additionally, regular emails from the administration with information as needed. 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, Coffee chats, etc.

Teachers provide opportunities for student-teacher conferences every semester to discuss student progress and revisit individualized academic and development goals. Staff will accommodate ongoing meetings with parents as needed to ensure that each student’s needs are being fully met.

NEST COVID Policy

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.

Read our COVID Policy HERE.

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 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 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.