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Mission & Philosophy

Our mission at CNS is to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment where each child, parent, and teacher feels safe, productive, and valued as a unique individual and a respected member of the community. The value of collaboration is an ongoing principle for all relationships at CNS.

Children are given a wide range of opportunities based on our deep respect for their natural curiosity and their innate desire to make connections. Experiences that celebrate their ideas and validate their competencies serve to support daily successes and build self-confidence. This confidence becomes the base from which they explore the world around them. We work closely with parents to help make the transition from home to school a time for children to extend their sense of wonder and build new relationships.

The flow of the day includes ample time for children to make choices that support their particular interests. These may include exploring a wide array of art and found materials from our Studio, investigating the properties of light, shadow, water, and sand, and participating in a variety of literacy, math, nature, and dramatic play activities. Ongoing group investigations reflect the collaborative, interactive, and cooperative nature of life and learning at our school. Each class comes together daily for meeting time, story, snack, music, and movement. Our expansive outdoor play area is another important part of daily life at CNS.

When a child is personally invested in an activity, we believe that it will become a meaningful learning experience. Teachers pay close attention to the ways in which the children investigate their world and construct knowledge. They offer provocations, challenges, and engaging materials to further promote learning and growth. Within a framework of respect and encouragement, children are able to shape their own experiences as well as collaborate in learning groups.

Parents have the unique opportunity to share their children’s experience and gain new perspectives by parent helping in the classroom. Because parents share in the daily life at CNS, children can understand that there is continuity between home and school. The sense of security they derive from this relationship contributes to the development of healthy independence.  In addition to the ongoing communication, conferences are scheduled twice during the year for parents and teachers to exchange perceptions of the child’s development.

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"We must teach our children to smell the earth, to taste the rain, to touch the wind, to see things grow, to hear the sun rise and the night fall – to care."

- John Cleal

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