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                                                Our Classrooms


Infant & Toddler Classes



                                                       NFP enrollment can start as early as 6 weeks! The                                                                          Caterpillars class serves students who are under 1 year by/on the                                                            first day of our "school year" (day after LaborDay). 


                                                       Our infant and toddler students "follow their own schedule",

                                                       per DCF regulations, which means that

                                                       each child's individual feeding and

                                                       napping schedules are honored.

                                                      Our teams work closely with families

                                                      to learn and carry out all individual

                                                      details of care to provide the most

                                                      comfortable environment for our

                                                      youngest learners.  

         Caterpillars teachers focus on many developmental milestones from

gross motor skills to oral language development. Our teachers are active bodies 

who know that being on the floor playing, modeling, and speaking with children are best practice in early education. Our classrooms offer sensory exploration, gross motor equipment, music, hands-on art projects and more.  

         Our Caterpillars students get a lot of time on the floor to explore

their classrooms, but they also start their NFP nature experience! With a fenced, 

grassy back-yard with age-appropriate play area directly off of the room, the Caterpillars kids can easily get outside multiple times a day. We also use wagons and buggies to go for walks around our great property!    



         The Butterflies class is intended for our oldest toddlers who

have not turned 2 years old before the first week of September.

Butterflies students continue to hone their gross motor skills with 

active play, dancing, and yoga! These friends have a more defined

daily schedule and typically do just one nap a day (though we will

always adjust as necessary) on cots rather than cribs.


         Butterflies develop terrific oral language skills and enjoy

                                           lots of books, songs, art projects

                                               and more. Learning goals

                                                 include repeating words and using two-word sentences as well as

                                                           beginning identifying and sorting and beginning to play dramatic-                                                            play games. 

                                                            These students continue to build self-care skills that are first                                                             introduced in Caterpillars. Using utensils and lid-less cups,                                                                     washing hands, putting on shoes, and zipping jackets are just                                                                   some examples.


                                                            The Butterflies use a combination of our back-yard and                                                                           traditional playground. They also begin age-appropriate                                                                           hikes on our wooded nature trails.  



Early Preschool Classes


                                          Our students who are between 2 and 2.5 years old at the start of the 

                                                      school year enter the Robins classroom. More than ever,                                                                   these friends are ready to get active and soak up as much as they                                                               can. As fine motor skills develop, Robins students hone pencil-                                                               holding, and other more complex skills like unscrewing lids and                                                               carefully turning pages of a book. Robins friends love morning                                                                  meetings and more group lessons on creative and nature-                                                                        inspired themes.  

                                                         Robins teachers encourage

                                                    the transition from parallel

                                               play to more engagement with

                                   peers, and teachers are always close by                                                           during center-play to add more language and information to

student games and activities. Independence building continues

as students clean up their plates, put on their coats, and

typically start more actively potty-training.  

Robins students, being over 2 years old, are permitted by DCF to go outside during colder and warmer weather than students under the age of 2. Robins love stomping in mud puddles, exploring the climbers and little nooks in the nature playground, and go on longer hikes daily.  



              Friends who start the school year between 2.5 - 3 years are our Badgers class students.                                                       Badgers students are bursting with quickly developing communication                                                   and imagination. Dramatic play becomes a favorite and students work                                                     on expressing feelings and ideas in more complete sentences.                                                                Teachers help students make deeper connections with stories,                                                                experiences, and other peers.

                                                       Sorting, puzzles, and basic addition activities help develop math                                                         skills and lots of science exploration occurs both within and outside of                                                    the classroom. Badgers friends begin to solidify knowledge of                                                                   pronouns, relationships, concepts of belonging, and more.


                                            In addition to continued strong

                                                  community building, Badgers teachers

focus on the individualization of art projects and student observations

and comments, supporting the development of each unique learner.

Parents will recognize that this age group begins to assert themselves

more vocally and adamantly.Teachers understand that this

development of opinions and preferences is not 

only totally typical ( Though we know that frequently hearing "No!"

from their children at home is not parents' favorite! ) but also

signals student social and emotional growth as they identify and

hone their sense of self.      

         The Badgers class has exhibited some of NFP leadership's favorite learning themes including "Holes" and "Dirt"! Needless to say, these students are real explorers!            

Preschool Classes


             The Bears class friends must be 3 years old by the beginning of the school year. 3K students are really in the swing of the school environment. By now pretty comfortable with daily routines, the Bears friends focus their time on more elaborate concepts across all

academics. Bears students spend much time forming letters and

words, identifying and reciting the letters of the alphabet and their

corresponding sounds, and differentiating between lower and upper

case letters. Comparing/contrasting, rhyming, and identifying

beginnings/middles/ends are skills that emerge at this time. 

                                                  The Bears class engages in a lot of

                                                   student led exploration of dramatic play,

                                                    art, and science. Students will choose

                                                     math and literacy manipulatives more

                                                   readily and exhibit more properly

                                                    applicable skills. Teachers are conscious of spending time with

                                                    each student, encouraging their learning and curiosity.

                                                             Bears students frequently use the Nature classroom in our                                                              wooded area, taking learning outdoors and utilizing our great natural                                                       resources.




The NFP Eagles class is our 4K/5K equivalent. We are often asked if the Eagles program qualifies as an acceptable Kindergarten program from which students can transition into elementary school 5K or 1st grade. The answer is yes! While there is no formal association

with a local school required to count as "legitimate" Kindergarten,

we have worked closely with both Cedarburg and Grafton

elementary school leadership to review our Eagles learning

standards. All are in agreement that the Eagles program should 

adequately prepare students to enter elementary school. 


Well versed in daily routines and school expectations, Eagles

                                                              students dive into topics of

                                                                ecology, social justice, 

                                                               environmental stewardship,

                                                              leadership, and so much more.

                                                                         Students continue to build proficiency in language,                                                                         math, and STEAM subjects. An art center featuring - in one                                                                    unit - paintings by Van Gogh, a bouquet of real sunflowers,                                                                      and Van Gogh inspired student art shows the real world and                                                                   classic connections facilitated by Eagles                                                                                                 teachers. Multiple tanks hold various creatures, safely caught,                                                                  from our pond by Eagles students and teachers, are used as living resources for a short time before being carefully released.

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