Drumlin Farm Community Preschool
Jill Canelli, M.Ed., Preschool Director
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Give your child a fun, unique, and adventurous learning experience that will last a lifetime.
At Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm Community Preschool, children learn through hands-on nature-based experiences that address the developmental needs of children ages 3 to 5 as they explore the varied habitats at the sanctuary.
Guided by the philosophy that multi-sensory, inquiry-based exploration of the natural world will foster curiosity and persistence in young learners, we encourage children to develop positive dispositions for future learning.
Registration is open for the 2023-2024 school year. Learn more about enrollment and about submitting an application below.
Learn More About Our School
To learn more about our program and about enrolling for the 2023-2024 school year, please see the opportunities below.
Virtual Open House & Info Nights
We invite you to join us from the comfort of your own home for an evening focused on learning more about our school program. Our evening together will include a presentation and also opportunities to hear from our faculty, see our program in action through photos and videos and also understand more about our philosophy and overall daily schedule. We will conclude our time with a question-and-answer session. Meeting link will be sent to all families who RSVP for these virtual events.
- Thursday, December 15 - 8:00-9:00 pm
- Monday, January 30 - 7:30-8:30 pm
All families must RSVP for all Virtual Open House events at least 2 days prior to the event date. Sign up here >
We will be offering some limited in-person tours on a few Fridays from 11:30 am-12:30 pm during the winter season. Please email Jill Canelli, Preschool Director, or call 781-259-2241 for more information about dates.
About Our Program
State-Recognized for Excellence in Education
In May 2018, our Community Preschool was honored at the Massachusetts State House with a Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education. The award was presented by Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton for our work in nature-based education. Read More >
Teachers & Class Size
Each class is taught by highly qualified early childhood educators who are licensed by the MA Department of Early Education and Care. Our current class size is 10 students with two teachers, giving a teacher-to-child ratio of 1:5. We have two classrooms of students each day at our school.
Our emergent and nature-based curriculum provide opportunities for indoor and outdoor play—both structured and unstructured—to develop cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth in each child.
A sense of self and community is created through cooperative experiences and shared discoveries. Through outdoor adventures, art and cooking activities, books, music, and movement, children learn emergent math, science, and literacy skills as they investigate stimulating natural history topics.
Investigating the forests, fields, wetlands, and farm encourages emotional connections to the land, promotes physical development, and fosters a sense of discovery.
Outdoor Play in Nature
Children have the opportunity to play, use their imagination and interact with one another while also exploring the changing landscape and various habitats around the sanctuary.
Planting & Harvesting
Children are involved in the life cycle of growing food on the farm—from planting to harvesting and tasting. Along with these hands-on experiences, they are also learning about farming, soil, water, and plants.
Meaningful Connections with Animals
We are so fortunate to be able to provide a variety of authentic opportunities for children to share meaningful connections with animals, including:
- During the school year, each class has at least 6 visits with a resident animal ambassador from Mass Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center at Drumlin Farm (a long-term care facility for injured or human-habituated wildlife that cannot survive in the wild).
- Students learn how to care for Drumlin Farm’s farm animals by visiting with our sheep, goats, chickens, pony, cows, and pigs. From caring and feeding to unique opportunities like milking the cow, collecting chicken eggs, carding sheep wool, and grooming the pony.
- Resident animal friends include Alice the Rabbit, a year-round resident in our indoor classroom, and the hens that live in the school play-yard classroom in fall and spring.
- Regular wildlife observation opportunities by the pond, in the forest, and on the trail—there’s so much to see!
Enrollment Info for the 2023-2024 School Year
We are excited to begin enrolling students for the 2023-2024 school year! All interested families must apply for student enrollment using this online application. Once we’ve received your enrollment application, you will receive an auto-generated message after completing the form (not via email) confirming receipt along with a timeline for when you’ll hear back from us regarding your enrollment preferences and next steps. More specifically, your family will be receiving information mid to late February 2023 regarding the status of your child’s enrollment in our program. Specifically, at this time you will be notified as to whether your child has a space in our program or is on our waitlist.
Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Community Preschool strives to balance classes based on both age and gender. The entry age for enrolling in our school is 3 years old by 9/1/23. Within this framework, admission is by chronological order as applications are received. Applications will be accepted from all families, without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, political beliefs, marital status, disability or toilet training status. The registration deadline for returning families and currently enrolled children and their siblings is January 13, 2023 and the deadline for new families is February 10, 2023. After this date, enrollment is ongoing and based on available space. Returning families and siblings of current families receive first choice of enrollment spaces. Waitlisted families will be notified when and if a space becomes available.
Financial Assistance is available through our scholarship fund and is based on economic need and available funds. Financial assistance applications are due February 3, 2023 and can be obtained below.
School Year Calendar
Our school year runs early September 2023 through early June 2024. Specific start and end dates as well as holidays and vacation week schedules will be provided in our Family Handbook in the Summer of 2023.
- 3-day option: Mondays/Wednesdays (9am-4pm) AND Fridays (9am-1pm), Tuition: $14,495 for the school year
- 2-day option: Tuesdays/Thursdays (9am-4pm), Tuition: $11,105 for the school year
*Families are permitted to sign up for only one class session/child. Please note: a 5-day class session is not an available option.
Mass Audubon Membership
All families who have children enrolled in 2023-2024 school year are required to have a current Mass Audubon family membership by the start of the school year (September 2023). More info to follow in the confirmation materials sent to enrolled families in Summer of 2023. Learn more about becoming a Mass Audubon member today.