For over 16 years the Corvallis Environmental Center’s preschool program at the Avery House Nature Center, has strived to facilitate a deep connection between students and their environment through engaging and playful nature activities outdoors! We tell stories, sing, play movement games, do amazing art projects and learn about nature through inquiry and investigation of nature’s seasonal cycles.
Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will open March 1, 2019.
Register for the 2018-2019 school year by clicking the links below .
NaturePlay Morning Pre-School (ages 3-5)
NaturePlay Afternoon Science Pre-K – 1st grade (ages 4-7)
Nature Based Curriculum: Preparing for Kindergarten
Students learn everything they would at a traditional preschool and more. Activities, games and art focus on place-based learning through inquiry and investigation of nature’s seasonal cycles. We learn the alphabet through nature’s themes, and identify letter sounds and small words as they are ready. Math concepts such as counting, measurement and early literacy are integrated throughout the curriculum. Experiments and nature games prepare students for following directions and improving social skills like sharing and teamwork.
What could be better than stomping in puddles, collecting leaves, and playing in nature? We spend time outside learning from the natural world that surrounds them. Through our activities we help our students learn to get along with others and follow a routine. Our engaging activities contribute to increasing their attention span and retaining information in preparation for kindergarten and life skills that will follow them throughout their educational path.
Classroom Environment and Healthy Snack Choices
Using positive reinforcement and communication we create a happy, relaxed environment to support student’s learning and social growth. Every day, we serve a healthy and hearty organic and locally grown (as often as possible) snack while honoring all dietary or allergy needs. We believe that good wholesome nutritious food is essential in setting the stage for a positive learning experience.
Program Staff and Child Safety
Instructors come from a variety of backgrounds including early childhood education and development and natural sciences, but all are experienced in and passionate about sharing nature with children in a kind, open and consistent manner. Our Lead Teacher and Curriculum Specialist is Meika Vingelen has over 18 years in environmental education and early childhood instruction. Assistant Nature Education Instructor Annie Hamilton has over 7 years experience in environmental education. Instructors are certified in CPR, First Aid, EPI pin administration and food handling. All adults (staff and volunteers) in the classroom have passed full criminal background checks through the Benton County Sheriff’s office. Staff to student ratios are 7:1 for ages 3-4 and 8:1 for ages 5-6, with a maximum class size of 16 students.
Tuition, Fees and Payment Options
Our daily rate is $25 for all our morning and afternoon programs. A $100 annual registration and supplies is due at the time of enrollment. If enrolling in January this fee may be reduced. Enrollment in the program is monthly and based on the number of days a child attends per week. Your payment amount will be the same each month except December is a ½ payment and no payment is due in June. This accounts for all holidays. Payments are due the first week of each month. Payments are made to CEC or Corvallis Environmental Center and it is great if you put your student’s name in memo.
1. Online Banking – enter the following payee information (Note: this is a new account number and we might send follow up instructions soon)
Corvallis Environmental Center
acct # 42209801
Memo: Students name
2. Check delivered to Avery House the first week of the month
Payable to: CEC or Corvallis Environmental Center
Memo: students name
Please use one of our provided envelopes to enclose your cash or check and label envelope with your child’s name. Place envelope in payment box at Avery House.
Attendance & Refund Policy
Avery House is staffed according to our monthly registrations and pre-planned therefore missed days for sickness, vacation or extreme weather conditions cannot be refunded. Registration is for the length of the school year or as otherwise agreed upon time. If you need to cancel your enrollment, please provide 30 days written notice (required). Upon written notice you will receive your pro-rated invoice for balance due.
Calendar Year and Weather-Related Closures
We follow the Oregon state University schedule for holidays. There will be no class on:
Veterans Day-November 12, 2018
Thanksgiving Break-November 21-23, 2018
Winter Break-December 17, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Martin Luther King Day-January 21, 2019
Spring Break-March 24-29, 2019
Memorial Day-May 27, 2019
We also follow Oregon State University schedule for snow closures and will send out emails to confirm our closure and cancellation of preschool .
We follow a standard policy for group health. We wash hands often, as this is the best way to not get sick. However, young students are building up their immune system and bound to get sick. Here is our rule of thumb for the following conditions and symptoms:
Fever – must be fever free for 24 hours.
Tummy – must be throw up free for 24 hours and eating again.
Diarrhea – must stay home, this can be a very contagious and spread quickly.
Coughs – stay home with new highly active continuous coughing. It is okay to come to school with end of cold coughs. We will work with children to cover coughs.
Colds – stay home with new active sneezing, coughing, and high volume nose running. It is okay to come to school with small runny nose (we help children blow their nose).
Hand washing – if someone else at home is sick please wash student’s hands when they arrive.
Oregon law requires proof of immunizations or an exemption, for all children attending schools, preschools or child-care centers. As a preschool we are required to provide this information and the overall immunization rates to the Oregon Health Authority Immunization Program administered by the Benton County Health Department. This information is due at the time of enrollment. Click HERE for our 2018 Immunization rates.
What to Bring to NaturePlay
We will be going outside EVERY day, rain, snow, wind or shine! Please bring a jacket for your student as mornings can be chilly. Please pack one extra set of clothes (socks, underwear, pants and shirts) and label with your child’s name we will keep them throughout the year or you are welcome to pack a small backpack daily. When the weather gets wet or as the mornings are damp, please bring mud boots. Flip flops or open-toed sandals are not permitted. We have some extra clothes and boots on hand but the selection is a bit limited.
Positive Behavior Guidance and Management Policy
All children need guidance, some more than others, on how to behave and communicate appropriately. Teachers and volunteers are there to be good behavior mentors to the children. We always try to find opportunities to celebrate positive behavior every day, with every activity.
RESPECT applies to all things we do…We call it the three R’s!
Respect others – Be a good listener. Keep hands to yourself. Cooperate and share during activities.
Respect the environment – Leave living things (especially plants) in their place. Be kind when handling or observing animals.
Respect yourself – Stay with your group. Put on your coat if needed. Be safe while hiking.
We try to catch students doing things appropriately and reward them for it! We are specific with our praise and using the child’s name.
We provide positive comments when we see someone following through on an agreement or request.
We give students responsibilities or tasks that they can successfully complete, and then be sure to compliment them.
Our motto is to avoid behavior problems and BE POSITIVE!
Begin each activity in a predictable manner
Explain what is going to happen
Praise kids when they are doing something we like
One Step ahead of children helps us avoid challenging situations
Set the rules and consequences before we begin and follow through
Interact appropriately with others
Talk in a calm and quiet manner
Value each child for their individuality