Overview

Admissions

Admissions Process 2020-2021


Outdoor Tours

We will offer four physically distanced outdoor tours so that families may get a sense of our farm-based school by seeing a couple of the outdoor classrooms we use daily, as well as a glimpse of our playground and the converted barn building where we have our 7 classrooms. Per EEC regulations, we are not allowed to have families inside the building.


Tours will be offered from 9:30 am to 10:00 am:

Wednesday, October 21st
Thursday, October 22nd
Monday, October 26th
Tuesday, October 27th


Please meet at the tree stumps in the front of the school near the parking lot.

Limit of 10 people per tour.

Please call the school to register for a spot: #617-731-6463


AO - Who We Are video created by parent Terrence Johnson


Please view our video here to learn more about our mission and hear from some of our teachers.


Zoom Interview

This year due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to meet families inside our building. We are conducting 30-minute informational interviews via Zoom. Please call the school (#617-731-6463) to arrange a day and time. Interviews will be offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from November 2nd - December 15th.


Applications

Sibling Applicants: If your child is a sibling of a current or former Apple Orchard student please call Diana Walcott in the Admissions Office at #617-731-6463 and request a sibling application. We will mail it to you.


New Applicants to the school:

  • Those interested in our Chicken Coop (2.9-year-old) and Class I (three-year-old) programs should call the school to arrange a Zoom interview. Parent interviews for these age groups are conducted in November and December. Applications will be sent out after the Zoom interview and are due by December 15th. Decision letters are sent at the end of January.

  • Those interested in our Class II (four-year-old) program should call the school to arrange a Zoom interview. Class II parent interviews are conducted in January and February. Applications will be sent out after the Zoom interview and are due by April 1st. Decision letters are sent in mid-April.

  • Those interested in our Kindergarten (Class III) program should call the school to arrange a Zoom interview. Class III parent interviews are conducted in January and February. Applications will be sent out after the Zoom interview and are due by April 1st. Decision letters are sent in mid-April.

Our Commitment to Creating a Diverse Community

We seek families who understand our mission as a play-based and nature-based program that focuses on the joy of learning through children’s natural curiosity about the world and their peers.


Our community is made stronger and more just through the inclusion of families from various racial, cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. We value the rural landscape that our farm-setting provides, and also are committed to having AO accurately reflect the diverse and larger world around us.


As early childhood educators, we focus extensively on developing the social-emotional skills of our students. We recognize that those skills are best practiced by experiencing difference and similarity through the “windows and mirrors” that students encounter each day. They learn through “windows” when they are attuned to perspectives and experiences different from their own, and they learn through “mirrors” when they see their own experiences or perspective being reflected back to them, thereby affirming their place in our world.


Our teachers actively seek out opportunities to model embracing difference and to challenge stereotypes, thereby nurturing anti-racist perspectives in our students. This best happens through real interactions with a diverse group of students and teachers. In the classroom, we celebrate the differences we see in ourselves and others through song, literature, projects, and dramatic play. In our outdoor classroom, there are also numerous moments to observe and discuss differences in the context of nature and animals. We seek applicants who feel a strong connection to our outdoor learning environment and who also believe that a diversity of students, teachers, and families are essential and the best preparation for an excellent 21st century education.


Decisions to accept new families and children are based on a variety of factors including a balance of boys and girls, birth date range, diversity of race, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic status, and different demographic communities. Acceptance letters are mailed at the end of January for Chicken Coop and Class I, and in mid-March for Class II and Class III. Apple Orchard is committed to creating a diverse community of families, students, and faculty. We strive to ensure that everyone at Apple Orchard feels a sense of connection and belonging.


Notice of Non-Discrimination

Apple Orchard School does not discriminate against children, teachers, or families on the basis of age, gender, race, color, sexual orientation, sexual identity, housing status, religion, cultural heritage, political beliefs, family status, or disability in the administration of its educational policies, employment practices, scholarship awards, or any other school sponsored program or activity.


Non-COVID Admissions Process (click to expand)

Overview

Our admissions process begins during the first part of November each year. We encourage parents to contact the school beginning in late September to set up an appointment to visit the school.


Admissions Visit

During November and December, parents are invited to meet for 30 minutes with an admissions person, followed by a self-guided tour and classroom observation for The Chicken Coop and Class I. Visits for Class II and Class III occur in January and February. Click here for age requirements and class descriptions. Parents receive an application at the time of their visit.


Applications

Applications for Chicken Coop and Class I are due by December 15th. Applications for Class II and Class III are due by March 1st. There is a non-refundable $50.00 application fee.



Admissions
  • There is not a day that goes by when we don’t arrive at Apple Orchard and appreciate this gift we have been able to provide our children. Apple Orchard is truly a magical place, with amazing teachers and team who care so much about our children. Without the scholarship program, our family would not have this opportunity to introduce our children to education in such a special way. We are forever grateful.

    Former Parent
  • Receiving a scholarship for The Apple Orchard School has made it possible for my child to be a part of such a wondrous school. A school that does not feel like school, but feels like home. As a parent that has made a world of an impact on our family. When we count our blessings, we count Apple Orchard twice.

    Former Parent
  • “I am thrilled that we have been able to find a preschool for our daughter that elevates play and concrete activities over academic concerns. You don’t pretend to do things, but you really do them. I love it that the kids pick vegetables, collect eggs, and cook snacks together. I think it’s nothing short of fabulous that the children got to watch ducks raised from eggs and set free on the pond.”

    Former Parent
  • “Apple Orchard is truly a model school, the best place on the planet to send your child to jumpstart his or her education.”

    Current Parent
  • “The grounds are like being in another, simpler world.  During a parent visit, taking a winter walk, I could see the joy in the children’s faces as they skipped, ran, got distracted, picked up a stick or rock, and then continued on their way.  How often do you see a child skip these days?  You do at AO!”

    Former Parent
  • “The staff is genuine, friendly, exceptionally knowledgeable, and competent.  They know your child’s habits, likes, dislikes, anything you can think of, and challenge them in a way that incorporates the natural world into the learning plan.”

    Former Parent
  • “All of our kids left AO with a deep appreciation for the outdoors and animals. This is a gift we could not have given them in any other pre-school setting.”

    Former Parent
  • “Apple Orchard is a magical place for our children as they learn without knowing they are learning! Friendships are formed which last a lifetime as our children develop a love for each other, their teachers and nature.”

    Current Parent
  • “All of our children have attended AO and completely embraced and loved every aspect of their experience. Combining the outdoors with traditional learning fosters an early school experience that has cultivated both academic growth and social development in our children.”

    Former Parent
  • “Apple Orchard helped to shape my children’s creative potential. Apple Orchard had such a significant impact on one of my children that he decided to come back as a teaching assistant for his senior project in high school.”

    Former Parent