Nature School of York is a non-profit cooperative that depends on family participation. Be it teaching a lesson, sharing a dish at our regular gatherings, reading to students, helping with the grounds, or donating financially, engaged families are integral to the success of our school.
All volunteers must have clearances on file.
2023-2024 School Year
September through June,
Monday - Thursday,
8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Nature School of York tailors education to the needs of each individual child. Young minds are best suited to the small, outdoor, mixed-age classes we provide. Our state certified educators follow a natural approach to learning. Our teachers meet students where they are, encouraging their individual interests to further develop their skills. As a result, students’ minds and bodies remain active and engaged, while their spirits are free to question and explore.
Nature School of York believes in creating safe, nurturing spaces that protect childhood. In regard to early elementary, we subscribe to the Scandinavian Educational Approach. This approach has proven that by seven years of age children’s skills far surpass their peers in traditional schools if they are unhurried and given time to expand their sense of wonder and curiosity.
We know that learning is a lifelong process and that educators must safeguard the joy of learning. The joy of learning not only serves students well but is truly the lifeblood of the human experience.
We believe in fueling intrinsic motivation so that kids will grow into adults that are well-equipped to meet the changing demands of our dynamic world. We teach kids to be reflective and set their own growth goals, which often surpass state standards.
Our mixed-age classes promote cooperation over competition with peers. We believe in empowering kids by giving them a voice in their education. Our school culture centers around a growth mindset. Mistakes are innately human and by teaching and coaching children to accept and grow through their mistakes, we are providing them with a unique skill set that will serve them well into adulthood.
A Natural Approach to Education
One of the many advantages to teaching and learning outdoors is the ability to experience the changing of seasons in Pennsylvania. Nature School of York classes are outdoors in all seasons and provide learners the opportunity to better understand the rhythm of their own bodies, as well as their place in the wider world. By appreciating the world around them, kids are more likely to become better stewards of the Earth now and in the future.
Child-Led Learning and Student Assessment
Our student evaluation is rooted in authentic assessment. We use a variety of authentic assessment tools that help us gain insight about children’s academic, social, emotional, physical, and self-advocacy skills. Student assessment is ongoing as teachers plan curriculum tailored to each child’s unique needs.
We track student progress and gather materials for student portfolios throughout the year. This information helps guide our curriculum and ensures that we are providing the right opportunities, specific to each child, for academic and skill development. Grade-school students are provided with a portfolio at the end of the school year. Students in 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade participate in state mandated testing in a supportive environment. Our students routinely rank in the 90+ percentile across all categories.
Nature School of York is a non-public school following the tenets of Sacred Earth Fellowship, a religious organization dedicated to connecting people to nature. Nature School of York is an authorized K-8 school recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Current students, and families with siblings, returning to Nature School of York or from our partner preschool, 7 Tribe Playground, receive priority enrollment. Applications are processed in the order that they are received.
Nature School of York admits children without regard to race, culture, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, special health needs, developmental or behavioral concerns, or disabilities.