AlderWood Preschool

A play-based, loving, child-centered preschool in NE Portland

Age of attendance  

Children may attend from age 3 until starting Kindergarten. 

Potty training 

Potty-training should be well underway, but we do not expect children to not have occasional accidents. We use only cloth underwear at AlderWood. For more details, or advice on potty-training, feel free to ask.

What to bring to school

On their first day, we ask that children come with: a water bottle, 2 changes of clothes, and a special blanket (if they will be napping at school). Children are allowed to bring a “home-toy” to school each day, which they can choose to share or not share, and it goes home at the end of the day. On a daily basis, we ask that no bags or backpacks come to school (there’s nothing they need to bring, and our space is limited).


We provide morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. All food is additive free, fruit and vegetables are local and organic. We also offer dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives. 

Clothing items 

Children at AlderWood do lots of art and outside exploring, and will undoubtedly get dirty! Dirty clothes get washed at school and will eventually cycle back home. 

Please label each article of clothing your child comes in! If unlabeled, clothing will likely get misplaced. Unlabeled clothes will go on top of the clothes cubbies, feel free to check this spot regularly.

We ask that children come to school in clothing appropriate for that day's weather. Rain-boots on rainy days, thick coats and gloves on cold days. Items cannot be stored at school. 

Children must come dressed in items they can use on their own, no pants with buttons or zippers. Leggings or sweatpants are best. 

Children must come in shoes they can put on and take off completely on their own. 

Drop-off/ Pick-up routine

We ask that children arrive at school no later than 9:30. If there is an appointment or some other delay, please text to let us know.

At AlderWood we practice independent drop-offs. Our day is all about self-care and self-motivation, so we feel it's important for the day to start that way. Parents walk their child to the door and children enter school on their own. There is always a teacher waiting to greet them and offer any assistance needed. 

Saying goodbye is hard, and a drawn out drop-off just exasperates any anxiety or upset. 

We do however invite parents to come into our space at pick-up time! Let your child show you around, work on something together. 

When in our space, please be conscious of your energy, your voice volume, and your movements. Try to model a calm state. If your child is having a hard time following rules with you present, it may be time to go. 

Enrollment cost

The first month's tuition will include a $50 enrollment/materials fee. If reserving a spot for the future, the $50 enrollment fee is required to hold your spot.

Yearly closures 

We are closed for Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. The last week of March, for Spring break. The week of the 4th of July, for Summer Break. The Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving. The last week of December, for Winter Break. January 1st for New Years Day.

Schedule change or enrollment cancellation 

A 30 day notice is required for enrollment cancelation. Extra days or schedule changes are allowed if possible.  


Children should not be brought to school if they have: a fever of 100, or any other signs of what could be a contagious condition: red or itchy eyes, rash, itchy scalp. 

Children must be fever free for 24 hours before coming to school.

If you are not sure if your child's condition will allow them to be at school, please contact the director before coming.

If a child is unwell and needs to be picked up, a parent will be contacted, and we trust that every effort will be made to come as soon as possible. Every moment a potentially contagious child remains at school increases the chance of other children being infected. 

Family vacations

There are NO tuition credits for days missed due to illness, vacations, holidays, etc. An annual schedule of closures is available to use in planning your family’s personal schedules. We ask that you notify us of your vacation schedules as early as possible.

Extreme weather

In the event of inclement weather, AlderWood will follow the closures of Portland Public Schools, unless remaining open is determined safe and feasible, in either case parents will be notified by email.