The live animal exhibit trail and all hiking trails are OPEN every day! Squam Lake Cruises run daily.
Blue Heron School students running through field

Blue Heron School

Blue Heron School is a nature-based Montessori early learning center with a child-focused approach and daily outdoor experiences.

The school operates September to June, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"I believe a child's first experience at school builds the foundations for future learning, but Blue Heron has also shown me that school can be a place where a child begins to grow as whole person. Her work with the naturalists and Ms. Laura and Ms. Jordan has inspired in her a natural sense of compassion and conservation that I am consistently surprised by and grateful for. I believe that wherever her education takes her in the future, her success and ability will easily be traced back to her first steps along the wooded paths at Blue Heron school." Heidi W., Blue Heron School Parent

Fast Facts:

Blue Heron School at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
  • Ages 3 to 6
  • September - June
  • Monday - Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • 2024-2025 Tuition:
    Full Day: $6,250 per year ($625/month) for 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Extended Day: $8,350 per year ($835/month) for 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Blue Heron School closely follows the local public school calendar. View Blue Heron calendar below.
  • Contact us via email

About Blue Heron School

There is no such thing as bad weather at Blue Heron School, where children jump off rocks, balance on logs, climb trees, and explore the ponds, streams, and woods of the Science Center. Their experiences connect them with nature and their world.

The program combines the Montessori philosophy and materials with the Nature School approach. Children learn to care for themselves and the environment and engage in academic areas such as language, math, geography, music, and art. They take letters and numbers outside to practice writing and counting, and they bring natural discoveries indoors for research and further understanding. Extended outdoor time allows opportunities for both spontaneous exploration and activities, as well as guided discoveries with Science Center Naturalists.

A typical day at Blue Heron School includes group time (for stories, music, games and discussion), snack, lunch, an extended work time (when children are free to select and concentrate on appropriate activities), and a substantial period outdoors with both unstructured time and presentations by Naturalists. Children are free to explore their own interests, both outdoors and inside, as they become independent and self-confident. Children learn to be responsible for themselves and their environment and to treat others with respect, and form a close and supportive community. Optimally, children start at around age three, and stay for three years, two preschool years and one kindergarten year. Each year builds on the previous year(s). Through this experience each child has the chance to be both a learner and a mentor. Using Montessori materials and materials found in nature, children concentrate on activities that develop the foundation for the care of self and the environment and foster academic progress in areas such as language, math and geography. Outdoor time allows opportunities for spontaneous exploration and lots of fun large motor activity, as well as more structured interactions with Science Center Naturalists on a variety of topics.

At Blue Heron School, our goals are for children to develop an affinity for nature and an awareness of the interdependence of all living things. We hope to encourage in our students a lifelong environmental ethic, compassion for others, and a connection to their community.

About Our Teachers

Jordan Fitzgerald, Co-Director

Jordan FitzgeraldB.A. University of North Carolina
Jordan received her B.A. in Education of Young Children. She also received her Montessori 3 to 6 year old certification from the North American Montessori Center and her Montessori 3 to 6 certification from Northeast Montessori Institute. Jordan has been working in the early childhood education field at Blue Heron School since 2010 and is an advocate for outdoor education.

Jordy Gianforte, Co-Director

Jordy GianforteB.S. State University of New York at New Paltz
Jordy received her BS in Psychology/Biology and her Masters in Elementary education from SUNY New Paltz in New York. She is also certified to teach K-8 in New Hampshire. She fell in love with Montessori education while working in charter schools and finished her Montessori certificate for Lower Elementary from Seacoast Center Montessori Program. She completed her Montessori primary training (3 to 6 year olds) at Northeast Montessori Institute.

Jennifer Byam, Associate Teacher

Jennifer ByamJennifer has received both a B.S. and a Master's of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education from Gordon College in Massachusetts. She has her Lower Elementary Montessori Certification from the Seacoast Center Montessori Program in New Hampshire. Jennifer is passionate about the Montessori philosophy and is excited about joining the Blue Heron School. When not teaching, she enjoys spending time outside or reading a good mystery.

Dylan Parker, Associate Teacher

Dylan ParkerB.S Plymouth State University
Dylan received a Bachelors Degree in Childhood Studies from Plymouth State University. He began interning at Blue Heron School while he was still in school and has been interested in Montessori teaching ever since. He loves working with children outdoors and brings a positive energy to the school. When not teaching, Dylan enjoys playing disc golf and enjoying nature!

Alexis Plunkett, Associate Teacher

Alexis Plunkett Alexis is studying psychology with a focus in family studies at Granite State College. She’s worked in a variety of childcare environments since 2016. Alexis’ first exposure to Montessori was interning at Blue Heron School in 2021 and has been eager to return since. She’s so excited to be back where her passion for early childhood education began. When she’s not at work she enjoys painting, hiking and camping.

Ashley Yeaton, Associate Teacher

Ashley YeatonA.S. NHTI – Concord’s Community College
Ashley received her Early Childhood Education degree from NHTI, where she also completed the ECE certificate as a double major with honors. She has been working with children since 2017 and has loved every moment of it. Ashley is excited to be a part of Blue Heron School, where she will be expanding her Montessori knowledge not only from her peers, but in her own educational endeavors as well.

Questions about Blue Heron School? Contact us via email

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Scholarship Fund

Blue Heron School offers need-based tuition scholarships for students. Please contact us at