Welcome to our school
Noe Valley Nursery School (NVNS) is a cooperative preschool founded by a group of neighborhood parents in 1969. The school believes in a play-based, child-centered, and developmentally-appropriate philosophy of preschool education.
NVNS is a community of parents interested in taking part in their children’s preschool experience. Each family shares in the planning and operation of the school. Parents staff the school under the direct guidance of our director, Johana Barahona and teacher Corinna Nicolson. NVNS maintains a 4:1 student-teacher ratio.
This school, like all cooperative preschools, is where your child can take those first steps into the world while still holding your hand. You come to school, too. You will grow and learn alongside your child.
The school is a proud and active member of the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools, serving families of Noe and Eureka Valley, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Mission and other San Francisco neighborhoods since 1969. At Noe Valley Nursery School we are all ethnicities, religions, orientations, abilities, and backgrounds. No matter where we come from, we are one inclusive community. We all learn here, and then we pass it on.
Johana Barahona (pictured on the left) obtained her Bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences at UC Santa Cruz in 2008 and her preschool teacher/director training at Merritt College. Johana enjoys observing children build self esteem, negotiate, grow, and socialize through play. As a native Spanish speaker and talented singer, she loves helping the kids develop bilingual skills through songs and stories.
Corinna Nicolson (pictured on the right) enjoys nurturing the growth and development of young children by meeting kids where they are and helping them address the next challenge. She fosters children’s critical thinking and problem solving as well as enabling them to express themselves. She loves to sing, dance, and get silly in the classroom. Corinna has a deep background in the performing arts including dance, theater, music, and music pedagogy. She has a B.A. from San Francisco State University and has studied child development at Saddleback College.
*Due to local county COVID-19 restrictions, some activities are temporarily on hold
At least once a week, two parent-teachers take 6 to 8 children into Glen Canyon on a hike and for nature exploration. The canyon offers numerous opportunities for imaginative play (sticks, forts), sensory play, building gross motor skills (climbing trees, climbing rocks, navigating paths), and honing listening and observation skills. Nature activities incorporate the season and weather.
Our school has a great relationship with the Janet Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center, which has an indoor swimming pool heated from 90-93 degrees. Each Thursday we have the shallow part of the pool reserved for our school from 10-11 a.m. year-round. During the school year, three parent-teachers escort six children to the pool each week. The swim program does not provide swimming lessons and the children do not need to know how to swim. This is an opportunity to play and become comfortable in the water.
A skillful arranger for jazz, theater and pop ensembles, Teacher Daniel Fabricant is an accomplished music instructor, teaching guitar, bass and ukulele to students of all ages in private and group settings. The son of a preschool teacher, Fabricant uses games and stories to engage young children in music-making. He has created and implemented music curriculum at UCSF’s Kindergym, Blue Bear School of Music, the Discovery Center School; taught music notation to graduate students at Academy of Art University; and has been selected as a teaching artist for the SF Symphony’s Adventures in Music program.
Our school organizes many opportunities for students to explore San Francisco and the Bay Area. Every year we go to the symphony, take a train trip on the Caltrain to Burlingame for a picnic, and go camping at the beginning and end of the school year. Other events have included a private story time at Charlie’s Corner in Noe Valley, visits to our local fire station, and theater/dance performances at the Yerba Buena Center.
Our school has a garden plot in the Little Red Hen Community Garden, which is just a short stroll from school. Children plant seeds, water, and harvest vegetables, fruits, and herbs year-round. They use all their senses while learning about the seasons, the weather, the cycles of life, and the insects and critters that share the garden.
NVNS sits at the edge of Glen Canyon, a wild, wonderful resource for our children. To share our love for the Canyon, we created Exploring Glen Canyon — A Guide for Curious Kids. You are welcome to print and use the Guide to learn more about this special place.