The Austen Riggs Nursery School
Important Notice: Out of an abundance of caution, the Austen Riggs Nursery School is delaying re-opening this fall. In the meantime, nursery school staff will be working to develop creative ways of engaging preschoolers via Zoom. If you have any questions, please contact Director Sarah Muil (firstname.lastname@example.org / 413.931.5288).
Founded in 1955 by Joan Erikson (an educator and wife of Erik Erikson), the Austen Riggs Nursery School is located on the grounds of the Austen Riggs Center and is one component of its Activities Program. The nursery school fosters important early learning concepts and positive attitudes towards learning for children ages 2.9 years old to kindergarten.
Children at the Austen Riggs Nursery School are encouraged to explore, investigate and fulfill their natural curiosity about the world around them. Under the careful guidance of the director, teachers and teacher’s aides, children develop at their own pace and learn that school can be an unending adventure – one that cultivates a lifetime of discovery. The staff take the time to learn each child’s strengths and weaknesses, interests and personalities, and use that knowledge to enrich the curriculum and provide alternate avenues for accomplishment and success.
It is our mission to provide a respectful, loving, nurturing environment to promote self-confidence, creativity, critical thinking skills, real-world experiences, and motivation for the love of learning.
Our children have incredible potential to be thoughtful, responsible, charitable, civic-minded, contributing members of our community. With our guidance and support, we empower them to connect with their potential by providing a foundation of opportunities to peak their curiosity and explore their interests.
To that end, we have a unique opportunity to provide the same supportive and nurturing environment for the staff who come to work with us. By providing this safe space, we create an experience for them that allows their growth and potential to flourish. Our professional teaching staff role model teamwork, developmentally appropriate practices, and quality program planning and curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and exploration through relationship building.
We align with the belief that every child be provided a solid foundation of social emotional skills which is done through the Second STEP Program. We practice yoga and mindfulness, continued English language acquisition as well as Spanish, science exploration, music and movement, arts, mathematics, and cultural studies. We assess each child for their individual abilities and design curriculum plans to meet their challenges and build on their strengths and areas of interest.
The children are exposed to hands-on experiences in ceramics, woodworking, fiber arts, gardening, theatre, and visual arts provided by our professional Riggs Activities staff.
We ask parents to join us in this journey of exploration and curiosity, and to share in the joys of childhood.
The Austen Riggs Nursery School offers children the opportunity to learn and grow together. For information about enrollment, contact Director Sarah Muil at  931.5288.
Read more about the Austen Riggs Nursery School on the Riggs Blog: