A Letter from Our Director
Welcome to Apple Orchard School! We are a school of 98 children ages 2.9 years to 6 years located in a renovated barn on Allandale Farm in Brookline. At the heart of our school is a belief that children need to be engaged in play-based learning while immersed in nature. Since we are a school on a farm we spend a substantial amount of time outside running in fields, feeding the ducks in the pond, walking our goats, building with rocks and branches, sledding, and stomping in puddles.
We are delighted to introduce you to our wonderful teachers and unique program. Apple Orchard School is an independent school founded by Lee Albright in 1971 to provide a dozen children a place to explore the farm around them while learning about each other. We have grown in size, but our school’s goals and values remain the same.
While the website provides a great deal of information, we urge you to schedule a visit to our school to experience the buzzing activity of our classrooms and see our children and teachers in action. Inside the school you may see children climbing into a loft space as a superhero boarding her rocket ship, children painting with broccoli stalks, a small group making a chopped salad with lettuce from our fields, a child learning about how to create a map of the school, or a music class with all the children curled up as turtles on the floor.
If you look outside you may see children pressing apple cider, or piling into a wagon with their teachers for a tractor ride, or walking one of our goats. The children delight in feeding our chickens on the playground and climbing on our wooden train in the woods.
Thank you for your interest in Apple Orchard School. We look forward to welcoming you!
Martina Albright, Ph.D.
A Letter from Our Founder
The beginnings of Apple Orchard trace back to 1971. My husband and I returned from Washington, D.C. where he had been at the National Institutes of Health. Our two daughters were just two and three years old. Looking for preschools in January proved much more daunting than I imagined. Spaces were filled at any of the nearby schools that I liked.
We were renovating an old farmhouse on Allandale Farm and saw the basement as a possible place for a small group of children. Having completed the Teacher’s Program at Shady Hill School, I said to my friends with small children – “Let’s do this.” So we gathered together a group of other parents who also wanted the farm, animals, trees and fields to be central subjects of their childrens' school.
We looked around and saw the apple trees and decided to call the school Apple Orchard. Some wonderful teachers came to work with the children and we moved into a larger space in the barn. We then were given a pig, a donkey, a horse and two goats for the children. We continue to thrive here enjoying the children and the farm where we see the children grow.
Apple Orchard School