~Our 2022-2023 & 2023-2024 class rosters are fully enrolled~
Group tours are currently full, individual tours will be by appointment only for families who have been offered an enrollment placement.
Wild Lilac is a non-profit early childhood educational community alive with possibilities for learning and discovery, an inclusive community that feels warm, inviting and nurturing for your whole family. We’ve offered high-quality care and education for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age in Southeast Portland’s Foster-Powell neighborhood since 2011.
Preschool classrooms (ages 3-5) are now enrolled through Preschool for All instead of directly with us, more information about that program can be found here. There is an option there to receive email notifications of when the online application will open for the coming 2023-2024 School Year. Joining our waitlist will not have any influence on your lottery position with Preschool for All.
Wild Lilac supports students as they follow their curiosity, explore their community, build friendships and learn to resolve conflicts independently. On any given day, children might plant vegetables in the garden, sculpt with wire in the art studio, take a buggy ride to Essex Park, build a circus with blocks or bake bread with our school chef in the kitchen studio. And they’ll always eat healthy, yummy snacks and meals.
We hold dear our intention of creating a respectful, coactive, engaging environment for children to learn and play. It is Wild Lilac’s foundational belief that children who develop self-confidence, the ability to think critically, problem solve, and engage in creative risk-taking in the early years later have the tools and confidence to excel not only in school but as lifelong learners and community members. Wild Lilac is inspired by the wonder and imagination of early childhood and we are deeply committed to providing children with a first time school experience that is engaging, warm and loving.
We are inspired by the early childhood education programs of Reggio Emilia, and Wild Lilac’s curriculum is both constructive and emergent as it responds to the interests, ideas and questions the children have about the broadening world around them. Learn more about our programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers at Wild Lilac.
This sense of community extends to moms, dads, grandparents and caretakers. Families are invited to participate in monthly events like puppet shows and sing-alongs, volunteer in the school garden or join field trips, and attend free parenting classes and get to know Wild Lilac’s caring staff through regularly scheduled conferences and daily conversation.
Our food and garden program nurtures our bodies, enriches our curriculum, and supports children’s connection to the natural world.
Meet our staff of highly skilled educators who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young children and their families.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
At Wild Lilac we believe in respectful, intentional and consistent guidance of children. We believe that children come into the world with their temperaments intact, and it is our work to lovingly nurture their inherent wisdom and joy. Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values of our nonprofit school. We believe that excellent early childhood education should be available to all families, and we work to make that possible through a sliding scale tuition model, extended hours, and a comprehensive food program. We are committed to anti-bias education as we strive to honor our diverse children, families, and teachers in a welcoming, respectful, and nurturing community.
Using the principles of anti-bias education, teachers guide the children in exploring their differences and similarities to foster a confident self-identity and to promote respect and understanding for all people. Wild Lilac promotes kindergarten readiness through research-based and developmentally appropriate curricular practices in order to cultivate children’s cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development. Wild Lilac provides small class sizes, low student-teacher ratios, skilled and passionate teachers, a language-rich environment to promote early literacy, and respectful, engaging interactions between teachers and children.
Wild Lilac’s guiding educational philosophy is inspired by a variety of approaches that share one essential value: respect for children and childhood.