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2nd Nature Academy Photo #1 - 2nd Nature Academy includes early childhood through high school.
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2nd Nature Academy Photo #1 - 2nd Nature Academy includes early childhood through high school.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #2 - The ideal 2nd Nature Academy candidate is engaged, innovative, resilient, collaborative, compassionate, and mindful.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #3 - Inquiry and exploration is at the heart of a 2nd Nature Academy education.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #4 - Nature's Pathways at 2nd Nature Academy early childhood program is built on an emergent curriculum, following the child's lead and interests.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #5 - 2nd Nature Academy high school students have a choice between guided independent study courses, such as Introduction to Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, and Sustainable Farming and Agriculture.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #6 - 2nd Nature Academy high school students have a choice between guided independent study courses, such as Introduction to Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, and Sustainable Farming and Agriculture.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #7 - Visual arts education at 2nd Nature Academy encourages self-expression, inspires creativity, builds confidence, and helps develops a sense of individual identity in each student.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #8 - The foreign language curriculum at 2nd Nature Academy embraces a wide range of communication skills recommended by the American Council for Teaching Foreign Languages. Mandarin (Chinese) and Spanish are both taught as part of a 2nd Nature Academy foreign languages education.
2nd Nature Academy Photo #9 - 2nd Nature Academy sits on the former site of an 18th century dairy farm. Consisting of 39 acres of pristine land in south Nashua, NH and Dunstable, MA, the grounds also abut roughly 700 acres of conserved and protected land in both municipalities. With fields, forests, ponds, wetlands, and a working farm, our grounds are the perfect place to learn.
At 2nd Nature Academy Elementary, Middle, & High School, we foster a rigorous and responsive learning environment where students thrive, not simply survive, in their formative academic years.
We encourage students to explore, inquire, collaborate, create, analyze, and solve relevant problems.
Our unique and original educational model combines elements of skills-based curricula, Project Based Learning, transdisciplinary studies, and whole child philosophy.
We maintain a low student to teacher ratio to allow teachers the flexibility to implement strategies for differentiated, individualized instruction and build positive relationships with students.
Teachers set expectations for high standards and academic achievement while also supporting social emotional health and wellness for all students.

Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • Top Ranked NH School
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-12
  • Enrollment: 177 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $17,500
  • Acceptance rate: 85%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

2nd Nature Academy ranks among the top 20% of private schools in New Hampshire for:

Category
Attribute

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Nursery/Preschool-12
ADD/ADHD Support
Yes
Learning Difference Programs
Yes
Year Founded
1997

Student Body

Total Students
177 students
Student Body Type
Co-ed
% Students of Color
21%
State avg.: 20%
Students by Grade
2nd Nature Academy Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
15 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
12:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
40%
Average Class Size
12 students
Number of AP Courses
3 courses
Advanced Courses
Research, Seminar, U.S. History
Average SAT score
1410
Classroom Dress Code
Casual
Solid colors, appropriate outdoor and indoor shoes, school-sanctioned polos for special events

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
$12,700: Kindergarten - Grade 4 | $13,500: Grades 5-8 | $17,500: Grades 9-12 (For early childhood pricing or additional details, please visit www.2ndnatureacademy.com
Acceptance Rate
85%
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Kaitlin Quinn-Stearns
Admissions Associate
Meghan Ayer

Sports

Total Sports Offered
5 sports

Extracurriculars

Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
12 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.
Club or Organization:
Chess Club, Community Service Projects, LGBTQ Alliance, Recycling Club, Student Government, Yearbook Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Creative arts courses, Dance classes, Drama Club, Fine arts courses, Technology Lab enrichment courses

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Cross country

School Notes

Mission
2nd Nature Academy is a student-centered educational community that fosters inquiry, exploration, experience, and achievement. We develop well-rounded and independent critical thinkers who are able to create, communicate, collaborate, and conquer challenges, in order to contribute fully to society.

Vision Statement
Authentic engagement and lifelong succe

Philosophy
At 2nd Nature Academy Elementary, Middle, & High School, we foster a rigorous and responsive learning environment where students thrive, not simply survive, in their formative academic years. We encourage students to explore, inquire, collaborate, create, analyze, and solve relevant problems. Our unique and original educational model combines elements of skills-based curricula, Project Based Learning, transdisciplinary studies, and whole child philosophy. We maintain a low student to teacher ratio to allow teachers the flexibility to implement strategies for differentiated, individualized instruction and build positive relationships with students. Teachers set expectations for high standards and academic achievement while also supporting social emotional health and wellness for all students.

Project Based Learning allows students to engage in collaborative exploration and work on authentic projects to solve complex, real-world challenges. Transdisciplinary studies integrate the perspectives of multiple disciplines in the problem-solving process. Students learn through questioning, investigating, researching, reasoning, comparing, and reflecting. They demonstrate their skills and knowledge by creating genuine products and presentations for real audiences. Whole child educational philosophy ensures that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in school.

We encourage students to work collaboratively in both small and large groups, thus promoting a balance between a sense of self and belonging to the group. By working together, they develop important interpersonal and communication skills such as dialogue, negotiation, compromise, empathy, self-control, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Each student has the opportunity for his/her voice to be heard. These practices have resulted in a tight-knit school community, further strengthened by participation in student facilitated service learning projects as well as events and activities on campus.

Pedagogical Goals
  • To provide a student-centered learning environment that focuses on the whole student
  • To embrace eight intelligence strengths as indicated by Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University
  • To provide the fundamentals of education using inquiry based learning and multi-sensory instruction
  • To foster an attitude of cultural appreciation
  • To support physical, social, emotional and cognitive well-being
  • To promote values and life skills such as responsibility, punctuality, consideration, understanding, altruism, and compassion
  • To encourage an appreciation of our natural environment
  • To develop an enthusiasm for learning and acquiring new skills
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does 2nd Nature Academy cost?

2nd Nature Academy's tuition is approximately $17,500 for private students.

What is the acceptance rate of 2nd Nature Academy?

The acceptance rate of 2nd Nature Academy is 85%, which is higher than the national average of 74%.

What sports does 2nd Nature Academy offer?

2nd Nature Academy offers 5 interscholastic sports: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country, Snowboarding, Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee.

What is 2nd Nature Academy's ranking?

2nd Nature Academy ranks among the top 20% of private schools in New Hampshire for: Highest average SAT score and Largest student body.

When is the application deadline for 2nd Nature Academy?

The application deadline for 2nd Nature Academy is rolling (applications are reviewed as they are received year-round).

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (16 reviews)
5  
2nd Nature AcademyWe enrolled our daughter in 2nd Nature Academy when she was old enough for kindergarten. She was one of the youngest kids in her class. Our decision was based on the small class size compared to public schools. COVID was also very much a factor in our decision. Remember the chaos? In 2020, my daughter attended kindergarten (outside) with a class of 13, with masks, and social distancing. The school handled this situation brilliantly. My kid was better for going, and no one in her class was sick. Did I have apprehension about sending my kid to school? Yes. The bargain I made with myself was -- if there was a sign of a sniffle, cough -- the MINUTE I felt uncomfortable -- I would pull her out. The pleasant surprise? It was the first year I remember where she didn't have a cold or get sick. When they came in for class in the wintertime, they followed a strict cleaning protocol, guidelines from the state, and CDC. I appreciate how the school rallied to make in-person classes work. This was a significant amount of extra work for administrators, teachers, and cleaning staff to stay open. Parents WERE nervous, but the school got us through the pandemic. The communication was exceptional. In 2021, my daughter was a 1st grader. It was still during COVID (Delta). We kept her enrolled in the school because we were impressed with how the school handled education and COVID during the previous year. She was learning well in her small classroom setting. Unfortunately, near the end of the year, the original teacher couldn't finish the school year. I was concerned about the gap in learning and the potential anxiety this would cause my daughter. Mrs. Gleeson (principal, owner), with decades of experience, stepped in. She made the spring semester magical. Not only did they learn maths and reading, but they also hatched chickens, and grew plants from seeds. And here we are in 2022. My daughter will attend the 2nd grade, with a class of 14. We like how her education is rounding out and the level of attention to detail with staff, teachers, and administrators. Does she still wake up on Monday and say, "I don't want to go to school." Yes, she's seven;) I don't have regrets about my daughter not being in public school. I would still enroll her in a private school. 2nd Nature is a nurturing environment. I did not want my daughter to have an education by rote. I wanted her to have the opportunity to explore beyond the commonality of being tied to a standardized test. She is learning about processes and critical and logical thinking. FoodI appreciates that my daughter isn't fed processed, grade F, and slop for lunch. My school days were full of Salisbury steak and other gray mysteries. The school has a chef that makes healthy lunches daily, using quality ingredients.I can see the way the owners try to support busy parents. They had a pilot program where they offered nutritious ready-made meals for purchase. As a mom, "What's for dinner!" crushes my soul. The money I spent purchasing these meals saved my sanity thinking about food, grocery shopping, and what I would have for lunch the next day. Totally worth it. (Now, I'm fortunate to have other family members help with meal planning and don't use the service anymore).CommunicationLearning the different ways to communicate through school can be a challenge. The best thing to do is to sign up for Class Dojo. Sign up for emails and text reminders. Class Dojo is an app where the teacher posts what the students are learning, events, and pictures. You can see what your kid is doing! You can reach out to the teacher directly through the app.
- Posted by
5  
We are so happy to have found the 2nd Nature Academy!! After being accepted for 6th grade (for fall 2022) in April 2022, our daughter expressed interest in starting in May as a "trial run" since this would be the first time she would be attending school. We were all uncertain how the transition would be since it we had been homeschooling since preschool! The teachers, staff, and most importantly children of all ages welcomed her with open arms and she looked forward to going to school every day! The teachers challenge her to be curious and think critically. The student-centric, delight-driven, project-based learning style that the school values fit our family school philosophy so well. As an educator, I am extremely critical when it comes to pedagogy and curriculum and I can say with confidence, that I have no doubt that my daughter will thrive at this school and be receiving an excellent education! She cannot wait to go back in September!
- Posted by
5  
Our experience at 2nd Nature Academy has been amazing. Our daughter has been attending this school since 1yr. She is entering the 10th grade. The staff is exceptional. They are committed to making the educational experience fun and successful for every student. They truly bring out the best in every child. My daughter is dyslexic and was supported by everyone. This environment is like no other. Who doesn't want to have the opportunity to spend a good portion of their day outside...exploring and learning how to apply their lessons in the rule world? To have an environment that encourages kindness, acceptance, responsibility, and leadership. The small classes provide an atmosphere to gain confidence in asking questions, and engaging in group activities, and allow for one-on-one opportunities with teachers. There has not been one day that I have worried about my daughter being the absolute best care. We are so thankful that our daughter gets to attend this school. I encourage you to seek out this school!
- Posted by
5  
Over the last three years, Second Nature Academy has provided our daughter with a nurturing, supportive, and engaging learning environment. In addition to the educational curriculum, she is learning social-emotional skills, resiliency, inclusivity, teamwork, and leadership skills. Second Nature Academy offers a community that cares about the child's overall well-being. The best gift of all is that they have instilled in her a love for learning!
- Posted by
5  
We have had a phenomenal experience at 2nd Nature Academy over the past 3 years, and are excited about the high school program. The curriculum is challenging and the faculty are uniquely adept at challenging students and motivating them to excel in new ways academically, emotionally, and socially. My son has been supported in ways that have enabled him to grow significantly over the past few years - ways that wouldn't have been possible without the collaboration and support from the 2nd Nature team. The program fosters a sense of accountability, responsibility, and independence you will not find in a public school. We could not be happier!
- Posted by
5  
My daughter is going into 2nd grade this year and has been going to 2nd Nature since Pre-K. I can`t say enough great things about the 2nd Nature Academy. My daughter has anxiety issues and her teachers and staff have all been very supportive of us navigating through this new diagnosis. One of the things I love most about 2nd Nature is that every teacher and staff member in the school knows my daughter by name. It`s a small school feel with all the large school benefits! She`s been taking 2 languages since kindergarten, along with music and art. They understand that kids get bored sitting in a classroom all day, so they will take them outside on a nice day and have class out on the lawn or under the covered farmer's porch, they go for hikes, they have barn days where they have jobs and help take care of the animals. They teach them about responsibilities and respect. My family loves 2nd Nature and we couldn`t imagine my daughter going anywhere else!
- Posted by
5  
2nd Nature Academy has been a wonderful experience for my child who began there in 4th grade and is now heading into 7th. From the small class sizes and amazing teachers, she has thrived. One of the things we love about the school is its inclusive environment. Kids can be themselves and express themselves without fear of bullying from other students. Students are taught to be thoughtful and kind in their interactions with each other. Academically, my child has thrived in a way that she wasn`t able to in a public school setting. She feels comfortable participating in class discussions, or asking for help when needed. This has everything to do with the teachers and staff at the school- the small classes enable the teachers to spend time with their students to help them learn new concepts, or give more direction individually when needed. We are the type of parents who like to keep close tabs on our child`s class work, and we`ve always had immediate, and thoughtful responses from her teachers. We`ve always felt like there is a partnership between the school and our family and as needs arise, we`ve been able to collaborate effectively to get the best learning outcomes for our child. The school does an excellent job of encouraging teamwork among the kids in each class, and for us- their collaborative style of teaching through group work has been wonderful for our child. The school`s commitment to getting kids outside, and in nature to learn has also been a great fit for us- children learn by doing and collaborating, not just sitting passively and absorbing what`s being taught AT them. My child has had the opportunity to be "met where she is at" in her learning, which makes her feel secure, and not anxious about having to fly through lessons at breakneck speed like she would in a public setting. 2nd Nature has been a perfect fit for our family, and we`re grateful to have her learn in the nurturing environment they`ve created.
- Posted by
5  
We enrolled our daughter last fall in 5th grade at 2nd nature. We were a little apprehensive at first, not knowing how the transition would be or understanding how the curriculum would work as she transitioned from public school. But within the first couple of months, she really flourished there. She has gained so much confidence in herself. She loves the school, the teachers, and the other students. Throughout the school year, a couple of issues with her academics did come up (not turning in assignments, needing additional help in writing/spelling, etc), but through communication with her teachers, we addressed the situations and helped put her back on a better path. She loves going to school every day - it`s a welcoming, supportive and inclusive community that we are happy to be a part of. And her favorite day is always barn day!
- Posted by
5  
We first enrolled my son last year due to pandemic concerns, and concerns he needed extra help with reading (which he was not getting at our local public school) and math. We looked into private reading tutoring but then heard that 2nd Nature Academy was using an Ortho Gillian-based reading program with all students, not just those struggling with reading. We decided to look into the 2nd Nature Academy based on this and were impressed with the teachers, curriculum, facility, and community. The reading program was indeed wonderful for my son, the class worked in small groups on reading with this program (each group at a different level) so he did not feel singled out and built his confidence. He`s now caught up to reading at his grade level. He was nervous about returning to school in person, and his teacher was supportive of that transition. Her communication was wonderful. She shared highlights of what the class was learning weekly, and often daily, updates with pictures and the occasional video. Her energy and enthusiasm inspired a love for learning in her class. Each day we were happy to hear about his adventures, ranging from science outside (for example, discussing the life cycle of frogs and their habitat while observing actual frogs at the pond), fort building with friends, and barn visits. The Art teacher recognized my son`s creativity and had him do a special challenge project that he was excited about. His 2nd/3rd-grade class wrote a play together, designed and built the set (with help from the Art teacher), and then put on the production at the end of the year for the school and parents. This past year he learned how to count in mandarin, and math in mandarin seemed to help reinforce the math foundational concepts he had been learning. By the end of the year, he was caught up to where he should be with math. The school utilizes two apps for communication, one by the teachers who post updates, photos, and videos, and one by the school administration with information about special events, school lunch, and school community news. The school also emailed important updates and information. As a busy professional, the easily accessible updates were appreciated. Initially, we had thought we would send our son just for one year, a temporary solution given the pandemic, but after seeing how much he thrived this past year we can`t imagine not continuing with 2nd Nature Academy. Highly recommend the 2nd Nature Academy!
- Posted by
5  
I have 2 children that have been at this school since they were 4 months old. They are now about to start 2nd and 5th grade. I cannot say enough positive things about 2nd Nature Academy and its staff. They know every child as an individual, and each child is given the tools they need to succeed. For example, my son (age 10) is an amazing kid. He has been an educational "challenge" since age 1. From speech delays to sensory issues as a toddler, to an eventual diagnosis of ADHD and social anxiety, each year his teachers meet with us as often as needed to develop and adapt his learning plan. They address new obstacles as they come and celebrate his successes with as much joy as we do. This funny, talented kid has grown and matured so much under the guidance of these teachers. Not one teacher has become frustrated or "given up" on helping him reach his goals. Both of my children thrive here. "I don't want to go to school today" or "I hate school" are words never spoken in our house because school is fun for them. Kids are encouraged to think as individuals and problem solve, rather than just do worksheets and "busy work". They learn real-world skills and socio-emotional skills in the context of their projects. "Bullying" does not occur, as issues are never allowed to get to that level. If a social issue arises in a classroom, they deal with it as a group and turn it into a learning opportunity. Parents are made aware as appropriate and are encouraged to carry the lessons forward into the home. This school encourages a sense of community for both kids and families. They teach kids to give back through monthly service learning projects (Water Walk, Christmas family donations, clothing drive, etc.) Families, traditionally make an effort to hold several community-building events throughout the year, though Covid has recently limited this. When I drop my kids off here in the morning, I drive away knowing they are safe, cared for, and have teachers that will give them a positive, fun, and creative learning experience. I couldn't ask for anymore.
- Posted by
5  
Our daughter has been attending 2nd Nature Academy for two academic years and she loves it. The school provides a strong curriculum while fostering emotional intelligence as well as curiosity and respect for nature. My daughter adores all the teachers and feels a sense of belonging and community. The best part - she is inspired to learn and we could not ask for more. We feel fortunate to have her be a part of the 2nd Nature Academy community!
- Posted by
5  
My children love this school! From the amazing dedicated teachers to the students to the well-balanced curriculum that perfectly combines skill-based learning with project-based learning. 2nd Nature Academy does an excellent job integrating their compassion into their teaching standards, emphasizing the importance of values, and building leaders through each of their lessons. The teachers are passionate about seeing all of their students succeed. Communication is extremely important to our family and at 2nd Nature Academy, communication is top-notch. They are so great about sharing proud moments, good behaviors, and achievements, as well as getting parents involved should an issue arise all in a very respectful and approachable manner. Our family has been a part of the 2nd Nature Academy for the past 7 years and could not be happier.
- Posted by
5  
The 2nd Nature Academy community is truly amazing. The teachers go above and beyond making sure the student's academic and social-emotional needs are consistently being met by providing individualized instruction in order for "unique" learners to gain the confidence they need to thrive in school. One thing that sets this school apart from other mainstream schools is how they teach students conflict resolution by talking as a group, so children learn how to advocate for themselves without feeling singled out. If you are looking for a small school atmosphere with a truly unique learning experience where students are encouraged to explore, inquire, collaborate, create, analyze, and solve relevant problems through their experiential learning approach, then we highly recommend 2nd Nature Academy!
- Posted by
5  
The 2nd Nature Academy community is truly amazing. The teachers go above and beyond making sure the student's academic and social-emotional needs are consistently being met by providing individualized instruction for "unique" learners to gain the confidence they need to thrive in school. One thing that sets this school apart from other mainstream schools is how they teach students conflict resolution by talking as a group so children learn how to advocate for themselves without feeling singled out. If you are looking for a small school atmosphere with a truly unique learning experience where students are encouraged to explore, inquire, collaborate, create, analyze, and solve relevant problems through their experiential learning approach then we highly recommend 2nd Nature Academy!
- Posted by
5  
My daughter is fortunate enough to attend this private school that has fostered an incredible sense of individualism, acceptance, creative thinking, critical thinking, project-based learning, kindness-. the list goes on. She wakes up excited to go to school and the staff and teachers truly and genuinely care for our children. I feel she couldn't be better supported or positioned for a successful future.
- Posted by
5  
My children have attended The Nature of Things preschool starting at age 1, Lovewell Camp, and Second Nature Academy where my son is now in 7th grade. The hands-on approach to teaching makes subjects come alive and captures the children's attention. For example, rather than reading about the biological differences between mammals and any other life form, the children interact with the farm animals and their young as they are nursing, and then compare those animals to the chickens or the frogs, etc. Math skills are honed with real life situations such as how to figure out how big an enclosure has to be if one is going to pen up a given number of animals, or how to budget the earned pretend money they earn from their school jobs. The children learn the real life implications of the various sciences by raising organic produce, organically and humanely raised animals for meat, the need for recycling, etc. They also participate in monthly service projects to become more involved citizens both locally and globally by raising money or items, through their efforts - not by the parents. Examples of their service projects include collecting Halloween candy to be sent to the military overseas, collecting cans for food for the local soup kitchens, collecting worn out denim jeans and cutting them up to be made into shoes for individuals in Africa to prevent infections, raising money through hot dog sales to buy animals to be used to generate income for individuals overseas, raising funds for children in NH battling cancer, and the list continues. As a parent with twins, I was in the unique position to observe how each child's strengths were encouraged, and any weakness dealt with, by individualized learning formats. While one child's math skills were challenged by allowing her to go forward beyond the class, her brother was given the added assistance he needed to bring his skills up to par, and neither child had to leave the class or be singled out - every child is encouraged to work at their skill level. Another incredible asset to the school is its community of families who tend to become de facto aunts, uncles, and cousins all working to help one another. Even if all the rest didn't exist, the academic program which involves Spanish and Mandarin starting in the primary grades, the advanced math and science concepts which are introduced in preschool, the intense writing competency learned through fun and interesting projects, the introduction to technology and its usefulness, and the constant encouragement to think critically rather than merely memorize data sets this school far above the rest. I just hope the High School is ready in time for us!
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • Top Ranked NH School
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-12
  • Enrollment: 177 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $17,500
  • Acceptance rate: 85%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Hillsborough County, NH is $10,183 for elementary schools and $14,891 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Hillsborough County, NH is 82% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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