Carbondale New School

Serving Southern Illinois since 1974

The mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled


AfterCare & Outdoor Play

CNS AfterCare Before school care for grades PreK-3rd consists of supervised free play from 7:45 am to 8:30 am, with a 15-minute no-charge window from 8:15 am until classes start at 8:30. Students in grades 4-8 start class at 8:00, and so have no Before-school charges. In the supervised after school program (offered from 3:00 pm to 5:15 pm for PreK-3rd, and 3:30 pm to 5:15 for 4th-8th), students engage in free play on our Certified Nature Explore® playground or may choose to do their homework. The no-charge window for aftercare runs the first fifteen minutes following dismissal, 3:00 pm to 3:15 pm for PreK-3rd, and 3:30 pm to 3:45 pm for 4th-8th and their siblings.

Playground staff is encouraged to learn the methods of the school's child management philosophy Love and Logic®, as well as First Aid and CPR. Staff members are on duty during all times students are on the playground. Our goal is to keep our children safe, to help them realize they can solve their problems, and to let them experience the outdoors.

...allowing the child to freely play in nature has a huge impact over later social capacities and aggression, and having a set of supportive caregivers beyond the mother can predict levels of IQ and ego resilience as well as empathy.

Our playground has many swings, lots of trees, a large field, a slide, a tree-house which accommodates children of all ages, a climbing wall, monkey bars, parallel bars, and fort-building areas. We have an outdoor music area, a mud kitchen, a giant sandbox, a racetrack for toy cars, and a nature art area. The Early Childhood building has its own outdoor area sized appropriately for younger students. Grades 4-8 have a designated space in front of the school where the older students may read, work, and socialize if they choose. Mixed age groups play together and we encourage this. Children are invited to get dirty, so students should wear rain boots and bring a change of clothes when it is muddy and wet. School policy brings kids inside if the wind-chill is below 25 degrees or heat index over 95 degrees. We do consider the age and size of the student and the wind chill. Appropriate outdoor wear is a must, because our kids love to play outside with their friends! On snowy days, our teachers will often let them throw snowballs, but only under their teacher's supervision!