About NVNS

Mz. Lori – Our Director

Mz. Lori, Our Director since 1987

Lori Ware has been the director of Napa Valley Nursery School since 1987. She began teaching at NVNS in 1986 and has been a preschool teacher since 1976. Lori is credentialed as a Master Teacher by the State of California.  She is also a Mentor Teacher with the California Early Childhood Mentor Program through Napa Valley College, where she completed her Child and Family Studies program, specializing in parenting and working with families.  Lori continues to update her skills annually by attending workshops, seminars and conferences. You can listen to an interview with Mz. Lori on KVYN’s Kellie in the Morning show by clicking here.

Mz. Lori, as she’s known to preschoolers and parents alike, is dedicated to the philosophy of Cooperative Schools.  She says “Together We’re Better: children, parents and teachers.”  Since most of the day-to-day operation of NVNS is administered by its membership, Mz. Lori is able to focus on developing a creative, integrated curriculum and most importantly, she is able to focus her attention on the children.

Mz. Lori stresses the value of play, communication and social skills as key elements to the ‘validation of self’ and ‘cooperation with peers’.  She is very attuned to children’s varying needs and abilities and teaches them to value their individuality while stressing the importance of working together as friends.

The Program:

The Napa Valley Nursery School program offers a balance of activities designed to promote the preschool child’s development. Each day’s schedule offers flexibility to meet the needs of every child.

For Children:

Children at the Napa Valley Nursery School have an opportunity to:

  1. Interact socially with other children
  2. Foster happy experiences with other families
  3. Develop physical coordination and motor skills through play
  4. Freely create personal artwork
  5. Experience quiet time with books and music

For Parents:

Parents at the Napa Valley Nursery School have an opportunity to:

  1. Gain a better understanding of child development and family life
  2. Actively participate in the classroom with an accredited director
  3. Observe their child(ren) interacting with other children
  4. Form friendships with other parents
  5. Work with other parents
  6. Attend discussions, lectures, and other programs related to parenting
  7. Develop a greater bond with their child(ren) by sharing the nursery school experience

Mission Statement:

Napa Valley Nursery School offers a safe, nurturing, sensory rich environment, where parents share in their child’s first school experience outside of home. Teacher, parents, and children, can work, play, learn and grow together as family and as a supportive community for each other.

Promoting individual interests and offering a rich environment for exploration and discovery, we support the growing physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of the whole child. We believe in a creative, developmentally appropriate, child directed, learning environment, supported by family, can create a positive attitude towards future learning.

Parents and families have the opportunity to learn child development and gain an understanding of the values of the activities offered within the program as they work in the classroom under the direction of an accredited teacher.

The diverse, cooperative, parent community is there to support not only their child, but other children and families in the school. NVNS provides parents an opportunity to learn more about child development, their own child, themselves and each other, in a friendly, supportive, community environment.

As members of the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools, we also offer many extra nursery school and parent education opportunities for families.


Napa Valley Nursery School is an engaging environment for children, families and community to grow together.

A State-Licensed School:

The Napa Valley Nursery School is licensed by the California State Department of Social Welfare and fulfills all state requirements for space, equipment, and personnel. It is the policy of the Napa Valley Nursery School not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, physical handicap, religion, color, creed, or national origin in any of its educational programs, activities, policies, practices, and procedures.

A CCPPNS Member:

The school is a member of the California Council of Parent Nursery Schools, Inc.

Our History:

Napa Valley Nursery School, a Parent Cooperative, has been a part of the educational history of this valley for 60 years. The following is a brief history:

The Napa Valley Nursery School began in 1950 as the Mt. George Play Center, located at the Mt. George Farm Center. Donna Connell was the school’s director. It moved to a small house in Alta Heights, then to its third location, the basement of a house on Main Street.

In 1957, the name changed to St. Mary’s Cooperative Nursery School. Mrs. John L. Lucas was the teacher. The parents raised funds for the school and assisted in the classroom. As in the case of the of the Mt. George Play Center, St. Mary’s Cooperative Nursery School was state licensed and run in a professional manner.

In November 1958, the school moved to 952 Napa Street, and in 1962 came to its present location, the Kindergarten room of the First United Methodist Church on Randolph Street. The fathers graded and graveled a play area and cemented the swings and slide. The mothers were in charge of toys and schoolroom supplies. Jan Clark became the first director there, followed by Mrs. Larry Dybe in 1966. Mrs. Jane Whitehair, an experienced kindergarten and first grade teacher, began her tenure as director in 1967. She continued in this position until the fall of 1983, when Karen Frisinger was hired as the new director. In the fall of 1986, Lori Ware was hired to teach T/Th classes. Karen Frisinger continued as director, teaching only the MWF classes. Lori Ware was hired as full-time director in the fall of 1987. She is the school’s current director, teaching both of Napa Valley Nursery School’s classes with the help of parent assistants.

Since its beginning, the Napa Valley Nursery School, a Parent Cooperative, has provided quality preschool experience for the children of Napa in a closely supervised atmosphere, with a high standard of parental involvement and support.