History of Woodside School

Woodside was incorporated in March of 1978 as a private pre-school for three-, four-, and five-year-olds.  The School was organized with a three-member Board of Directors, each with a three-year term.  All current parents were, and are, members of the corporation and participate in the fall Annual Meeting to elect new Board members and receive annual reports.  Woodside received its non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization (a non-profit for educational purposes) from the Internal Revenue Service in March of 1979.

The School was originally housed in rented space at the Unitarian Church, Pleasant Street, in Concord.  The enrollment in morning-only programs was forty students in 1978.  An afternoon program for young fives and for children without access to public kindergarten was added in 1983.  The total enrollment grew to eighty students by 1987 with a staff of six.

By the fall of 1986 it became apparent that the School had outgrown its rented space.  At this point the Board of Directors was expanded to five members, and an extensive search was begun to relocate the School.  A tuition assistance program was also added to ensure the availability of affordable programs to all who apply.

In April of 1987, when an ideal piece of property on South Fruit Street in Concord came on the market, the Board took a deep breath and voted to make a deposit on the property.  With the generous support of Board members, staff, parents, and grandparents, funds were raised for a down payment.  The fall of 1987 saw the expansion of the Board to its current level of nine members, three of whom are elected each year at the November Annual Meeting.

Many hours of fundraising, committee meetings, site visits, and plain hard work brought Woodside to the doorstep of its wonderful new home in October of 1988.  A year-round childcare program for children age two years, nine months to eight years operated for nine years in the house portion of our property.  In 1999/2000 we reconfigured our Multiage Program and moved it to the “barn”.  A Toddler Program for ages eighteen through thirty-six months was created in the “house”.  In June of 2001 we expanded our license to include children up to age twelve.  In the fall of 2004, we continued to enhance our programs by combining the Multiage and Preschool programs and changing the Kindergarten program to a full-day program.

The summer of 2007 saw the beginning of construction of our Outdoor Classroom.  Much of the work was funded by parent fundraising efforts and through the sale of personalized bricks used in the construction of outdoor walkways.  Additional work took place on the Outdoor Classroom during the summer of 2008.  The space continues to be a work in progress as we refine and expand on the original plan.

When we began registration for the 2008-2009 school year, it quickly became apparent that we had outgrown our available space as we could no longer accommodate currently enrolled children and their siblings.  With tremendous support from our Board of Directors, Woodside purchased the adjacent property at 126 South Fruit Street.  The building was almost completely gutted in June 2008, rebuilt to create a wonderful Kindergarten classroom, and ready for opening in September 2008.

As can be seen, Woodside continues to serve children and their families in the Concord area with expanding programs.  We celebrate all the years of services we’ve provided to the community and our accreditation by the National Academy of Early Childhood Education.