• Schedule a Tour

    Contact us to schedule a tour and see for yourself the quality of our program and preschool.

  • Have You Heard?

    Orchard Ridge Nursery School has been named Hulafrog's Most Loved Preschool for 2020!

  • School Calendar

    Get the latest about events and happenings for the 2020 – 2021 school year!

  • Support ORNS

    Support us by shopping with Amazon Smile and a portion of your purchase will be donated to ORNS.

Welcome to Orchard Ridge Nursery School

Orchard Ridge Nursery School (ORNS), a non-profit preschool founded in 1967, has been a pioneer in providing high-quality education. Located in Madison, WI, we serve families with children between 27 months and five years of age.


Our mission is to serve the whole child and provide a developmentally appropriate, child-centered, play-based learning experience for preschool children and their families.



Orchard Ridge Nursery School has been fulfilling its mission since 1967 by striving to provide children with a foundation for lifelong success. We accomplish this by:

  • Providing a nurturing, play-based curriculum.
  • Retaining experienced, high-quality teachers.
  • Offering flexible scheduling options to meet the needs of families.
  • Maintaining a robust internal community.
Years We Have Been Teaching Preschoolers
Combined Years of Teaching Experience
Years That We Have Won Hulafrog’s Most Loved Preschool Award
Children Educated By Our Teachers

A Typical Day at ORNS

Orchard Ridge Nursery School


During meeting time, each class gathers to make plans, discuss special activities for the day, and introduce new concepts. Depending on the age of the group, children may do daily graphing activities, talk about the weather, or discuss what is going on in the children’s lives outside of school.


Children are encouraged to independently and collaboratively explore during free-play time. Teachers carefully prepare each classroom with developmentally appropriate learning centers, daily projects, and activities that support the children’s current interests. Teachers spend their time working one-on-one in small groups to encourage learning as the children play. The teachers also help children with social problem solving and ask open-ended questions to make play and learning come alive.


Group time allows children to gather to hear daily stories, play a group game, or sing songs. It also allows children to ask questions, listen to other children to read their own stories, or to plan future activities. Teachers help children build on what they know and focus on the evolving interests of the group. Teachers also use this time to read to their children every day.


Before sitting down for a family-style snack provided by the school, children wash their hands and help prepare the table for one another. They are then encouraged to pour and serve their own water and snacks. During this time, children talk with each other and the teacher, allowing them to practice table manners and learn about sharing and passing food.


Children at ORNS spend time outside each day, weather permitting. The playground has several slides, monkey bars, tunnels, and other equipment appealing to young children.


Each classroom spends twenty minutes running, laughing, and playing in the gym each day. The physical environment, including ride-on toys, balls, giant blocks, and climbing structures, is changed every week by a parent helper. Teachers also facilitate music and movement activities during gym time. At ORNS, we believe that large motor skill development is an essential part of the children’s day.

Quotes from ORNS Parents

Below is what our students’ parents have to say about us.