Little Lemon Tree Nursery School

An Outdoor Preschool for Children in San Francisco, CA

Schedule a Call

Our Philosophy: Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better. - Albert Einstein

We believe that from infancy children are whole people. They strive for autonomy while desiring relational connections and deserve our respect. We approach each child with respect and trust that they know best about their own preferences, styles and approaches to learning. We provide constant observation and encouragement that allows the child to explore in varied ways.

Little Lemon Tree staff desire to follow the child in their areas of interest to support a deeper understanding of the world around them. Our approach is a play based, emergent curriculum in an outdoor setting. We know from research that children who play outdoors are happier and feel less anxious. They also develop connections with others and nature while developing a sense of curiosity about the world around them. We provide a natural environment with open ended objects for children to practice their creativity and imagination.

Two children playing togetherDevon handing a toy to a child in the yard

Schedule a Call

Schedule a call below or give us a call at (415) 848-9158! Please note: tours are available if your child will be at least 18 months old by August 2016.

We are currently enrolling for this school year. We started school in September and we are accepting students on a rolling basis until our school is full.

We have 1 spot left for children over the age of 18 months.

We will start accepting tours for parents who want to enroll for the 2017-2018 school year in January.

Our Application Process:
1. Schedule an information call with Devon on our website below.
2. Complete the “Prospective Family Survey” that we will email after you schedule a call.
3. At the conclusion of the information call, we'll schedule a family visit/playdate if it seems that our program is a good fit for your child and family.
4. After the visit, we will send you an application. Please complete and return.
5. Once we assess the needs of your child, expectations of your family, and the balance of the group, we will notify you of your admission status.

Class Information

Our students range from 18 months - 5 years. We maintain a 6:1 ratio with a teacher assistant and occasional enrichment instructors as well. We offer a healthy snack during the school day.

We offer classes for 2, 3, or 5 days per week from 8:15 AM to 12:15 PM. Please note that this is a morning program and not a full-day program.

Preschool Program 24 Months - 5 Years

2 days per week $425/mo
3 days per week $600/mo
5 days per week $925/mo

Infant Program
Under 24 Months Old

2 days per week $550/mo
3 days per week $750/mo
5 days per week $1,200/mo

Director and Head Teacher

Devon Schlegelmilch

“As an educator, it is important to me to encourage and build on young children's inherent curiousity and desire to learn. Play is vital to develop busy brains, bodies and emotional regulation. Little Lemon Tree provides a safe space for children to experiment in all these areas and learn from those experiments. Children learn to respect nature and each other by seeing it modeled by the LLT staff everyday. The staff at LTT works tirelessly to create a safe space for the youngest of children to develop autonomy, self confidence and identity. ”

Calendar 2016

Sep 5 Labor Day
Oct 10 Indigenious People's Day/ El Dia De La Raza
Nov 11 Veteran's Day
Nov 22-25 Thanksgiving Recess
Dec 19-Jan 2 Winter Recess

Calendar 2017

Jan 16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Feb 20 President's Day
March 27-31 Spring Recess
May 29 Memorial Day
Summer 2017 TBD

Please note that the calendar is based on the San Francisco Unified School District Schedule for holidays; however, we are a year-round program with new enrollment each September and on an ongoing basis as space allows.

Schedule of a Typical Day

8:15-8:30 am Children arrive
8:45 am Circle Time
9:15 am Child-led project
10:15 am Organic snack
10:30 am Storytime & movement
11:15 am Free Play & exploration
12:15 pm Pick up
A child holding a red guitar

Location Information

Originally built in 1914, the school is a detached single family home in the southern end of San Francisco. Children are offered rich, varied materials and real life experiences to work and play with at Little Lemon Tree.

Our school is primarily based outdoors--we expect to be outdoors 90% of the time. We believe that nearly everything that is done inside can be done outside which is generally a more stimulating environment for children. As such, our outdoor space is designed for children to feel connected to and confident with nature.

Our outdoor shelters help ensure the children are not exposed to adverse weather, although we think playing in the rain and cold opens up a whole different world of adventures. We will be inside on days that are below 50 degrees and/ or have strong rain and wind.

Little Lemon Tree is an in-home preschool—“home” is at the essence.

Get in touch!

Sunnyside / Outer Mission Neighborhood
San Francisco, CA 94112

(415) 848-9158

Director & Head Teacher
Devon Schlegelmilch

A One Preschool Classroom

We are a One Preschool school, which means that all of our teachers have been approved by the One Preschool team. We've received training through both the classroom and hands on experience on how best provide social emotional education to children from ages 6 months to 5 years, our school gives parents access to the One Preschool application to make payments, communicate with our teaching staff, and to just make things easy for our parents.

Parent Involvement

We desire to be as consistent as we can with your methods at home but with many children that is not always possible. Parents are not expected to stay past drop off. We do welcome volunteers. Please let the LLT staff know if you are interested in helping in the "classroom".

Children painting the branches of a lemon treeView from outside the home

Our Teachers

Devon Schlegelmilch

Director and Head Teacher

Devon Schlegelmilch has a Masters degree in Learning and Instruction and an Education Specialist credential from USF. She spent 4 years teaching in Daly City public schools. Her BA is in Liberal Studies with a concentration in the arts from Purchase College in Purchase, NY.

Devon loves working with and teaching children and has experience instructing toddlers through college age students in many varied settings. Before formalizing her teaching education, she was a Founding Company Member of the professional dance company, Inlet Dance Theatre, in Cleveland, OH. There she headed the educational outreach department and worked with vision impaired students, students in high poverty areas and oversaw the Inlet School of Dance.

Prior to starting Little Lemon Tree, Devon has been a stay-at-home mom to 3 year old daughter, Ella and has also worked at Mighty Bambinis, a RIE-inspired in-home preschool in San Francisco. Some of Devon's favorite hobbies are thrift store shopping, DIY projects and crocheting. She loves watching movies and reading. She spends her evenings with Ella, her husband, Andrew and dogs, Lucy and Rufus.

Ami Atsuko Kojima

Assistant Teacher

Ami is a wonderful, gentle caretaker. She has her Masters degree in Applied Linguistics from University of Essex in England and has spent time all over the world helping and caring for children. She has over 18 ECE units and has recently received her Site
Supervisor permit. She has experience in local daycares and as a nanny. Ami speaks Japanese fluently. She is married and has a dog. She loves outdoor education and watching the children play and create.

The grassy back yard, with lemon trees and flowersDevon reading a book about birds to two children


Sunday, August 14, 10:30 AM

Art class w/ Little Artistas

Anna Calonje from Little Artistas will be leading us in a fun, creative art activity. We will also have time for play and exploration in our preschool space and outdoor mud kitchen.
Little Lemon Tree's Director and Head Teacher, Devon, will be providing tours of the preschool to parents and details about the exciting program that will open in September.