Covid-19 Update: The Understory is operating under Emergency Authorization during the Covid-19 State of Emergency. We are up and fully running, with extensive safety measures in place. Please call or use the contact form for more information.

The Understory is a preschool, also known as a nursery school. (I much prefer the term nursery school, but preschool is the widely accepted terminology, so…)

The Understory is a fun and cozy place, homelike and interesting.

The Understory is a community of young children, led by a wise and loving teacher.

The Understory is a garden for growing little people.

The Understory provides children with room to play and explore; nourishment for their bodies, hearts, and minds; friendships and social skills; fresh air and sunshine and earth and rain.

The Understory is a children’s garden as envisioned by the educator Friedrich Fröbel, who in 1837 created a “care, playing and activity institute for small children”, which he called kindergarten.

The Understory is a nursery for young children to be gently guided in their growth.



The Understory is located in the Hawthorne/Belmont area of Southeast Portland, just down the street from Sunnyside Environmental School (SES).    Children 3 and 4 years of age are invited join us!

Schedule & Rates

School days are Tuesday-Friday 8:30am-12:15pm during the school year. For 2021-2022, rates are $760/month (4 days/week) or $720/month (3 days/week). NOW ENROLLING FOR 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR.

To apply…

Please call or email to arrange a visit.  Enrollment is ongoing until all spaces for the coming year are filled.   Mia Pisano