Q: Where can I get an Application?
A: You can download one from the Website, we can send you one electronically or you can pick one up at school.
Q: Is EcoSchool accredited?
A: EcoSchool is not accredited at this time. We are developing a cross-disciplinary project-based curriculum and are exploring avenues for accreditation process.
Q: Are the teachers certified?
A: Some of our teachers are certified, some have experience in alternative education, and all are passionate about the subjects they teach.
Q: What’s your teaching pedagogy? Waldorf? Montessori? Reggio Emilia?
A: Austin EcoSchool borrows from a wide range of teaching philosophies but adheres to no one particular style. Our belief is that children are natural learners and that in an intellectually stimulating and emotionally safe environment they will joyfully engage in the work they were born to do – learn, invent and explore!
Q: How do you know that the children are advancing through materials?
A: EcoSchool staff, in partnership with parents and students develop an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) which includes personal and academic goals and observes the CCSS (Common Core State Standards). This ILP provides milestones against which each students progress is measured. Assessments are made at least three time per year, and are reported to families once in in January and again in June.
Q: How is the day structured? Can the kids go to classes or not, as they please?
A: There is a structure to each school day inside of which the children do have some choice and latitude as regards style of work but all students are expected to attend regularly scheduled classes.
Q: My child has been home schooled and isn’t on grade level in ____subject. How will that work?
A: Provided that there are no pronounced learning challenges we are willing and able to accommodate children at whatever level they are working at. Students must meet general learning milestones before entering the next age group at EcoSchool. The mixed age classroom style supports this beautifully.
Q: How do the mixed age classrooms work?
A: Classrooms are divided into age categories (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8th) and receive both group and individual lessons. Because the classroom sizes are small (8 -10 students) children receive a great deal of individual attention. All children are engaged in work appropriate to their personal level.
Q: Where do children graduate to after EcoSchool?
A: EcoStudents have gone back to public schools, private middle and high schools and homeschooling.
Q: My child has mild behavioral or learning differences; how will that work out here?
A: EcoSchool currently has no learning differences specialist on staff and so cannot accommodate children with serious learning or behavioral challenges.
Q: What do the students do on Friday?
A: Many are involved in extra curricular activities. EcoSchool has, at times, offered a Friday stand alone program for both EcoStudents and the greater home school community. We are working on putting together one for pre-teen and teen aged children for 2012-13. Currently, we do not serve children under the age of 10 on Fridays.
Q: Do you have an early drop off or a late pick up option?
A: We can discuss early drop options on an “as needed basis” and are pleased to offer a really great after school program, “Growing Together” which serves families with late pick needs.
Q: Do you go on field trips?
A: YES, LOTS! EcoSchool students regularly go out and engage with the greater community in field trips ranging from museums and libraries to plays, parks and various community service projects.
Q: What about lunches and snacks?
A: Students bring their own lunch and snack – EcoSchool has a policy of healthy, nutritious foods, no sugar, caffeine or heavily processed foods.
Q: How much time do the kids spend out doors?
A: Students have a 45 minute lunch and play break mid day. If Students arrive at 8:30 am ( recommended) they have 30 minutes of free time, which they often chose to use outside.
Q: Why “Eco”?
A: “Eco” is derived from the Greek word meaning “home”. EcoSchool maintains a comfortable homelike learning environment as well as integrating a commitment to the environment into our everyday activities.
Q: Do you have a music program?
A: EcoSchool sings everyday in morning and afternoon Circles but does not offer a full music program.
Q: Do you have a PE program?
A: EcoSchool does not offer a full PE program at this time.
Q: Do the Student have Homework?
A: Yes, EcoStudents have regular homework.
Q: Do you have scholarships? Sliding scale?
A: EcoSchool does not offer scholarships or sliding scale at this time but hope to be able to in the future. There are a few part time positions (cleaning or maintenance) designed to help off set the cost of tuition.
Q: Do the kids get together outside of school?
A: The EcoSchool Community tends to be a pretty close one and children often get together outside of school hours.
Q: Can the parents participate in the school day? How?
A: We love to have parents engaged in the daily life of EcoSchool. Parents have offered classes, joined field trips, joined us for lunch, come to school wok parties, camp outs, social events and more.
Does the school have any religious or political affiliation?
A: No, EcoSchool does not espouse any religious or political position.
Q: What is the ethnic diversity ratio?
A: EcoSchool opens it’s arms to all ethnic backgrounds and the ethnic diversity varies from year to year.