School Around Us has open enrollment; if there is space in a group, we work with families to apply throughout the year.
Our enrollment process had been carefully designed so families have the opportunity to learn about the education at SAU as well as the parent community and commitments. Our enrollment process includes application, prospective student visits, prospective parent attendance at a Community Meeting, an information session to explain family commitments, and a dialog with other SAU families and teachers.
Whether your family is in the first stage of investigating alternative education, or ready to commit to SAU, we look forward to hearing from you!
Below are the steps of our enrollment process. There is no set order for completing them but the Dialogue is typically the last step.
1. Contact: An interested family speaks with the Enrollment Coordinator and receives information about the school. After reviewing this information, the interested family contacts the Enrollment Coordinator again to ask questions, schedule a tour, and ultimately to set up a visit day for their child. Please contact Flora Brown, Enrollment Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-967-3143.
2. Visit: A prospective student must visit the school for a minimum of one day and a maximum of three days.
3. Observation of a Community Meeting: School Around Us is a community-run school - our teachers, parents, and board members work together to take care of the day to day operations of the school. Our Administrative Assistant Laura Laprise keeps us on task and maintains structure and balance throughout the community.
The Community consists of several committees:
- Facilities Committee: Maintains the physical environment of the school.
- Education Committee: Supports the teachers by helping with field trips, the all school camping trip, and other education related needs.
- Development Committee: Supports the Craft Fair Coordinator as well as writes the Newsletter and handles advertising for the school.
- Administrative Committee: Supports financial needs such as the school budget, contracts, and other administrative tasks.
Each enrolled family is required to join one committee as part of their School Around Us contractual obligation.
To facilitate the administrative work of the school, the Community meets monthly as a whole. Community meetings occur the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 PM and are an integral part of the school's operations. Decisions are made on a consensus based model where the community as a whole comes to a decision. Observation of a Community meeting is an important step in understanding how School Around Us functions and the role of parents, teachers, and board members in this community. Visitors are asked to remain in the role of observers, rather than contribute to the discussion. Visitors are encouraged to share their impression and questions with the Enrollment Coordinator or another Community member after the meeting or in subsequent meeting or emails. Please notify the Enrollment Coordinator as to which meeting you plan to attend before attending.
4. Formal Application: Written applications can be filled out HERE or received through the Enrollment Coordinator. Students wishing to join the older group may be required to complete a written application to the school. There is a $25 application fee which must be received before the application is considered. Please submit payment via check to SAU (an online payment option will be available soon).
5. References: As part of the application, the prospective family is asked to provide the Enrollment Coordinator with three references, two to speak to the character of the family and one to speak to the educational experience and level of the child. The Enrollment Coordinator will call the references and report the general results to the parent body.
6. Dialogue: Following a parent meeting, the Enrollment Coordinator will schedule a dialogue between the family and the current parents. This is an informal, small group meeting to share what is expected of new parents, and to answer questions about the school program, operation, budget, etc. This usually lasts 1-2 hours. Following the dialogue, the enrollment person will ask the parent body to accept a prospective family. This decision is made in a parent meeting with teachers involved.
7. Acceptance and Commitment: The Enrollment Coordinator contacts the prospective family with an acceptance. Following this contact, the prospective family has 14 days to send a deposit of first month’s tuition and a signed contract to the Administrative Assistant.
✤The whole enrollment process can take up to two months to complete.