Specialized Instruction, Student Profile, Tuition, and More
Base tuition for the 2020-2021 school year is $28,000. Additional costs include a technology fee of $750 and an activities fee of $750, for a total of $29,500. Students can choose to participate in after school clubs for an additional fee.
The Sycamore School serves 5th-12th grade students.
The Arlington Center
4600 North Fairfax Drive, 3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22203
This is in the Ballston area of Arlington, walking distance to the metro, the bike trail and at least 5 parks.
The Sycamore School is a good fit for:
- students are bright, curious and craving a more personalized, engaging and dynamic learning community.
- students with a Montessori or International schooling background.
- students who are currently "falling through the cracks " and feel ignored or overlooked in a larger school setting.
- students who are becoming disengaged and disenchanted in their current school setting and not performing up to their potential.
- students who need to move around and/or would like choices of how they work with concepts and demonstrate mastery.
We consider all students on a case by case basis. Some students with attention issues, learning struggles, and/or anxiety, would benefit greatly from our program. Our program is not a good fit for students with significant behavioral, cognitive or language struggles.
- Offer individualized instruction, student choice, and pacing options within a small learning community
- Cultivate school wide routines that promote executive functioning skills
- Incorporate social and emotional learning with academic instruction
- Provide scaffolding for larger assignments and regular goal setting
We have a deliberately small community with a 1:10 staff-to-student ratio; that small ratio enables us to flexibly group students.
For the 2020-2021 school year, we'll cap at 60 students. Our ten-year plan is to grow to a maximum of 120 students.
Why that number? Based on the Dunbar number, we’ll cap at 120 students. The idea is that individuals can maintain up to 150 social relationships. We want to keep the school small, so that all the students and staff know one another. Also, for the type of learning we’re doing, the school has to stay small.
The Dunbar number – proposed in the 1990s by a British anthropologist Robin Dunbar. The theory is that humans can comfortably maintain about 150 stable relationships. Others have theorized the number is more flexible, between 100-250.
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. with optional after school clubs from 3:30-5pm. Monday-Thursday.
No. We embrace an urban school model and will utilize public transportation and other resources that are within our community.
Accreditation is a multiyear process that can only be completed after a school has been open for at least three years. We have started the accreditation process with Cognia (formerly AdvancEd). Pre-accreditation meetings went well and we expect to be fully accredited this winter.
Our lead teachers are certified. However, teacher certification is not our top priority. We welcome staff who are uniquely qualified to work with our students and our curriculum. They need to be creative, compassionate and adept at creating and integrating curriculum.
For the 2020-2021 school year, students will bring their lunch. Typically we have offered the option of ordering lunch on Wednesdays, but we plan to suspend that program due to COVID this year.
No. One of our values is protecting quality family and leisure time. We recognize that students work hard at school, so after school time should dedicated to other interests. In middle school, students will not be assigned homework. In high school, homework will be reserved for completing longer term projects.
We are using aspects of several research-based curricula, such as Mastery Based Learning, 21st Century Learning, Common Core, Universal Design for Learning, Next Generation Science, Discovery Math, and Mindful Schools.