Specialized Instruction, Student Profile, Tuition, and More
Base tuition is $20,000. Additional costs include a technology fee of $500 and an activities fee of $500, for a total of $21,000. Students can choose to buy a catered lunch and/or participate in after school clubs for an additional fee. Our inaugural students will have the benefit of having their base tuition fee stay at $20,000 for the duration of time they are at The Sycamore School.
Our Fall 2017 inaugural class will include 6-8th grade and we’ll expand with our students to 6-12th.
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 social skills deficits, would benefit greatly from our program. Our program is not a good fit for students with significant behavioral, cognitive or language struggles.
- Offer personalized instruction, student choice and pacing options within a small learning community
- Cultivate school wide rituals and routines that promote executive functioning skills
- Incorporate social and emotional learning with academic instruction
- Offer foundational classes in reading, writing and math, for students who need them
We have a deliberately small community with a 1:7 staff-to-student ratio; that small ratio enables us to flexibly group students.
Our charter group of students is intentionally small, @ 20 students.
We will cap at 30 students per grade up to 210 students, when we expand to 6-12th grade.
Why that number? Based on the Dunbar number, we’ll cap at 90 students in MS and 120 in HS. 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.
8:30 a.m. -9:30 a.m.: optional fitness/movement class; students can opt out and get a PE credit if they participate in an outside sport (e.g., soccer, ballet, martial arts)
9:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m core classes
2:30 p.m. -3:30 p.m.: electives
3:30 p.m. -5:00 p.m. after school clubs
Transdisciplinary learning/project based learning on Wednesdays.
Field Studies, service learning and/or some sort of experiential activity on Fridays.
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 a year. We are looking forward to becoming accredited; the accreditation bodies we are considering are Virginia Association of Independent Schools, AdvancEd & Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.
We currently have three teachers who have joined us. We’ll start with four teachers, one specializing in each core content area: Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. We also have a floating teacher who is an arts integration specialist.
The three teachers who are currently on board are certified. However, teacher certification is not our top priority. We’re looking for teachers 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.
No, but we’re looking into having an outside vendor provide a catered lunch, for those who want it
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 21st Century Learning, Common Core, Universal Design for Learning, Collaborative for Academic, Social & Emotional Learning (CASEL) and Mindful Schools.
We are currently fundraising to provide need-based scholarships and financial aid. Our goal is to make The Sycamore School accessible to as many students as possible.