Eligibility for 2021 – 2022 program
- Children must turn 5 years old by December 31, 2021
- While most students do not enroll past their 8th grade year, our upper age limit is growing and flexible based on conversations with individual students and families.
- Homeschooled children and children who are enrolled in Public or Private school are all welcome.
Complete the online application HERE.
The application is open from May 1 – June 15, 2021. Enrollment offers will be made from June through August. Enrollment offers take several weeks, as families have one week to confirm and make their deposit after receiving an enrollment offer.
When you apply, you will indicate any and all days of the week that could work for your family.
If your child will be enrolled in public or private school, you will also need to speak with your child’s school about your child missing school one day per week to attend NatureYear instead. You should do this after a program spot is offered – you do not need to contact your child’s school before you know if we will have an available program spot.
How are children prioritized in receiving an enrollment offer?
We seek balance in age, gender, and race among children enrolled for each program day. Financial aid status is considered independently of offering a program spot – applying for financial aid has no impact on your child’s eligibility. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come basis until funds are exhausted.
Selection criteria (in the order it is applied):
- currently enrolled children and their siblings
- balance on each day as described above
- school your child will be attending (children attend from more than 30 different schools and we seek to avoid having a large number of children from the same school and grade level when possible in order to minimize the impact of student absences on individual classrooms and teachers)
Talking to your child’s school about this opportunity
Some schools are very supportive of parents seeking to enroll their child in NatureYear. Some schools are neutral, taking no official position and offering very little comment. And, some schools discourage parents from having their child miss school for this opportunity.
It is important for each family to think about why NatureYear is important to you. What kind of learner is your child, and how will the NatureYear opportunity support your goals for your child? Sometimes those goals are academic. Sometimes they are physical, developmental, emotional, or social. Those are the conversations you will have with your child’s principal and teacher – explaining why NatureYear is important for your child, at this point in their development, considering both personal and academic growth..
Some children receive weekly make-up work from their teachers and some receive no make up work. Those parts are very individual to each teacher and family.
We are happy to talk with parents more about any experience we may have had with your child’s school. We recommend you do NOT speak to your school about the opportunity until you know if we will be able to offer a program spot for your child. We have found that it can feel worrisome for a principal to receive multiple inquiries from parents, in a way that can lead to principals being less open to the possibility because the potential numbers of participating children feel high. Having a principal consider the actual number of participating students has been more productive.
The half day FOXES group is intended for homeschooling families and is not likely to be a good fit for children who will be enrolled in traditional school. A midday dismissal is disruptive to the classroom and your child would need a complete change of clothes before arriving at Common Ground.