- What are the tuition and fees?
Tuition for 2016 – 2017 is $8,800.00. Most families pay in 10 monthly installments, July through April. Other payment schedules can be arranged to meet individual needs. Everyone pays the same tuition. There are no discounts, scholarships or financial aid. We have no additional fees.
- Is Fayette Street Academy accredited?
FSA is not accredited. Our curriculum has evolved through carefully considering the valued input of alumni, present students and changing social patterns. Accreditation allows an outside body to dictate what is taught in the classroom. We do not seek outside validation. In the past 33 years FSA’s many graduates have been accepted by a variety of accredited and non accredited high schools and colleges in the United States and all around the world.
- What is the structure of your multi-age classrooms?
Fayette students are aged six through fourteen. The Minis are six & seven years old. This class averages ten children. The Munchkins are eight, nine and ten years old. Class size averages fifteen students. The Bigs are ages eleven through fourteen. There are approximately two dozen Bigs. If a child is with us until graduation from the Bigs s/he is well prepared for high school, and more importantly college and life beyond. Our faculty members include language specialists, music teachers and learning specialists. These folks move through the various classrooms throughout the week.
We maintain a balance of age and gender. To have a healthy multi-age class all ages and an appropriate number of boys and girls is needed. Each class has a main teacher. Frequently throughout the day these classes are divided between the main teacher and a specialty teacher. For example: Half of the Bigs are in Latin class while the other half are in writing class. These divisions are made according to the skill and information level of the students.
- Are play and recess important at Fayette?
Movement, physical and mental, is essential for learning. At FSA we delight in playful, integrative, purposeful movement. The days begin with some children swinging from the Big Elm, while others bounce balls, wobble on tipping boards, and follow their teachers through obstacle courses. Before classes begin the children and teachers balance their brain hemispheres, eyes and ears with Brain Gym and related movements.
Breaks between classes are outside unless the rain pours. Benches, wooden decks, nooks and crannies in the gardens contain evolving and shifting groups of children eating, finding shade or sun, talking and laughing. At 11:45 all the children gather with hats and sunscreen to walk as a group to a city park 3 blocks from school. There, teachers oversee 45 minutes of soccer, baseball games or free play.
- How is discipline handled at Fayette?
The word for discipline comes from discuplinus which means student. We want our students to have this quality as part of their self understanding. When behaviors impinge on another person’s learning or safe space, a teacher will take the involved parties aside to understand what happened and to suggest better ways to have one’s needs met. When appropriate, occurrences are opened up for a learning opportunity for the whole class.
The rare occurrences of one student injuring another draws a yellow or red card, this means that his/her name is listed on the tally sheet on the main bulletin board. Sometime during the school year some amount of trash around the grounds and adjoining streets will be picked up.
- Is parent involvement a part of Fayette?
The most useful parent involvement is consistent, aware, respectful contact with the activities, homework, classwork, and social environment of the school. Students must feel that the work they do and the academic and social information they learn matters to their parents. Parents are welcome in the school at anytime. We encourage parents to visit enough to have a feel for what goes on and the players involved. Specific classroom help from parents is expected at Parents’ Weeks which occur before Thanksgiving and Spring Break. Each student’s parents are expected to cover two hours of class time during this week. Parents teach classes, do art projects, bring in interesting guests. The teachers rest and recover for the next term and the parents enrich their understanding of each other and the school community.
- Do Fayette students have homework?
Homework happens every school night and on weekends. Most assignments are periodic and predictable so that student and parent knows what and when work is expected. Establishing a trusting and productive homework ethic help long term. The levels of homework are age and individual appropriate.
- Is Fayette a religious school?
Fayette is not affiliated with any religious organization. We hold the belief that many religious organizations and spiritual individuals have contributed to the essential human questions of “how did we get here; how should we behave toward each other; and what comes after death?” These queries are so profound that no one belief system can give all people a total answer. The Sermon on the Mount, the philosophy of Confucius, the teaching of the Dali Lama, and others are freely used in setting our moral compass.
Each year a nine week Sacred Text course is included as part of the curriculum for the Bigs. In a four year rotation, excerpts of Taoism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are read and discussed. The class discussion always evolves toward asking the larger questions of our humanness and commonality of the world’s faiths. We do not directly study the Judeo-Christian faiths since they are part of the fabric of our society. They are refered to in comparison with the other world belief systems.
- Does Fayette use textbooks and give grades?
We do not use textbooks, they are expensive, heavy and created to dazzle purchase committees, not to provide clear, up to date information to students. We have written course work for our students by preparing papers on our computers, using them in classes, returning to the computer to add new content. We now have thousands of pages covering all subjects. The writing continues. For some subjects, such as math and grammar, individual pages are the best form. For others, mainly our language classes, collections of pages created and refined over the years printed and bound at our local print shop are ideal. The web is a great source of material for the classroom.
We do not give grades. We monitor each student’s progress and difficulties in each subject, addressing individual needs on a daily basis. Labeling a child as an A student or a C- student is not something we wish to be part of. Our energies are spend helping each young scholar grow in his/her own way and time.