Enrollment Information for Prospective Students & Families
Like all public schools, Laurel Tree is open to all who wish to attend it, without regard to race, religion, or academic ability. The school is run with tax dollars and cannot charge tuition.
Please read the following information about us, consider our parent involvement policies, and review the commitments we expect from students and families. If this seems like a good fit for your family, then fill out and return this paperwork after your visit.
If we have openings, then we take people on a first come, first serve basis. If we have more applicants then we have openings then we have a lottery twice a year (December and May). We create a wait list from those lotteries and take people in the order that they appear on the wait list. Siblings are exempt from the lottery and get the next available spot. Students within the Northern Humboldt District have a weighted preference (they get two lottery tickets).
We strongly encourage, and indeed depend upon, family involvement with our school. We ask that each family put in 20 hours of volunteer time. We believe family involvement is critical to the success of children AND to the success of our school. You are your child’s first teacher. You are an important part of our sustainable school community.
Important Information to Consider
We are sustainable. Laurel Tree’s mission is to create a sustainable model of education which provides all students with accessible curriculum based on college preparatory standards, while developing life and social skills in a mixed age setting.
We travel. Families raise between $300 and $500 per student, each year, for middle school and high school travel.
We are self-sufficient. Our daycare and lunch co-op are run as small businesses by our staff, parents and students. They not only have to be self-sustaining, but they also earn money that supports our arts and culture programs. Parents fundraise to pay for the rest of our arts and culture programs. There is no state money to support these programs right now. Parents must make a commitment to pay their own family bills on time, and to help raise other funds so that we can continue to create the education we want for our children.
We are online. Much of what we do is paperless and needs to be accessed on-line. Our website, our weekly Monday note, our billing for aftercare and daycare, and our grading system are all online and accessible to parents over the Internet. (There are school computers available for use by parents and students for these purposes, if home Internet access is not possible.)
We are a site-based school. We are no longer an independent study program. Our funding from the state is based on the amount of time students are at the school and working. Students have to be at school all day, every day, unless they have an excused absence such as a doctor’s appointment. If your family needs more flexibility in your schedule, or simply partial school days, we can recommend several good programs. If your child is absent or if you go on a trip, we have online work that you can access so the school can still get funding for your child’s attendance. No student work = no funding for the school.
Our special education program is primarily a “push-in” (as opposed to a “pull-out” program). Support is primarily provided in the regular, mixed age classroom. The special education teacher works closely with the classroom teachers to provide modifications and support within the regular curriculum. We do not have a resource classroom or a special day class at our site. Parents of students whose IEPs recommend those levels of support should be sure that our programs will truly meet their child’s needs before they enroll.
We have animals. Feeding and caring for the animals is part of our sustainable community. If your child has severe allergies, this might not be the school for you.
Please consider these things and ask yourself, “Is this the school that best meets my child’s and my family’s needs?” If the answer is yes, then we’d be delighted for you to join our new school community!
Laurel Tree’s Commitment to Families
As the staff of Laurel Tree, we will:
• Provide students with a positive learning environment
• Foster communication between school and home
• Nurture responsible, caring, and creative citizens
• Encourage an atmosphere of mutual respect between staff, students, and community
Parent’s Commitment to the Laurel Tree Community
As a Laurel Tree parent, I will:
• Make sure my child gets to school on time
• Help my child with homework and projects
• Communicate with teachers about any concerns I may have, at appropriate times
• Pay lunch and daycare bills on time
• Volunteer 20 hours per year (see Parent Volunteer Opportunities)
Student’s Commitment to the Laurel Tree Community
As a Laurel Tree student, I will:
• Come to school on time and prepared
• Participate in activities with a positive attitude
• Be willing to take risks in learning new concepts and meeting new friends
• Take responsibility for my learning at school and at home
• Respect myself, my classmates, my teachers, and all community members
• Do weekly homework