Frequently Asked Questions
What grades will be offered?
Starting in the fall of 2019, we will open with grades K-6, adding 7 & 8 in the next two years. Classrooms will be multi-age for grades 1-8 with the potential of some K-1 combinations.
When will the school day start and end?
Our start time will be between 8:30a.m. and 9:30a.m. Our end time will be between 3:30p.m. and 4:00p.m. We are waiting to hear on final contracts to potentially share busing. We will announce as soon as this contract is confirmed.
Will there be Recess?
There will be ample time for children to engage in free play near their afternoon meal: 30 minutes for lunch and 30 minutes for recess. Additional breaks will be taken as needed.
How will teachers communicate with parents?
There will be two scheduled conferences per year, and additional formal or informal conferences as needed. Teachers will choose their preferred mode of communication, whether it be phone call, email, or in-person meetings and will work with each family to ensure relationships are built. Teachers will engage in photo documentation of work in class that will be shared frequently between conferences.
Will you provide busing?
Yes, we are committed to providing transportation for all children in St. Paul. Our start time will be between 8:30 and 9:30. Our end time will be between 3:30 and 4:00.
Will you have before and after school care?
We will have childcare before and after the school day on site. Childcare will reflect the values of the school. We are currently working on this. Please check back for details.
Will you provide meals?
We know that nourishment is essential to growth in children, and we hope to provide both breakfast and lunch for our students. Please check back for details regarding our meal plans. We are currently navigating the complex regulations governing food provision in school. Unfortunately, all of our values cannot be reflected in our food program in Year 1.
How will you serve special rights students?
We believe that all students benefit when special rights students are included and valued as part of the learning community because in moving teachers to improve their practice for special rights students they inevitably improve techniques and strategies that benefit everyone.
Special Rights Education students in Finland are included in mainstream classes, where all teachers are expected to lend a hand, whether it be changing their teaching strategies or providing additional support. When mainstreaming is not enough, Finnish educators provide special education students with small teaching groups. St. Paul School of Northern Lights will use the full inclusion model to ensure students remain in the classroom as much as possible. Within this model, Special Rights Education will be “pushed in,” maintaining the child’s sense of community.
The methods by which students display, present and communicate their learning will vary based on student interest, motivation and abilities. High expectations will be held for all students, including those with special rights. The cooperative relationship between students and teachers will allow for differentiation and individual goal setting. With these goals in mind, teachers will guide students to discover their potential and embrace their desire for knowledge. We are contracting with Creatively Focused for our Special Rights Education direction and hires. All student IEPs will be honored.
What does an outdoor emphasis look like in an urban environment?
Outdoor learning will happen in the areas in front of the school, as well as the outdoor classroom behind the school. Both of these areas will be developed with children and families. We will maximize all spaces with flexible materials such as movable wagon planters, stumps, tipis, and other elements curated by the children.
We will also take advantage of the outdoor play equipment at the Palace Recreation Center and go on many adventures to the Mississippi River.
To further explore how we think about urban nature, check out the TED talk with Emma Marris: Nature is Everywhere - We Just Need To Learn To See it.