FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHEN IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?
Though Springhouse does enroll learners throughout the year, in order to make financial and curricular decisions, we would like to have applications in by March 15th.
HOW ARE LEARNERS EVALUATED AT SPRINGHOUSE?
Learners do not receive grades or GPAs at Springhouse. Learners understand their growth through relationship. They evaluate themselves and also receive feedback from their peers, facilitators, and mentors. Through conversations, narrative written assessment, Defenses of Learning, and the Springhouse competency framework, learners can accurately determine where they are in their learning. According to research, post-secondary institutions are looking for more creative and thorough representations of high school work. Every Springhouse graduate leaves with a transcript through the Mastery Transcript Consortium platform, which gives a holistic picture of the graduate's learning.
For more information about assessment at Springhouse, please contact Head of Curriculum Design, Haley Leopold.
HOW MANY LEARNERS ARE IN THE SCHOOL?
There are currently 22 learners in the 7th-12th grade program.
WHAT IS THE LEARNER TO FACILITATOR RATIO?
We have 4 full-time faculty and about 3-5 part-time faculty who may facilitate several classes. Depending on the context, the ratio varies from 1:1 to 17:1, but, in most contexts, the learner:facilitator ratio is about 9:1.
IS SPRINGHOUSE ACCREDITED?
Accreditation is not required for college admission. Springhouse is in the process of seeking accreditation from the Virginia Independent Schools Association. We offer a high school diploma, and our graduates are able to attend college.
CAN A LEARNER GRADUATE EARLY FROM SPRINGHOUSE?
Throughout their time at Springhouse, learners work toward proficiency in the foundational skill-based competencies outlined in Springhouse's competency framework. Learners are awarded a diploma from Springhouse after having worked on and defended their growth in these competencies and after completing a Senior Capstone Project at the end of their 12th grade year.
DO SPRINGHOUSE GRADUATES GO TO COLLEGE AND ARE THEY PREPARED?
Springhouse graduates have gone on to college. More and more institutions of higher education are valuing the approaches of independent, competency-based schools like Springhouse. We prepare learners with tools that help them navigate whatever path they choose to pursue. These skills include: time management, self motivation, holding uncertainty, navigating anxiety, and complex problem solving.
In addition to post-secondary institutions, Springhouse graduates have gone into the workforce, some have engaged in service work abroad, and others are exploring a gap year. Graduates return regularly to stay connected to Springhouse.
WHAT COURSES ARE OFFERED AT SPRINGHOUSE?
Courses at Springhouse are not siloed into traditional academic subjects like Science, History, and Mathematics. Springhouse offers courses that are interdisciplinary, experiential, and phenomena-based. A “Main Course” is offered every trimester for each cohort under one of our six Fields of Study. These Fields of Study were developed in order to provide a well-rounded curriculum that encourages interdisciplinary thinking and learning. In addition to these trimester-long courses, every learner is required to take a Foreign Language and participate in electives, Physical Education, the Community Internship and Apprenticeship Program, All-School Sing, and the Friday Discovery Learning Program.
DO YOU GIVE HOMEWORK?
Learners are given assignments that are relevant and necessary. Learners should be able to get their work done during the school day. If they do not, they will need to work at home.
WHAT ABOUT MATH CLASS?
The Springhouse competency framework includes the foundational skills of Mathematical Interpretation and Representation and Number Sense, of which learners work toward proficiency in order to graduate. Springhouse learners engage with math primarily in applied contexts, within the multidisciplinary courses, as well as through internships projects. Elements explored include principles of algebra and geometry.
CAN LEARNERS TRANSFER TO SPRINGHOUSE LATER IN THEIR EDUCATION AND HOW DOES THAT WORK?
Yes, we have open enrollment and accept transfers throughout the year. We work closely with new learners to accurately represent the academic work they have already completed, and set them on course with clear expectations for their time at Springhouse.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT SPRINGHOUSE?
Financial donations are always greatly appreciated; you can donate here. We also accept in-kind donations, whether that be materials for learner projects, art for the walls of the school, or snacks for learners and staff to enjoy. We are always looking for community members to mentor learner projects. If you have a field of expertise and would be open to working with one of our teens, please contact the Director of Learner Experience, Chris Wolf. And, of course, spreading the word about the school is a huge support.
CAN I VISIT THE SCHOOL?
Yes! Please contact Haley Leopold, Springhouse Head of Curriculum Design, to schedule a tour.
ARE YOU A WALDORF AND MONTESSORI?
We are not a Waldorf or Montessori school; however, we share some similarities in our educational approach. Like Montessori schools, we incorporate learner-directed learning, as well as mixed age classes. Like Waldorf schools, we strive to develop learners’ intellectual, creative, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic way. We are part of a national, learner-centered educational reform effort called Education Reimagined.
WHAT SPORTS DOES SPRINGHOUSE OFFER?
Currently, learners can participate in the school’s athletics program three times a week where they often play soccer, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee. Springhouse does not currently offer organized team sports, but some learners participate in local rec leagues.
IS SPRINGHOUSE THE SAME THING AS BLUE MOUNTAIN SCHOOL?
We are separate schools, but we share many values and some educational approaches. We have had learners join Springhouse after graduating from Blue Mountain and have generally found it to be a good fit.
WHY ARE YOU CALLED SPRINGHOUSE COMMUNITY SCHOOL?
The name Springhouse Community School reflects our educational approach, which seeks to connect learners with the source of their own vitality. The word “spring” evokes an image of the source of vitality coming out of the Earth, and the word “springhouse” evokes the image of a built structure that both develops and protects that vital source. The word “springhouse” connects us to both the essence of the work in which learners are engaged and a sense of place in Floyd County, where there are still functioning springhouses on many homesteads.
HOW CAN I AFFORD THE TUITION AT SPRINGHOUSE?
We offer need-based tuition discounts. Please visit the financial assistance page on our website to learn more.
HOW DO YOU ADDRESS THE WIDE RANGE OF AGES OF LEARNERS AT SPRINGHOUSE?
Research shows benefits to mixed-age classrooms. We split the learners into two cohorts, 7th-9th and 10th-12th, for developmentally appropriate instruction and learning. We are a true community, and many activities are done as a whole school.
WHY DO YOU START AT 9AM?
Research on adolescent sleep patterns shows that teenagers learn better later in the day due to staying awake later in the evenings.
IS TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE?
We will have transportation available to, and from, Montgomery County, for the 2019-2020 school year.
A Community of Trailblazers
Springhouse is reimagining the purpose and practice of education in order to better serve our youth, strengthen community, and to be a model of holistic education for educators. Springhouse is a special place, where teens and their families are supported as they navigate adolescence and where we all do the important and rigorous work of growing into who we came here to be. Research indicates that engaging and innovative educational methods, and healthy, inspired adults, are needed to better prepare adolescents for their futures. Springhouse graduates think critically, solve problems creatively, are engaged, inspired and committed citizens, and leave with a sense of purpose and belonging.
Are you are ready to be a part of this community of trailblazers and be in service to this bold and hopeful mission?