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1) When did the school open? 
Juniper Hill School opened its doors as an independent school on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 and in its first four years has tripled enrollment and added a grade level annually. Prior to its first full school year, from 2010-2011, Juniper Hill operated as a nature immersion program once a week on Friday mornings.  Our Nature program is available part-days on Thursdays and Fridays for homeschool and pre-school students ages three to five. Our school structure for full-day classes is as follows: Seeds class is for pre-kindergarten ages 3-5, Roots is our Kindergarten for ages 5-6, Sprouts class is grades 1-3, ages 6-8, and Branches class is grades 3-4, ages 8-10. 

2) When does the school year begin? What holidays does it observe? 
We follow a standard school year schedule, with holidays and vacation based on the RSU 12 calendar. The 2016-17 school year begins on Tuesday, September 6th. Our weather-related school closings and delays are also in accordance with RSU 12. We have a similar number of teacher workshop days to RSU 12, although our dates may differ.

3) Does the school schedule include special events or family/teacher conferences?
The school has a rich calendar of events, work days, and conferences to build a vibrant school community.  Events include celebrations to mark each season, as well as two work days, and a picnic on the last day of school.

4) What are the ages of the students?   
The age range for the school year 2017-2018 is three years old to ten years old (pre-K through 4th grade).  Juniper Hill also offers a half-day Nature on Thursdays and Fridays to foster eco-literacy among children ages three and four. We expect to expand to additional elementary grades in the coming years.

5) Where is the school located? 
Juniper Hill School is located in midcoast, Maine on a 42-acre riverfront property of woodlands, fields, streams, and marsh. We are in the town of Alna and sit just north of Sheepscot Village on Golden Ridge Road, which runs parallel to Route 218.  The school is five miles from downtown Wiscasset, seven miles from downtown Damariscotta, nine miles from Whitefield, 11 miles from Woolwich, 13 miles from Bath, and 20 miles from Hallowell.  Children who reside in Alna and Westport Island may attend Juniper Hill School as a school of choice (five full days for Kindergarten and older). Visit our Place page and find us on this map.
 
6) What are the school’s values and philosophies?  What do you teach?  What do students learn?  
First, read our Mission and Values and download this description of our school's philosophy to get a solid understanding of our approach. Then take a look at our sample curriculum and sample schedule to get an idea of how we put these ideas into daily practice. As the schedule and curriculum indicate, we often break classes into smaller group "mini-lessons" to meet the needs of children at different ages and stages within each class. For a more comprehensive explanation of our mission, values and curriculum visit our Values and Curriculum pages. 

7) Who are the teachers? 
Please refer to our Faculty page for information on the 2016-2017 teaching faculty.

8) How large are the classes? 
 We have low teacher to student ratios; we work to keep the ratio to one teacher per 6-10 students. Each class level has a different limit (Seeds enrolls 6-8 students per teacher, Rootlets enrolls 10-12 students per teacher). Each classroom has several spaces for different kinds of indoor work as well as a variety of wonderful settings and special spots for outdoor learning.  Classes do some of their work as a whole group, some in two separate groups, and other work (such as mini-lessons) in even smaller groups.  (Nature enrolls 6-8 students.)
 
9) Does the school provide snacks or lunch? 
All students bring a healthy lunch from home. Families sign up to provide healthy snacks for students in their child's class. 

10) What are the options for the number of days? hours? *
Nature (ages 3-4)

1 or 2 half day(s) on Thursday or Friday (with option to enroll in both), 9:00AM - 12:00PM

Seeds (ages 3-5, preK)

3 full days, 8:30AM - 3:00PM  (M, Tu, W) 
5 full days, 8:30AM - 3:00PM (M-F)

Roots (ages 5-6, gr. K)

Sprouts (ages 6-8, gr. 1-2)

Branches (ages 8-10, gr. 3-4)

5 full days, 8:30AM - 3:00PM (M-F)

* Juniper Hill School closes at 1:00PM every Friday for teacher professional development.

Student drop-off is 8:30AM.  Pick-up time is promptly at 3:00 PM for Seeds, Rootlets and Taproots.  We have a nurturing and creative extended care program for Seeds and Rootlets students. Early care is from 7:30AM-8:30AM and after care ends is from 2:30PM-4:30PM.  During early and aftercare we will prepare the days snacks, preserve bounty from our school's garden, read, and mess about with art, yoga, music, and theater. 

11) How much does Juniper Hill School cost (2016-2017)*? 

The tuition rates for 2017-2018 are as follows:

EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM (Nature Preschool and Forest Kindergarten)

Nature Class: prePreK (ages 3-4), Thursdays and/or Fridays (1 and or 2 days, or part of those days)
Nature ½ Day - $1490 ($250 tuition deposit)
Nature 2x 1/2 Days - $2970 ($450 tuition deposit)
Nature ½ Day + Full Day - $3540 (tuition deposit $450)
Nature Full Day - $2970($450 tuition deposit)
Nature Friday Only - $2050 ($450 tuition deposit)
Nature 2 Full Days - $5020 ($450 tuition deposit)

Seeds Class: PreK (ages 3-5), Monday-Wednesday (3 days), Monday-Friday (5 days)

Seeds Three Days - $6510 ($500 tuition deposit)
Seeds Five Days - $8405 ($650 tuition deposit)

Roots Class (K, ages 5-6)
$8405 ($650 tuition deposit)

ELEMENTARY PROGRAM (Place-Based Elementary School)

Sprouts Class (grades 1-2, ages 6-8)
$8405 ($650 tuition deposit)

Branches Class (grades 3-4, ages 8-10)
$8405 ($650 tuition deposit)

*Siblings receive a 10% discount for the second (and third, and so on) child enrolled in the same school year (discount applied to the least expensive program(s)).
*There is no longer a separate materials fee. Families are responsible for providing outdoor gear for all seasons as outlined on our gear lists. Lists can be found in the Family Portal after enrollment. Gear swaps are held among community families to help offset the costs of providing gear.

12) Are tuition scholarships available?
We are unable to provide tuition scholarships or financial aid at this time but we encourage you to reach out to our Founder, Anne Stires, to discuss any situation which might prevent attendance for a family with a sincere desire to enroll a student at Juniper Hill School. 

13) What is the application process?  Open houses?
The four-step application and acceptance process includes:   

 Fill out the application and send a $35 application fee. 
Attend our open house, Saturday, February 11 from 10am-noon, or arrange a tour of the school.
Arrange a scheduled teacher-child-parent meeting time. 
Admissions decisions for new students begin March 20 until all spaces are filled. (Priority is given to returning students and their siblings.) After that, students will be placed on our waiting list. 

For more information, click here. Please note, the 2017-2018 enrollment process will begin in February 2017. 

14) Who do I contact for more information?  
Anne Stires, M.Ed., School Director
Ph: 207-586-5711  
Email: info@juniperhillschool.org
180 Golden Ridge Road
Alna, ME  04535
 

Juniper Hill School is a Department of Education Certified Approved Private Elementary School and a Maine DHHS Certified Childcare Facility