Nature School – FAQ
General Nature School FAQ's
What Indoor Space Is Available During Inclement Weather?
Our dining hall and cabins are available for inclement weather such as thunder and lightning, tornado watches or warnings, high winds that cause flying debris, and conditions that could result in children becoming overheated or excessively chilled.
What Should My Child Bring Each Day?
Items vary based on your child's class. All students must come dressed in closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate clothing each day. Layers and rain gear are very important! Your child should also bring a backpack with an extra set of clothes, a water bottle, and sunscreen and bugspray. Lower School and Homeschool students should bring a nut-free, healthy snack.
Does Nature School Provide Snack?
Nature School provides snack for the preschool classes only. Students in Lower School and Homeschool classes should bring a nut-free, healthy snack from home.
Is Early Drop-Off and Late Pick-Up Options Available?
Early drop-off and late pick-up options are not available for preschool and homeschool students. See Lower School FAQ's below for K-5th grade options.
Do You Have Medical Staff on Duty?
A school nurse is on staff daily for a majority of the day. All teachers are CPR and First Aid certified.
Can You Accommodate Children with Special Needs?
We will accommodate any child that we believe we can safely meet his/her needs. We do not have staff available to work with children that need one-on-one assistance.
Do You Offer Tours?
Yes! Click here to schedule a time to tour our school.
Do You Offer Sibling Discounts?
Yes, there is a 15% discount for additional children.
Are scholarships available?
Limited scholarships are available. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Lower School FAQ'S
What is the curriculum?
We use the content and phonics-based Core Knowledge curriculum for Language Arts, Social Studies and Science – this is a curriculum that builds year after year on what the child learns in each grade, gradually expanding their knowledge base while teaching skills. For Math, we use Wild Math, which is a nature-based, standards-aligned approach to teaching the state required math skills for each grade. As a faith-based school, our Christian beliefs are built into everything we do and building upon the tradition of Camp Albemarle, each class will participate in weekly Vespers.
How do you measure student progress?
We use a combination of student and class portfolios and weekly e-mails to update you on your child’s progress and learning growth throughout the year, as well as parent-teacher conferences twice a year or as needed. As a private school we are required to administer an end of year test every other year beginning in 1st grade. Normally, we will not administer tests or quizzes. For the end of year test, we will use an un-timed test, broken up over a series of days to make it less stressful and intimidating. Your child’s results will be available to you, but please note that we do not find tests to be an accurate assessment of every child’s learning progress. We will complete the tests as required in NC’s private school regulations and continue to measure student progress using a whole child approach, tracking the learning they do over the course of a year.
Are you an accredited school?
We are a certified school through the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education.
Will you offer middle and high school?
We hope our school will grow with the current 4th grade class, adding on a grade each year until we have K-12th. We will be adding 5th grade for the 2022-2023 school year. We will do our best to offer middle and high school based on logistics and interest from the community.
How large are the classes?
Our classes have an average of 12 students. Kindergarten has a full time supporting teacher. There are two supporting teachers that floats between classes to help with academic work for 1st-5th grade.
How long is the school day? Do you offer early-drop off and late-pick up options?
Our school day runs from 8:30am-2:30pm. Before school care is available at 8am and after school care is available until 6pm through our Alby After School program.
When does the school year begin and end and what holidays are observed?
The first day of school will be August 22, 2022 and the last day will be May 26, 2023. We will observe Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, MLK Jr. Day, Easter and have spring break. Full calendar details can be found under the Parents Corner Tab of the website.
Does the school provide snacks or lunch?
No, students are required to bring a small, healthy, nut-free morning snack and lunch.
What is the application process?
After completing and submitting the registration forms, and an open spot is confirmed, families will have one month to complete the interview process. The interview process is not to turn a family away, but to be sure that our approach and school is a good fit for the family. We want the family to have a solid understanding of how their child will be learning and that it will look quite different. This also gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The family will interview with at least two members of the Nature School staff. This may include but is not limited to the Nature School Director, the Program Development Coordinator and a K-5th grade teacher.
Do you have any more questions?
Please e-mail [email protected]bemarle.org with any other questions in regards to Lower School.