Eligibility for 2023 – 2024 program
- Children must turn 5 years old by December 31, 2023
- While most students do not enroll past their 8th grade year, our upper age limit is flexible based on conversations with individual students and families.
- Homeschooled children and children who are enrolled in Public or Private school are all welcome.
Click HERE for the online application
The application is open from May 1 – June 15, 2023. There is no cost to apply. Enrollment offers are made in July (and into August if necessary). Enrollment offers take several weeks, as families have time to confirm and make their deposit after receiving an enrollment offer.
When you apply, you will indicate any and all days of the week that could work for your family.
If your child will be enrolled in public or private school, you will also need to speak with your child’s school about your child missing school one day per week to attend NatureYear instead. You should do this after a program spot is offered – you do not need to contact your child’s school before you know if we will have an available program spot.
How are children prioritized in receiving an enrollment offer?
We strive to make diverse groupings of children where students will meet new friends and sustain existing relationships. Currently enrolled children and their siblings are given first enrollment priority. We also consider the school your child will be attending, if applicable (children attend from more than 30 different schools and we seek to avoid having a large number of children from the same school and grade level when possible in order to minimize the impact of student absences on individual classrooms and teachers).
Talking to your child’s school about this opportunity
We are happy to talk with parents more about any experience we may have had with your child’s school. We recommend you do NOT speak to your school about the opportunity until you know if we will be able to offer a program spot for your child. We have found that it can feel worrisome for a principal to receive multiple inquiries from parents, in a way that can lead them to be less open to the possibility because the potential numbers of participating children feel high. Having a principal consider the actual number of participating students has been more productive.
Some children receive weekly make-up work from their teachers and some receive no make up work. Those parts are very individual to each teacher and family.
It is important for each family to think about why NatureYear is important to you. What kind of learner is your child, and how will the NatureYear opportunity support your goals for your child? Sometimes those goals are academic. Sometimes they are physical, developmental, emotional, or social. Those are the conversations you will have with your child’s principal and teacher – explaining why NatureYear is important for your child, at this point in their development, considering both personal and academic growth..
The half day FOXES group is usually best for homeschooling families and may not be a good fit for children who will be enrolled in traditional school. A midday dismissal may be disruptive to the classroom and your child may need a seasonally appropriate change of clothes for outdoor adventures before arriving at Common Ground.