FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS SILVERLEAF JUST FOR TALENTED AND GIFTED (TAG) KIDS?
No. Silverleaf is for any student who loves learning, thinks creatively, enjoys being hands-on, and has interest in STEM subjects. We have found that TAG students do thrive in our environment because we teach without a ceiling and each student may move forward or slow down regardless of the pace of other students in the class. Most students do not learn at the same pace in all subjects and Silverleaf is student-centered. We support differentiation based on each student’s individual needs and strengths.
CAN I STILL REGISTER FOR SCHOOL DURING SUMMER?
Yes. As long as we have spaces available (which we do currently for 2022-23 in grades 3-8) you can register. Please fill out the Contact Us form on the website and we will schedule a time to meet with you any time of the year.
WHY IS SILVERLEAF SCHOOL SMALL?
Silverleaf is small by design and is the right environment for curious students who love learning. We cap our admissions for 2022-23 at 20 students school-wide. This enables us to provide the student-centered, individualized learning experience that students receive at Silverleaf. The small student-teacher ratios allow us to provide project-based learning tailored to each student’s specific needs. Students may move forward in learning regardless of the pace of the other students in the class, and small cohort sizes are essential for teachers to be able to focus on each student individually. We are small by design to allow us to do what we do. Students spend their time at school learning, not reviewing information they have already mastered or being distracted by a myriad of social and behavioral disruptions.
HOW DO STUDENTS SOCIALIZE IN SUCH A SMALL SCHOOL?
We believe that social skills are learned in a variety of settings–sports teams, churches, neighborhoods, parks, camps–but that schools have one main function in society and that is to educate students. We focus on education and our education environment is fun! Our students enjoy being around like-minded peers who want to learn, experiment, and create; and who are excited about being at school. Students who haven’t enjoyed learning in a traditional setting often find great relief at Silverleaf because it is free of peer pressure, judgements, labels, and behavioral issues. Our students connect in such amazing ways–they collaborate together, they explore together and learn from each other regardless of age, “grade,” gender, or personality. Students practice leadership, teamwork, collaboration, tolerance, patience, empathy, and respect for others’ ideas and preferences. Students practice these skills in a mixed-age setting differently than they would in a traditional learning environment. Students connect as individuals rather than one of many in a large group of people all striving to be like everyone else.
ARE STUDENTS DIVIDED BY GRADE?
We do not have classes separated by grade nor do we label students by grades. We place in cohorts based on age to support social/emotional development of younger students that older students have mastered. Otherwise, we group by ability. We will begin a student with coursework at the “grade” they are when they enter. After that, they move forward through their skills and standards at their own pace, sometimes excelling into coursework beyond what their traditional “grade” in school would dictate. There are no limits placed on what a Silverleaf student can learn. Our teachers are not just teachers, they are experts in their field. If a student is ready for high-school mathematics or beyond, we can support that just as we can support a student learning basic arithmetic.
HOW ARE STUDENTS EVALUATED?
Students receive progress reports twice per year coinciding with parent-teacher conferences. Because Silverleaf is a micro school community, we do not have to depend on the standardized test data that larger, public schools often refer to when making schoolwide instructional decisions. Consequently, we use much more authentic and timely data, as well as informal observations, to adequately assess students’ strengths and instructional needs. We do some assessments at enrollment to assist with placement in our curriculum and evaluate proficiency ongoing, but do not administer standardized tests. We may administer tests for older students moving on to high school.
ARE COMPUTERS REQUIRED?
Silverleaf provides a Dell touchscreen laptop computer to each student for use at school at no cost to families and we use Microsoft Office software as our standard. Students may arrange to bring a device from home if they prefer, but we do teach Microsoft Office to all students.
DO STUDENTS RECEIVE MUSIC INSTRUCTION?
Yes, our music teacher teaches music theory, instruments and vocals to all students. Many of our students take private lessons and incorporate their individual musical talents into class at school.
DOES SILVERLEAF HAVE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?
Like many private schools and public charter schools, We do not have organized sports. We do offer variety of after school clubs and programs that change year-to-year. Some examples are Photography Club, Robotics Club, Yearbook Club and STEAM Exploration.
Registration for 2022-23 is open. Please complete the form on our Contact page to schedule a tour with you to set up a tour of the school with you and your child(ren). The next step is for your child(ren) to spend a day with us at school. If both school and family believe it is a good fit, the student will be invited for admission. There is a one-time registration fee to reserve a space and several tuition payment options. Click here for the 2022-23 Registration Form.
We do allow admissions during summer months, as space allows. Please complete the contact form on the Contact Us page. We will schedule a phone meeting and an in-person tour. If possible, we will have the student attend one of our summer camps so our teachers can assess fit. If camps are full, we may gather references from teachers, review progress reports, or request an additional meeting prior to a formal invitation to register. Fit is extremely important for the school-family relationship so we do our best to maintain the integrity of our admissions process during summer months.
We specialize in providing a supportive and individualized education experience to students who thrive in a small, hands-on, non-traditional education setting. While we do provide a level of emotional and social support not found at other schools, we are not able to admit students with significant behavioral issues. If you have questions, please contact us to schedule a time to discuss your child’s needs and let you know what we can and cannot offer.
We have a dedicated Board of Trustees who understand giftedness first-hand and who care about the mission of our school. Members of the Board are experienced in non-profit administration, education administration and oversight, policy development, and non-profit financial management. This group provides sound and knowledgeable leadership to Silverleaf School.
Shalee Hodgson, Chair
Derek Brown, Vice-Chair
Gary Mueller, Treasurer