Q. What is The Boxberry School?
A. The Boxberry School is a non-profit K-6 elementary school located in Harrison, Maine. We were founded in 2003 by a group of parents, grandparents and other caregivers committed to creating an environment of educational excellence, responsive to individual strengths and interests while nurturing the creative spirit of each child.
Q. What is the Boxberry learning experience like?
A. The academic curriculum is enhanced by foreign language, art, music, drama, environmental studies, outdoor education, creative movement and cultural studies. Our small class sizes allow for interactive learning and our multi-age classrooms create positive learning opportunities. We emphasize the importance of volunteerism and involve students in the community.
Q. What is a multi-age classroom and how would it benefit my child?
A. Our K-2 graders cohabitate a large classroom space with students in grades 3-6. This creates a positive learning experience by allowing older students to mentor younger classmates and develop a sense of responsibility. By interacting with older students, the younger students are exposed to unique learning opportunities they may not get in a classroom of only their same-aged peers. They listen, watch, and model the inquiry process of the older students. Your child will not only be learning from the teachers, but also from his/her peers.
Q. Tell me more about the curriculum.
A. Our teachers use the Common Core as a reference tool in curriculum planning while also incorporating methods of the Responsive Classroom which encourage teamwork, character-growth, active involvement, and academic engagement. Expeditionary Learning units are challenging projects developed to enhance teaching across the subject areas of math, literacy, science and social studies. Field trips, guest speakers and community service projects support and enhance the classroom experience.
Q. What is the school schedule?
A. The school operates under the standard 175 school day schedule. Our schedule mirrors the RSU #17 school district calendar. We are open M-F with drop off between 8:30-8:45A.M. Pick up is at 3:00P.M. For half days, pick up is at noontime. We follow RSU #17 in regards to snow days as well.
Q. Is transportation provided?
A. Currently, Boxberry does not have a transportation service. Parents need to make arrangements for drop off and pick up. We do have parents who live far away who have, in the past, shared carpooling.
Q. Are meals provided by the school?
A. Students come with their own lunches, snacks, and water bottles. There is no hot lunch program at Boxberry. Boxberry families utilize thermoses to keep food warm in the colder months and provide enough food for students to eat during 2 separate "Nutrition Breaks" - one in the mid-morning and one in mid-afternoon.
Q. How is the school ecologically friendly?
A. The Boxberry School is housed in a completely net-neutral building. 20 kilowatts of photovoltaic (solar) panels adorn the roof of of the school and provide all the electricity needed. Also we pride ourselves on our reuse and recycle program. Each child has his/her own hand towel in the bathroom for use instead of paper towels; kids are knowledgeable about what goes into our own compost bucket and what goes into our recycle bin. We strive to create as little waste as possible.
Q. What will my role be at the school?
A. The Boxberry School is non-profit. We encourage parents to shuttle kids for field trips, attend bi-monthly potluck dinners, and volunteer in the classroom or with other teacher room activities. Because we are such a small school, the Boxberry community is an extended family.
Q. Do you have part-time options?
A. Currently Boxberry's only part-time option is participation in our Wednesday program. Wednesday is our "Specials Day" and we hire community members to teach special skills such as dance, karate, art, and archery. We may expand our part-time offerings in the future.
Q. What is the application process?
A. We encourage prospective families to make an appointment to visit our school. If you would like to pursue possible enrollment in our school, we will schedule a day on which your child will spend part of the day in the classroom setting and be observed by our staff. An application needs to be filled out and sent to the school for consideration.
Q. Do you offer financial aid?
A. We currently do not offer financial aid, however, we do encourage you to check out Maine Children’s Scholarship Fund (www.mecsf.org) for a potential scholarship. In addition, if you are a resident of one of the nearby Townships (Albany or Mason), you are eligible for state reimbursement of the majority of Boxberry's tuition. Please contact us to find out more.