Frequently Asked Questions
What calendar does Micro-School follow?
We follow the Trackers Homeschool calendar and meet for about 30 weeks out of the year. Our program days for 2018-19 will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We lightly correlate with the Berkeley Unified calendar.
What are the school hours?
In Fall 2018, our program will meet from 8:45 AM to 3:15 PM.
Is after school care available?
Unfortunately we are not able to offer after care due to our small program size.
Are scholarships or financial aid available?
Trackers is committed to providing financial aid to the greatest extent possible. Limited financial aid is awarded based on availability and need. However, as a new school, our resources are limited. Please contact us using the form on the bottom of this page to inquire about scholarships.
Do you provide lunches or snacks?
Due to our outdoor program occurring in the field, students need to bring their own lunch, snack, and water bottle. Trackers is peanut free, so NO peanut products please.
Where do students report to school?
All classes meet at our Trackers HQ at 3049 Adeline St., Berkeley. We transport students to local outdoor parks and green spaces.
What outdoor locations do you use?
We visit a mixture of city parks, regional parks, and private land, typically about 25 - 45 minutes travel time from hour HQ.
Are you really going to go outside in all weather?
Yes! Our years of experience have taught us that when dressed appropriately, children thrive outdoors year-round. We teach children to be safe and happy outdoors in any weather. In cases of severely inclement or unsafe weather, we spend more time in our Guild Hall HQ. Guidance is offered to parents in preparing and dressing their child for success.
Do you also spend time indoors in a classroom?
While we spend the majority of our time outside, we also spend time indoors working on projects and written work as needed.
Will you do any overnight outdoors school trips?
Immersing students in nature in a multi-day stretch is an integral part of our curriculum. We plan to run at least one seasonal overnight every spring. Destinations are set based on curriculum and student interest.
What is your discipline philosophy?
We encourage students to find the limits of the natural world by learning from the wild and from each other. We set very clear, firm safety limits and allow freedom within those boundaries to develop self-regulation. Through conversation and community building, children balance independence with accountability to their community and the natural world. If a child consistently crosses necessary safety boundaries, we work with them and their parents to find positive solutions that take into account the needs of the whole group.
How do you approach literacy?
Micro-School is an environment rich in the written word. Students read, write, create, and learn through all manner of texts and media. We welcome students who are working on their literacy skills. For elementary and middle school grades, we recommend that students be reading at a minimum of at or one level below grade level. For students who need more support around reading or writing, we will work with families to find outside tutoring or other learning opportunities to help supplement their work.
Does micro-school assign homework?
Research clearly shows that busywork-style homework does not have a significant effect on knowledge retention or academic achievement in the elementary years. We generally would rather children participate in and help maintain the home, or just have fun with their family in the evenings! That said, as a three day per week program, we will often provide work for students to do on their home-days to continue extending their learning. Students in our middle/high school program receive highly individualized project-based independent study appropriate to their academic needs.
How do you approach students with special needs?
We believe all children should have an IEP! Every person learns in a different way, at their own pace. Individualized, project-based learning means being intensely familiar with all one’s students abilities and needs. We will trust our teachers to present curriculum in a way that provides the right level of challenge at the right time. When we observe that a student could benefit from additional support, we will work with the parents and call in outside resources as necessary to help provide the tools to succeed for that child.
How do I begin the application process?
Begin by applying online with the $50 non-refundable application fee. We then send you a follow-up form with some additional questions. Learn more about applications.
Will we be able to meet teachers before school begins?
There are several opportunities to meet our teachers prior to the school year beginning. You can contact us using the form at the bottom of this page and we will be happy to set up a time for you to talk with our leadership staff. To learn more about our talented teaching team, please see our Story and Team page.