We have a lot to do and so the school routinely schedules 180 days of school, sometimes starting before Labor Day. On a daily basis, the school opens at 7:30 and children should be in the building at least by first bell at 7:57. Classes begin promptly at 8:00. The school’s schedule allows us to offer significantly more instructional hours per year than some independent elementary schools. The cumulative impact of this is that a Learning Project student who begins in Kindergarten receives the equivalent of an additional year of schooling by the time of graduation.

Parents should be particularly mindful that The Learning Project regards student punctuality and attendance quite seriously. In general, extra vacation days or other types of elective absences are not permitted. The school has substantial vacation periods and expects those to be sufficient, although allowances have been made for families returning to distant homelands and needing to travel extraordinary distances. Student absences due to illnesses, medical appointments, religious celebrations, testing, or school visits or those due to funerals, weddings or graduations of family members will be excused. Absences for other family events that cannot be differently scheduled may be considered for approval at the discretion of the Head of School.

There are several reasons for this policy. Its intent is to eliminate discretionary and unnecessary absences because absences interfere with learning and the work of the absent child and of the class. They can be unsettling to the absent child and inconvenient to the teachers. And if a child is absent for the purposes of doing something ‘special’ and discretionary, it can feel unfair to other children. It also sends the message that school isn’t that important.

Parents are asked before applying to consider carefully whether they are willing and able to comply with the school’s firm and clear expectations about attendance.