When and how can I register my children?
Applications will be processed in the order received until classes begin in August. We are not requiring the non-refundable $150 application fee until the student has been accepted and the family interview has been scheduled.
In addition to the online application, families will be required to provide the following documents for each child being registered. These documents may be brought to the family interview, which will take place in the Spring.
1. Past three (3) years of courses/grades (for grades 4-8).
2. For high school students (grades 9-12), transcript from previous school or umbrella program.
3. Any standardized test scores.
4. Emergency medical information form including a copy of current immunization records from your child’s physician.
Families who do not intend to pay all of their tuition up front will also need to provide a Letter of Financial Good Standing from their previous tutorial or private school indicating that you were in good financial standing and that there were no late payments or defaults on any financial obligations. The sample letter may be downloaded by clicking on the highlighted link above.
Please bring these documents to your family interview, which will take place in the Spring.
Is Ironwood Academy a school?
No, we are a hybrid tutorial program that provides extensive, structured teaching support to parents who have chosen to homeschool their children. Ironwood is grounded on the conviction that parents are responsible for the content and quality of their children’s education, but recognizes that some parents need or desire robust support for educating their children. Ironwood Academy meets three to four days a week and offers the full suite of core courses needed to meet State academic requirements at grade levels 1-12. Students attend classes taught by highly-qualified and experienced Instructors on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and then complete their assignments at home the other days of the week or on Mondays at our campus. Students should be able to work independently but under the supervision of at least one parent.
What if I have never homeschooled before?
Our courses are structured in such a way that students should be able to work independently to complete their home assignments; however, some students (especially the younger ones) may require assistance from the parents. In addition, families who are new to homeschooling should consider attending one of our “Homeschool 101” workshops before classes start in the fall.
What is the tuition and what does that buy?
Tuition is $9140 for the year, which buys a student enrollment in five (5) year-long core academic courses. Most of those courses fall into four broad subject areas: Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
The remainder of the courses offered address a potpourri of additional State requirements for Electives at the high school level such as Foreign Language, Fine Arts, Personal Finance and Physical Education.
There is no provision for reduced tuition should a student elect not to take the full academic load of 5 courses for students up through grade 11 (junior year of high school). However, an exception may be made in certain instances for students who are seniors in high school (12thgraders) who choose to be in a “dual enrollment” program at a local college. Seniors who are dual-enrolled will be charged a per course fee of $1800.
In addition to its Tuesday through Thursday core academic program, Ironwood will also offer on Mondays a combination of for-credit electives for students, proctored study halls for students, and non-credit enrichment courses for students and parents. The cost of these offerings will be in addition to the annual tuition and will range from $200-$1800 depending on the academic substance of each offering. We will post a list of these offerings and their prices on our website in late spring/early summer.
Art and Science courses, as well as certain Monday Enrichment courses, will also have additional supply or lab fees.
What is the size of each class?
Optimal size for each class is 15 students, and we strive for a minimum of 5 students per class to make it feasible for the instructor to effectively teach the material. If fewer than 5 students enroll in a course, we reserve the right to cancel the course. Whenever more than 15 students have enrolled in a course, we will create another section of that course to make sure the class size stays under 15 students.
What are the hours?
Classes will meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Hours are generally 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Specific course starting and ending times will be posted once we finalize the Master Schedule. Monday Enrichment hours will vary.
What can my student expect with regard to the workload and pace of the courses at Ironwood Academy?
We are a rigorous college-prep program. We expect students to have on average one (1) hour of work at home for every hour in class, adjusted appropriately for each age group. Homework on Tuesday and Wednesday will be minimal since students will have been in class most of the day. From Thursday to the following Tuesday, students will learn to manage their time effectively (just like college) by assessing their total workload and then dividing up the homework into days or blocks of time. For example, some students will do two subjects of homework on Friday, two subjects on Saturday, take Sunday off, and then finish the last subject or two on Monday. Younger students will need help and input from parents to manage the workload and should be supervised while completing homework. Older students should be able to work independently with minimal parental involvement.
Is Ironwood Academy an umbrella program?
No, we are a tutorial. Each family will need to enroll their child in one of the many umbrella programs that exist in Tennessee prior to classes starting in August. Ironwood Academy does not specifically endorse or recommend umbrella programs. Additional information on umbrella programs may be found through the Middle Tennessee Home Educators Association (MTHEA) at their website, www.mthea.org.
Do families have to re-apply for admission every year?
Yes. Families are eligible to automatically re-enroll each year if they meet certain criteria. We use a Re-Enrollment Rubric to make an objective assessment as to whether or not a student should be able to continue at the tutorial. The Rubric considers the student’s academic achievement, parental involvement, attendance, compliance with policies and a demonstrated understanding of our mission, vision and values.
Do you offer scholarships or financial aid?
We do not. Families can choose to pay their tuition in full up front, or pay in two equal payments with a 5% carrying fee on the balance (half due July 1 and the balance due December 1), or they can pay monthly in ten equal payments beginning in July and continuing through April, with a 5% carrying fee applied to the balance. Monthly payments are only done through ACH automatic withdrawal from your checking account. Families who wish to pay in two equal payments or ten monthly payments will be subject to a formal credit check (must provide us with a social security number) and must provide us with a Letter of Financial Good Standing from their previous tutorial or private school.
Do I sign a financial contract?
Yes. Once a student has been formally accepted (via email letter), a deposit of $800 is due within 5 days and no later than May 1st. That $800 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit will hold a spot in all of the classes that your student has requested. The deposit will be credited to your overall account balance but it will not be refunded if your student does not remain enrolled in our program. If a particular class is full, your student will be placed on a waitlist until a spot opens up.
Do you accept students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)?
Ironwood Academy is neither equipped nor designed to provide any of the special accommodations that students may have received under an IEP from a previous school (which may have included special tests, assistance from Instructors during test-taking, additional time to complete assignments, etc.) All students receive the same class instruction and assistance from the faculty at Ironwood Academy and are expected to function capably within the classroom and to work independently at home. However, we celebrate the individuality of every child and we recognize that not everyone learns in the same manner. Our job is to creatively connect to a student’s learning style, to meet them wherever they are on their growth path, and to help them continue their educational journey at an optimal pace. Assistance can also be provided by the parents outside the classroom in the form of hiring supplemental tutors at the parents’ expense and under their direction and guidance.
What is your policy regarding late work?
Ironwood Academy has a “no excuses” policy with regard to assignments. Work must be completed by the due date in order for the student to receive full credit. We believe that meeting deadlines is a worthy goal for students and adults, at work and in life.