These are the most frequently asked questions about Tremont School and our community.
Is there one type of Tremont student?
No, Tremont enrolls students of many profiles, all of whom are attracted to and benefit from the small classroom experience with the opportunity to take ownership of their learning. This includes students who are looking for a small school with a caring community, hands-on curriculum that allows them to go in depth yet connect their learning to real life, advanced students who desire the opportunity to delve into projects of special interest, and students who enjoy the opportunity to show their understanding in ways that go beyond standards and testing.
Is there another school model like Tremont’s?
We believe that Tremont’s model is unique. Drawing on evidence-based educational research, contemporary understandings of neuroscience, and time-tested principles of community-building, the Tremont learning community is one that supports personalized learning and deep connections with peers and adults alike. We are often asked if we share philosophies with Montessori, Waldorf, and other progressive and alternative school models. While there is some overlap, Tremont is designed very carefully to be its own integrated, multi-disciplinary model that incorporates academic, social and emotional learning, arts, technology, health, and connection to the outdoors and community. These are all crucial dimensions to success and happiness for any developing young person. Rather than develop a program focused on one of these areas, with out-of-context curriculum tacked on to address the others, our approach has been to design curriculum and environment with these many factors in mind throughout the process. This approach extends to our continuous improvements and incorporation of parent and expert feedback.
Is Tremont a structured environment?
Tremont School offers carefully designed environment and curriculum that incorporates routines, expectations, and personally rigorous academic goals. These are structured intentionally to offer choice to students in areas that are age-appropriate and personally motivating. Our individualized approach allows this to occur during times of day that in traditional settings may be considered separately ‘academic’ or ‘social’. Thus the contract system during academic time allows for student choice (with teacher approval) in how and when work is accomplished, as well as choice in what the process and final product may look like. We also offer choice in settings for lunch, breaks, recess, and student activities. Regularly exercising these planning and decision-making ‘muscles’ is excellent preparation for the world beyond Tremont.
Is Tremont a college preparatory program?
Yes, Tremont is a college preparatory program. College counselors and higher education experts have been resources for our Upper School program design. Graduates will receive a high school diploma. A guidance counselor will be added to the staff as the Upper School grows; in the meantime, we work with experienced professionals in the field on a part-time basis to support our pioneering graduates’ post-Tremont planning. Some students will attend college immediately after graduating from Tremont. Others may take a gap year or enter the workforce.
What are Tremont’s plans for accreditation?
Tremont is a candidate for accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). We are currently in the midst of preparing our self-study and will welcome the NEASC visiting team for a site visit in the spring of 2016.
How does the Tremont School meet the needs of a diverse population?
Tremont is designed from the ground up to meet the wide-ranging needs of students as reflected in the general population. However, we are not a Massachusetts Chapter 766 school, nor do we intend to be in the future. Some students who currently receive services or accommodations in their public school to enable them to participate in the general classroom will find many of those accommodations naturally embedded in our project-based, experiential curriculum and our small classrooms with low student to faculty ratios. Some students may require more support than the Tremont School can provide.
Do you offer transportation?
We do not offer transportation at this time. However, our parent organization, TPAC, facilitates family connections for carpools and other transportation solutions.
Do you offer after school activities?
Our fee-based Extended Day program runs until 5:00 p.m. Students may stay just for Extended Day, working on homework/projects and socializing, or may participate in weekly activities for which they have registered each trimester. These specialized activities based on student interests are offered for one hour of the Extended Day afternoon. Activities have included Outdoor Survival, Publishing, Theater, Role Playing, Rock Band, Basketball, French Culture, Art Studio, and Skiing.
Do students have homework?
Tremont has a real-world, ‘flipped homework’ approach. All work for the week is included on the weekly contract. There is no separate set of assignments to be done as homework. Students who are on track to complete their contract work during the school day over the course of the week may not have to take work home. The goal of completing the week’s work by Friday is very motivating for some students! Others may take an approach to work completion that includes bringing some work home to finish outside of school. Upper School students have a heavier work load and thus need to plan what to bring home during the week or over a weekend. As students progress through the Upper School, these homework demands will increase.
Students who are deeply involved in a project may choose to work on it outside of school. Usually this is driven by their own interest and motivation. However, it is not uncommon for the ‘reality’ of a unit-end or course-end deadline to drive students to bring work home as they wrap up their projects!
What options do you have for student athletes?
Tremont’s extra-curricular offerings grow as the school grows. To date we have offered sports-related activities during Extended Day based on student interests. These are instructional, fun, and focused on fitness and creating an inclusive environment. Tremont students interested in intramural or town sports may register for community sports opportunities through Weston’s Parks and Recreation department. However, most Tremont students who are looking for a more competitive athletic outlet participate in their town sports or club sports at this time. As with all of our developing programs, we are open to suggestions for collaborating with other organizations to create opportunities for our students.
Do you offer summer programs?
Tremont offers experiential summer programming for current and admitted students. We do not yet offer summer programs for non-enrolled students.