Frequently Asked Questions about NUA Sparrow

How is your school different from traditional schools?
How is National University connected with the Sparrow Program?CutMyPicImage-18
How do I enroll my child for this current year or next year?
Who do I call for more information?

How is your school different from traditional public schools?

We have heard from Sparrow parents that the longer their kids are here, the more they love school and learning!  What more important difference could there be, when in many traditional public schools, kids are losing interest in school by 3rd grade?

Aesthetics: Our classrooms are set up with natural and beautiful furnishings.  Silk curtains, wooden furniture, nature tables, and chalk boards with colorful chalk drawings all contribute to a sense of warmth.  Muted, natural colors bring the outdoors inside, and provide a respite from today’s overly stimulating world.  High-quality, natural school supplies and tools draw forth beautiful work and a sense of responsibility and care for their belongings.

Curriculum: Sparrow curriculum is built around Waldorf Curriculum and the developmental needs of the children rather than artificially created benchmarks and timelines.  Sparrow offers the children time to assimilate concepts in depth and through concrete and pictorial experiences, rather than undermining deep understanding by forcing the children to accept abstract concepts prematurely.  Instead of focusing exclusively on the 3Rs, Sparrow integrates a comprehensive academic program with art, music, movement, handwork, and outdoor experiences.

Homework: Our children work hard all day at school. We believe they should spend their time away from school playing outdoors, creating their own fun, and connecting with the most important people in their lives – their families. Therefore, we don’t assign homework until 4th Grade.  On occasion, special projects or practice work may be assigned to individuals on a case-by-case basis.

School Culture and Discipline: Instead of relying on punishments and rewards to control children’s behavior, the staff at Sparrow fosters mindfulness and self-discipline, offering loving yet firm boundaries to create a positive learning environment. Staff is trained in the Positive Discipline approach authored by Dr. Jane Nelsen, and also incorporates elements of The Responsive Classroom.

Media-Free:  We know that children are surrounded by media everywhere they go in today’s world. However, we believe school is one place they should be sheltered from the bombardment of commercials and marketing.  Our media-free policy encompasses everything from lunch box characters to clothing.  We encourage our Sparrow parents to avoid exposing their children to any media between Sunday afternoon and Friday night, so that the images from their learning  throughout the school week aren’t hijacked by fast-moving, attention-grabbing video games, TV shows, and commercials.

What is the nature of your relationship with National University?

National University Academy (NUA) is a public charter school serving students in K-12th grade through independent study and home school, including grades K-6 in Sparrow’s program for the 2015-2016 school year.  Sparrow will continue to add a grade each year until it is K-8.  NUA is chartered under the Lakeside Union School District first and foremost, but is also affiliated with the National University System. National University provides infrastructure and a variety of services that a small independent charter school would otherwise be challenged to afford.

One point of important clarification is that despite the large budget of National University as a whole, our school budget is based on public school funding and remains tied to our school’s enrollment and, more specifically, our ADA or Average Daily Attendance. Though the National University System helps facilitate ease of administration and operations, the funding does not come from National University. As a public school, we will continue to rely heavily on committed parent volunteers and support in order to maintain the high quality program we’ve begun.

How do I enroll my child for this current year or for next year?

Information on enrollment is found on our enrollment page.

Who do I call for more information?

Call Neda Gilson, Sparrow’s administrative assistant, at 619-462-1853. Her email address is [email protected].

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