Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Lake Country School unique?
We are an independent, authentic Montessori school that serves children from early childhood through adolescence with both an urban campus and rural organic farm with an environmental field station.
What's the best thing about Lake Country School?
One parent put it this way, "Lake Country School is a place to leap, to sing, to laugh. It's a robust expression of differences. It's a source of peace. Lake Country is both nurturing and challenging. It's a safe place to stretch, and grow, and find your place in the universe."
What happens in the classroom?
Montessori guides inspire the children through lessons to small groups and individuals. When not involved in a lesson, the children work at their own pace on the tasks or activities they have chosen. The classroom is characterized by a steady buzz of activity - some children working collaboratively, others independently, older children coaching younger ones, as the teacher presents to a small group, is in conference with an individual, or observes and records the flow of work in the room.
How much freedom do children have?
Children are free to move about the room and select from materials that are appropriate for their stage of development. They may choose to work at a table, on a rug on the floor, or in a reading loft. They are trusted to take care of the materials, to work diligently, and to be considerate of others. The classroom communities operate according to the basic rules of respect to oneself, to others, to the work, and to the environment. Conflict is seen as an opportunity to practice peaceful resolution.
What goes on at the rural campus?
The rural campus includes a community farm where students, parents, and staff plant and harvest vegetables, herbs, and flowers using sustainable, organic farming practices. We use low-impact technology and we restore and recycle before we build anew. We strive to increase awareness of our interdependence with the natural world by gardening, making maple syrup, collecting honey, and selling organic eggs produced by hens incubated in our Children's House classrooms. The rural campus also provides a part-time residential experience for adolescents.
Is Lake Country School only for certain types of students?
Not at all. Because the Montessori method is concerned with the development of each child as an individual, most children thrive in a Montessori environment.
Do the children take standardized tests?
Once a year, third through eighth grade students take a standardized test. Results are discussed with parents during conferences. Parents have the option of having their child refrain from standardized testing.
What is the experience of transfer students?
Many Lake Country School graduates are proud of being "lifetime" members of our community, having started as toddlers who continued through the eighth or ninth grade. Others have joined us at various stages in their education. Grades one, four, and seven are good times to enter as they are transition years for all students. Any change takes some getting used to, but most transfer students adjust quickly and appreciate their new environment.
What about the transition to high school?
Lake Country School students are well prepared for high school and are able to handle a variety of curriculums. Our graduates go on to excel at rigorous universities and graduate schools. Click here for the list of colleges and universities LCS students have attended. But even more important are the early lessons they learned about cooperation, respect, and responsibility and their enduring curiosity about the world around them. For more information about the transition of Lake Country School students to high school visit here.
Where do Lake Country School students go to high school?
LCS graduates attend a wide-range of high schools including Montessori, public, and independent schools. See a full list on the Junior High Program page.
Can we afford the tuition? Is tuition assistance available?
Modest tuition and careful financial management support the LCS value of an economically diverse student body. A full-time development director oversees fundraising activities that help bridge the gap between costs and tuition. In a recent year, our tuition assistance program provided up to 70% of need to families who qualified.
Where else can I apply for tuition assistance?
Your County's Child Care Assistance Program helps families pay for childcare while parents work, look for work, or attend school. Families must be below the income limit in order to qualify.
How do I apply for Child Care Assistance?
Call your County's Child Care Assistance Program (Hennepin County - 612-348-5937). You will be asked a few questions to determine if you are eligible to receive Child Care Assistance. Based on your answers to the questions, they will mail you an application form and place you on a waiting list, or explain that you are not eligible.