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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just moved to the cities from Big Lake and loving it!<br><br>
Ds is only 2 1/2, but I'm leaning towards schooling (as opposed to homeschooling) for him when he is the right age, and I'm wondering what my options are here in St. Paul. On this board under the forum "learning at school" I see Waldorf and Montessori, which I am somewhat familiar with, but there is also a section of other unfamiliar school types. I am wondering what our options will be here. We also have a somewhat limited budget, so I'd love to hear a ballpark figure of what tuition would be. It scares, and annoys me, that no one lists this basic fact on their websites about their schools <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I'm starting to look into this now because I know we are going to stay in this area for years to come, and also Ds is advanced or gifted or whatever and is doing things more at age 4 1/2 then 2 1/2 and I want to kind of settle on a philosophy in order to guide him. And in order to that, I kind of need to know what schools are available to me here. Also, I am open to hearing about charter schools or magnets or whatever they are called these days, or any non-religious private schools. Pretty much any school that respects the child's individuality and doesn't have like 40 kids to one teacher.
 

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There really are a ton of choices in the cities. I personally love the Friends School of MN in St. Paul and would strongly consider sending my children there if we lived in that area.<br><a href="http://minneapolis.about.com/cs/education/a/aa080202a.htm" target="_blank">This link</a> has good information and links to lists of area schools (many of which have websites.<br>
Good luck figgureing out what style of education seems right for you.
 

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Your head will swim with all the choices available here. Look for school information fairs (usually held in winter) and try to visit. My son attends Dodge Nature Preschool and they had a Kindergarten info night in January that had representatives from tons of private, charter, and public schools.<br><br>
Here are a couple schools of which I think very highly:<br><br>
Harambee Elementary (East Metro Integration District, free public)<br>
Friends School of MN (small private)<br>
Crossroads Elementary (St. Paul public)<br>
Mounds Park Academy (private school in Maplewood)<br><br>
There are lots of other good choices depending on your child's interests. I got a huge list from the K info night at Dodge.<br><br>
I am hoping to get my son into Harambee (lottery system) because it seems to be a good fit for him and we are at an awkward financial point where we can't afford private but make too much for aid). Harambee is a year round school (as is Crossroads) so the school breaks are spread out more evenly in the year (about 3 weeks each quarter) and the grades are combined (K/1, 2/3, 4/5).<br><br>
I think you are smart to start early.
 

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I don't know much about options in St. Paul, but I did want to comment real quick on something you said. There is a difference between magnet schools and charter schools.<br><br>
Magnet schools are operated by the school district itself and usually have some sort of special focus (arts or science or foreign language).<br><br>
Charter schools are operated by a charter board and aren't directly affiliated with local school districts. Some have a special focus, some don't. They are also public schools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>straighthaircurly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10763485"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Mounds Park Academy (private school in Maplewood)</div>
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OMG, the tuition there is higher than our mortgage payment was <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: Is this typical of private schools? If so, I guess I have some pretty unrealistic dreams. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jennica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10770477"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">OMG, the tuition there is higher than our mortgage payment was <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: Is this typical of private schools? If so, I guess I have some pretty unrealistic dreams. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Crazy isn't it? Typical for the top academic private schools. Religious schools tend to be less. But they do offer a lot of financial aid so if interested it could be worth applying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>straighthaircurly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10782229"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Crazy isn't it? Typical for the top academic private schools. Religious schools tend to be less. But they do offer a lot of financial aid so if interested it could be worth applying.</div>
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I found that Montessori and Waldorf are quite a bit cheeper than that one, but still not at all affordable for us. I just had no idea it would be that much. I'm also wondering if anyone has experience with the local Waldorf schools? From what I'm reading I'm a bit scared of Waldorf, but I think a lot depends on the individual school. Our only chance on one of these is a scholarship, but how does that work? What if we got a scholarship one year, but not the next? We would have to switch schools, and with Waldorf, and maybe even Montessori, that would not be an easy thing to do. So I'm a bit worried about even going the scholarship route. I'll have to look into more of the public charter schools and see if I find a few I like.<br><br>
Thanks everyone for all the links and schools mentioned! I'm trying to sift through it all...
 

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Our dd just started in the 4yo programme at JJ Hill Montessori this year. We, and she are loving it. It is a public montessori, so no fees.<br><br>
Our older ds did go to the Friends school for 3 years but even with a substantial scholarship we found the fees crippling.<br><br>
We also tried Waldorf for our older ds, although not here in the Twin Cities, and I personally am wary of Waldorf because of our experiences there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momma earthical</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10788727"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Our dd just started in the 4yo programme at JJ Hill Montessori this year. We, and she are loving it. It is a public montessori, so no fees.<br><br>
Our older ds did go to the Friends school for 3 years but even with a substantial scholarship we found the fees crippling.<br><br>
We also tried Waldorf for our older ds, although not here in the Twin Cities, and I personally am wary of Waldorf because of our experiences there.</div>
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Hmm, a public Montessori would really be the way to go. If it is a good school of course. Is JJ Hill the only public Montessori do you know? I'm really leaning towards montessori at this point, though I wish there was something that was a mix between the two, that would be perfect.
 

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There is also Seward Montessori, in South Mpls, another public option.<br><br>
I also wonder about this subject, and if for no other reason rather lean towards homeschooling because of the prohibitive costs of those groovy schools we might be interested in. Personally, I went to a magnet school in an 'excellent' school district in the DC metro area, and I *hated* school, passionately. It was socially a miserable time for me, and I dreaded it most every day. Whatever we do, I am committed to my DS not having the experiences I did.<br><br>
There is also a part-time charter school for homeschooling families--what is that one called again?
 

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Welcome to St. Paul. I love living here!<br><br>
Here is the spps elementary schools website:<br><a href="http://www.spps.org/Elementary_Schools.html" target="_blank">http://www.spps.org/Elementary_Schools.html</a><br><br>
St. Paul has THREE public Montessori schools. J.J. Hill, Crossroads, and Nokomis. I personally got a better vibe from Crossroads (we applied for the 4 yo program there next year), but many of my neighbors send their kids to J.J. Hill and love it.<br><br>
As pp mentioned, the choices in St. Paul can be overwhelming - you're smart to start researching now.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
Lara
 

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Crossroads is a public Montessori in St. Paul... St. Paul has 3 public Montessori schools, JJ Hill, Crossroads Mont, and Nokomis.<br><br>
My dd goes to Crossroads, and hopefully my ds will be starting there in the fall (we're waiting to hear). We love it. I think there are at least two threads recently about Crossroads in this forum.
 
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