FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How much is your tuition?
A: Our tuition fee ranges from Php 60,000 to 70,000.
This is NOT inclusive of materials fee nor additional fees for individualized / integrated literacy support program for students who may need intervention in the area of language and learning, based on assessment results and screening tests.
We likewise inform parents of other services which need to be availed to ensure holistic intervention.
During our inception year of 2007, our tuition fees started at 52,000. After a few years, increases were applied to new incoming batches.
It may come across as costly (and not as obvious given our facilities) but we do have reasonable payment schemes being middle class parents ourselves. See our sample payment scheme here.
And besides, please do the maths.
We are a small school of less than 50 children in ALL,
with small class sizes.
We have a small teacher student ratio 1: 6
We have qualified teachers, our greatest investment, all of whom come from U.P. education backgrounds.
Nothing can replace a good to great teacher, a print and multi-sensorial rich and secure learning environment,
...AND with lots of trees at that!
And that is how we see quality education can be delivered...
with loads of fun and hardwork. Get an idea here.
See our admission procedures here.
Q: What textbooks do you require?
A: We do not require textbooks. We rely a lot on authentic literature and teacher made materials.
But we do make use of selected textbook based materials for your children to do so that they improve on their self study skills , independent skills practice and print material navigational skills.
As for other print materials for classroom use, the school uses your materials fee for photocopies or desktop printing of practice exercise booklets, teacher selected worksheets and readings from a variety of instructional materials or references.
BUT WE DO NOT ascribe to one publisher as we do not find sense in it. This is because progressive schools generally do not ascribe to a textbook driven curriculum.
Rather, we go for the right kind of balance. We would rather that families invest on recommended authentic literature for your children to use in school and add to your book collection at home.
At Builders, we issue a book list for you to acquire on your own. Some purchases are facilitated by the office through a group order to save on cost.
See a sample book list here. Learn more about our language program here.
Q: How about tests and quizzes? Do we need to review our kids?
A: Generally, progressive schools do not solely rely on tests and quizzes as basis for your children to demonstrate best what and how they are learning. BUT YES, we do have tests and quizzes. And yes, occasional reviews can be done from your end if you think these can help.
We view tests and quizzes as a means to check on basic facts or content knowledge your children are acquiring.
We also think it is a good way to scaffold learning to cope in a test taking environment they will eventually need to encounter as they face high school and university work.
During assessment week we provide a variety of authentic assessments in the form of project presentations and other performance based tasks and written tests. We also administer some assessments tasks individually depending on the special needs of a few children.
Prior to this, review tasks are given in school and teachers also send home tips/ pointers or task sheets to prepare for assessment week.
Additionally, our reading and math specialist provide standardized tests during different points of the school year.
Standardized tests are a bit costly but essential to our intervention hence we invest on these. Why?
Data from these tests help us evaluate the achievement and performance of our students alongside our program goals. We also use findings to decide on continuing enrolment especially for children with special needs (whether with formal or informal diagnosis/ assessment).
Q: Do you practice grade retention?
A: As much as possible we do not practice retention. In cases when students are unable to cope with academics and our learning environment or have earned failing grades, we provide additional educational services to help your child cope or refer to other specialists who can do additional individualized skills instruction so that the child functions and learns within age and grade level expectations. We also do our best to tailor fit our teaching to prevent grade retention.
Hence parent teacher conferences are important to us so that feedback and updates on your child's performance are discussed with you. We value honesty and transparency and take seriously partnership with parents and arriving at needed agreements in keeping with conditions set for continued enrolment.
There have been cases when instead of retention, transfer to another school is a better solution with due consideration to the child's needs and also with respect to our need for consistency in keeping with set parent-school agreements.
Q: How about grades? Do you give numerical grades?
A: Yes we do as we still see it as a sound and practical way to communicate performance and achievement.
Along with the grades, and most importantly we also give qualitative feedback in the form of teacher comments. These are shared during parent teacher conferences.
Progress reports and results of standardized math and reading tests are also shared to parents.
Report cards and teacher comments/ feedback are issued once per trimester. See sample calendar here to approximately know when PTCs and Report Card issuance take place.
Q: Do you have homework?
A: YES we do. In the early years and primary grades, mostly these are TO-brings and reading tasks or unfinished work.
We believe though that structuring time spent at home should be the parent's responsibility and that providing occasional homework at the primary levels will help you provide routine and discipline for study time at home.
As children progress through the older grades, homework become more frequent.
At times, we also require students to complete unfinished work (homework or seatwork) in school as means to teach them self management and responsibility for missed work in case of absences (excused or unexcused).
Q: Do you admit students who may have earned failing grades from other schools?
A: Yes, we do try to make room to give children second chances.
This is because we think some of these students may have learning disabilities we can address within our small learning environment. In fact, we have had success stories of these children---most especially because parents have been cooperative to conditions we set in support of their children's needs and learning conditions.
Read more about this here.
Q: Do you provide other educational services?
A: Yes we do given the nature of our student profile. These are basically services which entail accommodation, intervention, remediation and assessment.
ILS =Integrated Literacy Support for children diagnosed with learning disabilities and/ other language related problems for children with special needs.
FLIP= Filipino Language Immersion Program as after school remedial sessions for students with difficulties in learning Filipino.
In cases when students are diagnosed with learning disabilities, we provide further assessments and in school/ in class intervention under our Integrated Literacy Support (ILS). Additional fees apply.
In cases of children, with other special needs, after proper screening using standardized tests our math and reading specialists are qualified to administer or upon and review/ recommendation of additional assessment/ specialist reports, we are able to provide specialized in class accommodations. Additional fees may apply, depending on the child’s case.
We are also able to recommend and refer parents to educational services outside of our school, mostly within our network of likeminded specialists or teachers who can provide intervention before or after school hours. Options are always given for parents to best decide on which services they can avail of. In some cases, these intervention sessions may be required especially of children with special needs as their continued enrolment are reviewed and offered on a yearly basis, just like other students under regular enrolment track.
Be assured that all our referrals and recommendations are in the best interest of your child. Our school founders are experts in their fields and engage in: professional development programs, teacher training, university based research and extension, educational assessment as well as intervention. We know when we can still help your child and we can also discern whether other people are in a better position to provide services your children will need the most.
Our teachers are also tapped to do remedial or tutorials outside of the school or after school co curricular activities or workshops for children. Read more about our teachers here.
Q: Do you accept children with special needs or specific learning difficulties?
A: Yes, we are a regular school and do our best to be inclusive, within allowable parameters.
This is because we are a small school with small class sizes hence consideration is given to the ratio. Generally, we have slots for children diagnosed as having a learning disability given the experience/ expertise of our teachers with LD.
Children with special needs undergo the application process but parents are rightfully informed of limited slots therefore after careful screening and with due consideration to our current student population and class profiles, we are able to admit children with special needs. However, continued enrolment is subject to evaluation.
We are NOT a special school but we offer services and programs which may accommodate the needs of students we have committed to accept. We commit to working with special children whom we see may possibly benefit from our learning environment for a minimum of 1 school year.
In this span of schoolyear, parents are expected to cooperate and work within the agreements and conditions we set during meetings and parent teacher conferences. We also review the quality of parent partnership and responsibilities to ensure success of our recommendations and interventions.
Midway and after a school year, we sit with parents to evaluate and report the status of their child’s progress, set new goals and see whether the child is best to continue with us, under specific agreed conditions or recommend as to whether it is best for the child to move on to another school or learn from a special program/ learning environment which may very well address the special needs of the child.
We are also able to do proper referrals or recommendations to Community of Learners, JASMS, St Joseph, Mind Matters, LitCorps, Word Prime, Reading Ladder, and other specialists within CORIS (Council of Reading and Intervention Specialists).
Learn about other progressive schools here.