At the Fitzgerald Community School we believe that every child can succeed when given an environment that meets their needs. Our goal is to create that environment to the best of our ability. We have created a space where each child’s unique profile is visible, valued, and supported.
There are a wide variety of families who attend our learning community. Some folks want a alternative to public school either because they have tried it and it was not a good fit for their child or because they disagree with the way public education is going, some want a place with low ratios and a warm interpersonal environment, some folks come here because they appreciate the flexibility in the curriculum for a child to learn at their own pace and in their own way. Some folks share our belief that learning should be experiential and have applicability in real world settings.
At FCS, different is the norm. We are all different, we are all understood and we are all valued for the strengths we bring to this community of children and families.
The Fitzgerald Community School is truly a place where ALL children can belong and succeed!
In order to gain accreditation as an Independent School, one must prove that it provides a better than or equal to education than the public schools provide. In order to achieve this at FCS, we follow very similar benchmarks to the public schools. However, they are taught in a much different way. Education at the Fitzgerald Community School is personalized through a project based approach. When a child leaves the Fitzgerald Community School, they will be on par with others in their grade as far as academia is concerned.
Transitioning out of a personalized, small community like FCS, is not a difficult task for children. The foundation that is laid, sets these children up for life long success. Children here are taught how they learn, they are taught how to be the best version of themselves, they are taught how to approach a teacher or guide, the are taught how to ask critical questions. Once they leave us with this confidence and self awareness, they are able to thrive in any learning environment.
Children are dropped off in our outdoor playscape and enjoy the first hour of their day in an unstructured outdoor play time. This allows children to address their first hour needs, and ease into their day with socialization and relationship building. A community gathering is held once children enter the building to practice mindfulness and plan for the day ahead. From here children visit their separate homerooms based on grade, and ability level. This is where the children get their lessons and plans for the days work. The rest of the morning and part of the afternoon are devoted to work time, a time to work on their projects with the guidance from their learning coaches. After lunch children spend another hour outdoors in a Natures Classroom setting.
There is also before and aftercare offered at FCS, which is a play based program.
While financial aid is not available at this time, the Fitzgerald Community School is happy to work with folks around negotiating a tuition cost that may work better for their family. An open dialogue between FCS and the family may lead to a tuition cost that is more feasible for the family, while still maintaining fairness and respect to the needs of the learning community.
Please discuss your tuition concerns with the Director as needed.
There is an old Scandinavian saying “There is no such thing are bad weather, just bad clothing!
We ask parents to provide seasonally appropriate clothing for their child so they are able to learn outside in safe weather conditions. We also recommend extra clothing items for the child to change into throughout the day. Some of the best learning encounters happen through a hands-on approach and that often means getting mucky!
Examples of weather appropriate clothing are:
- Summer – shorts, t-shirt, summer hat, swimwear, towel.
- Spring/Fall – water/windproof raincoat, rain pants, rubber boots, long/short sleeve tops, pants, hat.
- Winter – hat, scarf, gloves/mittens, snow suit, warm socks, waterproof winter boots and thermal wear.
Spring, summer, fall and winter, our children will go outside for at least two hours per day.
Only when a child is deemed to be wearing the weather appropriate clothing to keep them safe against the elements AND the weather conditions themselves are confirmed as safe by the FCS team, will a child be taken outside. We will never take the children outside during unsafe conditions, such as thunder and lightning, severe winds etc. It is important children come to school with weather appropriate clothing to participate in all weather outside time.
Children innately need to move! Research has shown time and time again that a child’s memory and movement is deeply connected, children need opportunities to move in and outside their classroom because the entire body is a instrument of learning.
The concept of going outside year-round provides a wealth of learning seasonal learning opportunities, such as:
- Hearing the seasons – from the crunchy fall leaves on the ground, the raindrops pattering on the ground to the whistling sounds of the wind.
- Feeling the seasons – from the wet rain, the cold snow to the warmth of the sun.
- Seeing the seasons – from the leaves changing color in the fall to the blooming of nature in the spring and learning the names of the plants and flowers.
- Holistic development – where the physical, social, emotional, mind and spiritual growth of a child is developed through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values.
- Risk management – learning that with different weathers come new risks and how to be safe, such as staying hydrated when it’s hot, or being observant of ice patches when it’s cold.
- Creatures and animals – from frogs coming out in rain, birds nests in the trees to animal prints in the mud, children can learn and make connections when outside.
- Using nature for a child’s learning tools – from using stones to stack and count, painting with wet mud when it’s raining or learning what floats and sinks in a stream.
Outdoor time does not take away from educational time, it IS educational time!
Our project-oriented learning philosophy, allows students realize the importance of their academic subjects through motivational, intellectually stimulating activities while developing a sense of community awareness by living and learning together. Students and teachers have the opportunity to experience education from another perspective, outside the walls of the classroom and fosters thinking outside of the books.
Research has shown there is no benefit to homework before grade 5 and we agree! Both the parent and the child need and deserve a balance in the home.
We feel that there is nothing more important after school than family time, where parents can genuinely connect with their child without the stress of impending schoolwork, and children have a chance to be kids, to play, participate in extracurricular activities and unwind.
In addition, studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can affect health and can also interfere with performance at school. By eliminating the worry of homework for both the child and the parent, families can enjoy a stress free home environment leading to a more fulfilling, satisfying sleep for all.
We are currently serving preschool thru grade 5, growing with our learners.
- Full Day – 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
- Full Day – 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
- Morning Half Day – 8:30 AM – 11:30 PM
- Afternoon Half Days – 11:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Currently we offer 2, 3, 4 and 5 days a week for our preschoolers.
Yes. We offer a play-based before and after school care program for an additional fee.
Before care starts at 7:30 AM until school starts at 8:30 AM
After care starts at 2:30 PM and ends at 6:00 PM.
If you require before and/or after school care, please contact the Director. There are limited spots and are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
We offer a play-based daycare program on certain holidays and vacation weeks. We always offer care on professional development days. Daycare hours are 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (for an additional fee) for parents who need it. Please contact the Director for further information.
Holidays with care:
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- MLK Jr. Day
- Memorial Day
Vacation weeks with care:
- February break
- Spring break
We are closed completely Thanksgiving break and winter break
Please view our calendar for specific dates.
Parents must provide their child with a nutritious and fulfilling lunch.
Your child’s learning coach will provide a healthy mid-morning and afternoon snack, appropriate for the class and any allergies a child may have.
There is a direct correlation between a child’s behaviour and the food they consume, we encourage parents to pack a healthy, balanced diet, low on sugars, dyes and additives.
Tuition is due by the first of each month, once a payment is deemed late, a $75 late fee is applied to the account.
Chiropractic is based on the important relationship between the spine and the nervous system. If a child’s spine is not aligned, it can lead to dysfunction within the central nervous system – a system that coordinates every single system in our body. The ultimate goal of chiropractic to remove the interference from the child, so that they live a life of optimal health, wellness and lifelong learning.
Families who opt-in for chiropractic care for their child, can enjoy adjustments with Dr. Karen Moriarty, at the Northboro Chiropractic Center practice, just one minute away from our school. Dr. Karen is committed to understanding the child as a whole through a new patient evaluation, to ensure each child is receiving an adjustment that is addressing issues specific to them, for example; poor sleep, lack of concentration, illness etc.
Adjustments appointments are made outside of school hours and with the parent/guardian present. Dr. Karen offers special adjusting hours for our FCS families in addition to her regular hours.
Additional FCS Family adjustment times:
- Mondays – 11:45 AM
- Tuesdays – 2:45 PM
- Wednesday – 11:45AM & 2:45 PM
- Thursday – 11:45AM & 2:45 PM
A child’s Learning Coach will set their curriculum, lesson plan and seek to understand them as whole, while observing, overseeing and guiding the child on their overall learning journey at FCS.
A Learning Specialist, provides learning experiences in a particular field that helps a child learn and grow in a particular subject. For example, we currently have art, music and gardening Learning Specialists on staff. A Garden Class Learning Specialist, will create learning environments where a child will learn how plants grow, the care that is needed, weather conditions, bugs and more.