Overview and FAQ
From the moment when each family first walks through and interviews at the school to standing on stage with their senior as they graduate, The Sage School enters into a 7 year partnership with each family in order to best serve each student. We ask for parent involvement in the application process, we create 3 conferences a year to work together, we have a Parents Association dedicated to school improvement, a book club to share ideas, social events to build community, and student exhibition days to see each child and his/her classmates shine. We will also have hundreds of informal conversations and communications along the way. All of these components build a community working together in order to form a unified support system- a system designed to help students thrive. We are honored and humbled to be entrusted with each family’s most precious resources.
Of course, along the way, many details need to be tended to. In addition to our Family Handbook, the following can provide a bit of an overview to some of those details.
What about transportation to school?
The school schedule is aligned with the Mountain Rides system. Students are given a year-long (including summers, breaks, and weekends) bus pass as part of their Sage School Student ID. We encourage students to walk, ride bikes, and/or carpool also. The bus system is set up so that students can ride from within Hailey or connect from the Valley Route coming from Ketchum/Sun Valley. Here is the link to their schedules: http://www.mountainrides.org/overview.php
Do you offer any lunch programs? (address utensils, lack of kitchen, etc)
We do not offer school lunches. Students bring their own lunches each day, including all utensils and needs. We have fridges and microwaves. However, we do make a few local options available for parents/students to order each year. We typically have a day for Jersey Girl’s Deli delivery, for the Sustainability Center to provide lunch, and for students to order pizza from a local restaurant.
What school supplies are required?
We believe that students need to learn how to develop their own organizational strategies and manage their own resources. As a result, we generally say that students need to get something to write with, something to write on, and develop some organizational system. How they do that is really up to them, so long as it is done well and is effective. They can do all of this on the computer, if that is desired and if it is effective for that student. If a classroom has a specific need, they will add that on to this simple list.
Are there any technology requirements? Can a student bring their own computer?
We have desktops, laptops, and chromebooks available for student use during the day. We do not require students to buy any computers or tablets. Students can and do, especially in the upper grades, bring their own computers or tablets. Our handbook discusses our policies surrounding this usage.
How do I reach my student during the day (phone policy)?
If you need to reach your child during the school day, we ask that you call the office and don’t call or text their phone (if they have one) during the day- it tends to be quite distracting. We encourage students to leave their phones at home during the day, but if they need to bring them, they are supposed to remain off and in their cubbies.
Why does Sage not offer after school programming?
Our valley is quite unique in its ability to offer a tremendous amount of independent, high quality after school programming. From arts to sports to theater to dance and everywhere in between, our students have wonderful options in which to participate. Rather than duplicate amazing resources and stretch our own limited resources too thin, we quickly realized that our students would be better served by participating in the programs that already exist. Our students participate in sports with Wood River Middle and High School and work with many independent organizations such as Sun Valley Youth Hockey, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Sun Valley Ballet, Footlight Dance, St. Thomas Playhouse, Nexstage Theater, The Center for the Arts, Blaine County Recreation District, Spirit in Motion Gymnastics, and many more. We do offer, for many of these students, a ‘math in the morning’ program which allows students to maximize their after-school time.
Are there volunteer opportunities for parents?
We have a parent’s association page which lists the structure of parent volunteering opportunities.
Will The Sage School keep growing?
The Sage School is designed to be intentionally small. We anticipate being around 100 students. This is designed around Dunbar’s number, a proposed cognitive limit to the amount of social relations we can easily maintain.
Are there extra fees for field studies?
Our tuition is inclusive of all field studies and even of the various texts we read as a class. Our desire is for our ‘price tag’ to be clear and transparent- not to have any hidden fees to the school.
What records are required?
We will need any previous school records and, as required by law, immunization records for our files. As you transfer into the school, coordination with the office will be necessary to make sure your file is complete.
Do you have an open campus?
We do not have an open campus- meaning that we do not allow students to drive off campus for lunch. We believe it is far more important for our community to stay together and have that time together. The Sage School students, however, due to our educational philosophy and schedule, will spend a significant amount of time in our larger community- performing service, working with local mentors, or taking advantage of local resources. We have what we call a ‘fluid campus’.
What if I need to get my student out early for an appointment?
We obviously request that you schedule as many appointments for after school as possible. However, if you do need to take your child out early, please come in to the office and physically sign them out.
How can I expect to stay in touch with the school?
Our primary method of communication is through email, so we ask parents to check email frequently and stay up with communications from the school. If you need to reach a teacher, you can email them or call the office. We may not be able to immediately respond, but will get back to you as soon as we reasonably can.