Frequently Asked Questions
Prospective families can apply for admission to Foothills the fall before their family would like to enroll their child, and parents should complete the application process as soon as possible for the following school year. However, new admissions continue throughout the year until all spots in all classes are full.
To start the application process, a prospective family should review the school's website and contact the school's Director of Admissions
For the 2012-13 school year, tuition and fees are as follows:
3/4 Day: (Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.) $8,456 (tuition); $120 (fees)
Full Day (Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.): $10,735 (tuition); $510 (fees)
Part Day (Monday - Friday, 8:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.): $9,125 (tuition); $210 (fees)
Full Day (Monday - Friday, 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.): $10,735 (tuition); $250 (fees)
1st & 2nd Grade:
$10,735 (tuition); $300 (fees)
3rd & 4th Grade:
$10,735 (tuition); $350 (fees)
5th & 6th Grade:
$10,735 (tuition); $350 (fees)
7th & 8th Grade:
$11,151 (tuition); $350 (fees)
$11,707 (tuition); $450 (fees)
There are fees above and beyond tuition each year that cover books, field trips, fall trips, and yearbooks. Fees for 2012-13 are:
Early Learners: 3/4 Day - $120; Full Day - $510
Kindergarten: Part Day - $210; Full Day - $250
1st & 2nd Grade: $300
3rd & 4th Grade: $350
5th & 6th Grade: $350
7th & 8th Grade: $350
9th Grade: $450
Families can expect to incur additional costs for AfterCare, Intersession activities, spring trips, the Nines culminating trip, lunch out and lunch program, dances and after school enrichment programs. These costs are not covered by the tuition and fee amounts and are billed separately to parents.
The school's admissions committees consider several pieces of information when making admissions decisions, and the teacher recommendation for K-9th grade prospective students is one of the pieces. If anything unusual stands out on a student recommendation, the school asks the family's permission to follow up with the teacher for additional information.
Academic and IQ tests are not required during the application process at Foothills. However, if a student has had any testing done that might be pertinent to the admissions process, the school requests that this information be shared with the Director of Admissions and that copies of testing information be included in a student's application.
As an independent school, Foothills operates outside of the Boise Public School District. Rather than being funded by state dollars, Foothills is funded by tuition dollars and fundraising and these cover the school’s operating expenses. The advantage of being an independent school is that Foothills’ teachers are able to focus their energy on creating the most responsive, challenging curriculum possible (based on national standards for education), where each student can grow to his or her full potential, rather than having to “teach to the test.”
The openings at each grade level vary year-to-year but the school typically has the most openings for three year olds each year. The Director of Admissions can give prospective families an idea of how many openings are anticipated or available at each grade level.
After a prospective family submits an application, the Director of Admissions will contact the family within a few days to schedule a classroom visit (Early Learner [preschool] parents visit the class instead of their children). K-9th grade prospective students come for a partial or full day visit depending on their age. After the visit, the Director of Admissions will follow up with the family to make sure that all of the family's questions have been answered and that they know their application is complete.
Families applying to the school are asked to: review the school's website, schedule a parent tour, submit an application with a $50 non-refundable application fee, schedule a parent (EL) or student (K-9th) classroom visit, give a teacher recommendation form to their child's previous teacher (K-9th), and submit copies of recent report cards or transcripts (Foothills can also request a student's cumulative file from the student's previous school).
The Director of Admissions will contact families to communicate if students are admitted in early April. For all other openings, the school makes decisions on a rolling admissions basis (i.e. shortly after the family completes the application process) throughout the school year and summer. If space allows, the school also accepts students mid-year.
If there is not a spot available for a student, the school will place that student in an applicant pool for the class and the Director of Admissions will communicate with a family if a spot opens up for him or her mid-year. If a student is denied admission, then there is not a spot for that student in the upcoming year. The family can choose to re-apply for their child at a future time.
"Priority" or special consideration is given to siblings of already enrolled Foothills students and children of faculty and staff members. For priority status to take effect, a family must complete certain steps in the application process, which the Director of Admissions will communicate to families.
The school can accommodate students with certain special learning needs. As a non-profit school, Foothills does not have all of the same resources that public schools do, many of which serve the needs of students with special learning needs. However, there are some accommodations that Foothills can make for students, and the school considers families' needs on a case-by-case basis. For instance, the school can provide some acceleration in math and language and literacy for students, but the school cannot meet the needs of all “highly gifted” learners. Parents should talk with the Director of Admissions about the specific accommodations that the school can make to help them determine if the school is a place where their child will thrive.
Foothills looks for students who get along well with others and can thrive in a collaborative, project based learning environment. Students who are motivated to succeed in school usually flourish at Foothills. Typically, students who prosper in a creative, community-oriented school and whose families can partner with the school to support their child are the most happy and successful at Foothills.
The application process at Foothills is primarily designed so that prospective families get an accurate picture of the school to help them determine if their child would thrive here. At the same time, the Admissions Committee for each class also determines whether or not it believes that a student will be successful at Foothills. When making admissions decisions, the Admissions Committee takes into account interactions with the prospective family; the student's application, teacher recommendation (K-9th), and transcripts (K-9th); and observations made during the classroom visit. Siblings of already enrolled Foothills students receive priority or preference during the application process; however, parents of siblings must also complete specific steps in the application process. The school also tries to balance the ages and genders of students in each class, wherever possible. First year preschool students must be three by September 1 of the year they are starting; they must also be potty trained.
During a family's initial tour of Foothills, a family can expect to meet with the Director of Admissions for about an hour to talk about their child and what they are looking for in a school. The Director of Admissions will provide an overview of the school as well as answer specific questions about each class, then the family will tour the entire school with the Director of Admissions to see classes in action. At the end of the tour, the family will be given a prospectus packet that includes a welcome letter, an admissions checklist, an admission application, a teacher recommendation form (K-9th), school profile information, tuition and financial aid information, a recent school newsletter, and contact information.
For Early Learner (preschool) students, school starts at 9:00 and parents can drop-off at 8:30 for a yearly fee; there currently isn't after-school care offered for EL students based on limited need. For K-9th graders, school starts at 8:15 a.m. and students can arrive at 7:45 a.m. for no additional fee; Foothills does offer an AfterCare program for full-time K-6th graders, available from 3:30 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. every school day. The charge for AfterCare is $6.00 per hour for the first child; if families have multiple children or sign-up for AfterCare through a monthly package, there is a discounted rate. There is no AfterCare for 7th-9th graders unless a student would like to assist with the AfterCare program.
Most families start the application process the fall before their child would be eligible or interested in enrolling at Foothills. The majority of admissions decisions and typically all preschool (EL) admissions decisions are made and communicated in early April. However, admissions decisions continue throughout the school year and summer until all spots in all classes are full.