How many days a week do the students attend school?
Boone Prairie School is a co-school hybrid model with the children attending classes 3 days a week. While the primary instruction is done at the school, there are many opportunities for the family to participate in the education process at home. We have identified several areas that can be accomplished at home on Monday and Tuesday. Examples include: reading with your child, field trips and narration items across various subjects.
The school year runs September through the end of May. Students attend class Wednesday through Friday.
The following are examples of activities: (Volunteers and other types of activity ideas welcome)
Chess Club after school (Mr Dean, Learning through Games), Photography/Yearbook, Golf at GCI Monday/Tuesday, Archery after school
Field Day End of year family Picnic (Whole school participation)
We believe that it is the role of the family and the church to be the source of spiritual instruction for children, and it is the role of the school to support the instruction of the church and family, not to supplant it. The focus of Boone Prairie School is to provide students with an outstanding liberal arts education that is culturally rich in traditional American values in a Christian environment, surrounded by Christian teachers and staff, without preference for one denominational set of beliefs over another.
Teachers/Faculty: Candidates must embrace the school’s mission and demonstrate excellence in teaching students. Each candidate should be committed to serving as a mentor and positive role model. Promote basic Christian values such as honesty, respect for and service to others, good citizenship, generosity, honor, courage, sound use of time and talents, and work ethic.
Latin is the language of science and mathematics. It’s referenced in classical literature and plays a significant role in history. It’s still considered the language of scholars, much as it was in early Rome.
Modern research has shown that students who learn Latin score higher on reading, reading comprehension, writing, and vocabulary tests. Students are placed according to prior experience.
Why do you still teach cursive handwriting?
We teach cursive because studies have shown that it’s good for children’s brains. Cursive writing activates critical parts of the brain, enhancing learning development, and it teaches fine motor skills. Writing by hand also helps build memory, and students who hand-write their work retain the information longer.
Handwriting also helps students develop and expand ideas. Studies have also shown that children who learn cursive writing score better on reading and spelling tests. Learning cursive gives students a better start for life.
Much of the subject material is derived from original sources written in cursive ie., key documents, biographies, geneologies, journals, and letters. Students who can read and write cursive can enjoy a rich connection to these materials.
We begin cursive in Kindergarten.
Is it true there are no computers in the classrooms?
We believe that no matter how sophisticated or advanced technology becomes, nothing can replace responsive teachers, engaged students, and committed parents. Boone Prairie provides an environment of learning that motivates and inspires students without the constant use of technology. Any computer use at the school will be specifically related to learning and will be monitored.
In classrooms, teachers have computers to prepare lessons, gather material, and track student progress. For the most part, students won’t have direct access to technology during the school day unless directly instructed and monitored.
The development of written and verbal communication skills is a key part of classical education that cannot be provided through technology. We want to prepare students for a lifetime of confident communication whether it be face-to-face or written in a letter or email.
Life now and far into the future will always require critical thinking skills, communication skills, and creative problem solving skills. Those skills are precisely what are taught in the classical education Boone Prairie provides.
Upper grades on occasion use word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software and video for various projects.
Older students have accounts on Matholia. It is a great Singapore math tool to assist the parents with topics at home. We encourage the students to use Matholia a couple times per week to reinforce basic building block concepts they have yet to master. We encourage parents to reference the learning section to assist with concepts they might struggle to help their students with. Matholia is also used at school by the teachers as a learning tool.
Several items in our curriculum offer additional on line resources that are generally optional for the student.
Students do not bring technology to school unless required for a specific project they are working on in the middle/high school grades.
We highly encourage parents wait on mobile phones for their children until at least 8th grade, the later the better. Phones brought to school may not be taken out or used at school unless for a specific project with permission from the teacher and parent.
How are classes different?
You can expect to see teachers in a traditional role, providing occasional lecture-based lessons and offering guidance throughout the day. You will also see Boone Prairie teachers sitting on a bean bag during literature, sitting on a blanket on the reading hill with their class, setting up scavenger hunts around the property and more. Students are expected to be active participants in their education. Visitors to the classrooms will often see students at the front of the class teaching a concept, working a problem on the board, or defending their results. They may also see older students showing younger students what they are working on.
Class sizes are small and are combined grades. This provides the flexibility for advanced students to receive additional services in the same classroom and from the same teacher as students who may need a help in some subjects.
Children are encouraged to move, to learn through rhythm and song, to dance, wiggle and stretch their bodies as their minds are being stretched. Research has shown that movement and learning go hand in hand, and we believe if students are allowed to move they become more engaged, retain what they learn, and participate in ways that enhance independent thinking skills.
How do you teach leadership?
Boone Prairie supports an overall culture of leadership. It’s woven into the curriculum and is part of all our everyday activities. We see every child as a leader, with unique gifts and talents to contribute to their school and community. Through our leadership training, we teach students to develop those talents, set goals and meet them, participate in the learning process, and value their education.
Why focus on character development?
We strive to teach and model integrity, honesty, diligence, loyalty, and a desire to help others. These are just some of the values we hope to instill in our students. With a focus on developing the whole person, Boone Prairie is committed to building character as well as intellect.
While we believe that character and values are initially shaped at home, we also believe that the school environment plays an important role in developing and strengthening those critical ethics.
Upon graduation we expect each child to not only have a mastery of curriculum and content, but a keen sense of personal worth that comes only from guided character development.
Do students take standardized tests?
Since we are a private school, we are exempt from administering any state or federal standardized tests. Parents of students in 3rd grade and older may take the National Iowa Test, as many private schools choose to do, just to compare our standing with schools across the nation. Our teachers are free to focus on teaching a wide variety of subjects in as much depth as is appropriate for the grade level they teach. Without a need to prepare students for testing, they have more time to focus on individual student achievement. There is a fee for taking the test.
Do you offer athletic programs?
Boone Prairie is focused on providing students with a challenging academic experience that will prepare them not only for college and career but for life. At this time, we do not have an established athletic program, but we do provide physical education (PE) as part of our curriculum.
There are many wonderful athletic programs available in our area. If you let us know what you are interested in, we will try to connect you to the appropriate resources.
Our uniform policy and dress code foster an atmosphere in which the Boone Prairie School virtues can thrive: Courage, Courtesy, Honesty, Perseverance, Self-Government, and Service. Daily reinforcement of strong personal habits promotes courtesy; the honor of self and others; modesty and discipline. Adherence to the code diminishes economic and social barriers between students; increases a sense of belonging and school pride; encourages good judgment; models good citizenship and encourages all to perform at their highest level.
All Boone Prairie students are expected to be in school uniform during school hours and during all school activities and events unless otherwise specified. Attire is expected to be clean, in good condition, and properly sized to fit.
The dress code at Boone Prairie School is dark blue, grey and black for bottoms and a variety of colors for polo style shirts. Clothes may be purchased from Children's Place, Costco, Sam's Club, French Toast, School Bells, Sears, JCPenny as long as they are the right length and meet the requirements of the uniform. Due to the nature of the kids getting outside we recommend dark bottoms and blue or grey tops for the majority of the school days.
As the students earn rewards they have special dress days. Examples: Pajama Day, Wacky Wednesday, Spirit-wear, All One Color...
House shoes such as boat shoes, moccasins or slippers will be worn in the school building. A detailed list is provided to school families.
Do you offer special education programs for children with dyslexia or learning disabilities?
We do not offer special programs for students exhibiting learning difficulties. That doesn't mean your child may not thrive in this environment, it all depends on the level of need for the child. We don't want a child frustrated by school if they are not receiving the proper care and assistance needed.
Holidays and celebrations: We love for children to be children as long as possible. We sing happy birthday (bring treats if you want), exchange valentine's, secret Santa, PI day, Thanksgiving Feast and more.