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Frequently Asked Questions
What do you need to get the school started?

We require several additional enrollment commitments to start the development of the school program. These are made by the child being approved for acceptance and and a verbal commitment for enrollment should the school open being received from the family. Contact us if you would like to receive more information about pledging an enrollment and becoming a founding family or apply online to begin your enrollment application.

How many students do you expect to enroll?

During the first year we hope to enroll ten to fifteen students. Additional students will allow us to enhance our program and hire additional teachers and staff. At full capacity, we expect to enroll between 24 and 30 students.

Why is tuition $20,000 - $30,000 less than most other boarding schools?

As a small school, we are most interested in developing a strong educational program rather than obtaining the nicest buildings, athletic facilities, and landscaping. Therefore, we don't allocate a lot of our budget to beautification. In addition, our potential location in Mississippi has lower operational costs than schools in New England or California incur, which significanly lowers our overall costs.

What type of child is appropriate for the school?

Upper elementary and middle school aged students will come from a wide variety of backgrounds, each with their own unique personality and experiences. While there is no exact profile, many of our students have not received the personal attention they require in order to succeed. While not a requisite, many students will show one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Highly capable or gifted learner
  • Works well in small, structured, supportive, and caring school environment
  • Experiences with being bullied in local school
  • Quiet, withdrawn, or overwhelmed in larger class and school settings
  • May be considered quirky or socially awkward in larger schools
  • Enjoys logic and strategy games and puzzles

Our school is not appropriate for students whom would be a better fit for a troubled teen school or clinical setting such as those children that are out of control, overtly oppositional, prone to excessive anger, developmentally disabled, psychotic, physically or sexually abusive, or exhibit criminal behavior including, but not limited to, bullying, theft, assault, and drug or alcohol abuse.

Do you enroll international students?

Unfortunately, due to U.S. regulations, new schools are not able to immediately enroll international students. We hope to offer enrollment to international students within one to three years after the start of school operations.

Which denomination or relgion are you aligned with?

Golden Tree Academy is an independent school, not aligned with any particular denomination or religion. We expect to enroll a diverse community of learners having various beliefs. We do not teach any doctrines based purely on religion. Attendance at religious services with staff may be provided as staffing allows.

Do you enroll children with nonverbal learning differences?

Due to our small school size, children who show symptoms of, or have a diagnosis of, one or more mild nonverbal learning differences (NLD) such as Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, PDD-NOS, various anxiety disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or Tourette's Syndrome are often excellent candidates for our program. However, we do not offer therapeutic services. Therapy may be arranged for an extra fee with local therapists.

Do you enroll children with IEPs or 504 plans?

An evaluation of the child's individualized program will be conducted prior to admission to determine if Golden Tree Academy can effectively serve the child's needs.

Do you enroll troubled kids or teens?

We are not a school for troubled teens. Those with excessive behavioral issues, drug and alcohol related issues, or high levels of emotional issues such as major depression or anger management issues would be better served by other programs.

While we are not a school for troubled teens, as a small school we may be able to help your child with mild non-verbal learning differences such as ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, and those with mild emotional issues such as anxiety, OCD, or mild depression. We may also be a good choice for children that are shy, withdrawn, or overly excitable in traditional school environments.

Do you enroll day students?

We expect to enroll boarding and day students. Day students will be assigned to a residential wing or house in which they may participate with the residential students in evening activities or recreational team events. (An additional cost may be required for our after-school program and evening events.)

Do you use computer based instruction?

Technology will be used in the classroom as appropriate to the lesson. We do not use a full-time computer based instruction program, instead choosing to educate with trained and knowledgeable educators using a variety of teaching methods to help each child achieve his or her full potential. The exception to this may be for above level courses, such as Precalculus, Calculus, or AP courses which we are unable to offer in our normal program.

What grades do you plan to enroll?

We are hoping to enroll students in grades 4 through 8. If there is sufficient interest for younger grades, and if we have space available, we may consider younger grades for our day and boarding programs.

Are you currently accepting applications?

Yes. An initial application can be complete online here.

Can parents visit the school?

Absolutely! Any parent or guardian, or authorized relative, in good standing with their child may visit the school. All we ask is that if you are on campus during the school day is that you are volunteering with a class or the office and if you wish to take your child off campus, do so only on the weekends. Parents may not be alone with any child other than their own child while on campus. Due to legal reasons, we are not able to allow parents to spend the night on campus.

How do you deal with bullying or teasing?

Whether physical, verbal, or emotional, we take bullying and teasing very seriously. Any child caught bullying or teasing others will be counseled on their actions and parents will be notified. Repetition of bullying and teasing will result in dismissal from the school. As a small school with a close-knit community which isn't possible in larger schools, we hope that bullying is a very rare or non-existent issue in our school.

Does Golden Tree Academy offer therapy?

Golden Tree Academy is not a therapeutic school, and therefore we do not have a psychologist on staff. Golden Tree Academy will work closely with local therapists to provide individual services, such as counseling, speech and language pathology, and occupational therapy to students that require therapy. Parents or guardians will be charged the rate which is arranged directly with the therapist plus any school related fees, such as transportation to and from the therapist.

What are the class sizes?

Our hope is to develop a program in which the average core subject class sizes are 6 or less, and never to exceed 10 students. Non core classes that do not depend on a certain age or developmental experience, such as physical education, electives, authentic eucation programs, and art programs may have a larger class size.

What athletic programs are provided?

Our school has a primary focus on individual based sporting activities designed around the needs of our students, which may include gymnastics, track and field, martial arts, BMX racing, horseback riding, rock climbing, aerobics, golf, skiing, Pickleball, archery, hiking, and mountain biking. Students also play in cooperative, large-group recreational games, such as Capture the Flag, to develop teamwork and sportsmanship. We do not offer competitive team sports such as baseball, football, basketball, and hockey, however students may occasionally play pick-up versions of these sports during their recreation time.

How is tuition determined?

Tuition is based on expected operating expenses of the school divided by the expected number of enrolled students. As a 501(c)(3) organization, Golden Tree Academy derives no profit from tuition.

How are staff members selected?

We look for staff that have a true passion for working with our unique elementary and middle school based boarding program and who can work together to form the communal atmosphere that is required of a small school. All staff, faculty, administration, and support staff are required to submit to extensive state and federal criminal background checks before being hired.

What should I do if I have additional questions?

Please contact us with any additional questions you have.

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