Friday January 11, 2013

HALIFAX -- Non-residents hoping to send their children to Halifax School but do not wish to pay an expensive fee will be happy to see a smaller price tag on tuition.

"We're really hoping that by lowering this rate, it will open the doors to families who thought about sending their kids but the cost was the real barrier," said Halifax School Principal Stephanie Aldrich.

At the most recent school board meeting on Dec. 19, the board looked over enrollments and decided that there was more space for students who want to come from out of town.

Students from the past had to pay a tuition fee set at $8,200. The cost has been lowered to $5,500 and will be implemented for students entering the school for the 2013-2014 school year.

Each year, the school board gets together to decide what the tuition rate should be for students that want to attend but live out of town.

"We feel we have a lot to offer at this school and we would be able to fit in the learning opportunities that the larger school body has to offer us," Aldrich said.

The hope of the board is that the number of students will increase. With common core standards testing, the school could benefit from slightly bigger classrooms, Aldrich told the Reformer.

"A big part of this is where kids can communicate effectively," Aldrich said. "The more students in the classroom, the richer the dialogue."

The school currently is made up of 52 students from Kindergarten to 8th grade.


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It has "really small class sizes," Aldrich said.

"It's a benefit. They get a lot of individualized attention," she said. "Even if our numbers went up, we feel confident that we'd be able to keep that individualized attention going."

With a smaller classroom, the teachers have had success with planning how to meet the needs of all the students, Aldrich pointed out.

Aldrich has been the principal at Halifax School for five years and taught at the school for about four years before that. She mentioned that she has heard from some residents that people from other towns want to send their children to Halifax School.

By lowering the tuition fee for these children, Aldrich and the board hopes to "remove barriers for families if they want to send their kids here."

She mentioned that there has been several students over the years who have paid tuition and that the number of students attending the school have been going down, but "it's nothing significant."

"We're hoping to make it (the tuition rate) an affordable option for people who want to send their kids here," Aldrich said.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.