Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of school is this?
We're not a "kind of school" but more an opportunity; a place for students and families seeking control over their education. Over our 37 years we have evolved into a unique learning community that reflects some non-traditional philosophies but remains distinctly "Upattinas". We are a supportive, nurturing community made up of a variety of traditional and non-traditional learners, giving families and students control over their education.

What does the name mean?
In the early days the school met at Tina's house...up at Tina's...Upattinas!

Upattinas is a democratic school - what does that mean?
We don't mean a political party - we refer to the practice of offering everyone the opportunity to participate in the running of the school.

What kind of children come here?
All kinds of young people come here. Our community is made up of creative, independent learners. Our expectation for students is that they want to be here and will participate in their education and in the community. Our students are:
  • Interesting and Interested
  • Creative
  • Self-motivated
  • Independent
  • Self-disciplined
  • Open-minded
  • Able to work in a free environment
  • Able to work without an imposed structure
  • Looking to participate in a community

Is this a school for troubled children?
No, we are not a therapeutic facility.

What about children who have special needs?
An interview with the Admissions Director would be needed before the application process could begin. While many children respond well to our environment we are not a therapeutic facility. If we cannot serve a child with special needs in our day program, we can offer the support of our homeschool program, which can benefit many students and their families.

Are you a boarding school?
No, we do not offer boarding. We are a day school and a homeschool resource center. We can, however, arrange host families for international students.

Are you a college preparatory school?
No, although most of our students go on to college, our focus is on encouraging meaningful learning for each individual student.

Well then, what about college admissions?
Our students present themselves very well on college applications and during interviews. As a result, most of our students are accepted to the college of their choice. Our students are well prepared because they know how to work independently, are accustomed to managing their time and meeting deadlines, and are lifelong learners.

What does "non-coercive" mean?
As long as a student is following the basic health and safety rules of our community, we will not force participation in any activity.

How do you handle discipline issues?
Because we have few rules we have few discipline issues. In addition, Upattinas students generally value the opportunity to be part of the community and are unwilling to jeopardize their enrollment. When discipline issues do arise they may be handled by staff, Student Affairs (a student/staff committee) or the entire community.

How many students are on campus?
Our enrollment changes from year to year, but we average approximately 100 students in all grades combined.

Do you have rolling admissions?

Do you offer scholarships or financial aid?
There are a limited number of scholarships; financial aid is based on need and our budget constraints. Please call the office to discuss details.

Is this school a cooperative?

Can parents help? Are they welcome on campus?
There are many opportunities for parents to participate. Parents are welcome to visit the campus at anytime. For parents who would like more involvement, we can discuss any available openings for regular volunteerism.

Is the campus handicapped accessible?
While we try to accommodate everyone, we are not fully accessible at this time.

Why Upattinas?
Our students have answered this question by talking about developing their minds, learning respect and being respected, being prepared for the real world, becoming independent learners, celebrating differences, being comfortable asking questions, not being intimidated, and not needing to be told what to do. We repeatedly hear students refer to the atmosphere as being relaxed, encouraging, and safe.

On the other hand most parents who have chosen Upattinas for their children do so out of respect for their children as individuals who are able to participate in making choices about their education. They value the small, nuturing, creative environment that Upattinas offers.

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