Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions we hear most often from prospective students and their parents.
What's a typical school day like?
Our school day runs from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Students have at least five classes every day with a mix of small group, whole group, and one-on-one learning. A typical day might look something like this:
- 8:00 - Students begin arriving
- 9:00 - Music
- 9:30 - Math
- 10:30 - Social Studies
- 11:15 - Lunch
- 11:45 - Science
- 12:30 - English Language Arts
- 1:15 - Discretionary time
- 1:55 - Group meeting
- 2:00 - Dismissal
- 3:30 - The last students depart
How little is the little middle school?
Each year, we have between 18 and 25 students. We want to keep it to the size of one class, so the maximum number of students for all grade levels would be about 27.
How many teachers do you have?
Six, plus an assistant who helps keep things running smoothly.
What do students do for lunch?
Students bring a cold lunch to eat at the high- and low-topped bistro tables in our common area or at the dinette set in the lounge. On a nice day, sometimes we have a picnic outdoors.
What do I have to bring?
Students will need an insulated lunch bag, a reusable water bottle, a large binder with dividers (or small binders for each subject), their own earbuds for listening to devices, and any preferred pens or pencils. We supply all other school supplies (paper, plain ol' pens and pencils, and so on).
Will my child make friends?
Prospective families occasionally express concern that their child will have limited friend-making opportunities in such a small group. However, we have found that in such a close-knit community, students have increased opportunities to connect with their classmates. We see lots of satisfying cross-grade and cross-gender friendships and many deep "BFF" connections.
The students also learn to have friendly collegial relationships with their classmates, coming to understand that even if someone isn't ever going to have a sleepover at your house, they still deserve the same respect and kindness as your very best friends.
The students have plenty of opportunity for communication and collaboration throughout the day and week in order to build friendships and social skills. In addition, we have social events outside of school at least once a month, plus two class trips per academic year. Annual traditions and daily rituals round out the social experience and help foster a sense of safety and belonging, allowing each student to reveal their authentic self and be accepted and valued for who they are.
What devices are students allowed to use?
Each student is issued a Kindle Fire containing a variety of textbooks and middle-school-appropriate literature and nonfiction. Teachers can send PDFs for student reading assignments. The device is the student's own, for use while a student at The Little Middle School, and can be taken home. Note that the Internet browser is disabled and the device is locked between 10 PM and 6 AM.
At school, we have a large supply of Chromebooks for student use. We request that students keep their own laptops at home.
Students are allowed to bring their own phones and tablets to school. However, they must demonstrate good judgment as to when to use these devices (in the same way that an adult must learn socially appropriate smartphone use).
Where do students go after leaving the little middle school?
Our alumni have attended area public schools like Grady High School, North Atlanta High School, Decatur High School, Druid Hills High School, and Riverwood High School.
They have also been accepted to private schools such as St. Pius X, Marist School, The Paideia School, The Westminster School, Midtown International School, The New School, Academe of the Oaks, Ben Franklin Academy, Bachman Academy, The Howard School, The Life School, and Rivers Academy.
Additionally, we are pleased to acknowledge that there are LMS alums to be found at the University of Chicago, UGA, Emory University, Ole Miss, and Chattanooga Community College.
Do you give grades?
While we give scores on assignments where appropriate, we do not give letter grades. Students are encouraged to continue to refine assignments or practice skills until they demonstrate mastery.
For the purposes of high school admission, we offer a pass-fail transcript. Parents will also receive a detailed progress report each year.
what kind of students attend the little middle school?
Students come to us from public and private schools as well as homeschooling. They sometimes have special learning challenges, like ADHD, dyslexia, or giftedness. Sometimes they're seeking a respite from bullying or school-related anxiety. Sometimes they are dealing with medical issues, an exceptionally busy extracurricular schedule, or other unusual circumstances. Sometimes they are looking for a private school education at a fraction of the usual cost.
Whatever the case, we are willing to consider each student as an individual. We accept students on a rolling basis, which means we don't have a traditional admissions calendar. We are as likely to accept a new student in October as we are in March.
Do you offer scholarships?
At the present time, we do not have scholarships available. We keep our tuition as low as possible so that it can be accessible to families who never thought they would attend anything other than public school.
how do you know the students are learning?
Our teachers see our students every day, all day, year after year. Not only do we design assessments so that we can see the student's process (in other words, asking them to draw a diagram, write a paragraph, or explain something verbally rather than fill out a worksheet), we can literally look over their shoulders as they work in order to witness their progress from day to day, and clear up any issues that may arise.
In short, we know they are learning because we have eyes and ears to see it. You will see it, too -- not only subject knowledge, but new skills related to leadership, perseverance, self-advocacy, self-knowledge, executive functioning, curiosity, thinking, and clear communication.