Admission Process and Policies
The admissions process applies to applicants from every age-grade level that is offered at Touchstone.
The process, structured as six steps, helps us become acquainted with you and your child/children. Touchstone’s methodology, curriculum and resources are not a perfect fit for every potential student or their parents. The admissions process ensures that the students we enroll have every chance of success within the framework of our social and learning environment.
How To Apply
Step 1: Visit the school
We will take you on a tour through the building, explain our approach and answer any questions you may have.
Step 2: Complete the application form
For September enrollment, we ask parents to complete the application form by January 31st, so that the admissions process can be completed by May. However, we do accept applications year-round.
- Download the Preschool/Junior Kindergarten application.
- Download the Kindergarten - Grade 5 application.
Step 3: Classroom Visit
At this stage, if your child has not already spent some time in a Touchstone classroom, we will invite you to schedule a visit. This allows our teachers to become acquainted with your child while he or she joins in classroom activities in a fun and relaxed way.
Step 4: Interview
The next step in the process entails an interview with a member of our Board of Directors and the Principal, Angela Prosser.
The interview can be scheduled to coincide with your child’s visit, or can be arranged at a more convenient time.
Whenever possible, we like to have both parents present for the interview. During this session, you will have an opportunity to share additional information about your child with us, and we will explain our policies and expectations.
Step 5: Previous School Reference
After your child visits, when applicable, we will contact his or her previous or current teacher or child care provider. This third-party evaluation is a valuable source of information for us.
The reference is provided directly to the school in strict confidence. The comments are not shared with the applicant’s parents.
Step 6: Notification Of Decision
You will receive an acceptance letter when all the previous steps of the process have been completed. We maintain waiting lists for classes that are full, and will notify you if an opening occurs for your child.
The decision whether to accept an applicant is made by the school and is final. The reasons for our decision are confidential, in order to maintain uninhibited input from references, interviewers, and observers used in the application process.
It is essential that applicants’ parents understand the school’s mission statement and objectives, as well as the fact that Touchstone Academy is a partnership among teachers, students, and parents.
Ongoing parental involvement in Touchstone Academy is a crucial and necessary prerequisite for carrying out the mission and objectives of the school. The apparent willingness of parents to contribute to Touchstone’s ongoing efforts in a meaningful manner is an intended component of the evaluation process.
We are looking for families with whom we can communicate in an atmosphere of trust and shared responsibility.
Note: If after acceptance it becomes clear that Touchstone Academy is not a suitable environment for a student, or if the student or his or her parents are not supportive of the program, it is the school’s obligation to advise the parents to remove their child from the school. The school reserves the right to do this at any time.
Siblings of students attending Touchstone Academy must meet the same admissions criteria as non-siblings.
Note: This policy guides our admissions selection process when the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces available.
All applicants who apply by January 31st are included in the first round of the admissions process (i.e., first come, first considered).
Every family goes through an evaluation process to ensure that the applicant is ready for a full day of school and that the parents understand and are committed to Touchstone’s philosophy.
All applicants who are deemed ready and committed are selected in the following order:
- Siblings of current Touchstone students
- Children of Touchstone faculty
- All other applicants (these applicants will be selected by lottery, ensuring a gender balance)
- Those who apply after January 31st enter a second round of the admissions process and go through the same process as outlined above, provided there are still spaces available.
Tutition Payment/Early Withdrawal Policy
Because Touchstone is a not-for-profit, small, independent school, the withdrawal of a student has a significant “ripple effect” on the school’s operating budget, student-to-teacher ratios, and ultimately leads to increased tuition for parents of remaining students in that year or future years. For these reasons the following policy has been established.
All scheduled tuition and other fees due and owing must be paid in full prior to the student attending the first day of classes.
In the case of student withdrawal from the school, written notice must be given to the school’s principal.
If a student withdraws from the school prior to September 1st, the parents of the child forfeit payments made up to and including the date of withdrawal. For example, if a student withdraws from the school on August 31st, the non-refundable amount would include the deposit plus all tuition due and payable up to and including the August 1st installment.
In the case of student withdrawal beyond September 1st, 100% of the annual tuition is considered owing and non-refundable. If the annual tuition has been paid in a lump-sum fashion, tuition will be forfeited or reimbursed according to when the student is withdrawn, along the same timeline outlined above, with the same September 1st cut-off date.
The Board of Directors reserves the right to request a re-enrolment interview with any family. On occasion, the Board may have reason to ask a family to withdraw their child or children from Touchstone Academy.
Appropriate notice will be given at the discretion of the Board.