ADMISSIONS

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.

~J.P. Morgan

Who Should Apply?

The Liberty School works with both dyslexic and gifted students. Through a multi-step process, we can adequately become familiarized with a prospective student's unique academic abilities and needs, and then, determine whether we are able to meet those needs. The student profiles that we serve are featured below:

Dyslexic Student Profile

The Liberty School primarily works with students who have been diagnosed with a language-based learning disability commonly known as dyslexia. (Note: The public school system often does not use the term “dyslexia” but refers to this impairment as a specific learning disability (SLD).) Most of our dyslexic students possess average to superior cognitive abilities, as measured by the Wechsler Scales (WISC or WAIS) and have a healthy social and emotional well-being. They have well-developed reasoning and comprehension skills but often have relative weaknesses in processing speed and/or working memory. Liberty students are motivated to learn even though they previously struggled in traditional classrooms because their reading, writing, computing, and organizational skills did not match their cognitive potential. Many of our students have a secondary diagnosis of the following: dysgraphia, dyscalculia, executive function disorder and ADHD.

Gifted Student Profile
The Liberty School also works with students who are identified as academically gifted in at least one area as measured by the Wechsler Scales (WISC or WAIS), the Naglieri non-verbal ability test, the COGAT, or alternative means if a learning disability may have impacted other assessments. Gifted students do not need to have a learning disability such as dyslexia or dysgraphia to attend the Liberty School, though many do.

Many of our gifted students have social-emotional needs associated with giftedness that may have made their experience in a public-school classroom difficult. Some of these may include: frustration from lack of challenge, over-excitabilities, or anxiety produced by perfectionism. 

Applicants We Are Not Qualified to Serve

Although each application is assessed individually to determine whether The Liberty School has the expertise to meet the specific needs of a student, students with the following learning profiles are likely better served by other schools or programs:

  • Emotional and/or behavioral disorders

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Nonverbal Learning Disability

  • Intellectual disabilities

  • Communication disorders requiring direct speech and language services

If you have questions about whether we can support your child’s learning profile, please contact our Head of School, Christian Holmen at cholmen@thelibertyschool.org.

 
 

Psycho-Educational Evaluations

A psycho-educational evaluation, sometimes referred to as a psych-ed eval or neuropsych eval, is a series of assessment tools which measures your child's competencies in the areas of reasoning, memory, and working efficiency and provides a clear understanding of how a student learns.

In order to determine if your child is a good fit for The Liberty School, we require a full psycho-educational evaluation, completed within the past 24 months. We will not consider an application without a psycho-educational evaluation. The Liberty School does not administer these evaluations; they must be completed by a qualified psychologist. 

 

For your convenience we've provided you with a list of qualified evaluators.

 

This battery of tests must include the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (WISC IV, WISC V, WIPPSI, or WAIS) and the Conners CBRS® Behavioral Assessment (or an equivalent behavioral assessment). The psycho-educational evaluation should also include a series of educational achievement tests. There is no “standard list” of educational tests to be administered, but testing often includes the following tests:
 

  • Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) - Selected Tests of Achievement and Cognitive Ability

  • Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT -5)

  • Test of Written Language-4 (TOWL-4)

  • Comprehensive Test of Phonological  Processing (CTOPP)

  • Test of Word Reading Efficiency - II (TOWRE-II)

  • Gordon Diagnostic System Behavior Assessment System for Children - 2 (BASC-2)

  • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)

  • Beery Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI)

 

Please consult with your educational psychologist to determine which battery of tests he/she believes is most appropriate for your child.

Admissions Process

Step 1: Submit a Psychological Evaluation for Initial Review

In order for us to ensure we can meet an applicant's needs, we will need to review a full psychological-educational evaluation. Please send this evaluation to Christian Holmen, our Head of School, by emailing him at cholmen@thelibertyschool.org. Our staff will then review the potential applicant's psychological educational evaluation and contact the family to let them know whether or not we the potential applicant might be a good fit for our school. (NotePlease review the section above for more details on what tests your child's psychological-evaluation should include.) 

Step 2: Shadow Day Invitation

If we believe the applicant is potentially a good fit, we will invite the student for a shadow day to observe the school.

Step 3: Final Review & Decision

After an applicant's student shadow day, our staff will convene and make the final decision. We will notify parents of our decision within 2 business days as to whether the potential student is/is not officially accepted.

Step 4: Complete the Online Enrollment Form & Submit Supporting Documents & Fees 

If the applicant is further deemed a good fit, the family will be invited to officially apply. At this point, please submit the following: ​

  1. Our online enrollment form which can be accessed by clicking this link

  2. A signed record release form which can be downloaded here

  3. Signed medical and liability documents which can be downloaded here

  4. A completed Tuition & Payment Plan agreement which can be accessed by clicking this link

  5. Reports from other educational service providers who work with the student

  6. An IEP and/or 504 if the student has one at their current school

  7. A $100 Application Fee (for first-time applicants only)

  8. A $500 non-refundable deposit of $500 to secure the student's place.

Note: Please be aware that when your child starts school, there is also a $175 Technology & Supply Fee which goes towards the costs of student technology, online subscriptions, and school supplies. We do not ask our families to purchase school supplies at the beginning of the school year as typically practiced at other schools. Our Technology & Supply Fee alleviates the need for families to purchase school supplies.

 
Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for The Liberty School's 2021-2022 school year is $16,700. Families will be billed monthly on a 10-month, pro-rated basis. We understand that an independent school choice can present a financial hardship and sacrifices to families and extended families. However, we are committed to helping families afford a Liberty School education. Options to help soften the cost of tuition are featured below.

 

The Liberty School Scholarship Fund

The Liberty School does offer a limited amount of scholarships based off financial need. Scholarships are evaluated by a committee and are awarded based upon need with many factors taken into consideration other than straight income. It is strongly suggested using the section to write your reasoning for requesting scholarship funding, and explain your situation regarding your ability to pay tuition. The scholarship application is available online and there are directions on where to submit supporting documents. 

Education Loans

The education loans for private elementary and secondary schools (K-12) include:

 

Sallie Mae K-12 Family Education Loan 

Sallie Mae offers the K-12 Family Education Loan to help parents pay for all or part of the cost of sending their children to private primary, middle and secondary schools, including prep schools, parochial schools, Montessori schools and boarding schools. Families can borrow from $1,000 up to the total cost of education. The loan is available to parents or other credit-worthy family members. Borrowers can choose to repay the loan over 1 to 3 years and there are no prepayment penalties. There is no application fee. Interest rates range from 1-Month LIBOR + 7.00% to 1-Month LIBOR + 11.50%. Disbursement fees range from 0% to 3%. The online application can be completed in about 20 minutes, with quick credit decisions. Sallie Mae also offers the Tutorial Financing Loan to help pay for the cost of tutoring to improve grades and performance on standardized tests. ​

Tuition Management Systems (TMS)

This is a subsidiary of the First Marblehead Corporation, offers the prepGATE Loan Program for financing private K-12 education. Loan amounts range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $30,000 per year (capped at the total cost of attendance minus other aid) with a $150,000 aggregate limit. The interest rates are variable, ranging from LIBOR + 5.99% to LIBOR + 10.4%. Origination fees range from 0.0% to 2.5%, depending on the repayment term. 5-year and 10-year repayment terms are available. There is a $50 minimum monthly payment. There is a 0.25% interest rate reduction for borrowers who repay their loans through auto-debit. For more information, call 1-866-362-4283.

Your Tuition Solution

Your Tuition Solution offers fixed-rate tuition financing plans to cover the cost of tuition and related expenses at more than 2,400 private K-12 schools in the United States. The loan amounts are $2,000 to $40,000. The interest rates are fixed, ranging from 3.99% to 17.99% APR, and depend on the loan term, tuition amount and the borrower's credit score. There are no origination or application fees and there is no prepayment penalty. Payments can be spread over 12 to 84 months. Your Tuition Solution is a program of Springstone Financial, LLC. 

Student Loans

Student loans are a possibility at some banks and credit unions. Check with your financial institution to determine if they offer student loans.

 
 

Tax Credits

For families of a dyslexic child, there are several ways get tax relief on your Liberty School tuition. The options are featured below:

 

Medical Deductions

Good news, the Liberty School tuition may be tax-deductible for your family as a medical expense! The IRS has defined dyslexia as a medical condition that impairs a child’s ability to learn. You will need to obtain a doctor's letter which states that your child has dyslexia and also features a recommendation that The Liberty School is an effective solution to remediate your child's condition.
 

IRS publication 502, under the heading of Special Education, states:

You can include in medical expenses the cost (tuition, meals, and lodging) of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child to overcome learning disabilities. A doctor must recommend that the child attend the school. Overcoming the learning disabilities must be a principal reason for attending the school. and any other ordinary education received must be incidental to the special education provided.

​​

Under the heading of Transportation, the publication states:

You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for the transportation for, and essential to, medical care... You can include out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gas and oil, when you use a car for medical reasons. You can't include depreciation, insurance, general repair, or maintenance expenses. If you do not want to use your actual expensesyou can use the standard mileage rateYou can also include parking fees and tolls. You can add these fees and tolls to your medical expenses whether you use actual expenses or use the standard mileage rate.

Please refer to the following excerpt featured below from the IRS publication 502 for updates to these deductions and also confer with your tax professional about your eligibility for this deduction.

Additional Tax Relief

The following may be options that can help pay tuition. Please refer to your tax professional for more information.

 

FSA - Flexible Spending Accounts

This type of account enables you to pay medical and/or other qualifying expenses (such as speech-language therapy) with pre-tax dollars. You elect to contribute a portion of your pay to the FSA. The money going into it avoids income tax, and thus actually lowers the cost of these services to you. This benefit may be available through your employer. This method is recommended for paying for private speech-language services, when insurance does not cover these services. If no FSA plan is available, perhaps your employer would consider setting one up. It seems likely that as insurance benefits are cut back, this particular benefit (FSAs) is going to be more valuable than ever before. 

HSA - Health Savings Account

​The Health Savings Account is similar to the Flexible Spending Account in that it is tax deferred (pre-tax) dollars you elect to save for the purpose of qualifying expenses. The Health Savings Account is not through an employer and many families qualify. 

529 College Savings Plan

The late 2017 tax overhaul now allows parents to withdraw up to $10,000 per year to pay for private primary and secondary education tuition. Click this link for an article that explains the guidelines to a 529 withdrawal for private school tuition. 

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

Contributions to Coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs) grow and compound tax-free until withdrawn. Withdrawals are also tax-free if used to pay for qualified education expenses of the ESA beneficiary. Qualified expenses include tuition, fees, academic tutoring, special needs services in the case of a "special needs beneficiary," books, supplies, and other equipment which are incurred in connection with the enrollment or attendance of the beneficiary as an elementary or secondary school student at a public, private, or religious school [IRC Sec. 530(b)(3)(A)]. So clients with special needs children can use ESAs as a tax-sheltered vehicle to save for their children's special education expenses.