Admissions FAQ

What is Mainspring Academy’s philosophy?

Mainspring Academy is a premier, independent, educational institution, focusing on developing an individualized academic program where children progress through a curriculum of concepts and skills at their own pace. We believe that individuals with learning differences can be taught effectively only when instructional methods and curricula are tailored to each student’s unique learning needs. We utilize a variety of instructional techniques and methods, believing that no one system is ideal for every child. Study and organizational skills are embedded in the curriculum to promote self-reliance and future academic success. Students develop an internal sense of organization and motivation through choice-making, experiencing the results of hard work and pursuing academic inquiry. Mainspring Academy focuses on how each child can learn best, rather than on having the group “cover” a specific quantity of material. Consultation between parents, classroom teachers, resource teachers, private therapists and other specialists is continuous, so that each child’s program can be modified to meet his or her specific needs.

What makes Mainspring Academy different from other schools?

Mainspring Academy believes that learning comes from experiencing. We take our students on a daily journey to different environments, both inside and outside of the classroom. These journeys create opportunities that enhance academic and social learning and encourage life experience.

  • Academic and social learning: Mainspring Academy believes in an integrated approach to academic and social learning. Daily activities, whether academic, therapeutic, artistic or physical, are connected as part of thematic units. This integrated approach allows Mainspring students to see meaning and purpose in each and every activity. The students feel stimulated and confident as their learning allows them to make connections, generalize information and apply their skills inside and outside of our classroom walls.
  • Values and character: Mainspring Academy believes that teaching values and building character is integral to its program. Therefore, virtues, positive reinforcement, community responsibility and outreach are part of the Mainspring day. Many students partake in school contracts enabling them to earn positive incentives for hard work and appropriate behavior. As a vehicle for learning, understanding and developing empathy as well as understanding the gifts of giving and thinking responsibly, Mainspring students conduct “hands-on” community projects and are encouraged with positive incentives for hard work and appropriate behavior.
  • Mind-body connection: Mainspring Academy believes in the mind-body connection. In furtherance of the connection between movement and learning, the Mainspring day includes daily sensory exploration, movement breaks, brain-gym exercises, physical education with fitness experts, yoga and after school sports.

What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

In a majority of classes, the student-to-teacher ratio usually is no more than 5:2, with some classes at 6:2.   The class size depends on the developmental needs of the students. Each classroom has a lead teacher and a paraprofessional.   Additionally, resource teachers, BCBA’s, and RBT’s frequently provide push-in and pull-out interventions to address goals for intensive 1:1 instruction.

How are classroom placements decided?

Students are placed in classrooms that will best meet their developmental, behavioral and academic needs. Teaching and learning styles are taken into consideration, as well as the age and maturity of the student.

I would like my child’s private thereapist to attend school with them, is this allowed?

Yes!  At Mainspring we believe that team collaboration promotes consistency and maximizes student success.   We are willing to work with all credentialed therapists.  We do require that all providers provide proof of a Level 2 background screening and that a provider code of conduct is signed by the provider and his/her supervisor.

Are there rooms for 1:1 therapy?

Our new location has 3 private testing rooms that can be utilized for 1:1 assessments and therapy sessions.  In addition other less sterile spaces are available for 1:1 work.

Does the Mainspring Academy Accept or Offer Scholarships?

Mainspring Academy accepts the John McKay scholarship and the Gardiner Scholarship. In addition, a limited number of Hardship Scholarships are awarded based on financial and educational need. Please visit our funding matrix under the “Parent’s Corner” for additional funding information.

If Payment Is Not Received When Due, Will My Child Still Be Enrolled?

Unless special arrangements are made, your child could be dismissed from school if payment is not timely. Before any child is dismissed from the school, parents or legal guardians are informed in writing.

Can I Authorize Automatic Payment Via My Credit Card For Tuition and Related Services?

Yes. All parents on a monthly payment plan are required to keep a card on file which will be charged if tuition payment is not received on the date due.   Payments are required by the 15th of each month. If payment is not received, the credit card on file will be charged on the 16th of the given month.

What opportunities are available for parent to be involved in their child’s school experience?

Parents have many opportunities to be involved at Mainspring. Our Board of Directors recruits community, corporate, and parent volunteers to assist them in carrying out major fundraising events and campaigns. Our parents  organize innumerable school and family activities and they are always happy to have new volunteers. We also host a day devoted to Grandparents and Special Friends. We feel that communication is an integral part of successful school experience. In addition to providing parent collaboration and ILP meetings, we encourage parents to communicate with teachers via phone or email. Also, parents are always welcome to request a meeting with their child’s team members.  We truly believe that that parent involvment is a fundamental component to our student’s success.