Drinking Gourd Elementary School

How and When to Enroll

The Drinking Gourd School admits students and families of any race, color, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities available at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs or any other school-administered programs.

Open House and school visits

Open House events are held in January and February. After attending an Open House, interested parents schedule a day to visit the school with their child. Enrollment applications are accepted after this visit. Occasionally the teacher will request an appointment to work individually with the student at this time.

Enrollment Decisions

All students are considered for enrollment at the Drinking Gourd School. Each child is assessed before being offered a space.. The school will only offer a space to a student if we are sure we can meet that child's learning, behavioral, and emotional needs. Additional time for assessment, formal evaluations, a visit to the child's current school or previous school records may be required.

All applications are accepted for the next school year until April 15. After that date, the teacher considers every child's application and makes decisions about how to fill the open places in the class.

These decisions are very difficult to make and are based upon several factors: maintaining a balance of ages, academic levels, gender, personality styles, and special needs. Priority is given to children who would benefit most from the school's special program. Priority is also given to minority children.


There is no fee to apply for enrollment.

Applications are accepted until April 15. Classes are filled by May 1. A waiting list is made at that time and parents are told where their child's name is on the list. Children who are awarded a space have that space reserved for them for September with a reservation form and a non-refundable $200 deposit, which will be applied to the $400 materials fees.

Spaces are often available during the school year. Parents can call at any time for more information about space availability or to schedule a tour of the school.


The Drinking Gourd School remains committed to keeping tuition within reach of as many families as possible. Each family is allowed to choose their own tuition level on a sliding scale. Families are trusted to financially support the school at the highest level they can afford, taking into account a general guideline provided by the school as well as special circumstances like high medical bills.

Partial scholarships are often available for students whose families are unable to pay the $5,500 base tuition rate. The school makes more scholarship positions available whenever space permits.


The following parents will be glad to discuss the school with you:

Current Parents: 

Thea and Nalen Hall - theaalbright[at]gmail[dot]com 

Past Parent and Current Board Member: 

Lara Sheridan - lara.sheridan[at]comcast[dot]net 


FOR MORE INFORMATION: call Trisha Whitney at 541-689-5255