Admissions


Thank you for your interest in Academy of Whole Learning.

We are an accredited and nationally acclaimed School of Excellence and the onlyprivate k-12 school in the Twin Cities (and one of a handful of schools in the world) that is specifically designed for students with autism spectrum disorder and individual learning needs.

At Academy of Whole Learning our Lower School (Kindergarten to 6th grade) and Upper School (grades 7-12) share one school, inspiring each other, supporting each other, challenging each other, and together, we are The Exceptional School for Exceptional Learners.

Finding the right school for your son, daughter, granddaughter, grandson, niece, nephew or friend can be a daunting task. Academy of Whole Learning has an admissions process that is designed so the, applicant, parents or guardian and school can make an informed decision about whether the Academy will be the right fit for your child.

We welcome you to explore our website, our school, and our community! We look forward to working with you as you move forward in the admissions process.

Now accepting applications!

We are now accepting applications for the 2020-21 School Year. Please view the Admissions Process section below to begin the application process, or call (952) 737-6900 to find out more information.

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    Admissions Process

    The Admissions Process at Academy of Whole Learning is a series of conversations, information, data collection, and observations conducted by the Academy of Whole Learning Admissions Team. The goal is to best understand the individual needs of each applicant. During this process, families come to understand the Academy stands by its mission to provide a personalized learning path integrating academic, social and life skills for qualifying students with autism spectrum disorder or related learning differences.

    Steps in the Process

    1. The admissions process starts with thoroughly reading through the school’s website in order to gain a full understanding of our mission and the students we serve.
    2. Prospective parents interested in our school should schedule a tour of our facility in order to view our students in action and ask additional questions regarding our program.
    3. Apply by submitting the following admissions documents to AOWL.
      - Completed application, including a photo of the applicant and $150 non-refundable application fee payable to Academy of Whole Learning.
      - Current IEP and most recent comprehensive assessment OR psychological-educational evaluation given within the past year.
      - Clinical evaluations (OT, PT, Speech Therapies, etc.), completed Teacher Input Form and school transcripts or report cards.
    4. Once AOWL has received all required admissions documents, a thorough document review and screening will be completed. A full-day student shadow will be scheduled in one of our classrooms. All 2020-21 Admissions Forms can be found above.
    5. If after facility tour, review of a student’s application and student shadow, the AOWL Admissions Team believe the Academy can support the student, an offer of admission will be made.
    6. Return signed contract and non-refundable $1,000 deposit. The enrollment contract Terms and Conditions can be found here.

    We do occasionally enroll students after the school year has begun, but acceptance is very selective.

    Please note that no formal evaluation is completed by Academy of Whole Learning prior to admission. Parents are encouraged to have a full evaluation completed by a developmental pediatrician or psychologist or must provide a recent psychological-educational evaluation and school records. An updated evaluation must be submitted every three years once enrolled.

    Every student who is admitted to Academy of Whole Learning must have a completed medical examination and immunization report.

    If questions should arise pertaining to the admission policies or procedures, please contact admissions at (952) 737-6900 or admissions@academyofwholelearning.org.

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    Student Eligibility

    There are many reasons families seek out Academy of Whole Learning, but the most common reason is that their child’s current school is not meeting their child’s academic and/or social needs. Students at AOWL have a primary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or related learning differences.  The students at Academy of Whole Learning are engaged in learning, manage themselves and their belongings, and are capable of attending school without  1:1 para professional support.

    The following characteristics describe our students:

    • Our students are capable of learning.
    • Our students are independently mobile.
    • Our students function independently in the classroom.
    • Our students perform all their own personal care.
    • Our students behave in a way that permits the learning of themselves and others to progress.
    • Our students have primary diagnoses that preclude a mental or behavioral disorder.

    In order to ensure that your student will benefit from our program,  we require a current neuro-psych or psycho-educational evaluation prior to admission.

    Equal Opportunity

    Academy of Whole Learning values each student’s gifts as an individual, regardless of age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Academy of Whole Learning is unable to meet the needs of students with emotional or behavioral issues that may negatively impact the learning environment.This policy applies to all areas of student concerns; including admissions, athletics, educational policies, tuition assistance, and other school-administered programs.

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    Tuition & Assistance

    Tuition and Tuition Assistance

    Providing a specialized education program with a 4:1 student-to-adult ratio and an average class size of 8 is a very effective, but expensive, educational model.

    Academy of Whole Learning is a non-profit, privately funded school for children with autism spectrum disorder or related learning differences. Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year is $30,325. (Plus a $300 technology fee).

    Academy of Whole Learning fundraises to fill an approximate 20% gap between the actual tuition cost and the tuition rate charged to families. For example, in 2016-2017, the ACTUAL cost to educate each student at Academy of Whole Learning for primary was$31,230.00 and the rate we charged was $26,000. The cost to educate each student in our upper school is $29,445 and the rate we charged was $24,215.Thus, Academy of Whole Learning offered a subsidy of $5230 on tuition to every family.

    Our Board has been committed to offering a subsidized rate in order to make an education at Academy of Whole Learning more affordable for our families. Tuition pays for approximately 80% of AOWL’s operating costs. The “gap” funding comes from individual and corporate donations, grants, and fundraising events. Without these funding sources, yearly tuition cost would be over $30,000 per year.

    Click here for the 2020-2021 tuition and fees.

    TuitionAssistance

    We at Academy of Whole Learning understand and appreciate the financial commitment families assume in deciding to send their children to a special private school. Assistance is based on the family’s financial need and the amount of money we were able to raise through development efforts.

    Academy of Whole Learning accepts students for admission without regard to their financial status. Decisions regarding tuition assistance are made completely independently from the admissions decision.

    To help us objectively assess what a family is able to contribute toward education expenses for their child, we use TADS as a trusted third party.  TADS provides an analysis of a family’s “Estimated Family Contribution” and is a critical component of our tuition assistance award decisions, however it is just a start. To make our tuition assistance award decisions, we use TADS results as the baseline for our review, taking into consideration our total tuition assistance budget, other information we may have collected, our school’s policies and priorities, and the needs of the entire applicant pool. 

    Please visit the TADS website by clicking the button below.  Create a new account and complete the financial assistance application process.

    Click here to apply at tads.com

    State legislation makes it possible for many parents of independent school students to receive partial rebates on transportation costs. In addition, parents may also claim a deduction on their Minnesota State Income Tax return. Tax laws are subject to change. For up-to-date details, confer with your tax advisor.

    The Robert F. Crosby Scholarship  

    Robert and Teri Crosby have generously donated $1 million to establish the Robert F. Crosby Scholarship Fund.  This scholarship fund will provide financial support to eligible families who would not otherwise be able to afford the tuition to attend Academy of Whole Learning.
    “We are absolutely thrilled and honored to receive this generous gift from Robert and Teri. It will have a profoundly positive impact on the community we serve,” says Dr. Wyayn Rasmussen, Executive Director of Academy of Whole Learning. “This scholarship fund will change the lives and paths of development for many deserving neurodiverse students for years to come.”
    The Crosbys have dedicated substantial time and resources pursuing philanthropy projects supporting Academy of Whole Learning, Second Harvest Heartland and other organizations. “Academy of Whole Learning is one of the strongest schools we have observed across the nation serving this high-need community. Their programs and services are top-notch,” says Robert Crosby. “The success stories and testimonials coming from families and students are the ultimate gifts, beyond the value of any donation. Teri and I are so pleased to be able to work with Wyayn and the outstanding team she has assembled. It’s a privilege to be able to share in the development and advancement of the students who attend such an important institution in our community.”

    If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, please submit an application here

    *Applications for the 2021-22 school year beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

    *In addition to submitting this application, families must also submit a financial aid  TADS application 

    Register with Smart Tuition   

    If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to register with Smart Tuition, our school payment system. You will use Smart Tuition for your tuition payments and also for convenient payment of other school fees such as after school clubs, field trip costs, home base, yearbook, spirit wear and other fees that arise throughout the school year. You may also make payments by check, automatic bank withdrawals or by credit/debit card.

    Even if you’re paying your tuition in full and not using a monthly payment plan, we encourage you to register with Smart Tuition for the convenience of other school payments.

    Enroll in Smart Tuition at:  www.enrollwithsmart.com

    Our school code is:    13312   

    If you have questions, please contact Mike Onan, AOWL Accountant.  952-737-6900 or mike.onan@aowl.org

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    Admissions Forms

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    Evergreen Enrollment

    "Evergreen" Enrollment Information

    Why Evergreen Enrollment? 

    Academy of Whole Learning has adopted a new way to re-enroll our current students, starting with the 2020/21 school year. We understand and are thankful that the vast majority of AOWL families choose to remain at AOWL for many years, so we are moving towards a simple, seamless process for you to keep your child enrolled with us. You will now be able to enjoy a continuous enrollment system, reducing paperwork and making enrollment logistically very convenient. 

    What are the benefits of an Evergreen Contract? 

    • Simplicity! We look forward to serving AOWL families through a simple, seamless process for you to keep your child enrolled with us. 
    • Guaranteed placement. With Evergreen Contracts, you’ll be securing that coveted seat for your child each upcoming school year. 

    What is the Reservation Deposit? 

    The reservation deposit, formerly the re-enrollment deposit, secures placement for the upcoming year. This deposit is collected in order to assist the AOWL administration in effectively planning for facilities, staffing and curriculum for the upcoming school year. 

    How is the Reservation Deposit collected? 

    One Reservation Deposit per student is required to complete enrollment. The first year, you will sign the Evergreen Contract and then follow the Smart Tuition online re-enrollment instructions which will require you to set up a payment of the deposit (either ACH or Credit Card). The Reservation Deposit in subsequent years will be billed by AOWL via SmartTuition in March, but you will not need to sign a contract. 

    What happens if I don’t pay the Re-enrollment Reservation Deposit by the March 16th deadline? 

    The student will not be considered enrolled for the upcoming school year and the student’s spot is not guaranteed. 

    Is the Registration Deposit refundable? 

    Once paid, the annual Registration Deposit is non-refundable.Any Reservation Deposit paid will be refunded in the event the student is not invited by AOWL to return for the following school year. 

    What if I am behind on my account? 

    All accounts must be current in order to keep your student enrolled at AOWL. Students will not be considered enrolled for the upcoming school year until accounts are current and the Reservation Deposit is paid. 

    What will the tuition be next year? 

    Click /school/admissions/ for current tuition amounts. Tuition rates for the following year will be presented at the Annual Parent Meeting in January. 

    When can I apply for tuition assistance? 

    Currently enrolled families may complete the application for tuition assistance any time after January 1st. The application must be completed and submitted to TADS by end of day on February 14th. New families may apply at any time; the application will not be processed until the student has been accepted for enrollment. 

    How do I communicate my Payment Plan preference? 

    Select the Payment Plan and the day of the month you wish to make your payments due within Smart Tuition.  Questions can be directed to Mike Onan at mike.onan@aowl.org.   

    What if my student(s) is/are not returning next year? 

    To withdraw the student for the following academic year, the AOWL Official Withdrawal Notification Form available on our website must be completed. Your account must  be up-to-date before the withdrawal is final. 

    After this year, what will the Re-enrollment season look like? The typical re-enrollment season will simply be a communication reminder informing families that Smart Tuition will be billing your  Reservation Deposit in March. 

    Who should I contact if I have additional questions? Please contact Mike Onan, Director of Finance at mike.onan@aowl.org or 952-737-6914.

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    AOWL Information and Q&A Webinar

    On May 15, 2020, staff at AOWL conducted an information and Q&A session via Zoom. Below is a recording of the webinar. Please contact admissions@aowl.org with any questions.

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    Official Withdrawal

    Official Withdrawal

    To withdraw a student for the following academic year, you must complete the AOWL Official Withdrawal Notification Form here. Your account must be up-to-date before the withdrawal is final.