Starting an Ambleside School

Starting an Ambleside School is one of the most challenging
and most rewarding endeavors that one can undertake.
                                          - Ambleside School Founder

For those with a vision to establish an Ambleside school in their community, Ambleside Schools International has been supporting member school start-ups since 2000.

Starting an Ambleside School from Ambleside Schools International on Vimeo.

Starting an Ambleside School: A Three-Stage Process

Throughout this process we suggest that you continually walk in God’s presence, discern His continued calling to found an Ambleside School and seek His provision through prayer.

Successful founders of Ambleside Schools have pursued clarity in two key areas.  First, they gained enough understanding of Ambleside’s philosophy and methods to build an informed conviction that Ambleside offers an optimal approach to education and response to the education needs of their community. Nothing else would suffice. Second, they amassed the skill sets and resources necessary to lead and operate an Ambleside School.  While there are many ways to launch a school, regardless of the approach, these two facets must be addressed.

Stage One: The Decision for an Ambleside School

To choose to start an Ambleside School is to choose a very definite philosophy of education and a very specific method of educating. Per Ambleside’s mission and faith commitment, Ambleside Schools seek to provide children with a “living education” based upon the scriptural principles of Jesus Christ and the pedagogical insights of British educator, Charlotte Mason.  Stage one is the process of performing due diligence, by which you may come to a firm conviction of the importance of bringing an Ambleside education to your community. Further, you must believe that God has called you to this work. Finally, in Stage One, it is important to discern that now is the time to proactively seek to start an Ambleside School. 

Stage Two: Building the Foundation

A core team of two to three families/singles and necessary resources join in the initial stages in founding an Ambleside School. While the decision to launch invariably comes prior to having all the needed personnel and resources in place, there is clarity regarding the needs and potential sources of provision.  Setting a definite date for the first day of school concludes Stage Two.

Stage Three: Preparing to Launch

Stage Three is the final gathering of persons and resources to meet the desired launch date.  It is the heavy ‘doing’ stage, gathering founding families, finding facilities, conducting Open Houses, ordering curriculum, etc.

A Note Regarding Investment of Personal Resources: Time and Money

Initially, the principle investment is time. As the school startup process enters into stages two and three, there will be a progressive need to invest financially. Historically, these financial costs have been covered by personal financial gifts on the part of the founders and by donors in the community. Expect the required investment to increase incrementally. Costs in stage one are minimal, in stage two they are moderate, and in stage three they are more extensive.

As a non-profit organization, ASI seeks to maximize its service, not its profit. However, charging reasonable fees for service is essential to accomplishing the ASI mission. A listing of ASI fees for service is available through this link.

Remarkably, arguably miraculously, provision has been the experience of many of our schools. Yet, this has not been without the effort of prayer and sacrificial giving by the founders of both time and financial resources. To date, it has been our experience that financial resources have never been the limiting factor for starting an Ambleside school.  While money is important, other resources for key personnel, families and facilities will require consistent prayer.

Beginning the Journey

Throughout the process we suggest that you continually walk in God’s presence, discern His continued calling to found an Ambleside School and seek His provision through prayer.

ASI will be available to consult and to provide helpful resources. For example, once the relationship with ASI is formalized (beginning of Stage 2), you will have access to ASI School Startup resources, including but not limited to:

  • Recommended Parent Manual and Teacher Manual
  • Recommended Board Policy Manual
  • Sample budgets
  • Sample business plans
  • Sample startup web pages
  • Sample marketing materials

Click the link to Stage One: The Decision for an Ambleside School. After completing a set of initial recommended tasks, you will be encouraged to contact Ambleside Schools International for the purpose of scheduling a personal call.