Frequently Asked Questions

What is Eyes and Brains STEM Center?

The first microschool in the Elkins area! We accept K-12 students.

What is a microschool?

Microschools are a private school movement that look more like the old one-room schoolhouse. Small groups of students from mixed ages and levels work together under one teacher.

What does STEM mean?

This school makes sure that science, technology, engineering, and math are all included in students’ learning.  Students who develop these learning areas are likely to use more creativity, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills.

Who will teach my child?

Eric Eisenbrey is the founder and the only teacher – so far!  Eric taught in public schools for 10 years. Eric has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, but he also has an extra degree in curriculum and instruction and has a range of teaching certifications in West Virginia.  As the school grows, a second teacher will be hired.

What will school look like for my child?

Students will start the day by sitting down together to share their goals for the day. After that, some time will be set aside for more traditional academic tasks.  Students will also spend time in passion projects.  On some days, the group may all work on a STEM activity, may attend an activity hosted by theatre staff, or may walk to a local downtown agency, such as the library.  Students will eat lunch together, complete chores to keep their school tidy, and will check back in on their goals at the end of the day.

What is a passion project?

We will encourage your student to think about things he/she is interested in learning more about. This is called student-centered learning rather than teacher-centered.

Will my child have homework?

No! Students spend enough time in school.  We will not require that students take their work home.

Who decides what my child is learning?

We believe that everyone has an equal voice at our school.  The student, the teacher, and the parents will work together to identify major goals, such as specific academic areas of focus.

How will I know my child is actually learning?

While students will not receive grades, their work will be captured and shared with parents using Classtag App.  A summary of their work will be gathered at the end of the school year; this is called a portfolio. Students also have the option to take the standardized tests used at the public schools.

How much will tuition cost?

A full year at Eyes and Brains STEM Center currently costs $6,600.  That is $550 a month.

What is included?

We will provide all learning materials.  This will include a personal tablet or laptop, subscriptions to programs and services, and paper materials tailored to your child’s learning goals.

Is there anything I need to provide for my child?

Please send lunch! Our location does not have a full kitchen.

Are there any programs that can help cover tuition?

If your child has been attending public school, he/she may qualify for the Hope Scholarship.  This new program in West Virginia allows parents to take their child’s state funding with them to use toward their education of choice after withdrawing from the public school.

How much will the Hope Scholarship help with tuition?

The Hope Scholarship is currently about $4,200.  That brings the monthly tuition down to $200.

What does the school year look like?

The school uses a year-round calendar that begins the first week of July.  We are closed for 6 full weeks each semester.  School closures provide breaks for families that either emphasize family time at key points of the year or provide opportunities for optional school field trips.

What if my child needs to miss school?

Whether the reason is illness, appointment, or a family vacation, it’s okay to miss some school.  Our year-round calendar allows 6 more weeks of education than the public school calendar. Your child can resume his/her individual learning goals when he/she returns.

What about snow days?

School will be open unless there is an advisory against travel. You may still choose to keep your child at home.

What about after school?

The school is open 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.  As public schools release for the day, Eyes and Brains STEM Center transitions to after-school programs open to all community children.

What after-school programs are available?

Robotics Teams will run from August to May. 

Available teams are: PreK-1st grade; 2nd to 4th grade; and 5th to 8th grade. 

Older groups can compete in regional competitions. 

Each group meets 1 or 2 days a week until about 5:00.

See the Robotics page for more details.