SANT BANI SCHOOL
Welcome to Sant bani school!
Sara Nicolaisen '04 P'29
and Student Life
Thank you for your interest in Sant Bani School! We are excited to have you learn more about us as you consider Sant Bani School as a next step in your child’s educational journey.
We are a small, close-knit community led by a team of dedicated educators. Our priority is to ensure that Sant Bani School students feel safe, welcome, and accepted while they challenge themselves and expand their horizons. Combining a traditional classroom experience with outdoor-based lessons – afforded by our access to 200 acres of nature – and multi-age interaction opportunities, we aim to help our students develop a full range of social and emotional skills as they prepare for high school and beyond.
I hope you will consider scheduling a campus visit for your family to get a firsthand glimpse of what Sant Bani School has to offer. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about the admissions process.
Sara Nicolaisen ’04 P’29
To learn more about Sant Bani School and begin the application process, please visit the FACTS Application Portal and create an applicant account.
Schedule a Tour
We strongly encourage prospective families to schedule a campus visit as a part of the application process. Tours are available Monday through Friday year-round. You may schedule a tour by contacting Director of Admission and Student Life Sara Nicolaisen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete Your Application
Our application goes live on November 1 (but you may begin your process with a campus tour before then). To be considered in the first round of admissions decisions, applications must be completed by February 1. Families who miss the February 1 deadline may still complete the application process at any time. Please note that the Financial Aid deadline is February 15. A list of materials needed to complete your child’s application can be found in your FACTS applicant account.
Prospective families: keep track of upcoming important dates in the application process and the supplemental information required for various grades by viewing and printing the application timeline and checklist.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition for the 2023-2024 school year is $10,500 for grades K-8 and for Little Swans who enroll in the five-day program (Little Swans enrolled in preschool for fewer than five full days per-week have lower tuition; details here).
In addition to the regular school day (8:30am to 3:10pm), the optional extended-day enrichment program, held until 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday, is included in K-8 tuition.
A $500 non-refundable deposit (per-student) is due at the time of enrollment to reserve a spot for your student(s) for the upcoming school year; this deposit goes toward a family’s tuition.
Bus service is available for K-8 students from a number of local communities; Routes include Concord and Tilton, New Hampton and Plymouth; and Franklin and Andover. Bussing fees are assessed separately. For the 2023-24 school year, round-trip bus service is $1,000 for one child, and $500 for each additional sibling; morning or afternoon bus service is $600 for one child, and $250 for each additional sibling.
Nominal fees may also be associated with participation in some clubs, special events and activities.
Affording a Sant Bani School Education
Sant Bani School offers need-based financial aid for families who cannot afford to pay full tuition. The financial aid application deadline is February 15, and the financial aid application can be accessed in the FACTS application portal.
Sant Bani School annually awards $275,000 in financial aid to its students. It is important to note that applying for financial aid does not guarantee that a family will receive the requested amount; each application is reviewed on an individual basis with grant amounts being determined by a family’s demonstrated need.
Families whose students enroll mid-year will not be considered for Financial Aid for that school year. They may apply for aid for the following school year.
All parents/guardians will need to contribute financially to a Sant Bani School education. In cases of divorce, separation, or non-marriage, both parent households will need to fill out financial aid information and assume responsibility for their child’s educational expenses unless specific court-ordered arrangements or divorce agreements indicating otherwise are supplied to the School. If special circumstances exist, please be sure to include that in the optional personal statement.
The New Hampshire Children’s Scholarship Fund is an additional resource of tuition assistance for families seeking an independent school education. Please click on the link above to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to take a campus tour as part of the application process?
We strongly encourage prospective families to take a guided tour as part of the application process, but it is not required; however, children must do a full-day visit with their current grade for their application to be considered complete.
Tours are available for families who wish to schedule one Monday through Friday year-round.
Can we tour even if there are no openings?
Yes, we would love to show you the school in action! Contact Sara Nicolaisen to arrange a visit.
Is there a minimum age for Little Swans? Kindergarten?
Students applying for Little Swans must be 3 years old by September 30 and potty trained to be considered. Students applying for Kindergarten must be 5 years old by September 30.
When should I begin the application process?
Applications go live on November 1, and the application process must be completed by February 1 for a student to be considered in our first round of admissions decisions.
Families may schedule a tour and interview prior to November 1, and we offer tours and accept applications throughout the year. Please note that we cannot guarantee financial aid to any family that completes the application process after February 1.
Do you admit students mid-year?
If there is room in the student’s grade, we welcome applications for mid-year enrollment.
Families whose students enroll mid-year will not be considered for Financial Aid for that school year.
I saw on your website I’ve missed the application deadline – may I still apply?
Applications after the deadline are welcome - please contact Sara Nicolaisen for more information.
May my child visit a class for the day?
Yes - in fact, students must complete a full-day visit with their current grade as part of their application process. Logistics of the visit will be determined by COVID protocols and shared with the family as they begin their process.
Newly accepted students are invited to attend our annual Move Up Day in early June to meet their new classmates and teachers and experience a day at Sant Bani School.
I cannot afford to pay full tuition. Is Financial Aid available?
Yes, any family that cannot pay full tuition may apply for Financial Aid. Awards are based on need and each family’s application is considered individually.
It is important to note that families who apply for mid-year enrollment will not be considered for Financial Aid for that school year. They may apply for aid for the following school year.
Do you have a sliding scale for tuition if more than one child enrolls?
No – there is no reduction in tuition for additional siblings.
Are there additional fees throughout the school year?
Students who ride the bus are assessed a transportation fee; there is a reduction in rates for families with more than one child. Some field trips and clubs have associated fees, though every effort is made to keep these reasonable.
Do you offer Special Services?
Sant Bani may provide support for a limited time to a student with demonstrated need. All students are expected to meet teacher and classroom expectations independently; the School does not modify the content of coursework for students.
Do you ever allow bright children to skip a grade? Can (s)he be tested to determine which grade is the best fit?
Our experience and field research suggest that children do best socially with their age-peers.
My child is struggling at their current school. Do you accept students who are facing challenges and need to make a change?
We understand that not every child finds success in every educational environment, and we have had many students thrive here after difficulty elsewhere. We are happy to discuss with you whether your child has the ability to succeed within our curriculum, and can contribute positively to the community.
Do you admit children who need a one-to-one classroom aide?
Sant Bani School cannot support students who need an individual classroom aide.
What does Sant Bani Mean?
Visitors often wonder about the name Sant Bani. There are several possible interpretations from the ancient Sanskrit language; in its simplest explanation, it means the "Song of the Spirit."
What is an Ashram?
Ashram is a generic term used to describe a place of retreat, prayer, and service. Thus Sant Bani Ashram could be defined as a retreat place (Ashram) dedicated to the Song of the Spirit.
Do you have a religious affiliation with the Ashram? Is religion taught?
While we exist harmoniously with the Ashram, Sant Bani School and Sant Bani Ashram have been separate entities since 1983. Sant Bani School has no religious affiliation and welcomes students of all faiths. Religion is not included in the curriculum.
Why do you require a vegetarian diet?
Sant Bani Ashram and its surrounding land was established as a sanctuary for living creatures, and beyond the obvious restrictions against hunting and fishing, there is also the practice of following a vegetarian diet. This diet, a means to cause as little harm as possible, is practiced in the School as well. While students and families are not asked to change their diets outside of school, it is required that all food brought to and consumed on campus, or as part of any school functions, be vegetarian and egg-free.
Why do students and staff wear indoor shoes?
The tradition of wearing indoor shoes dates to the school’s founding. In our rural setting with gravel paths throughout campus, hundreds of shoes going in-and-out of buildings each day can track in a lot of dirt or mud! Wearing indoor shoes helps keep our buildings clean. Each grade cohort has a designated building entrance and vestibule where students can change from their outdoor shoes (and clothes, in the winter) to their indoor shoes, and vice versa.
What is the length of the school day?
The school day begins at 8:30 AM and concludes at 3:10 PM. An optional after-school Enrichment program runs until 4:15 PM, Monday through Thursday, with bus service and parent pick-up at 4:30 PM. Sports practices conclude in time for students to make it to 4:30 pick-up. Students who do not participate in Enrichment may be picked up at 3:30 PM.
On Friday, all students depart at 3:30 PM.
Do you offer bus service? Where do the bus routes go?
Bus service is offered for an additional fee. Routes may change from year-to-year depending on demand. In 2022-23, stops are located in Concord (2), Tilton, Plymouth, New Hampton, Andover, and Franklin.
Do you have pre-school?
Yes, Little Swans Pre-School is available for children between ages 3-5. Students must be at least 3 years old before September 30 to be eligible.
Do you have half-day Kindergarten?
Half-day Kindergarten is not available.
How do you treat disciplinary offenses?
The School values the safety and well-being of all its students and staff. Behavior that affects the atmosphere of the School – because it is disruptive, dangerous, disrespectful, or hurtful – will not be tolerated. Minor disciplinary offenses are handled by teachers through a reflection system. Repeat offenders or major offenses are handled by the Administration and may result in loss of privilege, suspension, or expulsion.
At what age do you start foreign language studies?
Beginning in Kindergarten, all students have Spanish classes included in their curriculum.
What sports are offered?
Students may begin playing sports in 5th grade. Interscholastic sport offerings include cross country, soccer, rock climbing, and track and field.
Do you have an Arts program?
Visual arts, performing arts, and music classes are included in the curriculum for all students, and students may sign up for optional music lessons. Each year, the school holds one major theatrical production that is open to students in grades 3-8, as part of either the cast or the production crew. Arts-related programs often are included in the after-school Enrichment or Friday Clubs offerings.