Admissions FAQs

We hope this helps answer a few of your questions as you start getting to know River Farm Cooperative. We look forward to hearing from you.Please let us know if you have additional questions with an email to

Age Requirements
We expect applicants for kindergarten to be 5 by September 30th, however we are willing to consider an exceptional candidate who may turn 5 in the fall months.

Admissions Process and Timeline
Our regular admissions season begins with our January 15th application deadline and ends with decisions in early March. When space is available, we offer rolling admissions in the off-season. Applications may be downloaded from our website and must be returned electronically. There is a $75 non-refundable application fee for the first child and a $50 fee for sibling applicants.
Our admissions process includes: application, application fee, confidential student evaluation completed by the applicant’s current or former teacher, a student immersion visit day, a family play date with other school members, and a parent interview. Not all applicants will be invited to continue the process past the initial application. Applicants may be admitted for immediate enrollment, fall enrollment, wait listed, or not admitted. Wait listed applicants may be required to redo certain parts of our admissions process. Applicants who are not admitted may reapply. Admitted applicants are usually offered two weeks to accept and pay a non-refundable tuition deposit to hold their spot.

Co-op Options for Working Parents
Each member is required to co-op in the classroom 1-2 times per month, usually during the school day. In some cases, parents are able to arrange their work schedules such that they each alternate co-op responsibilities so that neither parent has a greater share of impact on their workday.
On average, each member has one co-op shift every 3-4 weeks, and in an alternating situation each parent would need to take off work once every 6-8 weeks. Some of our co-op shifts are all day (for field trips) and those count double. We also have two shifts that are on a Sunday evening. The co-op schedule is set as far in advance as possible so that parents can make appropriate arrangements with their work schedules.
We are exploring additional options to meet our member's needs.

Before and After School Child Care
We are not licensed to provide child care or transportation. We have many working parent members, and we encourage them to make arrangements with one another on their own. For example, we have two members who carpool. One brings children to school each morning and the other picks children up each afternoon. This year, a member offered childcare in their home after school. Some members arrange for a family member or childcare provider to pick their child up. There are also many martial arts studios that run after school programs and offer transportation.

School Calendar and Closures
RFC loosely follows the vacation schedule of Fairfax County Public Schools for winter and spring breaks. We typically begin school on September 1 and go through the middle of June.
We are closed on Federal holidays, the day after Thanksgiving, and four teacher workdays. We make our own decisions about weather delays and closures after determining the safety of our grounds and our staff’s ability to arrive at school. Decisions to delay or close are made by 7 a.m.