The Farm School at Bell Urban Farm
Tuition for the 2023-2024 school year:
-Annual: $8,400 (due by August 15th)
-Semester: $4,200 X 2 (due by August 15th and by January 15th)
-12 month: $700 per month (due by the 15th of each month)
-10 month: $840 (due by the 15th of each month August-May)
*Invoices will be emailed to parents using Quickbooks and you can either pay online or by check.
Student Ages: For our initial year, we are accepting 10 students aged 6-9. Grades K-3.
We require a $50 non-refundable application fee for each student enrollment submitted.
Supply Fee: We will have a $100 non-refundable supply fee per student per semester (August & January) This supply fee helps us to buy supplies and materials the students will use in their lessons, our maker space and more.
School Supply List: We will have a basic school supply list for each child that will be sent out by August 11th.
Student Handbook: Our school handbook will be shared with parents upon enrollment.
School Year: We will follow the Conway Public School Calendar for the 23/24 school year. Our first day of school will be on August 21st.
Drop Off & Pick Up: Drop off will be each morning between 8:00-8:30 AM and pick up Between 3:00-3:30PM
Curriculum: Our teachers will be pulling from the following nature-based curriculum:
The Farm School Staff:
-Owner: Kim Doughty-McCannon
Kim combines her background in microbiology with a passion for sustainable agriculture as the owner of Bell Urban Farm and the Farmstand. Bell Urban Farm, her thriving small business, specializes in the cultivation of cut flowers and a variety of plants. Expanding upon her commitment to local, sustainable agriculture, Kim also owns and operates the Farmstand. This initiative collaborates with over 100 small farmers and artisans, working together to deliver fresh, seasonal food to the Conway community.
Kim's investment in nature-based education extends beyond her businesses. She served with Arkansas GardenCorps, creating unique nature-based programming for the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project. These programs have enriched both children and adults' understanding of gardening and further promoted sustainable practices within the community.
-Lead Teacher: Laura Larson
Laura brings a wealth of teaching experience spanning over two decades to our team. She is a certified educator with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Central Arkansas.
Laura started her career at Conway Montessori as a lead teacher for 3-4 year olds. She later ventured into special education, where she excelled at creating individualized learning plans across a wide range of learning abilities in self-contained classrooms at both Thomas Jefferson and Vilonia Elementary Schools. Most recently, Laura has enhanced her commitment to differentiated instruction at Frank Mitchell Intermediate School as a special education teacher.
Laura's multifaceted teaching methodology is informed by her experience with various pedagogical approaches including Montessori, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, and Reggio styles. She also holds a 2023 certification in Connections: OG in 3D, highlighting her commitment to innovative and effective teaching strategies.
Outside her classroom duties, Laura has proven to be a community builder, serving as a coordinator and vice president for the Arkansas Student Council for Exceptional Children, and as a member of the Vilonia School District Inclusion Leadership Team. She brings these varied experiences and her passion for inclusive education to our school, ensuring each student receives the individualized attention they require to thrive.
-Nature Play Facilitator: Chelsey Harrington
Chelsey is a pediatric occupational therapy assistant, parent and family coach that specializes in serving families through holistic child development. She has served families as a medical provider through her OTA licensure in schools, outpatient clinics, a developmental preschool, and childcare centers.
Chelsey is an experienced facilitator of nature programs, including nature play and outdoor summer camps. She also consults with various organizations, helping them enrich their offerings with more play and nature-based programming for children.
She carries a vision for a world where every child's basic human rights are met - a world where the right to play, immersion in nature, develop at an individualized pace, and bodily autonomy are honored. As part of her dedication to these principles, she serves on the board of Arkansans Against School Paddling. In this role, she collaborates with legislators, school administrators, teachers, and parents to end the practice of corporal punishment in Arkansas and beyond.
-Administrator: Amber Robbins
Amber Robbins, is the owner of Arkansas Freeze, a thriving local business with products in nine stores across central Arkansas, and weekly sales at the Farmers' Market in Conway and Greenbrier. She holds an A.A. in Early Childhood Education from UACCM and a Personal Trainer Certification from NASM. She has previously been a fitness trainer and instructor for OhBaby Fitness and Planet Fitness.
With her commitment to integrity and open communication, business administration experience, and commitment to safety and health, she is perfectly suited to being the bridge between parents and teachers and procedures and fostering a safe and respectful community for The Farm School.
The Farm School Board:
Our 6 board members will meet quarterly (more if needed) and parents will be notified and invited to each meeting.
Crystal is a certified educator with 18 years of experience teaching grades 7-12. Her outstanding contributions to education have been recognized with two esteemed awards: Teacher of the Year and the Golden Apple Award. Crystal has been a pillar of support for youth in Faulkner County, particularly through her pivotal role in establishing a food pantry at the local high school. Currently, she is expanding her impact by pursuing a degree in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling while concurrently working as a therapist.
Sandra is the Executive Director of The Locals, a creative placemaking organization that brings people together to transform Conway into a more creative, unique, and culturally rich community. In addition to this, Sandra leads the management of Conway Locally Grown, a weekly online farmer's market committed to bolstering Conway's local food ecosystem.
-Amanda Krell, MS
Amanda brings over two decades of rich educational experience to the board, having served in various roles such as an elementary teacher, literacy coach, instructional facilitator, and dyslexia interventionist in K-5 classrooms. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Elementary Education, certifications in PreK - 6th grade and K-12 ESL education, and she was formerly a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Literacy. Amanda's innovative approach to education extends beyond the classroom, as demonstrated by her successful initiation and management of two school garden programs. She recently concluded her tenure as the Education and Instruction Coordinator at Arkansas PBS, where she contributed to the development of curriculum resources and children's programming. She is about to begin a new chapter in her career as an ESL teacher at Maumelle High School.
Larnie is a forest school facilitator at camp Mitchell and previously has taught at Ferncliff Nature School. With a rich background as a camper, counselor, session director, and program director spanning over two decades, Larnie Hughes brings a wealth of experience to outdoor education and activities. Her extensive tenure in various camps and non-profit organizations has honed her expertise in creating and implementing dynamic programs and events, as well as orchestrating volunteer efforts and fostering enduring community relationships.
-Sara Taylor, PhD
Sara, a former neuroscientist, is currently owner and practitioner at Piercing Depths Generational & Existential Coaching. She brings extensive experience from her previous roles, including serving as a faculty member at the Hendrix College Psychology Department, conducting preclinical research at Arizona State University and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, and engaging in clinical research at the Ohio State Research Unit on Pediatric Psychopharmacology. Over nearly two decades, she has dedicated herself to understanding the impacts of chronic and traumatic stress on the brain, behavior, and emotional and mental health.
Rose is a forest school facilitator at Camp Mitchell and holds a degree in art education. The pillars of Camp Mitchell’s mission are hospitality, radical inclusivity, care for the earth, and spiritual growth.
At The Farm School, we are committed to inspiring a deep love and respect for the natural world in our students. Through immersive, nature-based education, we aim to cultivate curious, engaged learners who possess the skills and knowledge to become stewards of the earth. Our mission is to provide a safe, inclusive, nurturing environment in which children are empowered to explore, discover, and connect with the natural world, leading to a lifelong appreciation for its wonders and a commitment to preserving it for future generations.
We are committed to creating a safe, inclusive, and equitable learning environment for all students, staff, and families. The Farm School is secular and we celebrate diversity and aim to provide a welcoming and respectful environment that embraces the unique backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives of every person. We believe that all individuals should have equal access to educational opportunities and resources regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation/identity, or socioeconomic status. We recognize that we have a responsibility to dismantle systemic inequalities and biases, and we are committed to promoting social justice and equity in all aspects of our school community. We believe that a culture of equity and inclusivity is essential for academic and personal growth, and we strive to create a culture where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered.