Beginning next fall parents of Waterford School students will be expected to pay about one-third of the cost of tuition at the private, non-profit school.

Parental costs will range from $1,700 to $2,150 a year, depending on their child's grade level, according to Mary Wilcox, administrative assistant at the Waterford Institute, a parent organization that operates the school in Provo.But while the cost of education is going up at the school, parents will have a much better chance of getting their students into the school, which has had a waiting list.

The change in policy and other information on the Provo school will be discussed during an admissions open house at 7:30 p.m. April 5 at the school, 931 E. Third North, said Nancy M. Heuston, head mistress.

Parents interested in placing their children in the school are invited. Openings are anticipated in classes at each grade level.

Wilcox said present policy at the Provo school requires parents to pay a $300 yearly fee, plus the cost of books, supplies, activity, science and other fees. The Provo school has been an experimental facility and mostly subsidized.

Foundations are likely one source of future funding for the school. In the past the sale of WICAT stock has been used to subsidize costs. That will be used to a lesser degree in the future, Wilcox explained.

A school operated by Waterford in Sandy has always been a traditional school with regular tuition.

Since opening in 1981 the Provo school has served several hundred Utah Valley area students. The present student body includes 400 students in nursery school through grade 12. The school emphasizes the liberal arts and sciences and the innovative use of computers for instruction.

Waterford students begin laboratory science in the second grade. Regular classwork in the fine arts begins in the early grades. Foreign language study is maintained from the fifth grade. Regular homework assignments and concentration on primary source materials are part of each student's training, Heuston said.

She said Waterford's success is apparent in a number of areas. Waterford student scores on nationally standardized achievement tests have risen each year. The lower school (grades kingergarten through 5) currently ranks in the 94th percentile nationally, while the middle (6 through 8) and upper schools (9-12) are in the 96th percentile.

An overview of Waterford's history and philosophy will be presented at the open house. Several faculty members will make brief presentations.