FAQ

Do you have a registration fee?

Yes.  The registration fee for the 2017-2018 school year is $300 per student in Kindergarten to 8th Grade and $200 per student in Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten.

 

Who sets the tuition rates and why is there a difference in tuition for Catholic families?

The Principal of our school with the guidance of the School Advisory Council, establishes tuition rates based on the school’s budgetary needs. Because the parish subsidizes the school, the tuition rate for students (1st-8) who are members of St. Peter Catholic Church is less than that of students who are not members. Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten are not subsidized. All families, regardless of parish affiliation, pay the same tuition rate. Please review the 2017-2018 Registration and Tuition Agreement for current tuition rates for our programs.

 

How big are your classes?

Our current student to teacher ratio is 12 to 1.

 

Do I have to be Catholic to attend?

You do not have to be Catholic to receive an excellent education at St. Mary’s Academy. Nearly 60% of our families are not Catholic. All of them, however, believe in the value of a faith-based curriculum where faith, learning and service are practiced daily and supported through our challenging curriculum. A strong moral compass, a commitment to serving others and a desire for academic excellence are beneficial to children of any faith. We recognize parents are the primary educators of their children and work in partnership with parents to support their child’s faith development.

 

How do your student’s academic achievements compare to the Public Schools in the area?

Unfortunately, comparing private to public schools can be a bit like comparing apples to oranges.  We hear continually from parents who have left public school to attend St. Mary’s that our curriculum is challenging compared to what their child was learning while enrolled at public school. St. Mary’s teachers are free to use varied curriculum to meet not only the requirements of Common Core but standards established by the state. St. Mary’s Academy scores on the Renaissance Learning test show the majority of our students meet or exceed grade level in both Reading and Math. When our students leave to enter high school they are prepared for honors and advanced placement classes.

 

What time does your school day begin and end?

The school doors open at 7:30 am each school day. Middle School (6th – 8th) begin each school day at 7:45 am and end at 2:50 pm. Elementary students (K – 5th) begin each school day at 7:50 am and end at 2:40 pm. Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten begin each school day at 7:50 am and end at 11:20 am.

 

Do you have sports programs?

St. Mary’s Athletics offer Cross Country, Volleyball and Basketball. We partner with TDMS to offer Track and Football.  There are pay to play fees associated with all sports. It is important for the development of the whole child that team and individual sports are made available to every student. Learning to balance academics, sports and social activities in middle school provides a sound foundation for high school.

 

What are my tuition payment options?

Each family has the opportunity to pay the academic year tuition in:

  • One annual payment in full by August 1;
  • Two semi-annual payments on August 1 and January 1;
  • 10 Monthly payments on the 1st of August through the 1st of May; or
  • 12 Monthly payments on the 1st of July through the 1st of June.

 

Do you offer financial aid or tuition assistance?  How do I qualify or apply?

Yes. Catholic and non-Catholic families are eligible to apply for our Tuition Assistance Program. Tuition assistance applications are available in the school office upon request. A Financial Aid Committee will determine the families financial need based on application information submitted. Applicants who do not turn in a completed form and tax documents will not be considered for assistance. All information is kept confidential and will only be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee.

 

Do you have an on-line grading system where parents can monitor grades and student progress?

Yes. St. Mary’s uses Sycamore School Management Software. It is a web-based system that allows families to monitor their progress in class. Every family is assigned a unique log in and password for security. Our teachers update their classes at least weekly which allows parents and students to view grades and assignments as they are entered.

 

Do you do background checks on all employees, teaching and non-teaching? What about volunteers?

Yes. Volunteering is a vital component of our school. The Diocese of Baker has guidelines for all parishes and schools to follow to keep our children safe.

  • Undergo a criminal background check; this paperwork is submitted to the school for processing.
  • Review and sign the Code of Conduct for Ministry with Children and Youth
  • Complete the Darkness to Light training
  • If planning to drive on field trips, complete the Driver Information Sheet

 

Do you offer extended care?

As a service to the parents of our students enrolled at St. Mary’s, the school operates a fee-based extended day care program. Care is offered to our Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten students from 11:20 am to 5:30 pm and for our K-8 students from 2:40 pm and 2:50 pm until 5:30 pm. It is offered every school day and most early release days. Care is not offered on holidays or teacher in-service days, Christmas vacation, spring break or during the summer. Please contact the school office for pricing information and enrollment. Our extended care program is certified and inspected by the State of Oregon.

 

If I am paying tuition, why am I expected to volunteer?

The true cost of educating your child is more than our tuition. To help close this gap, we offer a variety of volunteer opportunities and require each of our school families to participate in Fair Share Hours and Fundraising. Parent volunteers can work in the classroom, work on school events or fundraisers, join parent committees, help in the lunchroom, or even help in the Parish. There are many options. We believe that strong parental involvement is an important factor in your child’s academic success. Our Fair Share Hours and Fundraising Program offers an opportunity to meet your children’s teachers, get to know your school and parish community and to play an active role in your child’s education. Sharing your time, talents and gifts with the St. Mary’s community keeps our tuition rates down and our sense of community strong.