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Everything you wanted to know about PreK, but didn’t think to ask!


How old must my child be?
St. Jude PreK accepts students who are four years old by August 1. (This is meant to correspond with the legal age of 5-years-old by August 1 for Kindergarten admission). We also have a program that considers spring admission for students who turn 4 by February 1.

Goals of the SJ PreK?
The goal of the SJ PreK is to prepare your child for their future years in the school setting socially, academically and spiritually.

Socialization
Children work daily on learning to communicate their needs, feelings and wants to their peers and adults.
  • We work on teaching each child to take care of their needs independently.  It is our expectation that they come to the PreK with independent bathroom skills.
  • Skills such as taking turns, waiting for a turn and being a good friend are the stepping stones for a successful learner.
Academic
  • Our staff will continually expose your child to letters, letter sounds, numbers and counting in a play-based format surrounding a weekly theme.
  • Our goal is for students to be prepared for a more structured and faster-paced Kindergarten curriculum driven by more rigorous learning standards.
Spiritual
Each child is a gift from God.  We want to instill in each child how much they are loved by God and how they can spread that love.  They will participate in special masses and celebrations of church holidays.  It is not a requirement to be a member of the parish to enroll in any grades of the school.

What will my child’s schedule be?
Our program will work with your family to design the schedule that is optimal for your child’s and family’s needs.  Schedules include 5 full days per week, 3 full days per week, 5 half days per week, and 3 half days per week.

Our day starts at 8:00 am and concludes at 2:45 pm (11:30 am for half day).

St. Jude school offers both before care and after care options for those families that require those services.

Staff
Our program is staffed by one full time licensed teacher (Mary Johnson), one full time teacher’s assistant (Karen Deranek), and on part time licensed teacher (Carolyn Tellez). Staffing may vary depending on overall enrollment so that we can maintain an appropriate adult to child ratio.

Accreditation
St. Jude will be working with AdvancED, the same organization that accredits out K-12 Diocesan Catholic schools, to ensure full accreditation for our PreK program.

Enrichment
Children are also exposed to classes such as art, music, gym, computers, Spanish and library.  We take daily trips to the gross motor learning circuit through the Minds In Motion program.

We play outside twice a day where we work even more on gross motor skills and communication.  Keep an eye out for the new PreK equipment!

Dress Code
PreK students do not wear the typical SJS school uniform.  We do ask that they wear comfortable play clothes and shoes (that can get dirty) that follow the out of uniform guidelines in the SJS handbook.

Nutrition
Each student is asked to bring a healthy snack each day.  Children may bring a water bottle to keep above their coat hook.  Full day students may bring a lunch or order hot lunch that is available to all SJS students.

Supplies
PreK students will not need to purchase typical school supplies.  They will need a backpack and will be given a list of classroom supplies (tissues, wipes, antibacterial hand gel, etc.) in August.

How much does it cost?
St. Jude prices its PreK program very competitively with other preschool, daycare, and PreK options. Not only do we think our rates are as good as almost any other program, we believe that our quality is superior. All participants pay from the same tuition rate, rather than differentiate for Parishioner/non-Parishioner status. Our tuition is set with the goal of fulling funding the staffing and material needs of the program rather than making a profit.

Are PreK scholarships available?
At this time we do not sponsor a scholarship fund for PreK. While this is a situation that we someday hope to rectify, we also point out to families that the alternative cost of early childhood care (whether measured as the cost of an equivalent form of daycare, babysitting, etc. or the cost of a parent who chooses to work part time or stay at home to care for their child) is usually equal if not greater than the cost of PreK tuition. The State of Indiana is currently piloting “On My Way to PreK” scholarships in certain counties. St. Joseph is not one of these counties. It is our hope that within a few years this program will be expanded statewide.