Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to our St. Katharine of Siena School website! We have information here about our school, including curriculum, activities and student life. Our Handbook will answer your questions about our policies, but here are some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter.
When does school start and end?
Traditionally the first day of school for grades 1-8 is the Wednesday after Labor Day. Kindergarten does a visit on the Friday after Labor Day, then their first day is the following Monday. We finish the school year in mid-June. Please refer to the annual calendar via the homepage for complete details.
What are the hours of the school day?
The day starts at 8:10 am and ends at 2:50 pm.
At what age can my child start kindergarten?
Your child must be 5 years old by September 30th of the year they plan to begin school.
What are the hours for kindergarten? Is busing available for kindergartners?
The kindergarten is a full day program. Busing is available for most school districts, except Marple Newtown, they will not provide transportation for kindergarten students. Tredyffrin/ Easttown provides morning transportation but requires a special exception form to transport students in the afternoon.
Where can I purchase the uniform?
The regular uniform can be purchased at Flynn and O’Hara in Lawrence Park Shopping Center, Springfield, at Flocco’s in Conshohocken, or online at Lands’ End. Go shopping early in the summer, so that you can avoid the lines and you can find the sizes you need. The SKS Handbook has a description of the uniform code, and each vendor also has a current list. The gym uniform is available at Flynn and O’Hara, Flocco’s and The Blue Beret in Wayne. Please make sure to visit our Uniform Exchange in the cafeteria storage closet to supplement anything you might need to complete your school wardrobe. All items are gently used and in very good condition.
What can the students wear on Dress Down days?
Our Dress Down Days are scheduled throughout the year, and students donate $1 of their own money to the charity of the day. They are to wear appropriate play clothes as outlined in the Handbook. Dress Down Days are voluntary, not mandatory, and students can choose to participate or not. If they do not wish to participate, they wear their regular uniform.
When are the class lists posted?
The class lists are posted on the front doors of school on Labor Day weekend and then posted online later in the day.
Where can I find tuition information?
Our tuition pricing is found on the homepage under the Admissions tab. There is financial aid available through the BLOCS program, please feel free to contact the principal to discuss your needs. Tuition is handled throught the online FACTS tuition management system and is billed in the summer. Tuition can be paid in full in August or paid in installments. Arrangements to pay tuition can be made through your FACTS account, if you have any questions please contact the business office at 610-688-4584. Please discuss these with our business manager ahead of time. We will be more than willing to work with families in this regard.
How do the children usually get to and from school?
Students have the option of taking a bus, being driven, or walking to and from school. The school office notifies the student’s school district transportation office over the summer to assign them to a bus. All students need to arrive at school by 8:10 am. Dismissal begins with buses at 2:50, followed by the walkers, then the car riders. Clubs, sports and activities are dismissed last.
When do I get the bus schedule?
The bus drop off and pick up times and locations are mailed to the families in the last two weeks of August from the school districts. Please make sure you write down for your child their specific bus number and school district for both morning and afternoon. It is best to write it on a luggage tag clipped to the backpack, so the faculty can quickly check it if a younger child gets confused.
If I drive the kids to school, how does that work?
If you drop your child off in the morning, you head west on Midland Avenue, then take a left into the parking lot. Proceed to the main entrance and drop your child off there. DO NOT get out of the car, as this creates a traffic jam. Make sure your child knows how to exit the car safely and quickly onto the sidewalk. In the afternoon at dismissal, please line up on Midland Avenue after 2:30 pm and you will remain there until the buses and walkers are done. Please have a family name tag on the passenger visor for faculty to read. As directed, you will pull up to the front entrance where the cars are loaded approximately four cars at a time. Do not get out of your car, the faculty assists the children into the vehicles. Please make sure your children know how to buckle themselves in, do not hold up the line to adjust seat belts. If necessary, please pull up out of the way to do so.
How are school supplies handled?
In June you will receive a stationery list for standard items that are purchased through school for grades 1-8. In addition, each grade has a supplies list as part of the Summer Reading packet. These are items that you can purchase on your own, such as crayons, notebooks, etc. Kindergarten supplies are purchased through the classroom and billed in September for them.
Do students bring their lunch or can they buy lunch at school?
Students have the choice to bring their lunch or buy it. Lunch ordering is done online through our Option C parent portal and is ordered on a monthly basis, payable by credit card. In addition, there are snacks and drinks that can be purchased by the children on a daily basis.
When is recess?
Morning recess is at 10:07 am and children bring their own snack or buy a pretzel. There is also a recess break during the lunch period.
How is information communicated to the parents?
Information to parents is primarily through email, our website, teacher notes posted in class or online, and through general Home and School meetings. In addition, faculty and staff are always available to meet with parents.
What volunteer opportunities are available for parents?
The volunteers at St. Katharine’s help make our school a vibrant community. We count on your help and look forward to your involvement. There are many ways to volunteer, all of which can be found in our Volunteer Opportunities list on the homepage.
What is the average class size?
Class sizes vary due to many factors. Currently classes range from the high teens to mid to high twenties in each homeroom. Enrollment is reviewed and approved by the pastor and principal.
What special services are available to students?
In addition to the curriculum, special services available to our students includes: Delaware County Intermediate Unit – Reading remediation, and speech and language service. Consultant services that are available upon evaluation include Behavior Specialist, Occupational Therapist, Academic/Learning Specialist, Vision Therapist, Hearing Specialist. St. Katharine of Siena faculty includes two part time Reading/Writing Support teachers employed by the school and offers various tutoring opportunities.
How do you handle students with allergies or health issues?
We have a full time nurse on staff who coordinates the care for all health issues. She keeps the faculty and staff informed of the students’ needs and level of care.
Any other questions…..
We are always available to answer any questions you have. Please feel free to contact us via email or by calling the office at 610-688-5451. There is no such thing as a stupid question, if it occurs to you, then someone else out there is wondering about it too! All information about the school is available on the website and the Handbook online.