FAQ: Elementary Schools

General Information

Admissions

Academics

Extracurricular

Finance

 

General Information

Whom Do Parents Call for Further Information?

Parents should call the school principal, or for more general information, please call (502) 634-1315.

What Makes Catholic Schools Distinctive?

Catholic schools provide a strong sense of community. Christ-centered values are emphasized as we focus on the development of the whole child. Our programs address the spiritual, academic, social, physical and emotional needs of children.

What Ages Are Served by Catholic Elementary Schools?

Catholic elementary schools serve students in grades K-8; many schools have preschool programs. Please see the elementary school chart for this information.

What Is the Approximate Total Enrollment?

13,259 students attend 37 elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Enrollment can range from 100 to 800 per school. Check with individual schools for specific enrollment figures.

Is Transportation Available?

Some Catholic elementary schools offer fee-based contract bus transportation to students and families. Please check with individual Catholic schools about bus service availability. All schools will assist parents in establishing and organizing carpools or identifying other families that can assist with transportation.

Is After-School Care Available?

Most schools either have after-school care programs or have arrangements with other care providers for after-school care. Check with your school about the services available. In addition, many Catholic elementary schools have preschool services for 3- and 4-year-old children. See the chart here for a listing of the schools that have preschool, after-school, and daycare services available.

Admission

What Are the Requirements for Admission?

For initial admission, children must be five years of age before October 1 of the current school year to enter kindergarten. To enter first grade, children must be six years of age before October 1 of the current year and must have attended a certified kindergarten.

All children must have up-to-date immunizations, and all are required to have a physical examination. An eye exam is required for students aged 3 through 6 upon their initial admission to school.

Individual schools may have more specific and detailed admission requirements, including pre-kindergarten testing. Please contact the school for specific information.

When Should Families Pay for Admission?

Parents apply for admission at individual schools between November and March; most schools have registration in January and February. Each school sets its own admission policies and dates for pre-registration and registration.

Are There Particular Documents Needed for Registration?

For initial admission, the documents needed include birth and baptismal certificates, current immunization certificates, and physical examination and eye examination results (for students age 3-6). Students who are currently enrolled in grades K-8 in other schools will need to present copies of academic/permanent records.

What Are the Admission Policies for Catholic Schools?

Schools set their own enrollment policies.

The Archdiocese suggests the following for admission priorities for elementary schools:

1. Children of active parishioners:
  A. Children from parish families with children already enrolled;
  B. Oldest child just reaching school age;
  C. Children of new parishioners who are transferring from a Catholic school or children of new parishioners from an area where a Catholic school was not available but the children participated fully in the religious education programs offered.
2. Children from non-parish families with students already enrolled.
3. Other Catholic children.
4. Non-Catholic children.

 

Are Persons from Other Faith Traditions Welcome at Catholic Schools? Do Students from Other Faith Traditions Participate in Religion Classes?

Approximately 13 percent of students in Catholic schools are from other faith traditions. All students take religious classes, and programs are built upon a shared sense of faith and respect for the unique contribution of each student.

Academics

What Is the Philosophy of Learning?

Each school has its own specific statement of philosophy. The archdiocesan mission and vision statements for Catholic schools are:

Mission

The Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Louisville exist to serve and engage young people in response to the call of Jesus Christ to “teach all nations.”  In partnership with families and parishes, we seek to form our students, and through them, transform our world in light of the Gospel message.  Our diverse community of schools, each with its own uique history, spirit, and tradition, prepared our graduates to live their faith as maturing adults and provide Christian leadership for Church and society.

Vision

As stewards of Catholic education, our community of schools leads the way to a just and life-giving future without limits.  Through collaboration, our faith and learning communities empower each other to learn our Catholic teachings, achieve academic excellence, embrace diversity, accept challenges, take risks, and seek God’s image in self and others.  We are called to transform ourselves, one another, and the world through the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this complex time of rapid change.

What Is a Typical Class Size?

Class size will vary from school to school. The Archdiocese recommends the following class size limits:

  • Grades K-3 = 29
  • Grades 4-6 = 31
  • Grades 7-8 = 35

Local school boards may set different limits.

Teacher assistants are recommended when primary grades have more than 25 students.

What Is the Teacher-To-Student Ratio?

The ratio will vary from school to school. Please check with individual schools for specific teacher/student ratios.

What Curriculum is Offered at Catholic Elementary Schools?

Curriculum guides are available for all content areas. These are based on national and state standards and are updated on a regular cycle. The guides outline what students should know, understand and be able to do. They include the specific concepts and skills appropriate for each grade level. Performance standards detail the ways students will demonstrate their learning.

Students in Catholic schools study mathematics, reading and literature, science, social studies, religion, physical education, music and art. Many schools also offer a foreign language.

The complete Archdiocese of Louisville Curriculum Handbook can be found here.

How Are Teachers Prepared? What Is the Average Length of Service?

Teachers in Catholic schools have appropriate college degrees for the grade levels and subjects they teach. Three out of four teachers have advanced degrees. Teachers are certified by the state of Kentucky for the grade levels and subject areas that they teach.

Teaching experience will vary by school. Archdiocesan schools offer a variety of experience levels from teacher interns through veteran teachers.

What Types of Technology Are Used in Archdiocese of Louisville Schools?

The types of technology vary from one school to another. However, all schools maintain a ratio of 4 students to 1 computer as a guideline. Some schools have one-to-one programs in certain grades. In addition to computers and tablets, interactive whiteboards and slates are common in most schools. Five schools currently have videoconferencing capabilities. Most schools use classroom sound systems. It is important to note that with technology, as with other tools, the focus is on improved student learning.

Do Catholic Schools Have Separate Classes for Children with Special Learning Needs?

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville use a model of inclusion for students with special learning needs. Students with mild to moderate learning disabilities are enrolled in regular classrooms. A special needs coordinator works closely with teachers and parents to identify strategies, modifications and/or accommodations that can help a student with learning differences achieve success.

How Are Students’ Academic Progress and Performance Assessed Through Standardized Testing?

Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville administer the Terra Nova, 3rd Edition, a norm-referenced achievement test, to students in grades 3, 5 and 7. Individual schools may choose to administer the Terra Nova to students in other grade levels. Terra Nova assesses the subject areas of reading, language, mathematics, science and social studies.

Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville consistently perform above the national average on the Terra Nova, and several Catholic elementary schools have been recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. For archdiocesan Terra Nova results (from the 2013-2014 school year), click here and scroll down) Please contact individual schools for detailed information about test scores.

Catholic elementary schools also administer the Assessment of Catechesis Religious Education (ACRE) to students in grades 5 and 8. ACRE provides questions to assess faith knowledge and questions related to religious beliefs, attitudes, practices and perceptions to assist in the evaluation of religious education programs in Catholic schools and parishes. Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville consistently perform at the proficient level on this assessment.

How Are Students’ Academic Progress and Performance Assessed in the Classroom?

Elementary school students are regularly assessed through a varied and balanced combination of practices. Assessment is designed to be a comprehensive analysis of student progress. Assessment in the Archdiocese of Louisville includes a balance of formative and summative assessment. In this way, students are assessed throughout the learning process (formative assessment) so that the results can be used to guide decisions regarding future instruction. Summative assessment takes place after instruction to determine if the anticipated learning has occurred. This type of assessment validates a student’s readiness to proceed. Summative assessment is evaluative in nature and provides the information needed to support grading.

Is There a Grading Scale?

Consistent grading scales are recommended and are mandated for particular grade levels. They are:

For kindergarten (recommended):

  E Exceeds expectations  
  P Progressing at grade level  
  H Progressing with help  
  N Needs improvement  
  / Skills or concepts have not yet been assessed  

 

For grades one and two (recommended):

  O Outstanding progress  
  S Satisfactory progress  
  I Improvement shown  
  N Needs improvement  

 

For grades three through eight (mandatory):

  A 93% and above  
  B 84% and above  
  C 75% and above  
  D 70% and above  
  U below 70%  

 

How Can Parents Become Involved in Catholic Schools?

As the primary educators of their children, parents are welcome and encouraged to become involved in a variety of ways. Regular Parent-Teacher-Student (PTS) conferences are required to discuss students’ goals, academic achievement and other school-related issues. There are many volunteer opportunities available in Catholic schools, including assisting in classrooms, tutoring students, leading enrichment programs and helping in the school office. In addition, parents serve in vital leadership positions on Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and School Advisory Boards. Please contact individual schools for specific opportunities.

What Counseling and Support Services Are Available?

Catholic elementary schools provide a family/school collaboration approach known as “Family Builders” to school counseling that promotes partnerships among parents, teachers and other adults to insure students’ academic and social competence. Specific programs and initiatives include Peace Builders, Life Skills, Creating Lasting Family Connections and No-Bullying programs. All schools provide access to counseling services, and many schools offer support groups on a variety of topics to students and parents.

Extracurricular

What Types of Extracurricular Activities Are Available?

Extracurricular opportunities will vary by school. Programs found in many of our schools include: Young Authors, Book Bee, Outstanding Catholic Reader, Quick Recall, Ecology Club, Junior Achievement, Great Books, Mathcounts, science fairs, academic fairs, scouts, sports, school newspapers and school broadcasts, student council, 4-H, Red Cross, etc.

What Athletic Programs Are Available?

At Catholic elementary schools, athletics are administered through the sponsoring parish(es) and are open to all active parishioners as well as students who attend the elementary school. Some parishes join with other parishes to sponsor athletic programs. Opportunities include volleyball, football, basketball, baseball, softball, track, soccer and, in some cases, tennis, cheerleading, golf, field hockey, swimming and lacrosse. For more information about policies and schedules for Catholic athletics, please visit the Catholic School Athletic Association site at www.loucsaa.org.

Finances

What Is the Approximate Tuition?

The average tuition rates for the 2013-2014 school year are the following; please check with your individual school for the exact tuition rate:

  Parishioner Non-Parishioner  
1 child $5,095 $6,502  
2 children $7,091 $10,083  

 

Is There Financial Assistance Available?

The Catholic Education Foundation offers financial assistance to families of elementary school students, and some parishes or schools offer additional assistance. For all types of aid, families must apply through the Private School Aid Service (PSAS) by mid-March. One application can be used for all of the children in your family, even if they attend different schools. Forms are obtained from the school your children are attending or planning to attend. For more information, please call (502) 634-1315.

Are There Additional Costs Beyond Tuition?

Some schools charge a general fee for books, athletics and other expenses at the time of registration, and some schools incorporate these fees into the overall tuition figure. Check with your school about how they handle fees. Before- and after-school care and bus fees are charged separately if your school offers these services. Parents also should budget for the cost of school uniforms. Many schools hold used uniform sales.