Here is a list of frequently asked questions categorized by topic. We hope you find the answers helpful to you during your search to find a school that fits your family’s needs.
philosophy & CURRICULUM
What does it mean to be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)?
Early childhood programs accredited by NAEYC have voluntarily undergone a comprehensive process of internal self-study and improvement. They must meet all 10 of the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. It is the mark of a high-quality program that provides a safe and age appropriate environment. The accreditation must be renewed every 5 years. St. Paul’s School has been accredited for 30 years and we have recently received notification that we are accredited for 5 more years.
What kind of learning philosophy and curriculum does your school utilize to ensure the children are learning?
St. Paul’s School is a developmental, theme-based preschool. The curriculum promotes learning and development in these areas: social-emotional, physical, language, early literacy, early mathematics, science, technology, creative expression, appreciation for the arts, health and safety, and social studies. Our faculty plans a majority of curriculum, but as the children age there are many opportunities for child planned and directed projects. Children’s creativity, cognition and character are developed through play in a rich learning environment.
Will my child learn to read in Pre-K?
Learning to read is a developmental skill that is acquired when children are ready and interested. Some children learn to read when they are three or four, but most children learn to read in Kindergarten or first grade. Best Developmentally Appropriate Practices as defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children recommend only pre-reading skills be taught in Pre-K.
How do you handle discipline?
Discipline is a lifelong teaching-learning process. The goal is self-discipline or self-management in which each child learns how to function effectively and to be responsible for his or her actions individually but especially in a group. Acceptable behavior is encouraged by giving positive verbal feedback. This reinforces the child’s good feeling about his/her behavior and serves as an example to other children. If additional measures are required, the child will be redirected to another activity.
What does a day look like at St. Paul’s School?
Our school day begins at 9:00am and in most classrooms there are numerous learning centers or small group activities which the children rotate through, to start their day. Additionally, teachers might have a one on one math, science or art activity planned. When all children arrive, there is a learning circle where they read books, discuss the theme, sing songs and provide more math through the calendar or a graphing, sorting or patterning group activity. Children have snack in the morning and have time outdoors to enjoy our beautiful playground and our outdoor learning environment. After lunch, all children are required to have a rest time. The older classes have another circle in the afternoon to continue the theme or act out student dictated stories. Parents can pick their children up at 2:30pm.
Do you provide extracurricular activities?
Yes, several different enrichment programs are included in the school day, and vary according to age group.
Additionally, the church offers after school activities for all ages, through the St. Paul’s Fine Arts Academy. Classes include Ballet, Music and Art.
Do you have a dress code?
Children are encouraged to wear play clothes and shoes that are safe for both indoor and outdoor play. We suggest non-dressy, washable clothes since daily activities include messy play and art projects, and the children should feel comfortable enough to enjoy themselves without worrying about their clothes or shoes.
VISIT & APPLY TO ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL
May I visit the school before I apply?
We offer school tours once a month from October through March. Each tour is on a Wednesday morning at 10:00am. Please sign up through our website under Admissions / Visit. If you are unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict, please feel free to email or call us in the school office.
What is the earliest date that I can apply for the 2019-2020 school year?
February 1st is your first opportunity to apply. We do not accept applications to be placed on a wait list earlier than this date. Please see “How do I apply to your school?” below for more details.
How do I apply to your school?
Each year, we begin accepting applications from the community on February 1st. The application will be made available online – see APPLY. Please follow the instructions to set up a MyProCare account to apply online. Upon submitting an application, your child will be placed in a registration pool. Please note that your child is not automatically enrolled upon submitting an application.
Do you offer a refund for registration and tuition fees if my child receives a spot and we decline it?
After you submit an online application, you will mail TWO checks to the school: 1) a check for the registration fee of $135 and 2) a check for one month’s tuition (see APPLY for more details). The registration fee is non-refundable. The tuition fee is refundable if your child is placed on the waiting list OR if your child receives a spot, but you choose to decline it prior to the deadline stated on the application. If you decline the spot after the deadline, you will forfeit the tuition money.
How does your wait list system work?
Registration begins February 1st and all new classes are made by the middle of March. At that time, those children that are not placed, are put on a waiting list. As space becomes available, children are added to the program throughout the school year, up until the month of February. After February 1st we do not add new children to the program. We have found that children added after this date really struggle with connections and the addition to the group can be disruptive. Our wait lists do not carry over year to year, but if you have been on the wait list in the previous school year you will receive some advantage when applying for the next school year.
FOOD & ALLERGY CONCERNS
Do I prepare snack and lunch for my child or does the school provide them?
Families provide snacks and lunches for their children. We do not refrigerate or warm lunches.
My child has food allergies. How do you handle this issue?
St. Paul's School is a nut free school. We take several precautions to further ensure the safety of children with allergies. At the beginning of the school year, all children are required to have an allergy form on file. Any and all allergies are recorded in our childcare database; teachers are required to sign off on the children's allergy forms, so they are aware of any allergies in their classroom. Additionally, if an epi-pen or allergy medicine is needed in a case of emergency, these items are kept in a cabinet, safe in the school office. Allergy lists are posted in the school office and in each classroom.
My child is on a delayed immunization schedule. Are delayed schedules acceptable at St. Paul’s School since you are a private school?
No. St. Paul’s School requires all students to have the proper scheduled immunizations required by the Texas Department of Human Health Services. The Texas Health Department visits our school to review our records, ensuring all children’s immunizations are up to date. There are no exceptions.
BEYOND ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL
What schools do children typically attend after preschool at St. Paul’s School?
Houston is blessed with some excellent elementary schools and many of our families consciously make this choice. Children move on to several different schools in the area, whether it be public or private, based on the family’s needs. Some of the private schools our children attend include: AOS, Duchesne Academy, Kinkaid School, St. Anne’s, St. John’s, St. Mark’s and St. Vincent’s, Presbyterian School & River Oaks Baptist School. Public elementary schools our children attend include: West University, Poe, Roberts, Mark Twain, Condit, Lovett, Travis and Harvard. Our Parent Education program includes a talk in October each year called Beyond St. Paul’s School. Experts in the public and private school fields speak to and provide assistance to our parents as you navigate the admissions process after St. Paul’s.