Here are some common questions about St. James.
When are applications due?
We use a system of rolling admissions which accepts applications at any time beginning September 15 for the next school year. We recommend that early childhood applications are submitted as early as you can as there is limited space in those classes.
How does St. James help my child make the transition from home to school?
At St. James, we take several steps to help with this transition. The first of which is a home visit. The home visit is a short 20-30 minute visit from your child’s teacher. This serves as an opportunity for the teacher to meet your child in an environment that is comfortable for the child. This also allows the teacher to begin to develop an understanding who your child is and what they like. This information will be helpful in the beginning stages of forming a trusting relationship, an essential component for transitioning and learning in general.
The second transitional piece is Vacation Bible School or VBS which takes place M-T-W the week before school begins. This offers another opportunity for your child to interact with their teacher in a less formal setting. VBS includes songs, games, stories and crafts in a less structured setting than a classroom. Parents are allowed to stay at VBS and experience this with their child, but drop-off is also an option. Students share experiences with their teacher and some of the other children that will be in their class. This is an excellent way for them to begin to cultivate new friendships.
The third and final transitional piece is the Open House. For our Preschool and Junior Kindergarten classes the first day of school is an Open House. This means that students and parents can come anytime between 8:45 and 11:30. Parents will help their child locate their cubby, sort their school supplies and then get familiar with our classroom and all of the activities and materials therein. You may chose to stay for a short time or the whole time, it is completely up to you. This transition allows your child to become familiar with a new place alongside someone with whom they are comfortable.
Does my child have to be potty trained?
We are not licensed or equipped to change diapers. Therefore, it is important that children are prepared to be potty-able in the three half-day class. A child should show an interest in using the toilet and be able to control himself for the duration of the morning class. This is an important part of their developmental independence.
The children who are three years by the first day of school should be able to use the toilet on a regular basis. This means that the child should be in regular underpants instead of pull-ups and can articulate when they need to sue the bathroom. The summer is a good time to let your child go around the house with underpants, and take him/her to the potty on a frequent schedule.
Do all students wear uniforms?
Yes, all St. James students are expected to be in uniform each day. The purpose of our Uniform Policy is to ensure the neat and orderly appearance of our students, to reflect a positive image to the community, and to set a standard for appearance and behavior commensurate with being a Christian day school. We believe that this policy plays a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of our school and for setting an appropriate tone.
The uniform guide can be found here.
What are your admissions criteria?
St. James is committed to serving families from every Christian tradition. We give priority to our members’ children, siblings of current students and to families who are active members of their own congregations. Admission is always predicated on our being able to meet the needs of the student.
How much homework do students get?
Homework is designed to extend, enrich or reinforce classroom learning. Although homework requirements vary from elementary through middle school, all students may have homework. Parents should set aside time at home each night for homework.
In addition to regular homework, students may have long-range assignments such as research papers, science projects, etc. Students should plan accordingly and work at regular increments to accomplish long-range tasks.
Expect 10 minutes a night per grade (ex. 1st = 10 min, 2nd = 20, etc.).
What is inquiry-based learning?
We live in an information world. To be successful, students need to be prepared to do more than simply remember and repeat facts. They need to be able to conduct research and apply knowledge. An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning emphasizes intellectual engagement and fosters a deeper understanding through the development of a hands-on and minds-on experience by the student.
What high schools do students get into?
Our faculty and administration guide students and parents though the high school admissions process. St. James graduates go on to succeed in Chicago’s premiere high schools. In fact, 97% get into their first choice. Some of the schools students go to include Jones College Prep, Luther North College Prep, Lincoln Park High Schools (Double Honors and IB), Walter Payton, DePaul College Prep, Whitney Young, Lane Tech and St. Ignatius.
What are the qualifications of St. James teachers?
Our faculty are all state certified, have an average of 13.6 years of teaching experience and 54% of them have or are pursing a master’s degree. Additionally, all St. James faculty participate in on-going professional development. Read more about our faculty and staff.
How is faith incorporated into the curriculum?
All students participate in daily Bible study and weekly chapel. Early childhood classes emphasize God’s love for us and His work through family and school to take care of us. At the elementary and middle school levels, in addition to teaching Bible stories, students learn how to dialogue with others who have different opinions. Our objective is that each student leaves St. James with confidence in what they believe and a willingness to share their faith with others.
Is tuition assistance available?
Thanks to a generous scholarship fund supported by church members and school parents, tuition assistance is available for families unable to pay the full tuition. Applications are available in the office and all inquiries are managed discretely.
When is tuition due?
To accommodate families, we offer three payment plans:
Option A. Annual Payment One payment in full is due July 15, 2016
Option B. Semi-Annual Payment Two equal payments are due July 15, 2016 and January 15, 2017
Option C. Monthly Payment Eleven equal payments each are due the 15th day of each month from July 2016 to, and including, May 2017.
In addition to tuition, what other fees are families responsible for?
We teach and believe Biblical stewardship, which gives on the basis of grace. Therefore, we do not mandate, nor do we require participation in our scholarship fund or our annual auction, but encourage the generous participation of our parents.
Still need help? Send us a note!
For any other questions, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 773-525-4990.