Frequently Asked Questions

page_missionIf my child is in Arts Alive, and the music class starts at a later time because my child has advanced in the class, does my child have to wait in day care (for a fee) before the next music class starts? I don’t want to have to pay an extra fee for day care in addition to the price of a class for Arts Alive. What can my child do between the end of school and the Arts Alive session?

The Arts Alive teachers teaching the St Anthony classes are taking the students in the first class as a “favor” to parents if they can work independently and do homework. There are two (or three levels) of classes and just like outside Arts classes – they are at different levels for ability. Some students who live local go home change, eat and come back, others pay for day care and we do this on a case by case basis.

Arts Alive is a class with a full 55 minutes of teaching and 5 minutes to pack up, pick up the next class and the teachers teach back to back.  As students progress they are no longer beginners and older students and parents should understand this in advance and be aware of this, before they sign their children up for classes.

Students may go to day care at no charge if they are waiting for an Arts Alive class to begin. Access to the library to read Accelerated Reader (AR) books or to the Learning Lab to use computers for homework may be made available by the day care teacher. Student will always be supervised by a teacher where they can complete homework projects with technical bias is a possibility during this time.

What does the $350 Student Service Fee cover?

St. Anthony’s is able to sustain itself by tuition and fees paid for by each family. We do not receive subsidies from the government or any other outside source. Each student has a $350 Student Service Fee, which covers textbooks and consumable books (workbooks with tear-out sheets that must be re-ordered every year). It also covers the continued use of technology like our STAR diagnostic testing system and Accelerated Reader, our online reading comprehension program, access to wi-fi throughout the school, and most importantly, the Student Accident and Liability Insurance, which the school pays for to insure that each child has medical coverage in case they get hurt while on campus or during school hours, at school-sponsored activities.

Is the school $50 school application fee and $150 registration or $175 re-registration fee refundable?

No, these fees, per the Parent Student Handbook and the signed tuition contract explicitly state that these fees are non-refundable. Our office staff goes through many registration applications before students are admitted into the school and it is a long process that takes a lot of time and careful attention including a review of forms, an interview, background checks, testing, and a shadow day.

The registration and re-registration fees are paid in advance to hold a spot for a student in the school for the coming school year. This means that if the school is to hold that space, no other students can enter the school if we are assuming the class is at full capacity. Sometimes families pay this fee but do not return to the school and do not give us advance notice. Because that child’s spot was already saved (because of the paid registration fee) and other students were put on the wait list or turned away due to no available space, the school would need to recoup that loss somehow, and this is done by keeping the registration fee that was paid in advance.

Why do parents need 25 hours of community service?

Per the tuition contract that is signed and renewed every year, there is a mandatory participation clause. Families are asked to sign up for 1-2 parent leadership committees (PLCs) each year and serve at the school for at least 25 hours (equating to $10 an hour). If families do not serve a minimum (there is no maximum) of 25 hours a year, they will be billed accordingly. Families who cannot volunteer their time can pay for this in advance or will be billed at the end of April. Families also have the option of rolling it into their monthly automatic FACTS payments taken out of their bank account every 5th or 20th of the month so payment is spread out over the whole year.

How many community service hours do parents need?

Families need to serve 25 hours (valued at $10 an hour). Non-participation results in a fee of $250 at the end of April. You will be sent an invoice if this obligation is not met.

Each PLC meeting will count for hours served as well, so it’s imperative to sign in and out at every meeting and at every committee event, for which you volunteer. The PLC lead/chair will give the sign-in sheet to our Finance Secretary, Carlos Aguilar, and your hours will be recorded in the system and you will be invoiced or credited accordingly.

Mandatory Parent meetings do not count toward service hours. The first one is Back To School Night and parents must sign in or send someone in their place to sign in or there is a $50 fine. (see tuition contract)

Other mandatory participation includes attending Bake Sales for your child’s class and at least 8 hours per family at the Fiesta in May. Please mark your calendars for this. Your PLC chair will take attendance at all meetings, but your hours should be logged by you in writing, as a backup (with meeting dates and times from your meeting minutes), to show proof of your participation in case there is any discrepancy.

What are PLCs?

PLCs can mean 2 things: Among faculty and staff in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (ADLA) we know PLCs to mean “Professional Learning Communities,” but when it comes to parents, it stands for “Parent Leadership Committees.” This gives parents ownership in the school and offers a way for them to give back using their time, talents, interests, and treasures. Parents are asked to sign up for at least 1 or 2 committees. There are about 20 PLCs, so there should be at least one committee that is of interest to them.

How often do parents need to meet with committees?

Some committee chairs will meet once a month, others will meet more or less often. It depends on the committee members and the lead’s schedules. Meetings can happen via Skype or email, by phone, or in person. All PLC chairs/leads will conduct meetings using the Tribes agreements taught by Mrs. Grey, and followed by the faculty, staff, and students, so all people in the committees are treated with respect and everyone feels a sense of belonging and value.

What happens if parents can’t make a meeting?

Parents can pay out at the end of the year for service hours not met or they can send someone in their place to meetings (another relative or friend) to stand in as a proxy for them at scheduled committee or parent meetings. However, please note that being unresponsive or giving contact information that does not work is NOT acceptable. Parents work in partnership with the school and communication is key. If parents cannot be reached at all, they cannot be reached in case of an emergency if something happens to their child and this may result in the child not being able to attend classes until all contact info is updated with the classroom teacher and office.

Where can I find the year calendar for the school events?

The school website www.stanthonygardena.org is a great place to find all the information you need re: your child’s education. There is a tab for CALENDAR and all the Important Dates are listed there on the calendar, and on a separate list by month. This info was also sent home in the parent bulletins during the first week of school. It is crucial that parents read all info that goes home in the weekly parent bulletins. All forms should also be accessible online in the event that the forms are lost when sent home with students. Parent envelopes are given to the OLDEST in the family or to those who are ONLY children. There is also a News and Events section on the front page that updates parents on the latest in the school.

Who can I talk to about making a suggestion or if a have concern about the school?

If you ever have a question or concern about your child’s studies, please contact the classroom teacher first. If you have further questions or concerns and it cannot be resolved between you and the teacher, please see the principal to set up a meeting either with or without the teacher and the parents so we can resolve the issue.

It is always best to discuss issues only with those directly involved with the situation and not share your concerns with others. The school stresses an open door communication policy and it’s important to keep all conversations positive. All concerns should also be accompanied by suggestions for solutions or improvement, not just complaints. The goal is always to focus on issues, not individuals.

If you have a concern about the school in general or about the handbook and its policies, please set up a meeting with principal right away and do not discuss your concerns with others until you have talked to the principal. Open and honest communication with good intentions for the overall well-being of the school is always welcomed.

Where can I send a family that wants to send a child to SAP School?  

The school website has all the information for new applicants or those interested in attending our school. Enrollment takes place in the school’s front office, so if a family wants to attend St. Anthony’s, they can find all the info they need on the website, fill out the necessary forms and call the front office to set up an appointment for a school tour, a possible shadow day, an in-person interview with the child, parents, and principal, before there is a possibility of admission. Enrollment is dependent on class size, availability, and other factors that are based on the registration application and acceptance is left solely up to the discretion of the administration. The school does have a non-discrimation policy that is in the handbook as well.

Do you offer a referral fee or can you credit me if I bring in a new student?

For parents who bring in new students that bring added value to the school, we can offer a $150 referral fee or credit that to your account, but parents must request this. It is not automatic.

Do you offer after school day care?

Yes, we offer morning and after school care for a fee. Morning care is $2 a day per child and starts from 6:45-7:30 M-F and Afternoon care is  $8/day per child from 2:45-6pm on Wednesdays, and 3:15-6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, or 12:15-6pm on half days that are noon dismissal.

What does my child do during day care?

No iPads, cel phones, or electronics are allowed in day care. Students are supervised at all times and are asked to do their homework first, and then are allowed to do outside sports activities, play board games, do projects led by day care teachers, and sometimes they watch G-rated movies. Students are also able to visit the library as needed or work in the Learning Lab with the teachers if necessary for school work. These activities are always supervised. Please see the handbook online for more details on our technology and acceptable use policy.

How often is the school website updated?

Teacher websites and blogs are updated daily for each grade. Homework is posted online and other information is updated weekly (school bulletins, news and events, upcoming important dates and reminders).

Do you offer financial aid?

Yes, the school offers financial aid, but we have a limited amount of funds that we give away each year on a first come, first serve basis. The only way we can afford to give families tuition assistance is if we ask donors and sponsors for grants that would cover costs for families in financial need. This changes every year so awards are granted every year depending on the availability of funding from generous donors.

All interactions and discussions about contracts between families and the principal re: tuition and fees are to remain confidential, since financial situations are very personal and can change year to year.

If anyone is receiving any kind of assistance and discusses it with other families, they may lose their scholarship assistance or financial aid completely, since everyone’s personal finances are no one else’s business but their own. Out of respect for privacy, we ask that no one discusses financial situations with other families and keeps their own situations confidential. This is common courtesy.

Families that apply must show proof of income and tax returns from the past 1-2 years. All families are encouraged to apply for CEF if they think they are eligible for tuition assistance based on income. The website is www.cefdn.org. Those who are eligible and qualify for CEF have a better chance of receiving financial aid through the school but must apply separately for financial aid through St. Anthony’s, as donors require a separate form.

What is the application process for financial aid?

Parents must set up a meeting with the principal to see if they qualify for financial aid. If there is available funding, their request may be granted. Any scholarships are good for only one year. Parents or guardians must set up a meeting every year with the principal to discuss the tuition contract agreement and sign the contract for the following year. This takes place every February during re-registration for returning students. All parents must sign tuition contracts for their child to be cleared to attend the school. These executed contracts are binding and again, confidential.

If a student applies for the CEF scholarship and receives an award, they may be eligible for up to $1000 per student per year, and that award check comes to the school to be earmarked for that child’s tuition. This award follows the child to any Catholic school. Most children who receive this award can get it every year, so it’s important that parents apply each year, especially if they know they will qualify.

CEF will start taking applications in the spring (January or February). Families can go to designated high schools for on-site CEF registration. It’s only a 15-minute appointment (you can sign up for this through the school principal) and you can find out quickly whether or not you qualify for a scholarship for all your children.

How long does it take to decide if we can get financial aid?

The principal can let you know within one week if you are eligible for financial aid through the school. CEF has its own timeline. Many families find out in July or August if they have received the award. More info is on the CEF website at www.cefdn.org.

What are the options on ways to pay tuition?

Please refer to the tuition contract in the handbook for the different payment options for tuition and fees.  You can pay by cash, check or money order. However, it is recommended that you pay by FACTS, our school’s automatic-pay tuition program. You can pay in one lump sum, in 2 payments, quarterly, or in 12-months, 11-months, or 10-months.

You have the option to roll in all your fees into your monthly FACTS payments to avoid any late payments. For late payment fees, please refer to the fine print in the tuition contract.