Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a registration fee?
Yes. The registration fee for the 2015-2016 school year is $250 per child or $500 per family for 2 or more children if paid by April 15th, 2015. After April 15th, 2015, the fee is $350 per child or $700 per family. This is paid at the time of registration and is non-refundable. The registration fee covers administrative costs and pays for a portion of the school supplies and books required for your child’s classroom.
Who sets the tuition rates and why is there a difference in tuition for Catholic families?
The Principal of our school with the guidance of the School Advisory Council establishes tuition rates based on the school’s budgetary needs. Because the parish subsidizes the school, the tuition rate for students (K-8) who are members of St. Francis Catholic Church is less than that of students who are not members. Pre-Kindergarten is not subsidized. All families, regardless of parish affiliation, pay the same tuition rate. Please review the 2014-2015 information sheet for current tuition rates for our Pre-Kindergarten and K-8 programs.
How big are your classes?
Our current student to teacher ratio is 16 to 1.
Do I have to be Catholic to attend?
You do not have to be Catholic to receive an excellent education at St. Francis. Nearly 15% of our families are not Catholic. All of them, however, believe in the value of a faith-based curriculum where faith, learning, and service are practiced daily and supported through our challenging curriculum. A strong moral compass, a commitment to serving others and a desire for academic excellence are beneficial to children of any faith. We recognize parents are the primary educators of their children and work in partnership with parents to support their child’s faith development.
How do your student’s academic achievements compare to the Public Schools in Bend?
Unfortunately, comparing private to public schools can be a bit like comparing apples to oranges. We hear continually from parents who have left public school to attend St. Francis that our curriculum is challenging compared to what their child was learning while enrolled at the public school. St. Francis School scores on the OAKS (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test have exceeded Bend-LaPine’s and the State scores. When our students leave for high school they are prepared to enter honors and advanced placement classes.
What time does your school day begin and end?
Each school day starts at 8:00 am (doors open at 7:45 am) and end at 3:00 pm. We have early release Fridays, dismissal at noon, twice per month. We use this professional development time for our teachers and staff so that they can continue to provide current, relevant curriculum and teaching strategies.
Do you offer a foreign language?
Yes, we do. We provide Spanish education to all of our students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Please look at the school curriculum booklet for more information.
Do you have sports programs?
St Francis Athletics offer Cross Country and Track. We team with BPRD (Bend Parks and Recreation District)to offer Basketball. There is a pay to play fee associated with all sports. It is important for the development of the whole child that team and individual sports are made available to every student. We will work with students who wish to play football, volleyball, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation to make practices and keep up with their academic work. Learning to balance academics, sports, and social activities in middle school provides a sound foundation for high school.
What are my tuition payment options?
Each family has the opportunity to pay the academic year tuition in one annual payment (by cash or check ONLY), in full by Sept. 1, and receive a 5% discount. Monthly payments are available over 12 months (pay period July-June) as well, with no penalty or discount.
Do you offer financial aid or tuition assistance? How do I qualify or apply?
Yes. Catholic and non-Catholic families are eligible to apply for our Fair Share tuition assistance program. Tuition assistance applications are available at the school office upon request. A Financial Aid Committee will determine the families financial need based on application information submitted. Applicants who do not turn in a completed form and tax documents will not be considered for assistance. All information is kept confidential and will only be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee.
Do you have an online grading system where parents can monitor grades and student progress?
Yes. St. Francis uses Sycamore School Management Software. It is a web-based system that allows families and students to monitor their progress in class. Every family and student are assigned a unique login and password for security. Our teachers update their classes at least weekly which allow parents and students to view grades and assignments as they are entered.
Do you do background checks on all employees, teaching, and non-teaching? What about volunteers?
Yes. Volunteering is a vital component of our school. The Diocese of Baker has guidelines for all parishes and schools to follow to keep our children safe.
• Undergo a criminal background check; this paperwork is submitted to the school for processing. We pay for two background checks per family.
• Review and sign the Code of Conduct for Ministry with Children and Youth
• Complete the Darkness to Light training
• Attend a scheduled Call to Protect informational session
• If planning to drive on field trips, complete the Driver Information Sheet
Do you offer extended care?
As a service to the parents of our students enrolled at St. Francis, the school operates a fee-based extended day care program. Care is offered to our Pre-Kindergarten students until 3 pm and for our K-8 students until 6 pm. It is offered every school day and most early release days. Care is not offered on holidays or teacher in-service days, Christmas vacation, spring break or during the summer. Please contact the school office for pricing information and enrollment. Our extended care program is certified and inspected by the State of Oregon.
If I am paying tuition, why am I expected to volunteer?
The true cost of educating your child is more than our tuition. To help close this gap, we offer a variety of volunteer opportunities and require each of our school families to participate in “PIP” (Parent Involvement Policy). Parent volunteers can work in the classroom, work on school events or fundraisers, join parent committees, help in the lunchroom, or even help in the Parish. There are many options. We believe that strong parental involvement is an important factor in your child’s academic success. PIP hours offer an opportunity to meet your children’s teachers, get to know your school and parish community and to play an active role in your child’s education. Sharing your time, talents and gifts with the St. Francis community keeps our tuition rates down and our sense of community strong. For those unable to volunteer, we offer an opt-out option through a financial contribution.