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FAQ's - Erie Catholic School System

Posted Aug. 13, 2017

What is the first step if we’re interested in enrolling in an Erie Catholic school?

The best course of action is to contact the school(s) you’d like to learn about and schedule a visit. When you’re ready, we'll help you with the registration process. To schedule a tour at St. Jude School, please give us a call at 814-838-7676.


How do we register our children in this new system?

Please contact the school for registration forms and requirements. Once completed, the forms are to be turned in to the school. We are working toward offering online registration beginning with the 2018-19 school year.


When is the first day of school?

The first day of school is August 28, 2017 for those students in K - 8. See the 2017-18 calendar posted on the home page. Please check with your school for preschool starting dates and times.


What is the class size limit?

The class size limit for kindergarten through third grade is 25 students. For grades four through eight, the class size limit is 28 students.


If I have a child enrolled for the 2017-18 school year, and more children that I will want to enroll in the years to come, will we get any preference?

Yes. Registration for 2018-19 and beyond will open for current families before it is opened to the general public.


Does Erie Catholic offer preschool?

Yes, every school offers preschool. At St. Jude, we have classes for 3, 4 and 5-year-olds and offer a large degree of flexibility in terms of the length of your child's school day (half-day or full) and the number of days per week.


We really love the before- and after-school care and summer camp programs. Does the new system offer these student services?

Yes. All schools offer before- and after-school care programs. St. Jude is one of five schools that offer summer programs.


There was a lot of talk about embedded middle schools. What’s happening there?

Erie Catholic principals are working together with their middle school teachers on ideas to implement the middle school concepts outlined in Building in Truth and Love (p. 15). Our embedded middle schools will be comprised of grades 6-8 with an emphasis on preparing students for even greater success at the secondary level. An example is the science lab improvements which will begin this year with new lab tables and continue with classroom renovations which will take place beginning in June 2018.


What about other extra-curricular (non-athletic) programs?

Erie Catholic plans to keep extra-curricular programs in place and are working on enhancing opportunities for performing arts (choir, cantoring, band, theater) at all schools beginning with the 2017-18 school year.


What about athletics?

Athletics will continue at each of the campus schools in a manner similar to what currently exists. Schools will keep their team names and mascots, and will continue to compete against each other. We will review all athletic programs in order to create consistent athletic policies throughout all six schools.


When will other recommendations from Building in Truth and Love be implemented?

Concepts outlined in Building in Truth and Love will be phased in over a number of years in close collaboration with the Catholic Schools Office.


Will all schools be on the same calendar?

Yes, the schools are sharing a common school-year calendar.


While our mission is aimed at being “authentically Catholic” what efforts will be made to celebrate and respect diversity in our schools? Will non-Catholic students still feel welcome in our system?

The Erie Catholic School System is committed to have its schools live the Catholic faith throughout each and every day. The teachings and person of Jesus Christ will be evident in every grade level, and in every subject. Our Catholic teachings will enhance our ability to celebrate and respect diversity in our schools and in the greater world. Non-Catholic students are welcomed with open arms and the Erie Catholic School System will purposely develop and promote a thoughtful and caring family environment so all can belong.


What is the role of the pastor in this new system approach?

In the new Erie Catholic School System, the role of the pastor will be different but no less important. The pastor of the parish where the school is located will serve in a lead role in that school with regard to school Masses, other liturgies, pastoral presence and support. The pastors will be present in the schools often, getting to know the students, families and faculty, and he will become a familiar and welcome presence. In addition, all the priests in the Erie area are welcome and invited to contribute to the Catholic culture of the six schools within the system.


Under the new system, what will happen to school-specific events such as weekly Mass, Advent projects, homeroom parties, pet blessings, or grandparent day?

Each school is maintaining our distinct traditions and special events.

Why do different schools have different tuition rates?

In this first year of Erie Catholic, tuition still reflects the different rates set previously by the individual parishes. Those rates varied based on a number of different factors such as parish subsidies, enrollment and endowments, among others. It is the goal of the System to have consistent rates within three years.


Why did the amount of the tuition increase for 2017-18 differ from one school to another?

The maximum tuition rate for the first Catholic child for this year was set at $3,500. In the attempt to bring all schools to this rate, we are increasing tuition in several stages. The first stage was adding an increase of up to $150 per child without going over the $3,500 cap for the first Catholic child.


What can we expect in terms of tuition increases?

We will continue to work toward having one consistent tuition rate across all schools. We will continue to have parishioner and non-parishioner rates. As per Building in Truth and Love, multi-child discounts will remain in place, but these will be adjusted each year to gradually increase the percentage of full tuition paid for each additional child. With this in mind, it is also the goal of Erie Catholic to increase our tuition assistance to make Catholic education affordable to all.


Why did teachers and principals have to re-apply for jobs?

Administrators, faculty and staff are no longer employed by parishes; rather, they are now employed by Erie Catholic, which is a separately incorporated, non-profit entity. The hiring process resulted in the most highly qualified and experienced of an already strong group of teachers being offered teaching positions in Erie Catholic.


Will all schools have specials teachers?

Each school will have full or part-time teachers dedicated to music, art, technology, library, physical education and guidance. In addition, we have added a resource teacher at each school – that person will offer an extra layer of educational support for teachers and students.


Will we still be able to check student grades online?

Yes. In fact, we are implementing a new system, Rediker, that will enable parents and students to check grades and homework assignments, connect with teachers, and link to the school website, all on one platform. For next year, parents will be able to register students and make tuition payments on Rediker as well. 


Where can I get information about the new Erie Catholic School System?
Please visit www.ErieCatholic.org or call the Erie Catholic School System Office at 814-824-1268.