Frequently Asked Questions (Pre-Kindergarten Program)
Q: What is the average class size?
A: The three year old program will accept up to 15 students. The four year old, three day program will accept up to 15 students. The five day morning and full day program will accept a total of 28 students.
Each class is staffed with two full-time teachers and two teaching assistants. The school also has a part-time volunteer from the community who assists in the classroom and the older students at Saint James School also help the Pre-Kindergarten students when needed.
Q: What is the experience level of the teaching staff in the Pre-K program?
A: Saint James Preschool is blessed to have a highly experienced teaching staff:Mrs. Sandra Valentine, Director/Teacher, has over 30 years of experience teaching the Pre-Kindergarten curriculum. Mrs. Mary Villano, Teacher, has 9 years of experience in the Saint James School system. Mrs. Patti Gregory, Teaching Assistant, has 12 years of experience in the Saint James School system. Mrs. Kimberly Bevans, Teaching Assistant, has 3 years of experience in the Saint James School system.
Q: What is the dress code for the Pre-Kindergarten program?
A: The Pre-Kindergarten children do not wear a specific uniform as they do in the big school. We do ask, however that they come to school in suitable, comfortable clothing. Keep in mind that children will be playing outside on the playscape at times. Children should wear comfortable shoes with non-slip soles. All clothing should be labeled with the child’s name.
Q: What is the Pre-Kindergarten facility like?
A: The Saint James Pre-Kindergarten is located adjacent to Saint James School, in the building that was previously the Convent. We use four large rooms for our daily activities. Two classrooms contain child-sized tables and chairs, a carpeted area for “circle time,” a library area, and a prayer area. The children do their daily work, art projects, snack time and other activities in these areas. Once large room is used for free play and is stocked with a large variety of toys that enhance role playing, fine motor skills, basic computer skills and imagination. An area located away from the instructional areas is used for a quite time period for our full-day students. This area contains a listening center, a library area, and a quiet place to listen to a story or take a short rest.
In addition, we have a large, fenced-in area behind the Pre-Kindergarten building for outdoor play, as well as use of a full kitchen for cooking projects.
Q: Is there a snack period and and how does lunch work for afternoon/full day students?
A: Children in the morning programs bring a snack with them on school days that consists of a nutritious snack food and a beverage. The afternoon and full-day program children bring a lunch, since their sessions coincide with regular lunchtime. All children attending the Pre-Kindergarten during a lunch session may purchase milk from the Saint James School cafeteria. Again, we ask that a nutritious lunch be provided because we believe this to be important to their education. Due to allergies, nut products, including peanut butter, are not allowed in the Pre-Kindergarten.
Q: What are some ways that parents can get involved?
A: There are various ways that parents can be involved in the Saint James Pre-Kindergarten as well as Saint James School itself. In the Pre-Kindergarten, there are numerous opportunities to help out in the school such as party planners/supervisors, party donations, field trip chaperones, and more. The Pre-Kindergarten also has a Butter Braid fundraiser every year. Please note, field trip chaperones and in-class volunteers must complete a background check and attend a VIRTUS training session.
Pre-Kindergarten parents may also join the Saint James School Home and School Association (HSA). The HSA is the organization that is responsible for planning and executing fundraising and social events to benefit the Saint James School and its families.
Parents, Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, and other family and friends can also help by collecting BoxTops for Education and submitting them to our school. Each BoxTop for Education we collect is worth $0.10 to the school. While it doesn’t sound like much, the amounts add up quickly if everyone participates.