- How can my child be considered for enrollment?
Visitors are invited to drop in without appointments at St. Mark’s if you arrive any weekday after 9:30 a.m. (This allows our children time to settle in with their teachers before we visit with guests.) You may visit our classrooms, view our playgrounds, ask all your questions, and if you feel we might be a good fit for your child, fill out a Wait List form before you leave. We enroll new students from our Wait List, and will let you know when a space becomes available and follow through with registration at that time.
- May my child visit with me?
Yes, children who are in good health may come with you and be included in our work and play. In fact, this gives us an opportunity to assess which class would be most appropriate for your child, if we’re able to accommodate your wishes.
- What do you require for registration?
We require an annual Registration Fee of $50 (non-refundable) and payment of a Deposit equal to one-month’s tuition. Your Deposit is fully refundable with a one-month notice of your intention to withdraw – or upon “graduation” from our program, when all expenses related to your child’s care are paid. In addition, there are forms required by the State of California and County of San Diego that must be completed before your child’s first day including an Immunization Schedule and a form to be signed by your physician acknowledging that your child is in good health.
- My child has not been left with anyone, what if he or she cries for me?
We hope that each child will have a pleasant introduction to our program by visiting to play with us at least twice before their first day. We ask that parents be truthful and tell their child that they will be leaving, but that they will return as promised. The bond we form with your child begins when you leave and we are there to help your child. Our teachers have worked with many children who are away from home without their parent for the first time. We ask that you be available, by phone, if we need to call you to pick your child up earlier than planned. We know that your child builds trust in you when they experience you returning, just as promised, each day they are here. Soon they build the confidence needed to say “good-bye” cheerfully.
- What if my child should become ill at school?
We do all we can to protect the good health of all our students. We ask that parents carefully assess their child’s health each school morning and only bring children feeling well to school. We will isolate and send home children who have a fever of 100 degrees or more, or who vomit, have diarrhea, or display behavior or inability to function in a usual manner. Parents will be notified of outbreaks, even when it is not in your child’s class, in an effort to minimize risk to all children.
- How do you know who is picking the children up?
From your initial visit, our Open House and Parent Orientation, we lay groundwork to know both you and your child. In fact, in a very short time, all our staff knows every child and recognizes each parent. If ever a parent must plan for another adult to pick their child up from school, they must provide written/dated permission and prepare that individual to present valid photo identification when they arrive. We are very alert to each individual who enters our school, we greet parents, we escort visitors, and we educate our parents to work with us on safety policies.
- Are your teachers trained?
Each person on our staff meets NAEYC Accreditation Standards for Staff Qualifications and exceeds the Early Childhood Education Units required by Title 22 (the governing document by the State of California which oversees licensed childcare centers). Assistant Teachers, as well, are trained and meet requirements as “Fully Qualified” Staff who can lead the class in the lead teacher’s absence. We have a “Roving Staff” person who provides breaks and fills in classes as needed so that we use very few substitutes.
- Do you provide a snack?
Snack time is a planned part of our morning in each class. We plan for nutrition, variety, introduction of new foods, multi-cultural tastes, and foods that support our focus. Snack and food preparation is a big part of our nutrition and science education, as children love to taste what they helped prepare and enjoy the experiences of learning how food changes when mixed, heated, or chilled.
- Do you provide lunch?
Children bring their lunches from home with an ice pack included, if needed. We ask for prepared finger foods that are ready to eat. Children, especially those who stay with us for a longer day, enjoy showing each other what their parent provided. Some include notes from home, and all are healthy and have an incredible variety. One day per week we have a “Pizza Day” that your child can participate in, if you wish, for an added charge. Please read about food from home for infants. *We are not a free meal facility.
- How is tuition paid?
Parents are given a statement on the first school day of each month with their monthly newsletter. Tuition may be mailed or brought to the school and is due by 15th of the month. It may paid by cash, check, or ACH/bill pay.
- Do you offer financial assistance?
St. Mark’s School has a generous financial aid fund which we have used to help families who find themselves in a crisis during the year. It is our goal to allow a child to complete their school year and keep that part of their life stable when families are under stress. Parents may submit an application for financial aid to the School Board for consideration at any time during the school year by speaking with the director. We have been able to honor requests for partial assistance, as we have extended our help to multiple families in our program.
- Is St. Mark’s a religious program?
St. Mark’ School is a community outreach of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church and is open to all faiths and cultural backgrounds. We always say grace before snack and may begin the day with a prayer. Simply stated, when we answer children’s questions about God, we adhere to our belief that God made the world and made us in His image to care for ourselves, our world, and others. Religious teachings are not a part of our daily plans, but we join our pastors once each month for chapel time in our church and celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus… a very special baby.
- Do you encourage parent involvement?
We thrive on parent involvement! St. Mark’s could not, and would not want to get along without parents. Clearly our program has thrived since 1968 because we choose to form a partnership with parents while we work together to make the most of these most-important formative years. We invite parents to work, play, and join in when possible. We ask that you participate in our two annual fundraising events: our Kids Resale and our Annual Carnival. And we enjoy parents who like to share their occupation or hobby in their child’s class. Parents are also an important part of our School Board where we make all decisions regarding the well-being of our children, families, staff, and facility.
- What are “Wheel Toy Days?”
St. Mark’s was fortunate to fence a large parking lot adjoining our playground many years ago. We use it for ball and game play on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Thursday and Friday we invite our students to bring their own wheel toy and helmet and ride with our teachers during their outside time. Many children leave St. Mark’s riding two-wheeled bicycles because of the encouragement and training they received on our bike course. Wheel Toy Days has been going strong since the late 1980s.
- Do you take field trips?
We may take one or two field trips in each class (not infants or toddlers). We require that each child have a parent or guardian drive who will stay with the child during the trip. Field trips are a great way for students to bond with their friends away from school. Parents get to know each other as well, and many friendships are started during these class outings.
- Do you offer summer school?
We have a full summer of enrichment classes for our students ages infants to kindergarten. We invite our alumni students and friends back for one last summer of fun following their kindergarten year. We often have an all-school focus and have a very good time working together on common ideas, sharing our expertise with each other, and making lasting memories of our activities and projects.