a Private Academy in the Catholic Tradition
Below are the answers to our most frequently asked questions by those who are current families in our school. The column to the left includes answers to questions most frequently asked by prospective families interested in the school. Please visit the Contact Page to reach out to us with additional questions.
Q. I have questions about the uniform. Please help!
A. Thank you for asking about our uniform policy! Please remember that students in primary and elementary grades (K4 - 5th) have a slightly different uniform than those in middle school grades (6-8). You can read our complete uniform policy here (or on our Uniform Page) or in our parent-student handbook. You can also ask our principal or staff if any specific uniform or grooming policy questions arise.
Q. When is Mass day? How do the procedures change on this day?
A. Mass days are on Fridays, although on a few special occasions (e.g. Feast of the Immaculate Conception or Ash Wednesday) we might attend Mass on a different day of the week. Mass begins at 8:00 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church (off of Niagara Rd.). Drop off is between 7:40 - 7:50 a.m. Students or parents need to check in with our school secretary as they enter to state whether they need a ride in our car pool or whether they will be driven back to school by their parents. Mass ends around 8:40 a.m. Students will be assigned to their designated ride after Mass. Usually, we all arrive back to school by 9:00 a.m. Please remember that younger students need a car seat or booster brought with them if they are needing to get a ride back to school. We are very grateful for any parents (or grandparents) who assist us with the car pool back to school!
Q. I am wanting to fulfill service hours, but I'm not sure how to start.
A. First, THANK YOU! We depend on our families' contribution of service to help keep tuition costs as low as possible. We almost always need help with lunch duty supervision and cleaning (12:00 - 1:00 p.m. daily), assisting teachers, cleaning jobs, landscaping, and (of course) fundraising. We have many needs, and we would love for you to contribute in the way you are most comfortable. We keep a regular calendar for lunch duty assistance in our school office. Our school secretary can assist you in getting signed up. Other service opportunities can be pursued by talking to our principal or one of our staff.
Q. I'm interested in having my child baptized or receive First Communion. How can I pursue this?
A. We are eager to assist you with this process, and we are happy you are wanting to guide your child in the Faith. All children receiving sacraments must register with the local parish. However, St. Mary's Catholic Church does generally allow students to receive their First Reconciliation and Communion formation through our religious education program. This is normally pursued in second grade. Students who are older than second grade may need to go through the RCIA or "catechumenate" process (don't let that word scare you!). This is where students will receive baptism, confirmation, and their first Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil liturgy. Please speak with our principal if you have further questions on the sacrament formation process.
Q. My child and/or teacher is telling me about All Saints' Day - What is this about?
A. What a great question! All Saints' Day is a feast day celebrated by the Catholic Church on November 1, and it is a day that honors all of those who are in heaven (therefore "saints" properly). To celebrate with the Church (as close to November 1 as possible), our school hosts an All Saints' Day Parade which takes place in our school gym; all parents are invited to this event. Each student will dress up as a particular saint, and when the parade begins, students will take turns stating their saint's name and process around the gym. Some classes will host presentations on this day which will provide more detail into the life of their saint. Students usually pick a saint to dress up as at least a few weeks before November 1. Please ask your teacher for more details on how their class will be doing the saint research process. Our teachers or principal would be happy to assist you in knowing how to prepare a costume or to provide more information on this day.
Q. I am interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith and/or in becoming Catholic. How can I do this?
A. We are honored to assist you. Our entryway is regularly stocked with books, CDs, and DVDs by Lighthouse Catholic Media that are resources for those who are interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith. We can also assist you more personally in understanding the Catholic Faith or how to enter the Church, and our staff would be happy to speak with you. Perhaps you are a fallen-away or non-practicing Catholic and feel uncertain of how to begin practicing the faith actively again. We are not here to judge you - only to assist you! Coming back is easier than you think, and we will be happy to guide you. You can also contact the local Catholic parish directly to begin the process of entering the Church.
Below are the answers to our most frequently asked questions by those who are interested in our school. The column to the right includes answers to questions most frequently asked by current families. Please visit the Contact Page to reach out to us with additional questions.
Q. How do I apply?
Q. What grades do you accept?
A. We currently accept grades K4 (pre-K) through 8th. We are in the process of planning and developing a high school program. We hope to offer this in one or two years.
Q. What age must my child be to enter K4 or Kindergarten?
A. We generally follow the Montrose County School District guidelines for kindergarten and preschool ages. Children must be 5 years-old by August 1 to enter Kindergarten. Children must be 4 years old by August 1 to enter our M/W/F or M-F K4 program. Children must be 3 years old by August 1 to enter our T/Th K4 program.
Q. I'm not Catholic. Can I still apply to the school?
A. Yes! About 1/3 of the students at Pope John Paul II Academy are not Catholic. However, the school does follow, teach, and practice the Catholic Faith. As such, all students are expected to participate and learn about the Catholic Faith to the degree that they are able (i.e. non-Catholics will not be able to receive sacraments).
Q. What are the hours for your school day?
A. Our K-8 program goes from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Drop off is between 7:45 a.m. - 7:55 a.m. Our K4 program (pre-K) goes from 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. with the same drop off time.
Q. Do you accept students with behavioral or academic issues? What about children with special needs?
A. Because we are a small private school with limited funding and resources, we are unable to assist students who have more severe special needs. Public schools offer greater resources and personnel to address more specialized academic or behavioral needs. Some students who have less severe or specialized needs may benefit from the smaller class sizes found at Pope John Paul II Academy. However, because we are trying to build a culture which is rooted strongly in faith, morals, and high academic standards, students who are struggling more severely in school may need resources and assistance that our school cannot provide.
Q. I'm interested in the school, but I'm afraid I cannot afford tuition. Are there scholarships available?
A. Our school offers tuition assistance to families who qualify. Our school utilizes a third-party system to equitably determine who qualifies for tuition assistance. Please go to our Payment and Financial Aid page to learn more and begin the application process.
Q. Does your school serve breakfast or lunch?
A. While we do not offer school meals as part of regular tuition, there is a separate hot lunch program at our school. This service is provided for a small fee. Order forms are sent home once per week with students.
Q. Does your school follow the Common Core Standards? Do you administer state standardized testing?
A. No, we do not adopt the Common Core Standards as we believe in following a classical approach to education which is time-tested and proven to be effective. Once per year, our school administers the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS). As a private school, we are not bound to administer state testing.
Q. Is your school accredited?
A. Yes, we are fully accredited through NAPCIS (National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools).
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67051 Sunnyside Rd.
Montrose, CO 81401