Frequently Asked Questions
Are students required to be potty trained before they can attend the Little School?
Students enrolled in the 2 year old classes do not need to be potty trained. The teachers encourage students to use the potty throughout the class period and work with students who are in the process of being potty trained.
Students registered in the 3-4 year old and 4-5 year old classes are expected to be potty trained. Teachers frequently remind 3 year olds to use the bathroom.
How many students are in each class?
The ratio of teachers to students is normally 1:7 for the 2-3 year old classes; 1:10 for the 3-4 year old classes; 1:10 for the 4-5 year old classes.
Is a school uniform required?
A school uniform is NOT required. The children are encouraged to wear “play clothes” as they experience “hands-on” learning. Tennis shoes are preferred.
What are the qualifications of the teaching staff?
The Director has a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration and Policymaking from Washington University and is certified in early childhood, special education and elementary education. Several teachers also possess graduate degrees. All Lead Teachers have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in addition to graduate work in the field of early childhood education. All staff members have professional training and broad experience in working with young children. They continually attend workshops and conferences and/or pursue graduate work to increase their knowledge in the field.
Do I have to live within the Ascension boundries in order to register?
No. Catholic families from all parishes are welcome to enroll their children in The Little School. Current students are given an opportunity to register before enrollment is open to the community.
What is the difference between the 4-5 year old four and five morning classes?
The Little School’s Junior Kindergarten 4 morning (M-Th) and 5 morning (M-F) programs for 4-5 year olds both offer academic curriculum matching the standards needed for Kindergarten. A list of these standards is available in The Little School Office. Both classes are offered for the child who turns 4 by July 31. The M-F class is offered for students who would benefit from an “extra day” or another year of individual and small group instruction. The M-F class:
- offers smaller class size for smaller group and one-on-one individualized instruction.
- offers challenging academic curriculum and the opportunity for structure without putting these students in the Kindergarten environment.
- ensures that children master certain social, emotional and physical milestones before they enter a more academic Kindergarten program.
The Little School is a center-based school with focus on socialization. Our cross-categorical curriculum saturates the student with literature, art, music, science, math, and every type of play. In addition, age appropriate Spanish material is introduced in all classes at The Little School.
When a Little School graduate enters Kindergarten, he/she will be a more confident learner and ready for the many challenging elementary years that lie ahead
Lunch Bunch or Enrichment?
Lunch Bunch and Enrichment are both offered Mondays through Thursdays. Lunch Bunch and Enrichment are separate programs. All students that stay after the “11:45 pick up” (Lunch Bunch and Enrichment) participate together in gross motor activities – either on The Little School playground or in the gym – during the dismissal process 11:45am until 12:20pm. Then they split into 2 groups in different classrooms for lunch and the rest of the afternoon.
Lunch Bunchers bring lunch from home or purchase lunch from the cafeteria at an additional cost. Lunch Bunchers eat in the 4-5Yellow Room with the Lunch Bunch teachers and head to carpool between 12:55 and 1:00pm for dismissal. The cost for each Lunch Bunch session is $10. Payment is separate from tuition and payable via cash or check. Lunch Bunch is convenient because you can pick any day. 24 hour notice is required for Lunch Bunch. Children ages 2 (by July 31) and up are welcome to attend Lunch Bunch.
Enrichment class students also bring lunch from home or purchase lunch from the cafeteria at an additional cost. Enrichment class students eat in the 3-4 Room with the Enrichment class teachers. Enrichment is a class environment with the same students attending each afternoon. Enrichment is available to children ages 3 (by July 31) and up. Each Enrichment class is limited to 20 students. Some students are enrolled in all four afternoons of Enrichment. Some students are enrolled in three afternoons of Enrichment, some two afternoons, and some just one afternoon. Dismissal for Enrichment class is at 2:30pm and can be extended to 2:55pm for students with siblings in Ascension School (K-8) at no additional cost. Enrichment tuition is paid monthly with morning class tuition.
How do I know if the Little School is closed during inclement weather?
The Little School is on the same “campus” as Ascension School Chesterfield. Therefore, if Ascension School (the Big School) is closed due to inclement weather, The Little School is closed. An email is sent to Little School families and/or it will be posted on The Little School website if school is closed due to inclement weather.
Does the Little School offer before and after school child care?
Drop off is available at 7:30am Monday through Friday mornings when both The Little School and Ascension K-8 School are in session. Enrichment classes dismiss at 2:30 pm Monday through Thursday (2:55 dismissal is available for those with siblings in Ascension School.) All classes dismiss at 11:45 am on Friday. Child care is not offered before or after these times.
Why are the Little School students entering and leaving the Little Church each day? What are they doing?
The Little Schoolers are visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle. This is a custom in the Catholic Church that shows our belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine. We visit Jesus to thank him for the many gifts that He has given us, to ask Him for the things we need, and to tell Him that we love Him. This visit to Jesus is preparation for the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Genuflecting in church is a sign of respect and humility to God. We bless ourselves with holy water to cleanse ourselves of venial sin (mortal sin needs confession) and to help us realize that we are in the presence of God. Ascension Parish is very fortunate to have the Little Church open for conversation with Our Lord 24-7. Every Thursday the Holy Eucharist is exposed on the altar for adoration from 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Consider making a visit to Jesus with your children and explaining the Stations of the Cross that hang on the walls of both churches. You are welcome to join your child in the Little Church during class time. Ask your child’s teacher for the time of the Little Church visit.
Why does the Little School calendar differ from the Ascension School (K-8) on some occasions?
The Little School and Ascension School (K-8) are both closed on Holy Days, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving each school year.
Other dates may differ due to the following reasons:
- All students K-8 students attend school Monday through Friday. Little Schoolers only attend school on the days they are enrolled (i.e. MW, TTh, MWF, M-Th, and M-F.) Many of The Little Schoolers only attend school in the morning. If The Little School followed Ascension School’s calendar, the students would miss far too many days in school. Routine is essential in early childhood education for a child’s development.
- Ascension School is closed for Parent Teacher Conferences. The Little School classes are in session during Parent Teacher Conferences.
- Siblings of The Little School students do not all attend Ascension School.
It would NOT be cost effective, nor fair to The Little School parents, if The Little School was closed the same dates as Ascension School.
Why doesn't the Little School offer a three morning option for 4-5 year olds?
The Little School offers either a 4 or 5 morning with an extended day option for the child who turns 4 by July 31. The advantages of a 4 or 5 morning versus 3 morning option the year before kindergarten are:
- Consistency and routine is very important for preparing a child for kindergarten.
- Children have more opportunities for enriching hands-on, academic preparation and development of social skills when in a classroom environment.
- Most Kindergarten programs are 5 full days (at the very least 5 half-days.) A child who attends The Little School’s M-Th or M-F classes the year prior to Kindergarten is well prepared.
- Teachers agree that the academic requirements of Kindergarten have changed. What used to be expected in Kindergarten has now become a large part of the Pre-K/JK curriculum; thus more classroom time is needed.
Where is the Multi Purpose Room (MPR ) located?
The Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) is located in the Ascension School building. There is a separate entrance to the MPR located to the right as you face the Main Entrance to Ascension School (look for the statue of our Blessed Mother, Mary).
Is there a multiple student discount?
The Registration/Supply Fee is discounted to a per “family” fee versus a per “child” fee. In order to meet the requirements for student:teacher guidelines, enrollment in each class is limited. Therefore, we are not able to offer discounts for monthly tuition since The Little School was establish to be self-supporting.