Do students have to be Catholic to go to Saint James School?
Students do not have to be Catholic to come to Saint James School but we are a Catholic school. We have a values-based education, where students are not only taught about academics but how to be a good person in this world. There are students of other religions and we learn about these and other religions and that enriches all of our lives but we do teach the Catholic religion.
What grades are there at Saint James School?
Saint James is a prek through eighth grade school.
At what age can students attend the prekindergarten or kindergarten at Saint James School?
Saint James School has an early childhood program for three and four year olds. Students must be potty trained and three years of age before you start attending Saint James early childhood program. You can join our preschool program at any time throughout the school year, as long as class sizes are not full. Our kindergarten follows the state guidelines that students need to turn five by October 15th.
Is there a bus for students?
A bus is available for all students to and from school that reside in Biddeford. The bus routes are posted in the papers in September and are also online on the Biddeford School Department website. Any questions on busing should be directed to the Biddeford School Department.
When can I tour the school?
Please call the office at any time for a tour. We prefer that parents view the school when school is in session because we feel that you get a better view of the school when you see the students and the teachers interacting with one another but if that is not possible, we will give a tour to meet your needs. Tours are not available during COVID times.
Is there a deadline for admissions?
Saint James School has a rolling admission policy until classes are full. Classes are small with most being about 16 students.
What are the advantages of sending my child to Saint James School?
Saint James School is a small community with small class sizes where everyone knows your name and everyone works together for the betterment of your child. Saint James differentiates their instruction to meet the needs of the varied students at a developmentally appropriate level. Saint James School educates the whole child and students learn about religion and service in the school setting. The class sizes are small and the teachers are devoted and caring to all. The curriculum is solid and has a balance of the important fundamentals with creative problem solving and critical thinking.
What happens after I submit my application?
After Saint James receives your application, you will be contacted to schedule a screening for your child. This varies at different grade levels and at different times of the school year. It may be done in a small setting before school begins or may be one of the first days of school. The purpose of the screening is to make sure that Saint James School properly places your child and that your child will benefit from a Saint James education. Not all students are accepted. If time permits, students are contacted to spend some time with their new class.
Will the school be around in years to come?
The school has made a tremendous investment in its teachers and its building (re-pointing the brick, installing a sprinkler system, just to name a few). Good Shepherd Parish has strongly supported the school and it is the last Catholic school in the Biddeford/Saco area so there is a huge commitment to see this school succeed. The local community strongly supports this school. The school has two endowment funds to help with the ups and downs of slow financial growth. Saint James School does have a strong savings account. We just celebrated our twenty-eighth anniversary as a combined school but the Catholic heritage is over one hundred years old. I have no doubt that Saint James School will be here for many more years to come.
Are all the teachers certified?
All teachers have a valid Maine teaching certification and the school is fully licensed to operate in the state of Maine. We are also accredited through New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This accreditation is voluntary in an effort to always use best practices and to always improve the educational experience at Saint James School for our students. Our motto is that our staff always puts "Students First".
What is the school start and end time?
The school day begins between 7:30 and 7:50. Pick up is from 2:00 to 2:30. After school activities and extended day services begin at this time. Saint James School also has extended day services. Before care begins at 7:00 a.m. and after care goes until 6:00 p.m. Students in after care have their choice of a variety of breakfast items. In after care, students have a snack and do special activity such as a craft or cooking or dance. They have time to complete their homework and have outdoor play time, as well. Please call the office to let us know if your child will be in before care or after care so there is enough staff and supplies.
Can my child attend Saint James if they have an IEP or a 504 plan?
There is differentiated instruction occurring in every classroom but there is not a room with specialized instruction. With our small classes and everyone knowing students so well, we have found students entering Saint James with an IEP or 504 are able to work in the regular classroom. We have students at Saint James with 504s and with ISPs. ISP is the private school version of an IEP.