Admissions Process

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St. Alban's Admissions Policy

St. Alban’s Admissions Policy - Revised 2015

 New Applicants

 St. Alban's Episcopal School, Inc. admits qualified students of any race, color, gender, national, and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national, and ethnic origin in the administration of educational policies, admissions policies, or scholarship funds.  

 Each applicant is evaluated on their academic and personal performance regardless of background.

 The following factors will be considered for admittance:

  1. Chronological age (a cut-off date of September 1st is used to determine grade level). No exceptions or waivers will be granted without permission from the Head of School.

  2. Age appropriate developmental academic readiness including good behavior and social skills and a good academic/behavioral history if applicable.

  3. Teacher recommendations and copies of report cards from current school (grades 1-6 only).

  4. The expressed commitment of the family to provide positive and purposeful support for the policies, personnel, practices, and curricular goals of St. Alban's Episcopal Day School, Inc.

All families seeking to be admitted must complete and submit a completed application, a copy of the birth certificate and a signed record request form, if applicable.  Official transcripts, teacher recommendations forms, and recognized national normed achievement test scores are requested from current schools, if applicable.

 Toddlers – 3K ApplicantsWhile no assessment is required for this age group, all applicants must go through the application process which includes submitting a formal applications and birth certificate, taking a tour of the facility and meeting with administration, along with a visit to the classroom if possible.  Applicants will be evaluated for age appropriate developmental readiness including fine and gross motor skills.  

 Pre-K Four and Kinder Applicants - Special assessment classes are scheduled for our four and five year old applicants during February.  Each assessment class consists of a small group of applicant children, with several St. Alban’s Faculty assessing and other staff assisting.  If an application is submitted after the assessment classes have been completed, the child is scheduled to spend time in a classroom environment and is assessed by the assigned teacher. If the applicant is currently enrolled in another school, a recommendation form is requested from the applicant’s teacher. Applicants are evaluated for age appropriate developmental academic readiness including good behavior and social skills. 

First Grade Applicants - First grade applicants are required to visit in a St. Alban’s classroom and will be assessed by the teacher or the Assistant Head of School.  Applicants are assessed for age appropriate reading skills, math skills and social skills.

 Second – Sixth Grade - Applicants are also required to visit in a St. Alban’s classroom.  During the applicant’s visit, math skills and writing skills, as well as social, emotional and behavioral skills, will be evaluated by St. Alban’s faculty member.  In addition, if no national test results are available and/or if there are concerns about the academic portion of the transcripts, standardized testing will be administered on campus. Applicants must demonstrate a good academic history and good behavioral scores.

 Priority Enrollment policies will be followed in placement of all students.

 If the applicant has been accepted, the parents receive a formal call of acceptance and an enrollment agreement is officially offered.  If an applicant is not accepted, a call is placed to the parents and a letter of non-acceptance is mailed.

 If the grade level is full, but the applicant meets the requirements for admission, then parents are informed their child will be placed on a waiting list and called when space becomes available.

 A new student seeking admission during the course of the regular year is required to provide, in writing, the reason for leaving the previous school.  Any student seeking admission to St. Alban's Day School who for any reason is under suspension or expulsion from another school shall not be admitted.

 There will be a six-week probationary period during which the child's adjustment to St. Alban's will be closely monitored.   During this time, the teacher will be in direct communication with the parent about any academic or behavioral concerns.  At the end of this period, if deemed necessary, a conference will be held with the parents, the teacher, and the Head of School.  If the student has been unable to adjust to the academic or social environment, or to the structure and discipline of the school, the school has the prerogative to ask the parent to withdraw the student at this time.


Currently Enrolled Students

 Currently enrolled students who are invited back for the next school year will be offered enrollment agreements during the beginning of February.  


Priority Enrollment Policies for New Applicants

 New Applicants will be placed in the following priority:

Level 1:  Siblings of families who have been St. Alban’s Episcopal Day School for at least three (3) consecutive years

Level 2:  Siblings of all other families at St. Alban’s Episcopal Day School

Level 3:  Alumni families

Level 4:  Public

 All applications will be dated and considered on a first-come first-served basis.

 

FAQ's

Top 10 Questions to Ask when choosing a private school for your child…….

1)  How safe is the school? 
When it comes to their children, we know that safety is the top concern of parents today.  Our state of the art facilities are well-cared for and a team of committed custodians is diligent in maintaining the physical plant.  Supervision of students is a top priority from toddlers all the way through 6th grade.   The Imagine More Capital Campaign has provided the funds to not only renovate the Dent Early Childhood Building and build the fantastic new Reed Outreach Center (in progress),  but it has funded important security and fencing updates which has created an almost completely brand new campus over the last year!   When you drop off your child at St. Alban’s, you can be at peace that they are safe and secure in a nurturing and loving educational environment.

2)  Is there high quality and committed faculty and staff?
Let’s face it – faculty and staff are the most important resource in any school.  And we have the most talented educators in Harlingen!  Our teachers are compassionate, well trained and committed to presenting a dynamic educational program.  Grades 4K - 6 teachers are 100% degreed and have an average of over 20 years of experience.  Teacher turnover at St. Alban’s is very low, ensuring that our teachers are here because they love to teach!

3)  What is the ratio of students to staff?
Large classrooms mean less individualized instruction and more opportunity for discipline issues.  St. Alban’s is committed to maintaining low student to staff ratios. All preschool classes (toddlers through Kindergarten) have a teacher and an aide and classes maximums are not compromised.  Ratios in preschool range from 4:1 in our toddler class up to 10:1 in our kindergarten.  Class sizes for grades 1-6 are kept at or under those recommended by the standards committee of Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools.  

4)  Are there strong partnerships among parents, teachers and students?
The partnership between a school and a family is one of the most important elements to consider when choosing a private school.  At St. Alban’s, we believe that this partnership is a critical component in the success of our students.  Parents want to be comfortable talking and working with their children’s teachers.  Our faculty and staff are approachable and open to parent concerns.  Because our mission focuses on the “whole child”, we are able to work together with our families to ensure that the students are receiving the highest quality education, not only academically, but socially, emotionally and spiritually.  We are all in this together! 

5)  Is there opportunity for parental involvement?
If you are a parent who is interested in being involved in your child’s school, one of the first questions you should ask is what opportunities there are for parental involvement.  St. Alban’s is committed to developing the relationship between school and parents and the best way to do that is by getting you involved.  Our parent group is called PAL’s (Parent’s Assistance League) and the primary mission of this group is to assist the school by coordinating volunteer activities.  There is a high level of collaboration between parents and the school and there are numerous opportunities to be involved in the life of the school.

6)  Does the school have a climate that supports achievement?
St. Alban’s is committed to building a culture that supports our mission.  Our campus hosts a diverse population and promotes a wide variety of opportunities for student success, not only academically but socially and emotionally as well.  Our students excel in many areas including PSIA, chess club, music performances and sports and gymnastics events.  Our rigorous academic program has resulted in much student success after leaving our school.  St. Alban’s is proud of our many alumni who have had academic success in middle school, high school and college.  

7)  Is there availability of technology and technological resources?
St. Alban’s is committed to cutting edge technology that is actively used by teachers and students.  Our technology program incorporates the use of a learning lab, laptops, document cameras and an interactive smart board.  Preschool classrooms have access to stand alone computers in their technology center as means of introducing technology into the curriculum and our newly renovated Dent Early Childhood Building has the most cutting edge technology available!  All teachers have their own laptops and St. Alban’s is proud to be the first elementary school in Harlingen to offer a 1:1 laptop and iPad program in 4th - 6th grade!

8)  Are textbooks and teaching materials high quality and up to date?
While teachers are the most important resource in a school, the textbooks and teaching materials must also be considered when choosing a private school.  St. Alban’s has an excellent curriculum that is updated on a rotating basis.  Faculty and staff are trained in every program and funds are provided to purchase any supplemental materials needed to make every program a success.

9)  How long has this school been in operation?
You might not be looking for the oldest school in town, but knowing a little bit about the background of a school can help to give you a fuller understanding of its character.  St. Alban’s Episcopal Day School was founded in 1948 as a half day preschool and has grown over the past 65 years into a full-fledged preschool/elementary school with 235 students from 15 months through 6th grade.  We have a strong sense of family and community and offer an unparalleled educational program within the Rio Grande Valley.  As we continue to grow and evolve, we believe we have a bright future ahead of us.

10)  How successful are the students after graduation?
From 2008-2011, a St. Alban’s alum was named valedictorian at Harlingen High School.  Additionally, for the last several years, our alumni have comprised a significant number of students in the top 10% of both high schools.   Our graduates move to middle school and become leaders both socially and academically - many of them landing in the Top 12 students in their middle school!

 

Take a look at what our alumni have to say about their experience at St. Alban’s.  

St. Alban’s laid the strong foundation for the work ethic that I have in school today, and it also helped me build friendships with people who are still my best friends today.

Julianne Robinson, StA Class of 2003 and 2009 Valedictorian – Harlingen H.S.

 

St. Alban's made me a structured individual.  I have not been told once since the 2nd grade to do my homework because I knew what was needed to succeed even at such a young age.  I also became goal oriented when I would try to make the honor roll as much as possible.  Because of how St. Alban's has made me goal oriented, I have been on the Dean's List at the University of Miami and I am at the top of my class.

Brittany Williams, StA Class of 2000 

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