Frequently Asked Questions
How old does my child have to be to start school?
It is a district requirement that a child be five years old by September 1.
My child has been to two years of pre-school and is very bright. I think they are ready for kindergarten but they won’t turn five years old until October 1, November 1, etc. Can they start anyway?
Many criteria determine when it is best for a child to start kindergarten. Children may be advanced in academics (such as knowing their A, B, Cs and counting, etc.) but need physical, social and life skills. It is very rare to start a child without meeting the deadline of September 1.
Is it necessary to be Catholic or have my child baptized?
No. While East Catholic is a Catholic school, we do accept children of all religions. However, be aware that Catholic schools are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and we do teach Catholic values and morals to all students.
What is the usual class size?
Most classes are between 18-25 students. It varies each year, but we do try not to exceed 25 students per teacher. Generally in kindergarten, it is 20 or under per class and a teacher’s aide assists.
What are the health and immunization requirements to start school?
The state requirements are:
- 4 doses of tetanus (1 dose on or after the 4th birthday); 3 doses if series started after 7 years of age.
- 4 doses of diphtheria (1 dose on or after the 4th birthday); 3 doses if series started after 7 years of age.
- 3 doses of polio
- 2 doses of measles
- 2 doses of mumps
- 1 dose of rubella
- 3 doses of hepatitis B
- 2 doses of varicella or written statement from physician/designee indicating month and year of disease or serologic proof of immunity.
- 1 dose of tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (TDAP)
- 1 dose of meningitis vaccine (MCV4)
What type of athletics does the school support?
See the section on Athletics.
Why is there a difference in tuition costs for parishioners vs. non-parishioners?
Diocesan policy dictates that there are 2 rates of tuition for schools within the diocese, a parish rate (for families from the sponsoring parish or parish with no school) and one for all others. Catholic schools receive funding from several sources: the sponsoring parish underwrites a part of the operational costs (at East Catholic it exceeds $300,000 per year) and the diocese has funds available for schools from the diocesan collections as well. Non-parishioners, since they are not supporting East Catholic through their weekly collection, pay a higher rate of tuition.
Is financial assistance available?
Yes, we do have financial assistance. This is administered through the diocese. Forms can be obtained from the school (usually by mid-January) and are due to the Diocese at a designated date (usually in March) for the following school year. Awards are made and notifications send to the family in June. The amount of the grant is dependent on the monies available that year and the number of qualified applications. See the section on Tuition Support.
Why do we have so much fundraising?
Operating a school is very expensive. Tuition only pays part of the costs. Again diocesan policy states that 10% of the operating budget of a school should be from fundraising. If you do not wish to participate in any fundraising activities, there is a once a year fee that you may choose to pay in lieu of these activities.
Is busing available for students?
Yes. The public school district in which you live will bus your student to East Catholic. However, each school district does operate on a different schedule as far as days off, etc. East Catholic follows the Woodland Hills School District schedule since 80% of our students reside within this district. Days on which your home school district is not in session (therefore, not busing), it is your responsibility to provide transportation to and from school for your child.
Why is it necessary to obtain clearances to volunteer in the school?
We are responsible for the safety and welfare of your children while they are in our care. It is a responsibility that we, and the Pittsburgh Diocese, take very seriously. It is part of the Diocesan Abuse Prevention Policy that requires we obtain, and keep on file, certain clearances for anyone who volunteers at a parish-sponsored program/facility. Information on how to obtain these clearances is in the registration packet, which your child received or can be obtained from the school or parish office. In addition, you can access this information at the diocesan website.
Is childcare available for after school or on days of early dismissal?
Yes, we have an extended care program available for East Catholic students from 2:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Children receive a snack, have prayer time, do their homework, and have playtime (sometimes in the gym or outside if weather permits). There is a cost per student per hour.