We have collected a number of frequently asked questions from our preschool and Pre-K in order to help you. We encourage you to contact us if you need additional assistance or help. We may post your question as a new FAQ to help other parents and guardians.
Academics & Learning
Why does research say that a play-based preschool is more effective than a more structured “academic” curriculum?
At a young age, play is more than play. It’s learning. Cooperative and individual play teaches a number of lessons ranging from math, reading and critical thinking to cooperation, mutual respect, and manners. We consider this such a critical element of sound Early Childhood Education that we’ve written a special article dedicated to it:
Read our Helpful Topics Article: Playing is Learning
In short, Preschool classes are designed for the three-year-old’s first experience in a classroom setting and developing the initial ability to separate from their parents, while Pre-K classes are constructed to prepare the the four- and young five-year-old for learning and succeeding in kindergarten and to build on their Preschool skills. We’ve written a special article dedicated to this question:
Read our Helpful Topics article: What is the difference between Preschool and Pre-K Class?
One of the most important things that you can do to prepare a child for Kindergarten is to read to him/her every day. Read with expression and ask questions—“Why did the kitty get frightened?” Ask your child to “read” the story to you. Look for and find letters and numbers everywhere, like license plates and store signs; stay away from worksheets. Print their first name on a cookie sheet layered with salt. Make shapes out of chalk on a driveway that’s been watered with a hose. Use your fun imagination; don’t be afraid to be silly. This makes learning fun!
Learn more: Our Philosophy
No. Research has shown that preschoolers learn best by manipulating their environment and through physical exercise. Our time in the classroom is limited: many of our classes are only held a few times each week for up to two and one-half hours. We have too many other learning opportunities to fit into that limited time. We also work on manners and developing eye-contact and feelings, which cannot be done with screen time.
Yes. We teach letters and numbers in many fun and creative ways. We count stairs, each other, items in the classroom, how many boys/girls, or how many teachers. We may graph what pets every family has or how many children are wearing yellow or blue this day. We make letters out of homemade play dough that we make in class—a cooking and measuring lesson. We write letters with our finger in flour or seeds, and we have alphabet phonics songs that we “act out!” We have too many yearly activities to list in these FAQs, but you can learn more about some of the things that we do by checking out the Handwriting Without Tears® website. Everyday outside each classroom, you can read the Parent Board to learn about lesson plans.
Three-year-old Preschool classes do not go on field trips except to take a nature walk or visit the church. We joke here that the eight daily trips to the restroom are our field trips! We have several classroom visitors throughout the school year including dentists, nurses, “dinosaur” reader, Sparky the Fire Dog, a guitar-playing dad, and a cooking or sewing demonstration. Let us know if you have a talent that you can share with your child’s class.
Our Pre-K classes do go on field trips accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. We usually go to a local pumpkin farm and to the fire station. If you know of or have a place for our Pre-K classes to visit, please let us know!
Contact us to share your talent or field trip idea.
Scribbling is a very important developmental step in handwriting. A child can see the cause-and-effect of his/her effort, and with time, has more control of the crayon or pencil. We have found that children have more control with crayons at this age than they do with markers. The resistance is helpful. Sometimes we even have our children draw on fine-grade sandpaper for more fine-motor development!
Writing letters backwards, sideways or upside down is also “normal” at this age. We were told in our continuing education classes, “If a coffee cup falls off of a table onto the floor, is it still a coffee cup?” That is how a child sees the world at this age. No worries! It will come. We probably all wrote backwards as children, but we don’t do it now!
For more information and great tips, see how and why we use Handwriting Without Tears®, a program developed by occupational therapists. Our staff has been trained in this wonderful program.
Do you have days when you don’t feel like going to work or getting your chores done? Of course, we all do. Once we get moving though, we are usually fine. Your child may be tired or involved in an activity at home that he/she does not want to end. Tell your child that kids must go to school, and parents must go to work, school, or stay home with the little ones. Everyone has a job. You can bring them in crying or throwing their shoes off, and we promise that we will help to get them distracted, happy and working again. Leave with a quick goodbye to your child, showing him/her that you trust us.
On the other hand… if your child is coming down with an illness, that’s another story. Please check him/her out thoroughly if this is the case.
Also consider some possible causes for reluctance to come to school: Are there some changes in your child’s life? A divorce, a separation, death of a pet, a house move, a sick grandparent, a new baby? Any number of things can make a child anxious. Let us know, and we will help you to help your child work out these life issues.
Self-help skills are those activities a child can do to take care of him/herself personally such as dressing or feeding oneself. They typically involve the use and refinement of both small and large motor skills to accomplish. Not only do these skills make for an easier life at home and in school, but they build your child’s independence and confidence. While it takes some time and patience to help your little one develop these skills, it is well worth the effort.
Read our Helpful Topics article: Essential Self-Help Skills for Success
My child will turn five in the summer. Should I keep my child in Pre-K or move him/her to Kindergarten?
The parent of a child with a summer birthday (May-September) faces the question of whether to move a brand-new five-year-old into the kindergarten classroom in August/September or to provide the gift of another “growing year” in Pre-K. This is a difficult decision, one which your Pre-K teacher will work with you to decide. We have a number of insights on this situation, including:
- the nature of the modern kindergarten classroom in terms of its higher academic focus and its requirement to sit still of longer periods of time;
- the difference in general development between very young five-year-olds and classroom peers who are six years old;
- the individual development of each child and some key, kindergarten-readiness signs like the ability to sit for up to 30 minutes, to follow multi-step directions, and to separate easily from parents; and,
- the age cut-offs for kindergarten in your respective school district.
Access our full article about this important topic for more information.
Access Helpful Topics article: The Summer Birthday: Pre-K or Kindergarten?
There are many time-tested ways to help with separation anxiety. One key to remember is always remain positive about Preschool or Pre-K, so that your child learns instinctively that this is a safe and fun place to be. Escort your child into class, give a quick kiss, let him or her know you will be back when school is over, and then exit promptly. Lingering makes it harder for your child to separate. Even though it is hard, keep your tears in check until you reach the privacy of your car.
Read our Helpful Topics article: Separation Anxiety
St. Pius X Children’s Center Policy
Our NUMBER ONE priority at St. Pius X Children’s Center is that of your child’s safety. We have a number of policies and procedures in place to underscore the importance of safety and security.
Parking Lot Safety
- We have a chain across our parking lot, so that cars cannot drive through the campus.
- We do not allow smoking or cell phone use on our property. Safety first!
- When you arrive at our school, our front door is locked. You must ring the doorbell to be identified.
- We have cameras at our front door and viewing screens in various locations within our building to help us identify members of the school community. We will click in those individuals that we recognize. Once clicked in, you may enter the school building by pulling on the door.
- We ask that parents who are clicked in to enter our school not hold the door open for someone they do not recognize as a member of the St. Pius X Children’s Center community. This may go against your nature, but it is meant for the safety of those within the building. Please be understanding if you are a person who is not recognized, and buzz in for entry by our staff.
- We require that you sign your child into the class and greet the teacher, letting her know you have arrived.
- Children stay with their teacher at all times and are accompanied to the restroom.
- We regularly and continually count heads during class time.
- We take our class lists to recess, fire drills, etc.
- Our outdoor play yard is fenced in and locked. Adults can reach the safety escape.
Health & Wellness Safety
- Children who appear to be not feeling well and/or contagious are not permitted to stay in class.
- Children who become sick while at school will stay with a trusted staff member in the school office until a parent/guardian can pick up the child.
- We will not allow your child to go home with anyone that is not on his/her approved pick-up list.
- We ID everyone, sometimes often. For this reason, please be sure to tell any new pick-up person for your child to bring in their driver’s license or picture I.D.
- A staff member is always present at the school’s front door to oversee dismissals.
General Safety & Security
- We have regular staff lock-down safety and fire drills, and work closely with our Reynoldsburg D.A.R.E. officer.
- We always pass yearly fire safety, sprinkler system and insurance inspections.
- All of our staff completes updates in First-Aid, Communicable Disease, and Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting according to the Ohio Department of Education mandates.
- All teachers, substitute teachers and volunteers must attend a Protecting God’s Children workshop and must be BCI or FBI fingerprinted and cleared as part of our overall parish security commitment. You can read more about this from our parish website: Protecting God’s Children.
According to our licensing regulations through the Ohio Department of Education, diapered and non-diapered children cannot be in the same classroom. The exception to this rule is if your child has a medical issue. If this is so, your child’s doctor must write a note for the child’s school file that states such. Permission is then granted until the expiration of the doctor’s note or one year.
If there is no medical issue, but you are concerned that your child may have an accident at school, don’t worry. If your child is close to being daytime toilet-trained, peer pressure usually kicks in at school, and it doesn’t take long for each little one to get on board!
Once you arrive at school and before entering the classroom, take your little one to the restroom. We have a restroom in our main entry area. We will continue to make our “field trips” during the class time. There will be plenty of opportunities to remain “dry.”
Be sure to leave an extra set of weather-appropriate clothing with us just in case—including socks ☺. Place these in a zippered plastic bag labeled with your child’s name.
Preschool and Pre-K children are learning how to get along and be social. We do not feel that the word “misbehaving” is appropriate. Here is a quick overview of typical situations in the classroom and how we handle them at the St. Pius X Children’s Center. Please be aware that we always communicate with parents whenever there has been an issue.
- If a child is having a difficult time in class, we will encourage the child to make better choices. The child will be told that it is the action that is not okay… not the child.
- If the child is having trouble sharing, we will help guide him/her to seek a solution with the children that were involved. We will give them opportunities to come up with the answers to the problem.
- Occasionally, a child will be having an age-appropriate “melt down.” One of us will tell the child that we will help him/her feel better with a drink of water and a calm-down walk. We may read a story or gently wash his or her face. It usually does not take long to be able to return to class for a “start over.”
- On a rare occasion, a child may hit or bite another. When this happens, we take great measures to pay attention to the hurting child first. The children are encouraged to talk with each other about what happened. We will then remove the child that did the hurting, explaining that he/she needs to calm down and think about what happened. We explain that we have a safe school and no one may hurt another. We do not have the child say, “I’m sorry,” but rather, they need to ask the other child if they are okay. Once the child seems to understand, they may return to class, however, a privilege or an item in question may be taken away for the day. Parents will always be notified of an incident in class. We will not give out the child’s name that did the hurting. Any child that seems to be a repeated threat to the safety of others may need to withdraw.
Access our discipline policy: Parent Handbook: PP 8-10
Unfortunately, no. If your child is too ill to play outside, he/she is too ill to come to school. We do not have the staff to stay inside with one child.
Please do not send your ill child back to school too soon if they’ve been home with sickness. Bodies need rest to heal, and he/she may still be contagious.
Your child will unfortunately get sick in Preschool, as we share everything, even the nasty germs. However, if your child does not attend Preschool, he/she will get sick in Kindergarten and first grade… so you might as well get it over with!
Access information about illnesses: Parent Handbook, PP 10-11
We do not allow a child to bring in toys from home, as it can lead to sharing issues and lost or broken items. Toys from home cause a distraction, even if they are left in the cubby. The children need to focus on the lessons at hand, and might miss out on something fun and important if they are focused on their own toy or that of a friend.
Occasionally, with prior notice to parents, your child’s teacher will announce a “Share Day” or “Show & Tell.” On these days, children may bring something from home to school and share a little about this item with the class. They may be asked questions about this item, which is a great early “Public Speaking” exercise!
Payment & Tuition
Yes. Our monthly tuition is not based on a daily rate dictated by the number of days in the month. Our monthly tuition instead reflects the annual cost to educate your child divided into nine equal payments payable over nine months, August-April.
Download and complete our Automatic Debit Payment Form, available below from our Tuition and Payment webpage. Return it to St. Pius X Children’s Center either in person or by mail. Automatic debit is made from your checking account on the fifth of each month. There is no option to adjust the date of the payment.
Learn More: Tuition and Payment
Thank you for your generous interest in sharing your time and talent with us. We love having the help of parents, guardians and relatives in and around our center.
St. Pius X Children’s Center is owned and operated by the Catholic parish of St. Pius X Church and School. As such, all adults who work with our children must meet the requirements of our parish Safe Environment Compliance Policy as dictated by the Diocese of Columbus.
Please read more about this from our Volunteering webpage.