Questions to Ask When Selecting a Kindergarten
Searching for the right kindergarten for your child may feel like a daunting task. Knowing the right questions to ask can help you narrow your decision and discover a school that is the right fit for your family. The questions below may serve as a guide for you as you research a prospective school.
1. What separates one school from another? Central Kentucky is blessed with a variety of schools to choose from as they consider kindergarten for their children. There are public schools, private independent school, private faith based schools, and home school. As you begin your online research, look for the factors that set each school apart.
Within Lexington Christian Academy’s (LCA’s) kindergarten program, classes are small and provide multiple levels of learning opportunities that allow students to be challenged academically, develop socially and spiritually, and begin to explore their God-given talents and gifts, all centered through a Biblical Worldview Curriculum. In addition to their homeroom instruction, our kindergarten program offers students an array of special classes from art, computer, library, music, physical education, and Spanish. We have exceptional teachers who are qualified, talented and reflect Jesus as they teach their students. In addition to the educational experiences that students receive, families quickly discover a community, which fosters building relationships within the LCA family.
2. Is your school accredited? Accreditation is to a school or college what an academic diploma or degree is to an individual. That objective stamp of approval is earned by meeting a prescribed set of standards. Independent members of an accrediting organization assess whether the school has met those standards. Accreditation confirms that the school is committed to obtaining the best possible outcomes for its students. Accreditation reassures parents that the school's programs have been evaluated and have met the standards required for accreditation. Accreditation is typically administered by regional associations, which have specific areas of the country under their purview.
Cognia, formerly known as AdvancedEd/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, accredits LCA. LCA’s accreditation confirms our teachers are qualified, our curriculum is sound, and our program is producing the desired outcomes for students.
3. What qualifications do you look for in hiring teachers? Teacher certifications vary from state to state, with some not requiring all faculty to have certification. Additionally, teachers have varying levels of qualifications… from different degrees and certifications to things like bilingual skills or a foundation of faith. You will want to explore what types of qualifications are important to you and how the school’s priorities match your own.
At LCA, all of our teachers meet our accrediting body’s standards for teaching. In addition, LCA requires all employees to be Christians, committed to their faith walk, and involved in a local church. Each year, LCA provides professional development to continue to grow and equip our educators for the ever-changing educational landscape.
4. How are faith and learning integrated? Faith-based schools take a variety of approaches to integrate faith and learning. Asking this question in your search will help you to choose a school that aligns with your values and will reinforce what your children learn at home.
LCA provides a Christ-centered education where a biblical worldview is incorporated in every subject. Our faith is our cornerstone. Each day, our students attend Bible class. Each week, our students attend a chapel program where the content and duration tailored by age group. In addition, our students learn how to serve, why we are called to serve, and how serving others help us learn about the character of God.
5. What is the student-teacher ratio? Small class sizes are generally considered a benefit for young children. The individualized attention your child will receive with a low student-teacher ratio will allow educators to identify your child’s learning style, personality, and habits. The better a teacher knows each student, the more likely the teacher is to notice things like behavioral changes, academic challenges, and even areas of strength. On the other hand, a class size that is too small may limit opportunities for socialization.
At LCA, we are proud to offer kindergarten classes, which range between 11 and 15 students with a dedicated homeroom teacher. Small class sizes allow our teachers to get to know, love and support their students. In addition, small class sizes provide an opportunity for teachers to provide additional enrichment for those children who need more challenge and encouragement for those children who need additional support.
6. What are the enrichment opportunities? School is more than the activities inside the traditional classroom. Enrichment opportunities in kindergarten may include visual art, music, physical education, foreign language, library, and more. In addition, schools may host programs to enrich the experience and provide opportunities for community and fellowship. What does each school offer to enrich the experience for their students and their families?
At LCA, our kindergarten students receive enrichment in a variety of ways. First, each week, they attend special classes, which include art, computer, library, music, physical education, and Spanish. They also enjoy field trips, science experiments, book fair, and field day. The whole family enjoys enrichment through community programs such as the Back-to-School Bash, Donuts with Dads, Muffins with Moms, Grandparents Day, Trunk or Treat, Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas Programs, and the Academic Showcase.
7. How do you work with children who need support? Every child has unique gifts and challenges, and not all children learn in the same way. In your school search, consider the needs (and potential future needs) of your child. Should your child someday need additional support in math or reading, is the school equipped to meet his/her needs?
At LCA, our elementary school provides intervention services in the areas of reading and math. Should a child need support, our principal, guidance counselor, and director of intervention services work with the family to gather information and then determine a plan. The plan is individualized, shared with the teachers, and evaluated to assess the student’s success.
8. Does your school offer a before or after-care program? Many working families require a before or after-care program for their children. Should your child need these services, does the school offer them on site? Who are the employees of the before and after-care? What is the cost? What activities do the students enjoy during the program?
At LCA, we offer both before (7:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.) and after care (3:25 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.) at our elementary campus. The staff members are LCA employees trained and supervised by our Director of Students Services. Activities include enrichment, homework help, outside play, and an afternoon snack. For more information contact Megan Filburn, Director of Elementary Student Services at email@example.com.
9. Is the school safe? Consider safety, as you are exploring schools. Are entrances and exits monitored so that kids can leave and strangers cannot get in? Is there a strict sign-in and sign-out policy?
At LCA, the safety and security of our students and employees is a top priority. This is evident in a variety of ways. First, at the start of the school day, all entrances and exits are locked. They are monitored throughout the course of the day. Visitors must sign-in and sign-out at designated offices. Second, all families are required to provide a list of individuals who are authorized to pick-up their students. The office staff closely adheres to this list, contacting families if there are any discrepancies. Third, all staff is trained on safety and security measures including lock-down procedures. Finally, LCA employs two security officers who provide protection and support to our students, their families, and our employees.
10. How does the school partner with parents? Are parents encouraged to volunteer? A school has to be a great fit not just for your child, but also for your family. Research and determine each school’s levels of parent involvement.
At LCA, we believe that parents have the primary responsibility for educating and nurturing their children. At the same time, we recognize the triangular partnership of home, church, and school, working together to promote a child’s academic, spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. We seek relationships with parents versus their simply being names on a roster. It is because of our desire to have relationship and community that we provide a variety of opportunities for parents to get involved around the school system. This includes classroom parent, field trip chaperone, party planner, lunchroom helper, parents in prayer, and so much more!
11. Do you offer financial aid? Affording private education looks different for every family. As you evaluate your family’s financial situation, keep in mind that many schools offer assistance or reduced tuition rates based on financial need. In some cases, tuition programs can significantly reduce the cost.
At LCA, we offer a needs-based tuition assistance program. Families submit applications to an independent third party, FACTS Tuition Grant & Aid. LCA’s tuition assistance committee reviews and offers awards based on FACTS Tuition Grant & Aid’s assessment as well as the availability of budget dollars. In addition to tuition assistance, LCA offers an Eagle Tuition Incentive Program (E-TIP,) which allows families to bank tuition credits by purchasing gift cards for various stores where they already shop. Gift cards are sold at face value with discounts passed on to individual accounts in the form of tuition credit.
It is our hope that your school search will bring you to a place that is uniquely equipped to meet your child’s needs. We see education as a partnership with parents, and we hope that these questions will guide you towards finding a school that is the right fit for your partnership.
Are you ready to explore kindergarten at Lexington Christian Academy? We are now accepting applications for the upcoming school year. Connect with the Admissions Office here. We would be happy to answer your questions and provide you with more information regarding our elementary school. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (859) 422-5755. We look forward to serving you!