Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions of our office. If you don’t find what you are looking for or you would like to share with us your comments, please call the school office at 608-752-2031 and we will be happy to provide you with what you need or listen to your concerns.
Q. Why should I choose a Catholic education?
A. A Catholic education is important. It represents a philosophy of self-worth, respect for others, and a sense of community. Values are a fundamental part of SPCS life and are included in all educational activities. Catholic values are a planned part of the SPCS curriculum. We provide roots for children to grow and a basis for them to formulate their life roles.
Q. What is special about Saint Patrick Catholic School?
A. Saint Patrick Catholic School is unique in that it is a Catholic, 3K through 8th grade school located in Rock County within the beautiful city of Janesville, Wisconsin. Most of our families live in Rock County or within a manageable commute from the surrounding counties, creating a close-knit, supportive, and diverse school community. Our urban campus creates an environment conducive to learning and exploration both in and out of the classroom. Small to medium class sizes, exceptional teachers, a challenging curriculum, and balanced offerings in academics, the arts, athletics, and community service all make SPCS a special place for learning and growing. Saint Patrick Catholic School has been serving the Janesville community since 1870.
Q. What makes Saint Patrick Catholic School different?
A. Our classrooms are“child-centered” where we consider the needs of the students, as a group and as individuals. We provide children with learning opportunities in a multi-age setting which has many benefits. All children do not develop evenly across all areas. A student may be very adept academically, but have a hard time socializing. Multi-age settings allow children to find true peers and learn to socialize and work with others both younger and older than themselves.
Q. Is Saint Patrick Catholic School accredited?
A. The Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation (WRISA) ensures that Saint Patrick Catholic School meets the standards of excellence required of all schools through a continuous self-study, strategic planning, short and long term goals and site visits that ensure quality instruction.
Q. What are the qualifications of the faculty?
A. The administrator and all teachers possess a Wisconsin Teaching License (DPI) or other State issued license, or are enrolled in a State approved program to obtain their teaching certification. Each teacher also meets or exceeds the standards put forth by the Diocese of Madison and WRISA for their specified area.
Q. If they are having so much fun, how can they be learning?
A. It is a myth that learning can’t be fun! Sitting in straight rows for 6-8 hours per day is not required for learning to occur. Challenging students in an active participating environment will keep students “tuned in” and engaged in all aspects of the learning process.
Q. Is your campus safe for my children?
A. Yes. Saint Patrick Catholic School has an emergency plan in place that has been developed in cooperation with local agencies and the parish community. Regular drills and discussion of goals and processes keep members of our school community alert and ready. We have zero tolerance when it comes to bullying allowing for the safety of all.
Q. What is your admission policy?
A. Saint Patrick Catholic School, mindful of its mission to be a witness to the love of Christ for all, welcomes students of any religion, race, or ethnic origin. Two very important factors in acceptance to SPCS are the families’ commitment to education and its support of the SPCS mission. Please contact the school office with any general questions you might still have or to begin the registration process.
Q. Can my child enroll if we are not Catholic?
A. Yes! Saint Patrick Catholic School welcomes all students, and all faiths. Every student, regardless of religious denomination, is required to participate in a daily religion class as part of the SPCS curriculum and all students will attend our weekly masses/prayer services and are asked to participate to the extent that they are comfortable.
Q. My child is enrolled in the P4J program. Is he/she required to participate in a daily religion class or attend the weekly masses/prayer services?
A. No. Your child may participate if you desire but they are not required to participate and if they do only to the extent that they are comfortable. A religion class is provided at the end of each P4J session for those wishing to participate in a Christian-based activity.
Q. What is P4J?
A. P4J stands for Preschool for Janesville. It is a public school program that has been a part of our school since the 2011-2012 school year. Because it is a public school program, students who attend the P4J (4K) program at SPCS do not pay tuition, book fees, etc. if enrolled with the Janesville Public Schools. Students in the P4J program are considered our students and are expected to abide by our policies and regulations.
Q. How can I afford a private Catholic education?
A. Saint Patrick Catholic School has available a financial aid program that is designed to help the school enroll students from economically diverse backgrounds who might otherwise not be able to attend SPCS and who desire a quality education that nurtures their talents and abilities.
Q. How does tuition work?
A. There are several ways that your child’s Tuition requirements can be taken care of. You can make monthly payments, one payment each semester, or in one lump sum before the start of school in August. There is tuition assistance available and other means as well to offset your tuition obligation such as working Bingo and purchasing Scrip through the school. Roughly, it costs about $6.00 per school day to send one child to Saint Patrick Catholic School. See the tuition scale which details the yearly tuition requirements.
Q. How can parents get involved?
A. There are numerous volunteer opportunities no matter what your interest, skills or availability might be. We welcome parent involvement; indeed thrive primarily due to parental support. Please contact the school office for additional information.
Q. Are there uniforms?
A. No, but we expect the students to be dressed in a tasteful and appropriate manner as outlined in our dress code. The SPCS Dress Code is found in the Parent/Student Handbook.
Q. Is there transportation available to students attending SPCS?
A. Busing is available for some Saint Patrick Catholic School students depending on where they live within the Janesville School District. Students who satisfy the distance requirements of the state and policies of the Janesville Public School Board are provided free busing to SPCS. In some situations parent contracts are available to reimburse families for their transportation costs.
Q. Besides academics, what else can my student be involved in?
A. We have a multitude of activities that enrich student’s life. There are athletic opportunities, volunteer opportunities, band and choral opportunities and competitions, Safety Patrol, Altar Servers, Battle of the Books and other forms of academic related competitions.
Q. What are the available resources if my child experiences academic difficulties?
A. With small class sizes averaging 15 students or less, our teachers are able to provide more individualized instruction and support before, during and after school. SPCS has Title I services available for qualified students as well as additional special education services provided through our relationship with the Janesville Public Schools when the need arises.
Q. Where do our students go after they graduate?
A. Most of our students will enroll at Janesville Parker High School or Janesville Craig High School. Others will attend their local high schools such as those located in Beloit, Milton, or Orfordville. A few may go on to the Catholic High Schools that are located in Madison.
Q. When is school in session?
A. We are in session each year for about 180 days. We generally start in late August and end in early June. The school day typically begins at 8:05am and ends at 3:00pm. Students not picked up by 3:15pm must report to the after-school room. The after-school program runs from 3:10pm to 5:30pm each day school is in session. We also provide before-school care for those students that need to arrive before 7:50am. Morning care runs from 7:00am to 7:45am each day school is in session. Please see the school calendar for more details.