Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for your interest in St. Paul's Catholic School (SPCS)
The following is a list of responses to frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Q: What is the level of commitment to the Catholic faith at St. Paul’s?
St. Paul’s Catholic School is an independent, private, Catholic school faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Our religious curriculum conforms to diocesan standards for religion education. We embrace the Catechism of the Good Shepherd and Theology of the Body as strategic plans to counter the issues facing our children. We look to Catholic curricular resources so that our faith touches every class and every lesson during every day. The faculty shared one common thread: a deep commitment to the Catholic faith in its richness, history, spirituality and mission to evangelize the world.
Q: Is the classical model conducive to Catholic teaching?
A classical education enlarges and ennobles the mind, but to understand man’s relationship to God, we turn to the Roman Catholic Church. We teach our students to love the Lord and serve Him joyfully so that they may be happy with Him forever in Heaven. By approaching all learning through the classical lens of an embrace of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful, we approach God in His manifestation to the world through truth, beauty and goodness.
Q: What role does religion play at St. Paul’s Classical School?
The school day begins with Mass, each class begins in prayer, the Angelus is prayed at midday every day, the day concludes with a prayer to St. Paul, our patron, and Fridays provide time for reconciliation and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We prepare our students to make their First Reconciliation, receive First Holy Communion, and be confirmed in the Catholic faith. Our calendar, our curriculum, our faculty decisions, our discipline, and our events are based on the calendar and teachings of the Holy Catholic Church.
Q: Can my child attend St. Paul’s Classical School even if her and/or her family is not Catholic?
Our admissions policy does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, disability, or religion. All prospective students and their parents should understand that Catholic beliefs and doctrines, as well as Catholic prayer and worship, comprise the cornerstone of St. Paul’s Classical School mission and identity. Religion is taught as a required subject in all grades. Attendance at school Masses is required for all students.
Q: What grade levels will you provide in Fall 2020?
We will open grades PK-8. Higher grades will open according to demand in the coming years.
Q: My child is behind or advanced for his age. Will the St. Paul’s Classical School tailor to his educational needs?
Each child will be evaluated prior to admission to place him in the appropriate grade level for math and reading. If a child performs below grade-level, we will recommend a course of action to bring him to grade-level. If a child performs above grade level, he will be assigned the appropriate level work.
Q: What about standardized testing?
We expect our students to perform well on standardized tests. Reading and math are taught at an appropriate pace at St. Paul’s Catholic School. We use standardized testing to measure basic academic progress and as one indicator of appropriate class placement.
Q: What is the homework policy?
We believe in making the most of class time. Though homework is not unheard of, we believe that seven hours a day is sufficient for the full academic development of the child. Our classes are focused and productive. Homework is moderate to minimal.
Q: Do you teach foreign languages?
All students will study Latin. Our early Latin curriculum (PK-2) consists primarily of exposure to Latin hymns, prayers, and phrases. More formal Latin instruction begins in 3rd grade.
Q: Why is your emphasis Latin?
• At St. Paul’s we open doors, as many as possible. Focusing on a single modern language opens one door and closes several others. Latin is a gate to many languages.
• St. Paul’s Catholic School teaches Latin because it is one of the two languages of classical antiquity (the other being Ancient Greek).
• Latin is the liturgical language of the Roman Catholic faith. Children learn prayers and the parts of the Mass in Latin.
• Latin is the basis of the Romance languages and heavily influences all European and American languages (North, South and Central America). Proficiency in Latin will prepare students to learn other modern languages in high school.
• Latin is the source of roughly half the words in English. We teach Latin and Greek roots to help students expand their vocabulary.
Q: Where is St. Paul’ Classical School located?
We are located in Nampa, Idaho. The future location of the school will be by the new church.
Q: How long is the school day?
The school day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm.
Q: Are students required to wear uniforms?
Yes, all Pauline students are required to conform to the uniform policy every day. Uniforms must be clean, pressed, mended, and properly worn.
Q: Does St. Paul’s Classical School offer organized sports teams?
Yes, we play basketball, volleyball, and have access to other sports as well—football, tennis, soccer.
Q: What opportunities are there for parents to be involved at the school?
PHT is our Parent Hospitality Team is an orientation and welcoming team for all parents, especially those new to the school. We welcome all parents to be involved to their level of convenience. We do rely on volunteers to support the school with fundraising events, field trips, class parties, and special projects in the classroom. Contact the school office for more information.
Q: What safety guidelines are in place at St. Paul’s Classical School?
Safety is one of our highest priorities. Our school building must pass fire inspections every year. We have standard evacuation procedures in place in case of emergencies. We undergo training from a dedicated officer every fall. All of our teachers undergo a detailed interview process, which includes a criminal background check and Safe Environment Training with the Diocese of Boise. We have a mandatory reporting structure in place for suspected cases of homelessness and child endangerment.
Q: What kind of educational backgrounds/certifications do you require of your teachers?
We look for highly qualified teachers whose education and experience will enrich their effect on students. For example, teachers in the logic (middle) school are classically educated themselves. We prefer to hire teachers with a variety of educational backgrounds and experience in public, private and parochial schools. See our Faculty Page for the backgrounds of our current teaching staff.
Q: Do you offer a multiple child discount?
Yes, please refer to our tuition page.
Q: Many parochial Catholic schools have a fundraising obligation or volunteer service hours for students and families beyond the tuition. Does St. Paul’s Catholic School have any such requirements?
Yes, families are expected to contribute time and talent to fundraising events such as the Annual Fall Fair and Annual Dinner Gala & Auction. However, we limit these events to three, the two just mentioned and the IGiveCatholic event (no parent responsibility) in December.
Q: How is St. Paul’s Catholic School able to provide such a reasonable tuition?
The cost of educating is rarely covered only by tuition income at any school. We rely heavily on generous donations to subsidize the per-child cost of our education. We also rely on the volunteer efforts of our families and parish supporters to help keep costs down.
Q: Is financial aid available?
We are able to provide financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the office for details.
Q: What is Catechism of the Good Shepherd?
It is a profound and beautiful experiential approach to catechism (faith formation) based on the teachings of Maria Montessori, a deeply Catholic and inspirational teacher (and student) of children. We will offer CGS to students in Pre-S, Pre-K and kindergarten, and apply the philosophy and approach to other grades. This program will continue to grow and develop in the coming years.
Q: What ages may experience the arts and music?
All ages. Mary Wonacott will teach music and art to children from grades PreK through 2nd. Lori Chaplin will teach art to grades 3 and 4. Cindi Duft will offer MS art to grades 5-8. Brian Hosefros will offer boys’ choir to grades 3-8, and Mary will co-teach girls choir to grades 3-8. Ian O’Connell will offer drama and diction to middle school students. Mike Schaller will team teach introduction to music to grades 5-8, guitar to grades 6-8, and instrumental ensemble to grades 5-8 (for students who already know an instrument relatively well.
Q: Is there a bus route?
Yes, the bus will pick-up at Luby Park near the Maverik on North Illinois Avenue, at OLV, and at the junction of Farmway and 55 every morning with returns in the afternoon. The bus will be one child per seat, free of charge.
Q: Will there be different options for enrollment?
Yes, there is the full time option, the homeschool option, the COVID option and the extracurricular options available to parents. The COVID option delivers all core classes in the mornings, allows early release at lunch with science and Latin at home ($3000/child). The homeschool option allows access to afternoon classes (science, Latin, PE, drama), afternoon clubs (science Olympiad, debate, geography and catechism bees), and Friday electives (art, music, sports, Theology of the Body and Catechism of the Good Shepherd) for $2500/student. The Friday option allows the Friday electives only at $1000/student. Any of the options require registration ($100) and $250 in annual fees.
Q: What is the plan for reopening in August?
Classes are capped at 18. All classes have a morning homeroom that maximizes learning time and reduces exposure to others in the hallways. Handwashing and sanitization of classrooms frequent and strategic. Individual rather than group work. Any student who shows a fever goes home until test shows negative.
Q: What curriculum will be used?
As a classical school, we do not use Common Core assessments, methods or resources. We use a Saxon approach to math and a classical approach to literature. Seton curricular resources are prevalent in grades 1-4, while classical literature and original sources are more pervasive in the academy (5-8).
Q: What is the role of technology in St. Paul’s?
We use technology to advance learning when appropriate, and we offer enrichment electives for students who seek to bring their ingenuity to the creation and manipulation of technology. It is not central to our ethos, though all students will have a strong ability to use it effectively.
Q: Who are your teachers?
St. Paul’s has hired sixteen teachers in the past six months:
• Specialists include Ian O’Connell in drama, Mary Wonacott in ES art and music, Brian Hosefros in boys’ choir, Cindi Duft in MS art, Lori Chaplin in grammar school art and creative writing, and Mike schaller in instrumental music and introduction to music.
• Cathy Barrera (team leader) and Carissa Beldon are our lead teachers in kindergarten and PreK.
• Haley Coad (PACE), Aric McCullough (team leader), Sara Harris, and Katharine Baron (WCC) will teach grades 1-4 respectively.
• Nick King (WCC), Suzanne Sieker, Ryan Alexander (WCC), and Zach Zahaykevitz (WCC) will teach grades 5-8.
• Trinity Baines will be an additional support to teachers, and Suzanne Nienhouse will be our Activities Coordinator. Jessica Bice and Audrey Thiel will provide student support services.
Q: Are there other enrichments as well?
Yes, with the influx of students from Wyoming Catholic College, we will emphasize the beauty and full participation in the liturgy and prayer life of the Church. We will also embrace nature through regular outings, youth leadership and spirituality retreats. We will provide liturgy to St. Paul’s parish and other parishes in the diocese in both Latin and English. We will develop events that showcase the beautiful work of our faculty and students throughout the year, bringing our school life more closely in union to the life of the parish and Church.
Q: If COVID comes back full force, how will St. Paul’s respond?
Our approach will be to remain in classes and provide options for families depending on their level of comfort. If necessary, the logic school (MS) will switch to a virtual platform with regular daily classes as usual. Grammar school (1-4) will use its curricular resources and switch to a homeschool model with regular classes on-line in the mornings. PreK and kindergarten will switch to greater social distancing with one-on-one and small group instruction as well as distance activities for use in the home. We were very successful this year, and we will be moreso next year, if necessary.
St. Paul's Catholic School
Academic Excellence in a Faith-Filled Environment Since 1922
1515 8th Street South
Nampa, ID 83651
Phone: (208) 467-3601
Fax: (208) 467-6485