Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a registration fee?
Yes. We have a $20 dollar application fee which holds your child's seat temporarily, and a registration fee of $350 per child or $700 per family secures your child's placement. This is paid at the time of registration and is non-refundable. The registration fee covers administrative costs and pays for a portion of the school supplies and books required for your child.
Who sets the tuition rates?
The Principal of our school with the guidance of the School Advisory Council and the Financial Oversite committee establishes tuition rates based on the school’s budgetary needs. Because the parish subsidizes the school, the tuition rate for K-8 is lower than most local private schools. Our goal is for tuition to cover 75% of our costs. Currently, tuition covers only 68% of costs. Pre-Kindergarten and Preschool are not subsidized. All families, regardless of parish affiliation, pay the same tuition rate. Please review the Registration page for current tuition rates.
How big are your classes?
Our largest class has 23 students. Our smallest class has 12.
The student to teacher ratios are:
The Preschool and Pre-K ratio is 10:1
The K-8 ratio is 7:1
The middle School Ratio is 5:1
Do I have to be Catholic to attend?
You do not have to be Catholic to receive an excellent education at St. Francis. Nearly 15% of our families are not Catholic. All of them, however, believe in the value of a faith-based curriculum where faith, learning, and service are practiced daily and supported through our challenging curriculum. A strong moral compass, a commitment to serving others, and a desire for academic excellence are beneficial to children of any faith. We recognize that parents are the primary educators of their children and we work in partnership with parents to support their child’s faith development.
We welcome non-Catholics to participate actively in our parish life, especially in Catholic schools. As experience elsewhere demonstrates, however, open hostility towards policy or public defiance of Church teachings that support it undermine our Catholic identity and contradict our institutional mission. The school will respect their decision: they will not be offered admission, or they will be asked to withdraw if they are already enrolled.
How do your students academic achievements compare to the Public Schools in Bend?
Unfortunately, comparing private to public schools can be a bit like comparing apples to oranges. We hear continually from parents who have left public school to attend St. Francis that our curriculum is challenging compared to what their child was learning while enrolled at the public school. St. Francis School students score well on standardized, nationally normed tests, and have exceeded Bend-LaPine’s and the Statewide scores. When our students leave for high school they are prepared to enter honors and advanced placement classes.
What time does your school day begin and end
Each school day starts at 8:00 am (doors open at 7:45 am) and end at 3:00 pm. We have early release Fridays, dismissal at noon, or Friday’s off, twice per month. We use this professional development time for our teachers and staff so that they can continue to provide current, relevant, curriculum and teaching strategies.
Do you offer a foreign language?
Yes, we do. We provide Spanish instruction to all of our students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.
Do you have sports programs?
St Francis Athletics offer Cross Country and Track.
We team with BPRD (Bend Parks and Recreation District)to offer basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
There is a pay to play fee associated with all sports. It is important for the development of the whole child that team and individual sports are made available to every student. We will work with students who wish to participate in football, volleyball, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, or Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation to make practices and keep up with their academic work. Learning to balance academics, sports, and social activities in middle school provides a sound foundation for high school.
What are my tuition payment options?
Tuition is set on an annual basis. Families who are enrolled for any part of a trimester are financially responsible for the whole term.
Each family has the opportunity to pay the academic year tuition in one annual payment (by cash or check ONLY), in full by Sept. 1, and receive a 2% discount.
Monthly payments are available over a 12 months (pay period July-June) as well, with no penalty or discount.
Do you offer financial aid or tuition assistance? How do I qualify or apply?
Yes. First, all families are subsidized equally by the parish. All families are required to contribute volunteer hours to keep our costs low. After the initial subsidy, all families are eligible to apply for our Fair Share tuition assistance program. Tuition assistance applications are available at the school office upon request. A Financial Aid Committee will determine the families financial need based on application information and tax statements submitted. Applicants who do not turn in a completed form and both parents' tax documents will not be considered for assistance. All information is kept confidential and will only be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee.
Do you have an online grading system where parents can monitor grades and student progress?
Yes. St. Francis uses FACTS School Management Software. It is a web-based system that allows families and students to monitor their progress on-line. Every family and student are assigned a unique login and password for security. Our teachers update their classes at least weekly which allows parents and students to view grades and assignments as they are entered.
Do you do background checks on all employees, teaching, and non-teaching? What about volunteers?
Yes. Volunteering is a vital component of our school. The Diocese of Baker has guidelines for all parishes and schools to follow to keep our children safe.
- Adults undergo a criminal background check; this paperwork is completed online. We pay for two background checks per family.
- Review and sign the Code of Conduct for Ministry with Children and Youth
- Complete the child protection, online training
- Submit information for the Senate Bill:155 screening
If planning to drive on field trips, complete the Driver Information Sheet found in FACTS.
Do you offer extended care?
As a service to the parents of our students enrolled at St. Francis, the school operates a fee-based extended day care program. Care is offered to our Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade students until 6 pm. It is offered every school day that we are open and most early release days. Care is not offered on holidays or teacher in-service days, Christmas vacation, spring break or during the summer. Please contact the school office for pricing information and enrollment. Our extended care program is certified and inspected by the Early Learning Division of the State of Oregon.
Do you offer a summer program?
Yes. However space is limited to fifteen students. The program is non-academic and is offered to K-5 students in aftercare first.
If I am paying tuition, why am I expected to volunteer?
The true cost of educating your child is more than $5000 above our tuition. To help close this gap, we offer a variety of volunteer opportunities and require each of our school families to participate in PIP (Parent Involvement Policy). Parent volunteers can work in the classroom, do yard work, work on school events or fundraisers, join parent committees, help in the lunchroom, or even help in the Parish. There are many options. We believe that strong parental involvement is an important factor in your child’s academic success. PIP hours offer an opportunity to meet your children’s teachers, get to know your school and parish community and to play an active role in your child’s education. Sharing your time, talents and gifts with the St. Francis community keeps our tuition rates down and our sense of community strong. For those unable to volunteer, we offer a buy-out option through a substantial financial contribution.