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Trinity Catholic School still offering enrollment for new school year

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MASSENA - Although they’ve held an open registration week for the 2014-15 school year, Trinity Catholic School Principal Kathleen Behrens says it’s not too late to sign up for the new school year.

Open registration for the school’s pre-kindergarten, junior kindergarten and kindergarten programs was held the first week of March. But, Ms. Behrens said, they’re still accepting new students at all grade levels.

“I just want people to be aware that we are here and we are accepting open enrollment for all grades Pre-K through six. We’re here, and we’re open,” she said.

Students entering the pre-kindergarten program must be 4 years old by Dec. 1. Students entering the school’s kindergarten program must be 5 by Dec. 5.

Anyone registering their child needs a copy of the child’s birth certificate, copy of a baptismal certificate if children have been baptized and copies of immunization records.

Ms. Behrens said they offer both half-day and full-day pre-kindergarten programs.

“Our full-day is very affordable. I have been talking to people to find out what their child care cost is. It’s an average of $175 a week for child care. It’s $56 a week for our full-day Pre-K program. We’re affordable, and we’re here to help people,” she said.

Families can apply for financial assistance toward tuition. Last year close to $53,000 in scholarships were awarded to students enrolled at Trinity Catholic School. Families who wish to apply for scholarships can get applications through the school office, and scholarship awards are based on each family’s financial need and ability to pay.

The school also offers a junior kindergarten program for students who aren’t developmentally ready for the rigors of the kindergarten classroom.

“We really like to educate the whole child. There’s the spiritual piece, the developmental piece and the academic piece. Children can come to us at 5 years old. They can read, they may be able to add numbers. If the developmental piece is not up with that, it makes it hard. They need the gift of time,” Ms. Behrens said.

“It’s such a hard thing to express to parents because they always look at as a failure. It’s not a failure at all. The child is just not developmentally ready,” she said.

Ms. Behrens said families don’t need to be Catholic to send their children to Trinity Catholic School. Because the school’s mission is to integrate the Catholic faith in all aspects of life, religion is taught daily and is a required subject for all students. All students participate in prayer services and school liturgies that are celebrated weekly and monthly.

“People are concerned about not being Catholic. We accept all faiths. Being a Catholic school, we do teach the Catholic religion. We work with all families in that area. If that’s a big concern, please come and talk to me and we’ll work it out,” she said.

“We are focused on loving our God and one another. That’s what our world needs today. I think those are the values that we’re really instilling in our kids, which leads into our families. Our children do take it home,” Ms. Behrens said.

Like their public school counterparts, Trinity’s classrooms include the new Common Core that was implemented this year.

“We feel that we are implementing the Common Core very well. Our teachers aren’t afraid of it. They don’t feel pressured by it because this is the way of their teaching. The Common Core is about digging deeper and having our children think. There’s nothing wrong with wanting our children to be good thinkers,” she said.

“We’re here also to help parents through that stage. When we send homework home, if our parents don’t understand it we ask them just to write a note saying we had a difficult time with this, please help,” Ms. Behrens said.

“We like to make sure we give our children enough practice in the classroom so they pretty much understand it before they take it home. When they take it home, they can actually help the parent understand it.”

For more information about the school, telephone 769-5911.

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