“Help! I’m new to JCS and I have a few questions!”
This Q&A is meant to help orient you with JCS. If you still have further questions for us, please call us at 905-562-4023 or email our school secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to be of assistance. Thanks for your interest in Jordan Christian School!
Who is JCS?
Jordan Christian School is a small and energetic JK-12 learning community nestled in the heart of Niagara wine country. We are passionately committed to the education of our students in a Reformed, Christian worldview, emphasizing the necessity of God’s grace and the practice of living for God’s glory. We strive to ensure that our students receive a high quality education that meets or exceeds curriculum expectations, while personalizing the learning process to the needs and abilities of our students. Join us in educating students for Christian service!
Does JCS affiliate with a specific church or denomination?
Jordan Christian School is indirectly affiliated with the Heritage Reformed Congregation (HRC) of Jordan, and our school Constitution reflects this affiliation. Half of the School Board is composed of HRC members, including one consistory member. However, JCS is ultimately under the auspices of the JCS Corporation, which is composed of all parents and friends who have an interest in Jordan Christian School and who have been approved as corporate members. The outlook and outreach of JCS is great as we strive to involve and impact our local communities well beyond our school walls. Therefore, while it is necessary for parents of children attending JCS to belong to a Christian church, there is no requirement for parents to attend the HRC.
I am interested in sending my child to JCS. How do I register?
Please call the school office for an orientation tour and registration package. We will arrange for a time to show you the facility and try to answer your questions. When you complete your registration package, you will need to provide us with documentation regarding your child’s citizenship (birth certificate) and immunization record. We will need a copy of these to add to your child’s Ontario Student Record. Bring along the documentation and we can copy it here for you. When you submit your application, it is forwarded to our School Board for review. You will then be contacted by a Board designate to arrange a meeting together with your family.
Does JCS have an Orientation Day?
“Ready, Set, Go!” is our Orientation Evening. It is held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the Thursday evening before school starts in September. All teachers are in attendance to receive and greet incoming students, show them their desks, and give you an opportunity to meet with them informally. Students are encouraged to bring their school supplies and get their desks set up, so that everything doesn’t need to be brought in on the first day. In addition, one of our bus drivers will be at school to take new students (along with their parents) on a small bus ride through the country, with a stop at a local park to orient students to the routines of crossing the road and boarding the bus safely.
Who receives bus transportation? Do I need to pay extra for transportation?
All students attending JCS qualify for bus transportation to and from school, with the exception of JK students. Since JK students attend school only for a half day, they receive transportation to school, but need to be picked up by parents at noon (unless they are enrolled in the Jolly Kinders program). The costs of transportation are included in the tuition rate – there are no extra fees. We provide busing in conjunction with Heritage Christian School (HCS) through the services of Sharp Bus Lines, and routes are created to be as economical and efficient as possible. As such, curbside pickup is not guaranteed, but is dependent on your location in comparison to other school families. Please ask if bus routes are currently in your area. This information will be provided with the bus routes which will be distributed near the end of August. It is important to ensure that students are under parental supervision at all pickup and drop-off locations before and after school.
My child has never been on the bus. What can I expect?
Students are picked up and dropped off at their designated bus stop within 10 minutes of the published time in your bus route. Students should be at their bus stop in the morning 10 minutes before the posted time. Young students should be accompanied by a parent. Students up to grade 2 must have an adult visibly present for the bus driver to be legally allowed to let them off the bus in the afternoon. All our students go to Heritage Christian School in the morning where they board a transfer bus to come to JCS. In the afternoon they board a transfer bus at JCS which takes them to HCS where they go home on their regular bus. For the first couple of weeks, HCS and JCS teachers are present to help students make the transfer safely and correctly. Students are responsible to the school principal for their behaviour on the bus.
Which days do JK and SK students come to school?
Students in both JK and SK come to school on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that school is operating. The first week of school is the only exception to this rule: JK and SK students only attend on the Tuesday (the first day) and the Friday. On each school day, JK students are at school only in the morning, while SK students remain at school for the entire school day. Therefore, parents of JK students need to arrange to pick up their child from school at 12:30 p.m. each school day they attend (unless they are enrolled in the Jolly Kinders program), whereas SK students will return home on the bus.
What is Jolly Kinders?
This is an optional program that is an extension of Junior Kindergarten, provided separately for an additional fee. Jolly Kinders allows participating JK students a full day experience on the 3 days per week that they attend school. The Jolly Kinders experience is mainly play-based with various activities and events that students can participate in to help them learn and grow. Formal assessments or evaluations are not a part of this program, and this is not meant to be a replacement of Junior Kindergarten, but rather an extension of it. Therefore, the program is optional, and parents can sign children up on a month-by-month basis. Transportation at the end of the school day is also included.
What is High School for Homeschoolers?
This is a separate initiative at JCS provided to local Christian families who may have been homeschooling their children during their elementary years and who may appreciate the opportunity to join our school in some capacity at the secondary level. In addition to full inclusion, in which families send their children to our school as regular full-time students, an alternative option available is course auditing. This allows students to attend our school for individual courses for a separate rate, receiving the benefits of classroom instruction while parents retain ownership of all assessment and program responsibilities. Particular arrangements need to be made for this program, and further information is available upon request.
When do I get a schedule or calendar?
The annual School Calendar is sent home with students at the end of the school year. It is also emailed to all school families again in August. Class schedules for elementary students are shared with students when they arrive back to school in September. Secondary schedules will be included with the August mailing (mid-August at the latest).
How do I find out about major school days and important events?
The major school days that all parents need to be aware of are found on the annual School Calendar. Each month in advance, updates are posted in the monthly Newsletter to give you more information about upcoming events. In addition, each teacher posts important overview information in the JCS Weekly News. Both these publications are emailed to you at the email address you provide us.
When can I expect the Newsletter or the JCS Weekly News?
The JCS Newsletter publication target is the first school day of each month, with the exception of September and January. These are both published by the end of the first week of school. The JCS Weekly News is published on the first school day of each week. The JCS Weekly News is distributed via email (unless print copies are specifically requested), whereas the JCS Newsletter is sent home via email and print copy. All publications are also posted on the website under the “Parents” login.
What programs can my child be part of?
Students should expect to be part of any programs that are intimately connected with our educational program delivery – for instance, there is a Christmas Program, Grandparents’ Day Program, and Closing Program that students from JK-grade 8 participate in. There is a Spelling Bee and Speech Contest during the year for elementary students as well. For an additional cost, students at any level can choose to sign up for music lessons which are offered weekly during school hours. Secondary students can participate in sporting events through the Southern Ontario Christian Secondary School Athletics Association (SOCSSAA). Sign-ups for these sporting events happen at the beginning of each semester and are entirely voluntary. Any other activities or program initiatives are communicated to students and parents throughout the school year.
What is Service in Action?
This is a recent endeavor that our elementary students (from gr. 1-8) participate in monthly in an effort to be of service to others in our community. While it provides a service-learning experience for students, our school community and beyond are blessed by these special events. Students participate in community clean-up activities, sing at seniors’ homes, and perform other forms of service.
What should I know about school uniforms?
All school uniforms are to be purchased separately at Maddalena’s in St. Catharines. An order guide is sent out at the end of the previous school year or during the summer that provides information about what is available to students. Parents are to pre-register on Maddalena’s website and order the uniform directly through them. Costs are listed directly on the order form. It is important that parents and students are also aware of the School Dress Code and Uniform Policy at JCS, which is explained in detail in the Policy Handbook. Parents may also find a limited supply of gently-used uniform items at our school’s thrift store (Renewed Thrift & Vintage).
Is there a dress code for special events?
Students are expected to be in school uniforms unless there is notification otherwise. If the principal has granted a uniform exemption for particular events, the principal or classroom teacher will inform parents via the JCS Weekly News. All dress for these events should be modest and in accord with the School Dress Code. For any school programs, such as the Christmas Program or Closing Program, students are expected to be in school uniform, and white shirts are required.
How can I find out about school policies?
Our Policy Handbook is made available under the “Parents” login portion of our website, and is updated annually. Login details are provided in the August and September school newsletters and will be shared with school families and corporation members upon request. If you do not have access to the Handbook or would prefer a paper copy, please contact the school secretary and make your request.
What forms do I need to complete?
At the beginning of each year, all family emergency and medical information needs to be updated. Forms will be given to each school family to be completed and returned to the school via students. There are other forms as well, such as Hot Lunch Forms, Skating Permission Forms, etc., that need to be completed. Some will require payment which can be submitted along with the form to the office. We will have those forms available at our “Ready, Set, Go!” Orientation Evening. If you cannot pick them up at that time, they will go home with students on the first day of school. The oldest child in each family attending school will be the Notice Carrier - the one who brings home forms to be signed or other information pertaining to the school.
What is Hot Lunch?
Once a month on a predetermined Wednesday, our students are able to obtain a Pizza Hot Lunch (which includes a drink and a treat) served by our Parent-Teacher Auxiliary (PTA). The only exception is the Sloppy Joe Hot Lunch held in December, and a free Hot Dog Lunch held on Activity Day in June. Parents have the opportunity to sign up and pay for hot lunches when forms are sent out at the beginning of the school year.
What if my child needs extra help?
Your child’s teacher will be in contact with you if they believe your child should be getting additional help. If you have a concern, you are most welcome to contact your child’s teacher or school administration directly. All decisions regarding additional help are dependent on resources available, and will be made in consultation with parents and teachers.
Additionally, all students from grades 1-8 have the opportunity to join Power Hour, which is a one-hour session on a specific day once a week after school, allowing students direct access to their teachers for extra help. Secondary students will be directly approached for additional help at noon hour if staff agrees that this is necessary for their success.
Where can I find current tuition rates?
Our tuition rates are a per-family rate and are indexed by the age of your oldest enrolled child, although there are separate rates for JK- and SK-only families. There is also a 20% reduction available for families with children in our high school who have elementary students enrolled in other private institutions. Rates are published by the School Board in the spring, and are made available online, as well as being noted in the last letter home at the end of the previous school year and in the August mailing. Payments are due on the first of each month, and are requested as a batch of post-dated cheques sent in directly to the school office. Check out the Admissions section for more specific details.
What additional costs can I expect above tuition?
There are no significant costs to parents above and beyond school tuition and the purchase of uniforms and school supplies for their child/ren. All required school supplies are listed on the School Supplies List which is circulated to families before the beginning of the new school year. There may also be small user fees throughout the school year depending on whether your child/ren participates in music lessons, orders hot lunch, or participates in sporting events (secondary only). There are also costs associated with attending class trips, and there is a fee for the purchase of a recorder in gr. 5/6 for music class.
How can I get in contact with or meet with the principal or my child/ren’s teacher(s)?
Simply call the school office at 905-562-4023 to request a meeting. Please also attend our “Ready, Set, Go!” Orientation Evening and any other Open Houses and Parent-Teacher Conferences that happen throughout the school year.
I would like to get involved. How and where can I help?
By the third week of school, teachers are getting used to their new classes and are settling in to their routines. By this time, we begin discussing how and where we can use volunteer help to the best advantage of teachers and students. If you are interested in volunteering, please leave your name at the office and we will see how we can fit in your gifts and interests. Please be aware that you will need to provide the school with a police background check before working with children. The school will cover your costs for this document. You can receive a copy of the application from the school office.
The school also looks for assistance on committees and at various school fundraisers. Please contact the school secretary, a member of the School Board, or the chair of the fundraising committee and express your interest (contact information is provided in the School Directory). It will be most welcome!