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Admissions & FAQ

Admissions Timeline

Late August
Applications are available by telephone request beginning during the week before Labor Day and continuing through September.

Applications remain available by request and Applications and Open House invitations are mailed out. Parents may attend an Open House before deciding whether to submit an application.

October & November
Introductory evening Open Houses for parents. Both parents are welcome. Attending an Open House is not required.

November & December
Morning group tours during school hours for parents who have submitted an Application. Every effort is made to invite parents from each family that applies.

January & February
Play Visits for children, accompanied by parents. Every effort is made to invite all families that have applied, depending on the anticipated age ranges of the fall openings.

Early March
Admissions decisions mailed out

The Day School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin in admission or educational policies or in its tuition aid program. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your age cut-off?
Children may be as young as 2 years and 9 months old when they start school in September, or as old as 5 and a half. For the school year beginning in September 2017, children born from March 2012 through December 2014 are eligible for consideration. Children born in 2015 will be too young to begin in September 2017.

What hours do children attend school?
The six morning classes meet five days a week, beginning at 8:30 each morning. Mondays through Thursdays, children leave at 12:45, having eaten lunch in the classroom (brought from home). On Fridays, all children depart at 12:00, before lunch. Children in the morning classes may also be enrolled in an Extended Day option and stay on in their classrooms until 2:45 on one, two, three or four days each week. Extended Day is not available on Fridays.

The one afternoon class meets four days a week, Mondays through Thursdays from 11:30 to 3:00. Like the morning classes, children in the afternoon class eat lunch together (brought from home). The afternoon class is planned for young 3s.

Do children who start in the afternoon class remain in the afternoon class in subsequent years?
No, the children who participate in the afternoon class all shift to a morning class for their second year, and remain in a morning class if they stay for a third year.

How many children are in each classroom?
The younger the children, the smaller the number of children in the class. The three classrooms of older 2s and younger 3s typically have 14-15 children. The three classrooms of older 3s and younger 4s have 15-18 children, respectively. The 4s and 5s group has 20-22 children.

How many teachers are in each classroom?
There are two to three full-time teachers in each classroom. In addition, there are specialist teachers who rotate through the classrooms on a weekly schedule, in particular an Art teacher and a Music & Movement teacher. A full-time substitute is on call for absent staff and otherwise is a part-time teacher in all the classes.

What are the teachers’ credentials?
Every classroom has at least one Lead Teacher fully certified in Early Childhood Education, which requires a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, five years teaching experience after completion of the Masters, and successful completion of State examinations and a State Education Board review of video observation of the teacher in the classroom. Associate and Assistant Teachers have bachelors degrees in education or complimentary fields such as art, music, or psychology; many are currently working towards a Early Childhood Education Masters.

Do the children play outside every day?
Exercise is very important for young children – physically, emotionally and cognitively. The covered, all-weather roof playground is a unique and wonderful space for children to run, shout, play with a ball, climb a ladder, ride a tricycle, build a block bridge or dig in the sand. Every class -- morning and afternoon -- spends 35 to 45 minutes each day playing on the roof. Children in the morning classes who stay for Extended Day have a second session on the roof. On those few days when it’s too cold to be outside, the teachers lead the children in physical games indoors in our large multipurpose room.

How often do children eat at school?
Healthy snacks are provided Monday through Thursday. Every class -- morning and afternoon -- eats lunch (brought from home) in the classroom Monday through Thursday. Children who stay for Extended Day have a second snack. Food is important in many ways. It’s an emotional connection to home. As a matter of energy and attention, it helps children “refuel” and provides a relaxing change of pace between activities. Eating together is also a terrific opportunity for socializing. A teacher sits and eats at each table with the children, encouraging conversation. On Fridays, when classes end at noon, children do not each lunch at school but parents sign up to bring in a heartier “special snack” for their child’s class.

Are children expected to be toilet trained by the time they start school?
Readiness for this developmental milestone usually parallels a child’s readiness for an organized, sustained group experience which includes separation from parents. The expectation is that children will be aware of their body sensations and able (and willing) to use a toilet most of the time. Lapses and needing lots of extra underwear are also to be expected.

What is your admissions policy regarding younger siblings?
The Day School is very loyal to the families that become part of the community. If they have additional children, every effort is made to accommodate them. However, welcoming new families each year is vital to the life and future of the school.

What is your admissions policy regarding children of members of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church?
If families have been active members of the Church for two years prior to applying, they will be afforded an admissions preference. Typically, 20% of enrolled children are Church members.

What is the Day School’s relationship with the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church?
The Day School is an integral part of the Church’s ministry, providing early childhood education for children from families in the congregation and from the community-at-large. The curriculum is intentionally non-religious but is designed to enhance children’s spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical development.

The Day School welcomes families of various religious traditions and encourages parents to share their faith and other aspects of their family culture, heritage and religion with their children. Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Easter are celebrated in the Church Sanctuary, and prayers of thanks (the saying or singing of “grace”) are regularly included in the School’s activities. Chanukah, Passover, Norouz, and Lunar New Year are among the holidays from many other traditions that are observed throughout the year. Prime goals of the Day School are to help children understand that they are precious and beloved in God’s sight and to teach them to respect one another’s religious and cultural differences.

What are the tuition costs for attending the various programs? 
For the 2016-2017 school year:

Morning Session - $24,900 
Monday-Thursday 8:30-12:45, Friday 8:30-12:00 

Extended Day - $1,400 (each day enrolled) 
Monday-Thursday 12:45-2:45: parents may select one, two, three or four days 

Afternoon Session - $18,500 
Monday-Thursday 11:30-3:00 

Is financial assistance available?
The Day School seeks to support parents fulfilling their responsibilities as mothers and fathers, offer educational opportunities to an ethnically and economically diverse community, and serve families both within and beyond the Church's membership. With the interest from small endowment funds and the proceeds of fund raising events by the parents, the Day School is able to provide a limited amount of Tuition Aid to reduce the cost of tuition for some families who are not able to meet the full cost of tuition. All families whose children join the Day School are expected to participate in fund raising activities on behalf of the Day School and its Tuition Aid fund. Indeed, tuition covers only 78 % of the total Day School operating budget.

In determining recipients of Tuition Aid, a number of factors will be considered, including recognition of (1) families representing the social, racial, and economic diversity of the community, (2) families of modest income, or (3) families in temporary financial crisis.

Can I apply to the pre-nursery program, Twos on Four?
Twos on Four is a small parent-and-child program for the younger siblings of children already enrolled in the Day School, and the children of families who have been active members of the Church for at least one year before applying.

When can I call to obtain an application for the Morning or Afternoon Programs?
Applications are available by telephone request beginning during the week before Labor Day and continuing through September. It is not necessary to call the morning after Labor Day. It is not necessary to call first thing Monday morning of the week before Labor Day.

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