Do we have to be members of Zion congregation to enroll our child in the school?
No. We accept all children regardless if your family is a member of our congregation or not.
If we are members of another church or denomination, do you try to encourage our child to become Lutheran, or encourage our family to leave our church and join the Lutheran church?
No. Zion does not proselytize or make any attempts to encourage your child or family to quit your church to join ours. Although the children will be taught basic Christian doctrine, we do not encourage children or their families to leave their church or denomination to become Lutherans. We do, however, encourage them to go to church, regardless of which church they may be members of.
If we are not Christians, will our child be welcomed at your school?
Yes. Zion welcomes all children regardless if their families are Christian or not.
Do you provide accommodations or services for special needs children?
Although the small student-teacher ratio often allows the teachers to develop a curriculum to meet your child’s needs, special needs children will find more available services through the local county or public school systems. Our staff is often in contact with local agencies and can serve as a referral source to ensure your child receives the services he or she needs.
How much is tuition?
Unlike most parochial and private schools, Zion charges “family tuition” which is one amount for the entire family, not an amount for each child in the family. Regardless if you have one, two, three or more children attending Zion, tuition is only $265 per month for your family ($2,650 per year).
What other fees are we required to pay in addition to tuition?
There is a registration fee of $200 per student, per year. This may be paid all at once, or in monthly increments over the 10-month school year. There is also a monthly band fee of $25 and a monthly technology fee of $15 for grades 1-8.
If we cannot afford the tuition or fees, can we get financial assistance or barter our services in lieu of tuition?
If you may have difficulty in paying the tuition or fee amounts, you can certainly discuss your situation with the school staff. Sometimes, members of Zion congregation will help families who may need assistance in paying the costs of their child’s education. Situations such as this are evaluated of on a case-by-case basis so please share your concerns with the school staff and they can direct you accordingly.
Do you provide transportation to and from school?
At this time, no. However, Zion is currently looking into how it can provide transportation for families that need it.
Do you provide before or after school day care?
Yes. Day care before school is available from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., at which time the teaching staff is available to provide supervision. Afternoon day care is available from the close of the school day until 5:00 p.m. The cost is $115 per month for one child; $160 per month for 2 children (or $80 per child); and $240 per month for three or more children. Parents can also use this service on a day-to-day basis depending on their needs. If day care is only needed intermittently the charge is $6 for the morning and $10 for the afternoon.
Will our child learn at his/her grade level effectively when in a multi-grade classroom?
Yes. Research has actually shown that multi-grade classrooms encourage greater depth in children’s social, academic, and intellectual development than single-grade classrooms. The teacher encourages cross-age interaction through shared learning and discovery, with the younger children having the opportunity to observe and model the behavior of their older classmates. In addition, the older children will often assist their younger classmates with their school work, social interactions, or extracurricular activities.
Does your school provide technology as part of the learning process?
Yes. Technology is an integral aspect of the curriculum. Every child in grades 1-8 is provided a Chromebook to use in their school work and they are encouraged to explore how technology can assist in their overall learning.
Are the parents required to do fundraising or be expected to participate in any activities of the school?
No. Unlike most parochial and private schools, parents are not required to do any fundraising. Although the tuition and fees do cover some of the expenses, the Zion congregation provides most of the financial support for the school through their regular monetary giving. The Parent Teachers League does conduct some fundraising activities during the year and parents are certainly encouraged to participate; however, they are not required to do so. Our preference is to have parents enjoy attending and being involved in the activities of the school, rather than being obligated to participate in fundraising.
What extracurricular activities do you provide that my child will participate in?
Some of the extracurricular activities include attending the Autumn Festival; school choir and band concerts; Open House and Family Night; Preparing and riding on the Veterans Day and Christmas parade floats; Lutheran Schools Week activities; participating in the annual Poetry and Prose On Stage Competition in Visalia; the Ducor track meet; Lutheran Schools track meet; attending cultural experiences at Porterville High School such as choir and orchestra concerts and plays; visits to area museums and the planetarium; and “Splash Day” at the Porterville pool at the end of the school year.
What sort of staff do you have employed at the school, and what is the approximate student-teacher ratio of the school?
The teaching staff includes two full-time teachers; one part-time teacher; one volunteer teacher; one part-time K-3 teacher’s aide; and one before and after school day care assistant. The student-teacher ratio of the full-time teachers, not including the part-time teacher, aide, or volunteer, is approximately 10:1. In addition to its pastor, the congregation also employs a half-time church and school secretary and a half-time maintenance/custodian. The congregation also has many volunteers who assist around the church and school. Each person who may either be an employee or a volunteer is a committed Christian who loves our children, is committed to the school and its learning programs, and always available to help in any way possible.
Are your teachers fully certified?
Yes. They each have degrees and/or credentials relative to the subjects they teach. In addition, our teachers take advantage of annual continuing education and teachers’ conference opportunities.
With the safety of our child being a major concern, how safe is Zion school?
Since Zion is in a rural setting, the school is not exposed to high levels of traffic or numerous people walking around or nearby the campus. Each of our staff has background checks completed prior to being hired, and they go through safety and security training as part of their professional development. In addition, each classroom has a phone for making emergency calls if necessary. Since the enrollments at the school are smaller than public schools, students and parents are known on a first name basis and everyone cares for and looks out for each other.