No Catholic child shall be denied admission to a Catholic school because of the parent's inability to pay tuition (Diocese of Knoxville Policy # 1060). St. Mary's School admits students after evaluation of the following criteria: class size, admission priorities, operating budget, age requirement, class make-up, pre-existing concerns, and proper documentation.
Students will be registered at St. Mary's School in the following order:
- Current students
- Siblings of current students
- Members of St. Mary's Parish
- Catholic non-parishioners
- Non-Catholic students
Policy to Admit Non-Catholic Students
Non-Catholic students will be accepted on a space available basis as determined by the admission priorities of the school. Returning non-Catholic students in good standing are automatically counted in the class rolls for the next year upon return of their registration packet and registration fee. St. Mary's School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded to or made available to students at the school.
St. Mary's is an elementary and middle school with Kindergarten thru 8th grade classes. Our student population reflects a blending of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Of the total population, approximately 27% are non-Catholic.
According to the laws of Tennessee and Diocesan #1030, a child must be five (5) years old by August 15th of the year entering Kindergarten; a child must be four (4) years old by August 15th of the year entering Pre-Kindergarten
Tuition rates are set by St. Mary's School Board. Registration is in the Spring prior to the year of entrance. We do require each student to be tested. Payment for tuition may be made yearly, quarterly, or monthly (for ten months). There is a book fee and registration fee due at registration. The cost of tuition for Catholic students is shared between the parents (tuition) and St. Mary's Parish (subsidy). For parishes without schools, the Knoxville Diocesan Policy #2110 states that parishes shall pay to the school in which their children are educated the difference between the cost of education and tuition. In order for Catholic families to receive the parish rate of tuition, each family must adhere to the following criteria:
- Parents must be registered members and maintain an active status in St. Mary's Parish
- Children and their Catholic parents must attend Holy Mass weekly and other Holy Days of Obligation, as confirmed by their parish priest
- Parents must contribute to their parish, as appropriate for circumstances of parents; time, talent, and treasure
If a family is Catholic, but not meeting these criteria, they will not be eligible for parish assistance.
St. Mary's School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Knoxville exist to assist the Church in accomplishing its mission of evangelization. The schools strive to prepare academically qualified citizens committed to the pursuit of learning and to the service of humankind. They strive to teach Christian standards to be followed in life, work, and leisure. Catholic Schools endeavor to instruct students in a religious way of thinking which will show the connection between the living out of Gospel values and the effect they will have on one's final end. They offer experiences of service both within and outside the school environment, which stretch beyond the boundaries of discrimination. Catholic Schools are called upon to make the Catholic faith a reality.
To ensure that St. Mary's School can best serve all its students, the following criteria will be considered regarding students transferring into St. Mary's School:
- academic history
- conduct history
- attendance history
Each applicant's history and situation will be carefully evaluated on an individual basis. No student will be accepted until all documentation from his/her previous school is submitted to St. Mary's School and reviewed.
In order to process a student's application, the following must be provided:
- Completed Admission Application
- Copy of Baptismal Certificate
- Copy of Birth Certificate
- Copy of Social Security Card
- Copy of student's most recent Standardized Test Score, if applicable
- Copy of student's most recent and previous school year's progress report / report card
- Copy of student's Special Education file, if applicable
- Any other pertinent information
Failure to submit all of the necessary documentation slows the application process. Please submit all the necessary information when submitting the application. Failure to provide pertinent information may result in the student being denied admission.
Individual readiness screening for Kindergarten is required and administered by St. Mary's School staff.
After a student receives his/her Letter of Acceptance, the following items must be provided:
- Official transcript
- Tennessee Child Health Record - original green copy
- Non-refundable Registration Fee
Each year, St. Mary's provides scholarship funds for families who are in need of assistance and would not otherwise be able to send their children to our school. St. Mary's School employs Private School Aid Service (PSAS) to help assist in the management of our financial aid program.
Private School Aid Service, or PSAS, was founded in 1975 as a company specializing in need analysis for private grade schools and high schools. Approximately 85% of their clients are Catholic Schools. The PSAS management team, with over 80 years of combined financial aid experience, strives to use its expertise to provide an objective and uniform need evaluation. The tool used to calculate affordability is the PSAS Need Analysis System, a process that has evolved over more than twenty-five years.
Some of the benefits of using PSAS are the following:
- We receive accurate, objective, and complete data due to the verification process and uniform ranking criteria.
- We are assured of anonymity and confidentiality through the use of an outside service. Families' anxiety about sharing confidential information is eased.
- The evaluation process compares all families to a specific standard.
- The application includes a section for families to explain unusual circumstances (i.e., loss of job, recent divorce, change in work status, death in the family).
- This is a cooperative effort between school and PSAS.
PSAS will provide our school with the results of their calculations and their recommended scholarship amounts. We will review them and send them out to parents. Each applicant can be assured that the decision made on their financial aid application was based on fair and objective evaluation, combined with the personal attention they have come to appreciate in our school.
Each family applying for assistance must complete a PSAS Student Aid Form and mail it directly to the PSAS. There is a nominal fee charged by PSAS for processing your application. Please check with someone in the School Office for current processing fee information. Student Aid Forms are available in the School Office and must be completed, mailed, and received by PSAS by May of each year. Feel free to stop by the school to pick up an application, or call and we will send one in a confidential envelope with your child.
The Adopt-A-Student Program provides funds for tuition assistance. It offers an opportunity for members of the St. Mary's community to donate funds which directly pay tuition and fees for students with financial needs. This is an ongoing program and donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year. If you would like to make a donation, checks should be made payable to St. Mary's School and mailed to:
St. Mary's School
2211 E. Lakeview Dr.
Johnson City, TN 37601
Please annotate on your check that the donation is for the Adopt-A-Student program.