Welcome to HFE!
Welcome! We are thrilled that you have an interest in Holy Family Elementary. In order to help you and your family get to know our school better, we have compiled the following frequently asked questions. Our website offers a wealth of information to parents. Classroom assignments, teachers & staff, calendars, menus, committees, and fundraising information is all available with the click of a mouse! Please feel free to contact the school if you have any other questions.
What time does school begin and end?
School begins at 8:00 a.m. Students who would like to eat breakfast at school can be dropped off at 7:20 a.m. and report to the cafeteria. Students who are dropped off between 7:30-7:45 a.m. will report to the Activity Center (entrance by our playground) until the 7:45 bell rings. At this time, students will begin walking to class to get ready for the day.
The bus bell rings at 3:10 p.m. If you are interested in bus services than you must arrange this with the bus barn at 785-623-2560 in August. Around 3:15, all other students & teachers will begin heading down to the Activity Center for dismissal. At 3:20, students are dismissed. Parents may come through the North or South doors and head to the Activity Center to pick up their children, or you can drive through the school pick-up line out in the east parking lot near our playground — there are multiple lines that you may wait in. Please remain off your cell phones while driving through to pick up your children, as our faculty needs to be able to communicate with you on who you are picking up that day. At 3:40, the final bell will ring and dismissal is over. Any children remaining in the Activity Center during this time will be walked down to After School Care and you will receive a bill for those services at the end of the month.
You must notify both the office and your children’s teachers in the event of an appointment or a need to pick up your child early. Both the office and teachers also need notified as soon as possible when you know your child will be missing school or coming in late. You may call the office starting at 7:30 a.m. or you are welcome to e-mail the office manager and teachers. If you call before 7:30 a.m. please leave a voicemail message and we will check them immediately as the office opens. In the event that your child will be picked up by someone out of the ordinary, please just let the classroom teacher know.
Preschool is only in session Monday through Thursday. PA (morning preschool) runs from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. PB (afternoon preschool) runs from 12:10 to 3:10 p.m. Preschool students must be dropped off at the classroom by an authorized adult and can be picked up in the classroom, as well. After a few weeks of school, an older sibling is welcome to stand with their Preschool sibling at dismissal in the Activity Center. PB students are allowed to attend After School Care if the paperwork is filled out (read more below regarding ASC). PB students who are not picked up in time will automatically be walked down to After School Care with the other students and you will be charged for those services.
Kinderprep is in session on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays each week from 8:00 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. with the same dismissal procedure.
Do you have an After School Care program?
Yes. HFE offers an After School Care program (ASC), which runs from dismissal until 6:00 p.m. Our director, along with a group of college student workers, will supervise the children during this time. Students attending ASC will walk directly down to the cafeteria at dismissal where the ASC teachers will greet them and get them signed in. They begin with attendance and prayer, followed by a snack. The students then work on their homework or read until around 4:00 p.m. Depending on the weather, students will then either play outside or split up between the cafeteria and the Activity Center for games, puzzles, coloring, and other activities.
Payment is based on the amount of days that your children attend in one month, and payment per day is broken up by half-time and full-time status. If you pick up your child by or before 4:30 p.m., you will be charged $5.00 per child for that day. If you pick up your child between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m., you will be charged $6.00 per child for that day. Attendance is taken at 4:30 by the director to determine half or full-time status for the day. This is recorded for the whole month, and invoices for that month will go home at the beginning of the following month. These fees are for the current school year, but we are anticipating an increase for the 2015-2016 school year which will be determined this summer.
You only pay for the days that your children attend, but you are asked to establish an estimated schedule at the start of the school year. The students can be picked up on the playground, in the Activity Center, or in the cafeteria, depending on which location your child is at that particular day. Signs will be up on the main entrances of the building to let you know. You must sign out your child in the sign-out binder, and paperwork will be filled out at enrollment with a list of people whom you allow to pick up your children.
The children get a chance to walk to Massey Park about once or twice a month during nice weather, and notes about the dates for this will be sent home with the children in advance. Each child is also responsible for bringing snacks about 4+ times throughout the school year. A snack bucket will be sent home with your child when it is his/her turn to bring them. Please remember that we are a NUT-FREE school, so snacks cannot be prepared in nut oils or along with nut products (please check labels on food boxes!).
There is an envelope attached to the podium in the cafeteria with “wish list” items that ASC could use. You are welcome to pick one of those cards and help support the program by purchasing them. This is completely voluntary, but is a nice way to help out! You can send your children to ASC at any time during the school year, but you must first fill out the paperwork before your child may begin these services, so please sign your children up at enrollment or contact the front office if you are interested. At enrollment, you will pay a $25 fee per child to sign your family up for ASC services and fill out your paperwork.
Does Holy Family offer special services and screenings like public schools do?
Yes. Testing for special education and gifted services is offered through USD 489 to students who have special learning needs. We have a SPED teacher housed in our building every day and all day. Title I, a remedial reading program, is provided for students who qualify under district, state and federal regulations by USD 489. Speech testing, speech therapy and hearing screenings are provided by the FHSU Herndon Hearing and Speech Clinic students under supervision of FHSU professionals. Visual screenings are provided for students by a team of local optometrists, and dental screenings are provided by the 1st Care Clinic of Hays. Counseling services are available once a week for the students who are in need.
How does the admissions process work?
In the fall semester, a brief form is sent home to our current families to give us an idea of new siblings who will be joining us the following year. During spring semester, prospective numbers for the next school year are totaled and all families on the waiting list are notified as to whether or not their child(ren) are accepted. All families, whether current or new, will be notified in the Spring regarding placement for their child in Preschool-6th grade. A Preschool Parent Information Meeting will be scheduled typically in March for parents to come and hear some general information, pick up the preschool paperwork and pay a registration fee. For brand new families accepted into K-6th, a separate New Parent Information Meeting will be scheduled as well for parents to learn more about the school, take a tour and meet some of the teachers & staff. For brand new students entering our Kindergarten, a packet will be available at the meeting to pick up. For students already here in our Preschool, we will simply send a new health packet home with your child in his/her bookbag.
The brunt of the paperwork is given to new families at the information night, though there is still general yearly paperwork given to each family at enrollment, so it is required to attend. In late May, e-mails will be sent out to all current & new families with information regarding the school calendar, student supply lists, uniform sales, enrollment details, and other important school information.
We have a waiting list that we keep active and updated at all times. Placement is determined by the number of open spots per grade — students are accepted based off of the family’s stewardship of time, talent and treasure with their parish, and the date you call to list your child is taken into consideration once priests have cleared the family. If your child(ren) does not make it in one year, we will automatically keep them on the waiting list in case a spot opens up; we will also automatically move the waiting list over for the following year in the event that we have more openings later down the road and you will be contacted immediately. If you ever decide that you are happy with your arrangements elsewhere, please call and let us know that we can remove your family from our list so that you do not receive further mail from us.
If you are interested in signing your child(ren) up for Preschool-6th grade, you may click here. Please complete the form in full, and you are welcome to mail it or bring it by the office. We will then send you a confirmation letter with details about our admission process.
How do I use Powerschool?
Parents can navigate to Powerschool and create their own personal account to monitor their student’s grades, attendance, and lunch account. By clicking on the “e-mail notifications” tab, parents may sign up for e-mail notifications about their student’s grades and lunch account balances automatically without having to log in frequently.
Parents who have multiple students in the school can access all of their information through one account by simply inputting the necessary information, which the parents will all be walked through at the beginning of each school year. During the first week of school, letters will come home with the student’s names and ID’s so that parents can create their accounts. Additionally, parents with students at both HFE and TMP-M can access information for both schools through one account, which is handy. If you have further questions regarding Powerschool, please get in touch with Mrs. Wentling.
What do the students wear at HFE?
The students in grades K-6th are required to wear the HFE uniforms, which are navy bottoms and a white polo top with the HFE logo embroidered on it. For all information regarding school uniforms, please refer to our uniform policy in the school handbook located on the home page of the school website. Current venues used are Parker at https://www.parkersu.com/ , Gone Logo, JCPenney’s and Walmart. The students can wear any shoes as long as they are close-toed since they will be playing outside during the day. A separate pair of tennis shoes will be left at school for P.E. for students in grades 1st-6th to ensure that the gym stays in good condition.
On Wednesdays, all students PS-6th grade are welcome to wear the grey school spirit shirt with jeans and tennis shoes. The spirit shirt is available to order at enrollment in both long or short-sleeves. Preschool students wear a navy preschool t-shirt on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday each week. Preschoolers can wear bottoms that are solid navy, grey, white, black, or khaki — nothing too flashy, just simple. Bottoms do not need to be a certain brand or material. All shoes must also be close-toed. Accessories and socks also follow our same uniform policy for the other grades and can be found in the handbook. The preschool shirts and spirit shirts will be ordered on enrollment day for the year, so if you are interested in long-sleeves or sweaters, be sure to get your orders in on enrollment, as there most likely will not be a chance to order them again later on.
Each summer in July, Parker & Gone Logo throw a uniform sale at the school in the Activity Center. One great thing that our uniform committee does is throws a USED uniform sale at the same location and time for families who would like to purchase uniforms at a much lower price – the uniforms are donated throughout the school year from other families who have moved on or outgrown them. We will take donations clear up until the Friday before this sale. The used uniforms will be sorted by size and type and organized on tables at the sale, and these items are all first come, first serve, so you don’t want to miss out!
Payments & Tuition
How do enrollment payments & tithing work at HFE?
For our current HFE families, letters are mailed out in the Spring with payment information for the upcoming school year, allowing families to get a head start on making payments for enrollment. On enrollment day (early August), all payments are due. This will include each child’s enrollment fee, a Home & School fee per family, and an optional yearbook fee. For families with an incoming preschooler, your first monthly fee is also due at enrollment which will cover the few days of August and also September. For students entering K-6th, lunch money will be due at enrollment; all checks for lunch money must be separate checks from all other school payments, as it goes into a different school account. Parents may decide how much money to apply to each child’s lunch account, whether you choose to pay for a month, a semester, or the whole school year. Spirit Shirts are available at enrollment only and will not likely be available to purchase again throughout the year.
Meals prices are set mid-summer each school year and are subject to change year to year based off increased prices in food. Free & Reduced meal prices are set through the Kansas Food & Nutrition Program. If students in 3rd-6th grade would like to take an extra milk at lunch, it is an extra $.40 per milk. Free & Reduced meal applications will be included in every family’s enrollment folder every school year and should be returned as soon as possible so that we can notify you of your status quickly.
Each family is required to be a registered and involved steward at their parish. Stewardship of time, talent and treasure is extremely important to keep our Catholic schools running! Each family must be sure to renew their stewardship forms annually and meet with their priest. The priests ultimately clear each family for enrollment, so if you are not cleared by your priest, you will receive a letter stating that your family must first schedule a meeting with your parish.
Children are not turned away if they are not Catholic, but we do fill in our classroom openings with Catholic families first. Non-Catholic families, as well as Catholic families who are not registered at a Heartland Parish, are the only students who are required to pay a monthly tuition fee. Catholic Non-Registered students and Non-Catholic students will owe $420 per month each. The Heartland Parishes include Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Joseph, St. Nicholas of Myra, Comeau Campus Center, Our Lady Help of Christians (Antonino), St. Anthony (Schoenchen), St. Catherine (Catherine), and St. Francis (Munjor). The tuition can be paid in full at enrollment, or you can stick to monthly payments. We highly encourage our Catholic families to register and stay involved with their parishes – the priests want to see families attending mass regularly, as well as being good stewards of their talents and treasure. The future of our Catholic schools greatly depends on the support of our parishes and Catholic community!
When are various HFE payments due?
A Preschool registration fee will be due at Preschool Parent Information Night, but otherwise, Preschool invoices are e-mailed to parents digitally using the e-mail addresses filled out on your child’s paperwork at enrollment. Invoices are e-mailed in the middle of the previous month and payments are due by the end of that month, so payments are always made about half a month in advance. For example, the bill for November will be sent around October 15th and will be due by the end of October. If you prefer to pay for a full semester or the entire school year at once, you are welcome to do so. If payment is not made in time, a late fee will be tacked on and you will receive a reminder with an updated invoice.
After School Care invoices will be e-mailed out to parents at the beginning of the month reflecting charges for the previous month. So, if your children start attending ASC right away in August, your first bill will come home the beginning of September. Payment for ASC is due by the 15th of the month. Please keep in mind that even when you do not necessarily plan for your child to attend ASC, if your child is not picked up by the dismissal bell, he/she will be taken to ASC and you will be charged for that day. HFE/TMP staff get a half session of ASC for free only on days that there are staff meetings, or in the event that TMP staff are coaching sports. Non-meeting days and full-time status remain the same prices as all other families. ALL families, staff included, will still pay the $25 registration fee at enrollment per child for signing up for ASC services.
For families paying monthly tuition, an invoice will be e-mailed to the parents at the beginning of each month and payment will be due by the 15th of the month based on your agreement made with the principal and your parish at enrollment.
Meal payments depend solely on how much and how often you pay and are all entered on Powerschool. Each meal transaction is logged on Powerschool on a daily basis. As meals are entered, if your child’s balance is getting low, reminders will be printed off on bright colored paper reflecting your child’s name and current balance and sent home in their bookbag. Payment should be made as soon as possible upon receiving a notice. Again, an approximate total for all lunches for the school year will be available at enrollment for families who wish to pay for the meals in full for the year.
Other various projects and activities might warrant payment and will be arranged well in advance by the classroom teachers and communicated with you if payment is needed.
All payments can be paid in cash or check, and checks must all be written out to HFE or Holy Family Elementary, including payments for HFE Bucks — please always note in the memo your child’s name and what the payment is regarding, i.e. Preschool, ASC, lunch, tuition, registration, etc. Receipts for your payments will be issued and sent home with your child. We do not accept credit/debit cards for any payments.
What is Red Wheel?
The Red Wheel fundraiser kicks off at the beginning of the school year. Children will bring home a form with food items to be purchased/sold. The children are motivated with prizes for the number of items they turn in. Once forms are turned in, parents are notified of the date that Red Wheel delivery will take place. Parents will have a set amount of time (usually a 2 hour time span) on the day of delivery to come by the school to pick up all frozen items. Families are responsible for delivering items. If items cannot be delivered immediately, make sure to leave ample freezer space to accommodate all items.
What is the Chili Supper?
This is one of HFE’s largest fundraisers each year traditionally held on the Sunday of the start of Catholic Schools Week from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. It takes all families to be involved to make this activity successful. All parents are asked to help by volunteering their time on the Saturday prior to the event or on Sunday. Parents can get involved with helping cook or setting up the game room on Saturday. On the day of the event, Volunteers are needed to serve the meal, clean up, help with games and other activities. Prior to the event, parents will also be asked to send “food type” items to be used for game prizes, and bake desserts.
What is Race for Education?
The Race for Education is a fundraiser that culminates with an hour “walk” or “run” in the school parking lot. Prior to the event, parents are asked for names of family members and friends to receive mailers for donations for the event (either a flat rate donation or based on the number of laps the child makes). Volunteer parents are needed to assist students in making their mailing labels. This takes approximately one hour. The day of the event, usually in April, parents often join in with their children by walking a few laps, volunteering to help out with punching “lap cards”, serving water or just to simply sit back and watch the children enjoy the event.
What are HFE Bucks?
HFE Bucks, formerly known as “Scrip”, are gift certificates that can be used like cash at local and national businesses. The program is an ongoing fundraiser that costs you no extra money! The Home & School Association gets the certificates at a discount, and you buy them at face value. HFE Bucks can be given as gifts or you can use them at participating stores and restaurants. Grandparents, friends, or anyone can buy HFE Bucks. They are available through the school office and are also occasionally sold after mass in the gathering space at our Hays parishes. Each family will receive a flyer with more information about this program at the beginning of the school year. The order form is available on our home page, or by clicking here. A hard copy order form is also available at all times in the school office. During school hours, you can stop by the office to order, mail an order in, or feel free to send an order with a student and we will send your cards back in the same envelope with that student the day of.
Please be aware that orders for a single venue over $100 will take extra time to process, as we will have to order these separately so to not depleat the stock we keep at school. There is a $50 minimum order for cards you would like mailed to you. Generic gift certificates can be purchased for any value you desire, which would allow the recipient to bring said certificate in and choose which venues they would like. Typically in November, a special Holiday Bucks form will be sent out where many additional vendors will be available — it is a great gift idea for Christmas, and it raises extra money for Holy Family!
What is the box tops program?
HFE now only participates in the Box Tops for Education program, and our school earns $.10/label. Students are encouraged to turn in labels to their classroom teacher every Wednesday, though this is an ongoing program and these collections can be turned in any day of the week. Unfortunately, the McDonald’s Neighbor’s Program and Labels for Education/Tyson Labels programs have both come to a close, so we no longer accept McDonald’s receipts or can/soup labels.
Our school also collects pop/can tabs and cell phones. Can tabs are picked up by Hays High DECA students and are sent in to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities across the country. Our green school committee works hard to ensure that used batteries and cell phones are recycled instead of trashed since they are so toxic to the Earth. We no longer accept printer cartridges for the Cartridges for Kids program, as they recently made many cuts to their cartridge list, lowered prices, and our school was no longer benefitting. Thank you for your support in these ways!
Can I eat lunch with my child?
Yes, however, you must call and notify the office by 9:00 a.m. on the morning you wish to make a reservation (you are also welcome to call a couple days in advance when you know). This helps ensure that the kitchen staff can prepare enough meals for the day and are given ample time to prepare extra food if needed. Once a month, HFE has Papa Murphy’s Pizza day on a Thursday, which will be posted on each monthly menu, and if you are wanting to join a student on that day, reservations must be made (2) days in advance by the Tuesday beforehand, as those orders are placed early.
Once a month we celebrate the student’s birthdays by doing a special birthday mass & lunch, which will also be posted on the menus and calendars. You are welcome to make reservations for the special birthday meals, as well. Parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, anyone is welcome to join a student for lunch as long as reservations are made by 9:00 a.m.
After calling to reserve a guest meal, we will mark your name in our meal log and you can stop by the office beforehand to pay. It is $4.00 for an adult guest and $2.00 for a child. You must also stop by the office to sign into our visitor binder and grab a visitor badge to wear. You may then wait outside the classroom and line up with the child as they walk to the lunch line. Classroom lunch schedules are determined in August and will either be included in your enrollment folder or sent in a parent e-mail at the beginning of the school year from the principal.
Do I have any other menu choices besides what is being served to the children?
No, although you are welcome to tell the cooks in the lunch line that you would like to skip the main course and get salad in the cafeteria if you prefer.
Are there any days when I should make special plans to eat with my child?
There are a variety of special meals that HFE offers annually, such as for Grandparent’s Day (September), Thanksgiving (November), Catholic Schools Week (end of January), and the Pancake Man (February) where we will send out fliers in advance for multiple guests to make reservations and pay so to ensure that those meals run smoothly.
Are there any days when I should NOT eat with my child?
Guests are welcome to sign up any time, however, traditionally HFE observes “quiet Fridays” during the season of Lent where the students and staff eat lunch in silence, which is a sacrifice! While you are welcome to eat with your child, you will still be expected to follow the same prayerful silence, even if it is a birthday. We thank you for your cooperation!
If I do not meet the 9:00 a.m. deadline for a lunch reservation, can I bring a lunch and sit with my child(ren) anyway?
Of course, you are always welcome to sit with your child and bring your own lunch, but the lunch you bring cannot be from a restaurant or fast-food chain, and pop is also not allowed. Please remember that we are a NUT-FREE school, so peanut butter sandwiches, cookies and candies should be avoided, especially if they were processed in a factory using nut oils.
How can I get involved at HFE?
For more information on our committees, please visit our parent volunteer page. The page includes a complete list of committees and contact information for the Chair or Co-Chair. You may also contact the office or principal at anytime if you want to get involved! For more detailed information, please visit our Parent Committees tab on the website!
Order HFE Bucks
Please visit the HFE Bucks page now located under the Fundraising tab on the top main menu or click here!