Frequently Asked Questions
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Why should I send my child to The Griffin Academy?
The Griffin Academy provides an exceptionally high-quality, nurturing learning environment for preschool-aged children. This developmentally tailored program is delivered by a well-qualified, loving staff, who are dedicated to providing the best possible all-around experience for the children in their care.
A well-designed program is in place for 3, 4, and older 4-year-olds, which includes both academic and social development. Woven throughout the daily routine, The Griffin Academy encourages children to exercise kindness and good manners, to respect one another, and to work and play together harmoniously.
The academic program for the three-year-old classes introduces children to letters and their sounds, numbers, science through nature, social studies through community, music, art, French, drama and free-play. The children experience indoor and outdoor play, structured and non-structured time, quiet and active times during the day.
The academic program for the four-year-old classes helps to prepare the children for kindergarten. Older four-year-olds (those who are five by December 31) are placed in the junior kindergarten class, which is more academic than that for the younger fours. Both classes are exposed to a phonics-based pre-reading/reading program which prepares them for the joys of reading. Part of the daily routine includes story-time, during which the children are exposed to classic children’s literature and nursery rhymes.
Is The Griffin Academy a “feeder” school for Westminster School?
It is our hope that the students enrolled at The Griffin Academy will continue with their education at Westminster School. The governance of the preschool is overseen by the Headmaster of Westminster School. One of the goals of the preschool program is to prepare students for entry to Westminster School’s full-day academic kindergarten.
Do you offer extended care?
Extended care is available for an additional fee. Before-School-Care is available from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. After-School-Care for the three-year-olds is available from 12:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. or 12:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. After-School-Care for the four-year-olds is available from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Do you provide transportation?
The Griffin Academy offers bus service to any student who has a sibling riding the bus to/from Westminster School. Westminster School bus fees apply. Griffin Academy bus riders are received by teachers and escorted to class in the morning. Afternoon bus service is only available at the 2:30 dismissal time.
Are there special requirements for admission to your school?
All children must meet the stated age requirements and be potty-trained prior to the beginning of school. There is no admissions assessment for entry to the preschool. However, children are asked to attend a group “play-date” prior to admission. Parents will meet with the Preschool Director to ensure a mutual understanding of the goals for the child and to be certain that the parents are familiar with the long-term goals of The Griffin Academy and Westminster School.
What are the age requirements for entry?
Candidates for the three-year-old class must be three by October 31. Candidates for the four-year-old class must be four by October 31. Children may enroll in the Junior-Kindergarten class if they are turning five by December 31. (Younger four-year-olds may be moved to the Junior Kindergarten class if the teachers deem it appropriate for a particular child.)
How much is tuition?
Full-time (Monday-Friday) tuition for the 2013-2014 school year is $8,736.00 for the three-year-old class’s regular school day (8:30-12:00) and $11,340.00 for the four-year-old class’s regular school day (8:30-2:30). Part-time tuition, for the three-year-old class, for the two-day a week program (Tuesday & Thursday) is $4,800.00, and tuition, for the three-year-old class, for the three-day a week program (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) is $7,200.00. Part-time tuition, for the four-year-old class, for the three-day a week program (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) is $8,640.00. All part-time classes are from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Additional fees are charged for the extended-day options. Various payment plans are offered.
What are the class sizes?
Currently, there are two classes of three-year-olds and two classes of four-year-olds. Each class has a maximum capacity of 14 students, with a lead teacher and an aide in each class.
What are the procedures for snack and lunch?
For the morning snack, on a rotating basis, parents provide a peanut-free snack for the class (approximately twice a month). Lunch is brought from home. A pizza lunch is offered each month.The afternoon snack is peanut-free and is provided by the school.
How long has your school been established?
Westminster School was established in 1962. It is a fully accredited member of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and is a member of Independent Education (IE) an association of independent schools of greater Washington. The Griffin Academy of Westminster School has been in operation since the fall of 2010.
What is the background of the preschool director?
Mrs. Kristine Lee holds a BA in Education. She is an experienced classroom teacher and mother of three children. Mrs. Lee has been an employee of Westminster School since 1990. She taught math to 3rd and 4th graders for 14 years. She has also served as the team leader for those grades and has emerged as a leader in the school. Mrs. Lee's three children attend Westminster School.
Are uniforms required?
The children are required to wear a Griffin Academy uniform, available from Flynn and O'Hara. The uniform consists of gray pants or shorts and a polo shirt for the boys. The girls wear gray skorts or pants with a polo shirt.
Do the children take field trips?
Field trips (approximately one trip per month) are scheduled throughout the year. Westminster School buses will be used to transport the children.
What enrichment classes are offered?
Enrichment classes include art, Fit kids, French, music and movement, and science.
What is the structure of the school day?
The students participate in group activities and individual activities through exploration centers and teacher direction. The daily schedule is flexible, though comforting and fun daily routines are observed.
What are the class sizes at The Griffin Academy?
The Griffin Academy can accommodate two classes of three-year-olds and two classes of four-year-olds. The classes vary from a maximum of 12-15 daycare students (students that stay for rest/nap time). The student-teacher ratio will never exceed 10:1 per class.