Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions arise as families get to know Grace and apply for admission and Variable Tuition. Please read through these FAQs for answers to questions you may have.
To begin preschool at Grace on the first day of the school year, students must have turned three by September 1. We do have a “rolling threes” program for students who turn three after September 1 but before January 31 of the same school year. These students may enroll in the regular preschool classroom the week they turn three. They then return to the preschool classroom the following school year. For more information, please email Melissa Lafionatis, Director of Enrollment and Variable Tuition, or call her at 240-292-5237.
Emergent curriculum is Grace’s play-based, inquiry-driven, student-centered approach to early childhood education. Learn more.
Our community prizes academic excellence as much as we value strong character and human kindness. We believe that nurture and challenge go hand in hand. We create a calm, peaceful atmosphere in which children feel known and loved by teachers and peers, because in this atmosphere, students develop the confidence to take intellectual and social risks. They participate confidently in spelling and geography bees, present science fair projects, and finish the year by competing against other area students at the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal Schools Association (MAESA) fair. Are we academically rigorous? Absolutely. But academic rigor does not come at the expense of educating excellent students who are also good people. That’s Grace.
Yes! An Episcopalian identity is an inclusive identity. We recognize the value of each individual as a child of God, whether he or she identifies as Episcopalian, Unitarian, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Quaker, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or a member of any other faith tradition. Our Episcopal identity and commitment to diversity are intertwined with our educational philosophy.
More than half of students at Grace are students of color, which makes us one of the most racially diverse independent schools in and around Washington, DC. We are also diverse religiously, geographically, linguistically, and socioeconomically. Our diversity is part of our founding mission as a parish school dedicated to serving all who seek an Episcopal day school education in Greater Washington.
We are fervent believers that all students deserve to be known, nurtured, loved, and challenged – regardless of financial need. In support of that commitment, Grace offers a Variable Tuition Program. Detailed information is available on our Affording Grace page.
The Grace Scholars Fund accepts one-time and multi-year donations in support of our financial aid program. These gifts ensure that children whose families have limited financial resources benefit from the solid academic start Grace provides. The Annual Auction supports the Grace Scholars Fund, as well.
The outcomes of a Grace education in terms of what we call “outplacement” speaks to the strength of our academic program. The list of middle and high schools that Grade 5 graduates of the past five years have attended represents schools that are the best fit for each student. They find those schools with one-on-one advising from our Head of School and our Head of Elementary Education.
In accordance with policies set by the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS) and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW), families whose applications are received and completed by the deadline will be informed of admission decisions about the 2020-2021 school year by Friday, March 6, 2020 after 4:00 p.m.
Although admission and Variable Tuition decisions are made separately, we are committed to informing families about both decisions simultaneously so that they can make informed choices. New families who have completed their Variable Tuition application by the deadline of Friday, February 7, 2020 will be informed of their decision by Friday, March 6, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
All currently enrolled Grace families receiving a Variable Tuition must reapply every school year by providing updated documentation in the TADS system. Visit our Affording Grace page and scroll to the bottom for more information.
Here at Grace, we have a comprehensive security plan that takes into account every aspect of our campus and community. We have a secured entrance and exit during school and extended care hours. Our entire staff receives First Aid and CPR training each year, and as members of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, all staff members complete the course Safeguarding God's Children.
Grace is not a nut-free school, but we do take careful measures to support students with nut allergies. Individual classrooms at the Early Childhood level might be declared nut-free for the school year to support our youngest students with allergies. Nut-free tables are available at lunchtime. Our entire staff receives First Aid and CPR training each year, and our consulting nurse is on-call each school day for assistance.
For our students in Preschool and Prekindergarten, we provide a daily healthy snack and milk.
Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 are encouraged to bring a snack every day for morning snacktime and recess.
At lunchtime, Grace provides milk for all students each day. Families may choose to participate in our hot lunch delivery program or enjoy pizza lunch on Fridays!
Yes, all students at Grace must be toilet-trained. Our Preschool teaching team works with parents and students to continue to help develop independence in this area throughout the school year.