Frequently Asked Questions
Q: IS ST. MARK’S ACCREDITED?
St. Mark’s is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and Florida Kindergarten Council. These professional educational associations evaluate and accredit independent schools throughout Florida in order to establish and maintain high standards for non-public schools. The School is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools.
Q: WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL?
Independent schools have distinct missions and are primarily supported by tuition and charitable contributions, not by church or tax funds. As an independent school St. Mark’s meets high FCIS accreditation standards and is also held accountable by its School Advisory Board.
Q: WHAT IS THE CURRENT ENROLLMENT?
Enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year is 473 students: 114 students in the PK2-PK4; 233 in the lower school; 126 enrolled in the middle school.
Q: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN APPLICANTS?
We are looking for students from all backgrounds who can benefit from and contribute to our challenging academic program.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR FACULTY?
We offer both youthful enthusiasm and veteran wisdom within our faculty. The St. Mark’s faculty has been recruited throughout the country. They are a dedicated group of diverse professionals, bonded in their commitment to St. Mark’s mission. St. Mark’s teachers are constantly seeking to better the classroom experience so that students can advance in their learning. The administration supports faculty participation in conferences, workshops and graduate courses. Notable to St. Mark’s is how the faculty cares enough to remain available after school to tutor or counsel any student seeking help.
Q: WHAT SAFETY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE?
The safety of our children is a top priority at St. Mark’s. We are continually evaluating security measures. Our detailed security plan includes: gated and enclosed campus periphery, camera surveillance, campus security system, safe drop-off and pick-up policies, and comprehensive emergency procedures. For physical education classes, students in kindergarten through second grade are transported on the St. Mark's bus to Robb Field across Gardens East Drive. A real-time content filter that blocks SPAM and inappropriate websites addresses Internet safety.
Q: DOES THE SCHOOL OFFER BUS SERVICE?
Parents are responsible for transportation arrangements. The school will assist families interested in forming carpools.
Q: WHAT ARE THE SCHOOL HOURS?
PK2 3 Half Days 8:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday PK2 3 Full Days 8:20 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday PK2 5 Half Days 8:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Monday through Friday PK2 5 Full Days 8:20 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday PK3 3 Half Days 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday PK3 3 Full Days 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday PK3 5 Half Days 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday PK3 5 Full Days 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday PK4 Half Day 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday PK4 Full Day 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday Lower School (K-5th grade) 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Middle School (6th-8th grade) 8:20 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Q: IS EXTENDED CARE AVAILABLE?
Morning care is available from 7:15am on and afternoon care for full-day students until 6pm for an additional charge.
Q: ARE THERE FEES IN ADDITION TO TUITION?
Textbooks are included in tuition. The cost of uniforms, lunches, and class trips (4th-8th) are the responsibility of the parent.
Q: DOES ST. MARK'S SERVE LUNCH?
Yes. A nutritious lunch is important to keep our students active and engaged throughout their busy school day. Wholesome, in-house meals, prepared daily in Coleman Hall’s restaurant-grade kitchen, support student wellness and healthy living. Students select an entree option, as well as a vegetable or fruit side dish. Parents make online payments to fund students’ accounts and have the ability to track transactions online.
Q: WHERE ARE UNIFORMS PURCHASED?
Uniforms are available at Harris Uniform Shop in West Palm Beach and online through Lands’ End.
Q: HOW CAN PARENTS BECOME INVOLVED IN SCHOOL LIFE?
Our valued parent partners are an integral part of our community. Parents are on campus every day meeting with teachers or attending performances and special events. St. Mark's has an active Parents' Association that encourages parents to volunteer their time and talent. Whether high commitment or low profile, volunteer opportunities abound and include, but are not limited to, the following: the auction event, book fair, teacher appreciation week, special sales, class musical productions, class projects, Middle School Parent Committee, room parents, and parent ambassadors. St. Mark’s thrives and continues to grow through the commitment, dedication and involvement of parents who are devoted to social, educational, and fundraising programs and events.
Q: DO STUDENTS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE FIELD TRIPS?
Off campus, co-curricular experiences are part of the St. Mark’s tradition. Starting with kindergarten’s spring trip to the West Palm Beach Zoo and culminating with the 7th grade Sea Camp adventure in the Florida Keys and the 8th graders’ Washington DC immersion, field trips at St. Mark’s enhance our academic program and build lifelong memories.
Q: DO STUDENTS TAKE A STANDARDIZED TEST EACH YEAR?
Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade are assessed quarterly using the Children's Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA). Students in 3rd through 8th grade take the CTP 4 (ERB) each year. These tests are one of the ways that we assess the strength of our curriculum vis-à-vis those of other schools. The test results also allow us to gauge the achievement and progress of individual students. The ERB scores are reported out by national percentiles, and compare St. Mark’s students to students in suburban school districts and in independent schools across the country. Teachers and administrators review each student’s individual results to make classroom accommodations and are available to confer with parents to discuss results.
Q: WHAT MAKES ST. MARK’S AN EPISCOPALIAN SCHOOL?
The Episcopalian education tradition is one of commitment to and balance of mind and spirit. As a faith based school, St. Mark’s provides opportunities for spiritual growth. Through our chapel program and church services, we endeavor to help children become aware of the world beyond them. We stress Christ’s two great commandments – love of God and love of neighbor. We welcome students of all faiths and traditions.
Christian Education is taught weekly in PK2. PK3 and PK4 students attend their own chapel service each week. Kindergarten students participate in chapel weekly and Eucharist or Christian education on a rotating cycle. Students in 1st through 8th grades participate in a weekly chapel service, as well as a weekly celebration of the Eucharist. Receiving communion is optional. Christian education is taught weekly in the classroom in first through fifth grade. In middle school, the students study world religions in 6th grade, the Bible in 7th grade, and ethics in 8th grade. Basic Christian values are emphasized in all aspects of Christian education.
Q: WHERE DO ST. MARK’S GRADUATES ATTEND HIGH SCHOOL?
The students of St. Mark’s Class of 2018 will attend the following high schools: The Benjamin School (11); Cardinal Newman (4); Jupiter High School (4); The King’s Academy (13); Oxbridge Academy (4); Palm Beach Gardens High School (2); The Pine School (5); Suncoast Community High School (7); William T. Dwyer High School (2); Wellington High School (1).
Q: CAN HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT BE OBTAINED FOR ANY CLASSES AT ST. MARK’S?
Students who qualify for and successfully complete Spanish I or French I, Algebra I or Algebra I Honors, and Geometry Honors will earn high school credit. Geometry Honors is offered for those students who qualify to begin Pre-Algebra in 6th grade.