NEW FAMILY GUIDE

WELCOME TO MOTHER CATHERINE ACADEMY

Welcome to Mother Catherine Academy! We hope to provide on this page information that will help you get acquainted with our school and its procedures, as well as how to take advantage of all that the MCA has to offer. Please feel free to contact the school with any questions that aren’t clearly answered here, as well as with suggestions for how we can improve this page. Starting at a new school is always exciting, but sometimes it can seem a bit overwhelming; we hope to make it a pleasant experience for you and your family.

Tuition and Tuition Assistance

A great Catholic school education doesn’t come for free. As an independent Catholic school, Mother Catherine Academy has no alternative but to charge tuition for the quality education your children receive here. The cost to educate a child in Maryland is more than $13,000; at MCA, we strive to keep tuition affordable through a combination of fundraisers, volunteering and tuition assistance. Detailed tuition information is available here.

Fundraisers, including our popular Saturday Night Bingo, are an important revenue stream. Each family must work six Bingos per year, participate in four mandatory fundraisers, and purchase $2,000 worth of Scrip cards. You will receive a Bingo schedule well in advance so that you can plan accordingly. Fundraisers are staggered throughout the year and you’ll see more information about them in the principal’s weekly newsletter. The Scrip program sells shopping cards at their face value. The cards never expire, and MCA receives a percentage of the value from the retailer. We have cards for gas, groceries, and much more. Ask for a full list of available cards at the office. The cards are as good as cash, so rather than paying for groceries with a check, buy a Scrip card from MCA and use it when you’re at the store; you’ll help the school, work off the $2,000 requirement, and get your groceries at no additional cost to you.

Volunteering is an important component of life at MCA. Not only do you help the school community, but you meet other families and make great connections with other folks. Each family must volunteer 20 hours per year; opportunities to work off that requirement abound. Some events that always can benefit from more volunteers include helping at the Fall Festival or the Christmas Bazaar, or helping with various things that need to get done around the building. You also can earn volunteer hours for running or assisting with an after-school club.

We know that finding the money for tuition can be difficult, and we are grateful to the Archdiocese of Washington as well as the surrounding parishes, who make tuition assistance available to families. First, look into Maryland’s new BOOST program; more information about the program is available here. Next, apply for tuition assistance from the Archdiocese through TADS; if you are declined or still do not receive enough, you can then speak to the pastor at your parish to learn more about what they have to offer. Finally, if you still need help, consider scheduling an appointment with the principal to determine if an alternate payment plan can be worked out. We are committed to making sure every family that wants a Catholic education can afford a Catholic education.

``Welcome`` Packet

The welcome packet has a lot of information about the school. We usually distribute these at open house events, but in case you didn’t get a chance to pick one up, you can download a copy here.

Where Do I Order The Uniform?

You can order uniforms through Land’s End. To save money for growing children, you can first contact the school to see if there are any lightly used uniforms available for less. We welcome donations of lightly used uniforms that are no longer of use to your family; this helps make sure affordable options are available for all families, regardless of income.

When Should My Child Wear PE Clothes?

At the beginning of the year, you will be told which days your child has PE. On those days, your child wears the PE uniform all day.

What's A Tag Day?

Tag days are fundraisers. For a donation (depending on event), children do not have to wear the uniform on that day. All clothes must be school appropriate and conform to the dress code for tag days. Contact the office or student handbook for details on what is appropriate for tag days.

What If I Can't Make Bingo?

The Bingo schedule is sent out several weeks early to ensure that all families have ample time to adjust their schedules as necessary, but sometimes conflicts can’t be avoided. Phone numbers are included on the schedule so that you can contact families who might be willing to trade days with you. If you fail to show up for your assigned day and don’t have a substitute, you must pay a $200 buy-out.

Does My Child Have To Be Catholic?

No. Mother Catherine Academy welcomes all families with open arms. Non-Catholic children attend Mass with their peers, as well as participate fully in religion classes; so non-Catholic children will not feel excluded in any way.

Are Grades Available Online?

Beginning in third grade, grades are posted online. At the beginning of the year, you will receive a registration code as well as information on how to set up your account at https://208586.stiinformationnow.com/InformationNow/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2finformationnow.

What Extracurricular Options Are There?

Mother Catherine Academy students can choose from a range of after-school activities, some of which last year-round, some of which are for just a season. Options include (but are not limited to) basketball, cheerleading, gardening, drama, cooking, computer programming and more! Some activities have age restrictions, so talk to your child’s teacher for more information.

Is There Before- and After-Care?

Yes, before- and after-care are available on a full-time, part-time or drop-in basis. Cost varies depending on what you need. Before-care starts at 6 am; after-care is available through 6 pm. Before- and after-care are available on half-days as well.

Is busing available?

Busing is provided through the county; please fill out the Request for Transportation form available on the Parent Info tab.