Frequently asked questions

How do I learn more about Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School?

The best way to see what we’re all about is to visit us! Set up a private tour or join us at one of our admission events. To schedule an appointment, call 831.655.9351.

How and when should I apply?

The admission process begins the fall before your child’s anticipated year of entry. To begin the application process, call our admission office at 831.655.9351 or apply online.

What does Santa Catalina look for in an applicant?

We look for students and families who will be a good addition to our community. Teacher recommendations, strong test scores, and a good academic record are important, as is the student visit and family interview. Beyond academic ability, we look for enthusiasm, warmth, and a strong desire to learn. We work diligently to build a compassionate and close-knit community and to make a Santa Catalina education accessible to qualified students through tuition assistance. We evaluate each applicant wholly to determine whether Santa Catalina is the right fit for them, and vice versa.

Is tuition assistance available?

Yes, tuition assistance is available. For the 2018-2019 school year, 42 percent of Lower and Middle School students received financial assistance. We encourage families to apply for tuition assistance if a Santa Catalina education would not otherwise be affordable.

For more information regarding our tuition assistance program, visit our Tuition & Affordability page, download our Tuition Assistance FAQs, or call Janet Luksik, Director of Tuition Assistance, at 831.655.9382.

What is your sibling policy?

We recognize that for many families, having all children enrolled at the same school is a priority. We value community and love that our campus becomes a home for many. However, no school’s approach to learning is a perfect match for every child. If all things are equal, siblings may receive preferential consideration.

How should I prepare my child for the admission test?

We strongly discourage applicants from taking test prep courses or being tutored in any way for admission testing. For the best testing situation, we recommend that children get a good night’s sleep and have breakfast before taking the test.

What is the religious affiliation of the school?

We are an independent Catholic school welcoming students of all faiths. At Santa Catalina, we believe in preparing and guiding young people toward intellectual growth and moral and spiritual awareness. Currently, 50 percent of our students are Catholic and 50 percent are of other faiths.

Do you hold Mass? Is attendance required?

Grounded in the Catholic faith, we are a close-knit community enriched by a diverse group of students, teachers, and parents working together to nurture students' minds and hearts. Through community outreach, religion classes, and Mass, we strive to develop strong values and upstanding character in each of our students so they learn to become thoughtful citizens of the world. For this reason, we require students to attend Mass services once a month and participate in a way they feel comfortable. We invite parents to attend when they can.

How many classes are there per grade level?

From PreK through Grade 5, each grade level has one class. In Middle School, Grades 6-8, each class is divided into two sections.

What is the student-teacher ratio?

In PreK and kindergarten, the average class size is 14-16 students, overseen by a team of five teachers. During all critical instruction, there are no fewer than three teachers overseeing a lesson.

In Grades 1-5, the average class size is 24-26 students, with one teacher and one full-time teaching assistant.

In Grades 6-8, the average size of each section is 16-18 students. Middle School students transition to different subject areas throughout the day, each with specialized instructors.

Do you accept new students in every grade?

The natural entry points for new students are pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and Grade 6. Each year, pre-kindergarten has 20 spaces, kindergarten has 3-4 spaces, and Grade 6 has 12 spaces available. Families who do not gain admission via the natural entry points for the current school year are always encouraged to apply, as other grade levels accept new students based on availability.

Do you enroll military families?

Within close proximity to the Defense Language Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School, we have a long history of educating the children of military families. We welcome and encourage military families to apply and enroll at Santa Catalina while they’re stationed in the area. We are happy to refer you to one of our current military families to answer any questions you may have.

What if we missed the application deadline?

If you have missed the application deadline, we are happy to discuss your situation. Please contact the admission office at 831.655.9351.

Contact Us

Janet Luksik
Director of Admission, PreK-Grade 8
Director of Tuition Assistance

Janessa Rhoades
Associate Director of Admission, PreK-Grade 8