We took some of the most frequently asked questions from our students and parents and got the answers straight from them:
From our experiences with prospective students, we have addressed the most frequently asked questions in the paragraphs below. Prospective students with additional questions are welcome to contact Mrs. Maria Zurliene, Director of Enrollment (618.526.7216).
Friends: How will I meet people? Will I make friends?
Meeting new people and making new friends, initially concerns of incoming freshmen, quickly become two of their favorite aspects of attending Mater Dei. In fact, when members of the Class of 2017 were freshmen, 72% of the class listed meeting new people and making new friends as their “favorite” at Mater Dei!*
Recognizing that high school is filled with new experiences, we focus on assisting our freshmen with their transition by continually observing and communicating with them throughout the year. To begin the year, our freshmen experience a unique, freshmen-only orientation day, during which they attend classes, meet and complete a scavenger hunt with the members of their mentor group, and participate in activities which help develop strategies for creating and maintaining respectful student–to–student relationships. (During the scavenger hunt, freshmen become familiar with the building and meet all members of the administration, faculty, and staff with whom they will interact daily.) The mentor groups, whose members live in a variety of towns, then continue to meet throughout the year. We also host a tailgate party prior to the first home football game for only the freshman class.
Academics: Will I receive assistance, if necessary? Will I maintain good grades?
The members of our faculty take pride in working with all students to assist them in achieving success. As a result, our teachers help students before school, during the daily school-wide study hall, and after school. In fact, as freshmen, members of the Class of 2017 ranked the teachers as their second “favorite” at Mater Dei.* In addition, our students may request a peer tutor, who will provide additional assistance during specific daily school-wide study halls. Finally, PlusPortals, our interactive web portal, provides academic reports, allowing students and parents to monitor academic progress.
Extracurricular Activities: Will I be interested? How will I join?
We believe that extracurricular activities play an important role in the lives of our students, for they provide an opportunity for students to explore, to develop, and to share their gifts and talents. Thus, we are proud to offer an extensive variety of activities and athletics. In fact, as freshmen, members of the Class of 2017 ranked extracurricular activities as their third “favorite” at Mater Dei.*
Aside from athletics, numerous activities hold meetings during the daily school-wide study hall, thereby minimizing, and at times eliminating, the need for meetings after school hours. Moreover, our students are then able to participate in multiple activities.
At the recommendation of past students, we provide our incoming freshmen with our Extracurricular Activities Guide, which lists the moderator(s) of and descriptions of our activities and athletics. We also host an activities fair during the second week of school, during which students may sign-up for activities and receive information from current members.
The Class of 2017, in their own words . . .
“Mater Dei feels like one big family because the environment is filled with respect. I love it!”
“The teachers are very caring and always willing to help when I have questions.”
“The student center is perfect for relaxing, socializing, and studying after school.”
“I have enjoyed the activities! I learned that I have talents I didn’t know about in grade school.”
(*Comments were provided on the “Survey of Freshmen 2013-2014,” which was conducted in January, 2014.)
From our experiences with prospective parents, we have addressed the most frequently asked questions in the paragraphs below. Prospective parents with additional questions are welcome to contact Mrs. Maria Zurliene, Director of Enrollment (618.526.7216).
Tuition Assistance: Does Mater Dei provide tuition assistance for families?
Recognizing the varied financial resources of our families, our school board and administration are committed to providing tuition assistance to families who possess a strong desire to join the Mater Dei family. Thus, families may apply annually for memorial grants, which we offer to all families who qualify financially. Additionally, we encourage families to apply for scholarships (academic, leadership, and need-based) offered by Mater Dei, their parish, or their school. For additional information, please visit our “Scholarships and Tuition Assistance” page.
Transportation: Will our family’s limited means of transportation limit our child’s participation in athletics and activities?
Aside from athletics, numerous activities hold meetings during the daily school-wide study hall, thereby minimizing, and at times eliminating, the need for meetings after school hours. In addition, when waiting after school for activities or athletics, students are welcome to remain on campus and utilize the library and the Lampe Commons (student center). In fact, on a daily basis, we observe students studying and relaxing with peers or preparing a snack (vending machines and microwaves are available in the Lampe Commons). Finally, families often develop carpools, thereby reducing the travel obligation for each family.
REMINDER: For travel to and from school (not extracurricular activities), we provide free transportation for students living outside the Central Community High School district: east to Salem, north to Highland, south to Mt. Vernon, and west to Route 4 (Mobil) and I-64/Air Mobility Drive. (Routes may change due to the demographics of our students.)
Academics: Can Mater Dei meet the academic needs of my child?
We offer a comprehensive, multi-level curriculum that provides all students, including those needing academic accommodations, the opportunity both to challenge themselves and to achieve success by enrolling in the level of courses that meets their needs. More importantly, recognizing that a child’s academic needs vary by discipline, we do not “track” our students. In addition, during the daily school-wide study hall, our students possess the opportunity to receive additional assistance from their teachers and/or peers. Finally, we are proud to offer PlusPortals, our online link between school and home, which provides parents and students the opportunity to view academic reports and to communicate with teachers, thereby ensuring our ability to work hand-in-hand with parents for the benefit of our students.
Our parents, in their own words . . .
“My child’s transition from grade school to high school has been extremely smooth! The personalization that Mater Dei offers has made all the difference.”
“I am proud of the outstanding academics and Catholic experience my child receives at Mater Dei!’”
“After one week at Mater Dei, my child said, ‘I never knew teachers would care as much as these teachers do.’”
“My child’s grades and attitude are better than ever because at Mater Dei, he finally ‘found his nitch.’”
“The faculty and staff have been helpful not only to my child, but to me as well.”
(Comments were provided on the “Survey for Parents of Freshmen: 2013-2014,” which was conducted in January, 2014.)