Frequently Asked Questions
How many grade levels does OLVCS offer? OLVCS is a Middle States accredited school, providing quality education for children in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Our elementary school includes Kindergarten through 5th grade. Our Middle School wing encompasses 6th through 8th grade. We have two classrooms for each grade level. The Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms have both a lead teacher and an instructional aide.
What is the average class size? On average each OLVCS grade level is capped at 40-42 students. There are two classes at each grade level.
Do OLVCS students wear a uniform? Yes, students at OLVCS wear a uniform. The elementary students’ uniform requirements differ from the middle school students’ uniform requirements. Middle school students also have a Physical Education (PE) uniform. Uniforms are available through Land's End. Used uniform sales are also held at the school approximately twice a year.
Is the tuition at OLVCS affordable? Yes, the tuition for OLVCS is reasonable for both children from practicing Catholic families and non-Catholic families. It is worth noting that traditionally OLVCS tuition rates are considerably less than other non-public schools in the State College area. It is the Church’s view that the children of practicing Catholic families will not be denied a Catholic education. Parents of children who need financial support for their education at OLVCS should speak with the school principal.
Are there scholarships for OLVCS? Yes, due to donors’ generosity and the continued support of the parishioners of OLV Church, OLVCS is able to offer need-based scholarships and other forms of tuition assistance. Parents interested in scholarships for their children should contact the school principal.
Are the teachers at OLVCS certified teachers? Yes, all OLVCS teachers are qualified to teach in Pennsylvania and have valid teaching certificates. Many of our teachers also hold advanced degrees in education and other related disciplines. All teachers are required to attend teacher in-service activities and other continuing education workshops and programs.
What time does the school day start and end at OLVCS? The school day begins at 8AM and ends at 2:30PM. After school care is available until 5:30PM. Parents of children involved in afternoon and evening activities on the weekdays, such as community-based sport teams and theatre groups, have commented that they find the OLVCS schedule particularly attractive, as it allows time for their children “to get their homework done” before they go to their activity.
Can my child ride the bus to OLVCS? Yes, your child may ride the bus to OLVCS. Bussing is provided for most students by the State College Area School District Transportation Department. Adjacent school districts, such as the Bald Eagle Area School District, Bellefonte Area School District, Tyrone Area School District, and Penns Valley Area School District also provide transportation of students from those areas to OLVCS.
How do OLVCS students do on standardized tests? Each Spring, OLVCS students in grades 2 - 8 take the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills). Additionally, students in grades 4 and 7 take the Cognitive Abilities Test. Year after year, as a whole OLVCS students post strong scores on individual ITBS tests and the ITBS overall. OLVCS students also consistently score well on the Cognitive Abilities Test. Classroom and school-wide averages of these standardized tests are available for review upon request.
Do OLVCS students attend Mass and other religious services? Yes, OLVCS students attend Mass once a week at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, usually on Wednesdays at 9AM. In addition to attending, at this Mass, OLVCS students serve as readers, lectors, altar servers, and greeters, as well as fulfill other duties for the Mass. Parents and family members are welcome to attend school Masses. Throughout the school year students will also go to church on Holy Days of Obligation, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, participate in the Stations of the Cross, Rosary, and May Crowning, as well as other devotions and prayer services.
Do OLVCS students have to bring their lunch or can they buy it at school? OLVCS students are welcome to bring a lunch from home. Further, students may purchase a lunch at school prepared by the OLVCS Food Service Program. The Program provides healthy meals for elementary and middle school students. Students of eligible families may receive free or reduced-cost meals.
Does OLVCS offer after school care? Yes, OLVCS offers regular after school care. The OLVCS after school program is called ASAP (After School Activity Program). This program offers homework help, as well as structure and unstructured activities. Parents may choose to enroll in their child in ASAP for regular care or “just when you need a few hours.” This affordable program runs from the end of school until 5:30 PM.
If we are Catholic, do we have to be parishioners at OLV Church to go to OLVCS? The Northern quadrant of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese offers three options for Catholic elementary and middle school education. The children enrolled at OLVCS come from a variety of area parishes. Generally, children of families who attend Good Shepherd Church, Our Lady of Victory, and the PSU Catholic Community are eligible to enroll in K-8 at OLVCS. Children of members of St. John the Evangelist (Bellefonte) and Saint Matthew (Tyrone) are eligible to enroll in Middle School at OLVCS. Members of other area parishes should contact the OLVCS school principal to discuss enrollment.
If my child attends OLVCS does he/she need to attend the religious education program at my parish? If your child is enrolled at OLVCS he/she does not need to attend Religious Ed/CCD through your parish. The second grade Religion curriculum includes preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Eucharist.
Can my child attend OLVCS if we are not Catholic? Yes, your child is very welcome to attend OLVCS. The student body at OLVCS includes a number of non-Catholic children. OLVCS respects each student and his/her family's faith commitment.
Which sports can my son/daughter play at OLVCS? OLVCS offers a variety club and team sports, as part of its athletic program. Briefly, elementary students may choose from fencing (starting in 3rd grade) and Middle school students may elect to participate fencing, as well as PIAA teams: Co-ed Soccer, Boys Basketball, and Girls Basketball, and Track and Field.
My child can my smartphone better than me! How does OLVCS incorporate technology into teaching? Our students and teachers are using a wide range of technology every day. Technology is incorporated into general subject instruction, as well as is covered as a specific course for students in K to 6th grade.
My child has an IEP. Can he/she still go to OLVCS? Depending on the identified needs, OLVCS can provide appropriate accommodations and support to OLVCS students with IEP’s. Parents of children with IEP’s should contact the OLVCS principal to discuss their child’s specific needs. Support is provided through our Learning Support teacher and Central Intermediate Unit professionals.
Does OLVCS offer remedial help for reading and math? Yes, OLVCS students can receive supplemental instruction in reading and mathematics at no extra charge. This support takes place during the school day at OLVCS and is implemented through the Learning Support Program and the Central Intermediate Unit. OLVCS also offers educational support to students eligible for Title I services.
My child needs speech therapy. Can he/she get this at OLVCS? The Central Intermediate Unit provides speech therapy services to OLVCS students during the school day. There is no extra charge to participating OLVCS students.
Does OLVCS have an academic enrichment program? Yes, eligible students in grades 3 through 5 may participate in an academic enrichment program. This weekly program takes place once per week, during the school day. It is offered through the Central Intermediate Unit, at no extra charge to participating OLVCS students.
Does OLVCS have a school choir? Yes, under the direction of the OLVCS music teacher, OLVCS has a very active choir program for students in grades 3 through 8. Students showcase their skills each year at the annual OLVCS Christmas Concert and the end of the year Fine Arts Night. In addition they to sing at assisted living centers and the school masses. Other choir events also occur throughout the year.
Does OLVCS have opportunities for music lessons? Yes, OLVCS provides the opportunity for children to learn an instrument and gain experience playing with others in the school Band and Strings program. Concerts and other events are included as part of this program. String instrument lessons may start as early as Kindergarten. OLVCS students may take band instrument lessons starting in 3rd grade. The Annual OLVCS Christmas Concert and Spring Fine Arts Night, as well as other events, provide students multiple venues to show off their developing skills. Parents are responsible for the cost of music lessons.
I’ve heard that OLVCS has a Walk-A-Thon. What is that? The Walk-A-Thon takes place in conjunction with OLV Day, a celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Victory. The purpose of the Walk-A-Thon is twofold: (1) to raise funds for merit scholarships, OLVCS activities, and classroom enhancements and (2) to give our students an opportunity to have fun! More information about OLV Day and the Walk-A-Thon, including information about business sponsorships, can be found on the OLV Day/Walk-A-thon webpage.
English is not my child’s first language. Does OLVCS offer ELL support? Yes, OLVCS does offer English instruction for students who have limited English proficiency. Parents and guardians interested in this program for their child should contact the school office for more information and the current fee structure.
Do OLVCS students go on field trips? Yes, annually, each class at OLVCS goes on one or more educational field trip. Field trip destinations generally align with the curriculum for a given grade level. For example, 5th grade OLVCS students study the events and figures of the US Civil War and so take a field trip to the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, PA.
Are there opportunities for parents to volunteer at OLVCS? Yes, parents and others are welcome to volunteer at OLVCS! At OLVCS, we believe that parent involvement is essential for a thriving school community. Opportunities include (but are not limited to) assisting in the school library, lunch room, and in the classroom, as well as chaperoning class field trips and the Middle School dances. Interested parents may also serve as room parents, on various governance councils, PTG officers and as organizers of major OLVCS events, such as the OLV Day Walk-A-Thon and Family Fun Night. All parents who wish to volunteer are required to complete a self-guided online training program and submit information for a background check.
After OLVCS, how can my child to continue his/her Catholic education in the State College area? Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Centre County's only Catholic high school, providing quality, college-prep Catholic education to area students. Following graduation from OLVCS, many students go on to Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy.
My child is not old enough just yet to attend OLVCS. Is there a preschool OLVCS would recommend? Yes, we would highly recommend our affiliate preschool, OLV Preschool. OLV Preschool, grounded in the Catholic faith, offers a variety of preschool and pre-K classes and programs at affordable rates.
I'm sold! How do I enroll my child? It is easy to get the application process started. You should first go to our Admissions webpage and review the application requirements. Then, they can follow the links to complete the new student application through the SchoolAdmin platform and pay the application fee (if applicable). Following this, the Registrar will contact you about a few additional documents that you need to submit regarding your child.