We Figured You Might Ask That. FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there really “No Homework”?
Our goal is “homework-free evenings.” Since the latest research from Stanford University shows that excessive homework can actually diminish retention and academic achievement, our desire is to get school work done in an “8-5″ workday. Since school ends at 3:20, all work should fit well within those workday parameters. Typical forms of homework assignments include evening reading, watching a short video demonstration on tomorrow’s topic in math, or journaling an opinion on an important question or topic. We despise busy work, but we do engage our students in authentic learning activities.
Is there busing to Grace Prep?
Yes! The following school districts provide transportation to Grace Prep: State College, Bellefonte, Bald Eagle, Penns Valley, Tyrone, Juniata Valley, and Huntingdon. Call us at 814-867-1177 for more information.
Can you compete with the academics opportunities of bigger schools?
As world-renowned education expert Ken Robinson says,
“The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”
― Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Our size helps us to know students personally and to personalize, not standardize. As mentioned on our Academics page, our average student scores 156 points above the Pennsylvania state SAT average with a 530 in Critical Reading, 595 in Mathematics, and 530 in the Writing section. Beyond that, Grace Prep’s percentage of National Merit Scholarship participants and coveted Penn State Schreyer scholarships demonstrate the effectiveness of a well-designed academic philosophy and curriculum.
Can students get into an Ivy League school after Grace Prep?
Yes, if your student has a specific school as a goal, we can provide all the academic resources necessary, plus opportunities to actively participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities that may actually be more limited in larger schools. For example, our sports are competitive, but all students will get a chance to play for the team. (Larger schools still only have 5 starting positions on the basketball team.)
Whether or not your student is accepted at a specific school depends on many factors, but Grace Prep can provide the path.
Do you have online classes?
We have an extensive online menu of courses and learning opportunities to our students–from graphic design to music theory, to AP classes. We ‘ve broadened the range of courses our students can take using online courses through Sevenstar Academy and Apex Learning.
Do you have housing for out of town students?
Our experience has shown us that international students are much more successful when they live with an American host family. There is an additional cost, and we have always been successful in finding a host family for any student who wants to be a part of the Grace Prep family.
Which sports do you offer?
We currently offer both boys and girls soccer and basketball.
Is there “bullying” at your school?
We detest bullying and do not tolerate it on any level. Zip. Zero. Nada.
Do you allow animals in your building?
I don’t know if “allow” is the right word! Has Bob brought animals into the building would be a better question. This year we have seen “Stormie,” our labradoodle mascot, a llama (make that two), a peacock, a cardinal, and two fainting goats. At Grace Prep learn to expect the unexpected!
Do you take the PSSAs?
No, we don’t. The extent of the standardized testing at Grace Prep is the Terra Nova, Third Edition Multiple Assessment which measures higher-order thinking skills as well as basic and applied skills. At Grace Prep, we use this test to personalize the academic experience for each student and to give parents insight into their teenager’s academic progress.
What is Grace Prep’s College Board CEEB Code?
What if my child has or needs an IEP?
The public school district in which you live is required by law to perform the testing and evaluation to determine whether the student needs an Individualized Education Program. Once this determination is made the local Central Intermediate Unit (CIU-10) provides services at Grace Prep. These services currently include counseling, learning support, and remediation in reading and mathematics.
Do you have a lunch program?
We have an amazing group of parents who come in on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to provide lunch for $3.50. We have Papa John’s pizza on Friday and eat lunch in discipleship groups on Wednesday.
Do you have physical education classes?
At Grace Prep a student who participates in soccer or basketball receives physical education credit. We also offer a variety of fitness electives. These include kayaking, spinning, weight training, and other fitness training courses.
What foreign languages are offered?
We offer four different courses in Spanish. Students may also take online courses in many other languages including French, German, and Chinese. If a student has a passion for another language (or for any other academic or creative topic), we’ll help find a way for them to dive in and try it.