What are the chances of my child getting a spot at MEI Elementary?
We are limited in the number of spaces that we have available for new students each year and the chances of getting a spot depend on a number of factors including the number of available spaces, the number of applicants, and your application priority level of your child. The best grade level to get into MEI Elementary is in kindergarten when we have 72 spaces available, however, even in kindergarten we typically have 30-40 students that we are not able to accommodate. We typically have very few if any spaces available in grade one, two, or three so this often results in waiting lists at these grade levels as well. In grade four/five we can typically accommodate several new students but there is often high demand for entry at this level as well. The best advice I can give is to apply early and if we can not accommodate your child upon initial application remain in our waiting pool as spaces can open up unexpectedly between February and school start up in September.
The priority categories listed below indicate the order in which applications are considered. Final acceptance to MEI is determined on an individual basis.
⬧ Students presently enrolled.
o Exception: If a student is transitioning out of the International Program to the regular program at MEI, they must apply as a student new to MEI.
o Exception: Enrollment at MEI Preschool does not give priority status for MEI Kindergarten application.
⬧ Children of MEI Member Church pastors and missionaries, or MEI staff.
⬧ New students who are siblings of students presently enrolled, and who are members, or whose parent(s) are members of MEI Member Churches.
⬧ New students who are members, or whose parent(s) are members of MEI Member Churches.
⬧ New students who are siblings of students presently enrolled and who are not members, or whose parent(s) are not members of MEI Member Churches.
⬧ New students who are not members, or whose parent(s) are not members of MEI Member Churches.
Why do some students from certain churches get priority for applications?
MEI is owned and operated by 12 local MEI Society Member Churches and as such parents who are members at these churches receive priority in the consideration of their applications. This priority is not a guarantee of placement and if we have limited spaces or applications come in late even parents with priority applications will be placed on a waiting list. MEI confirms with churches all applicants who claim membership at one of these churches before admitting students.
When will we know if our child has been accepted?
We work as quickly as possible to process all of the applications we receive but it may take until mid to late February before we can confirm your child’s admission.
Do we have to go to church or be Christians to attend MEI Elementary?
No, MEI has an open enrollment policy which means you do not have to attend church or be a Christian to attend our school. We do, however, make it very clear that we are a Christian school in all we do and a Christian worldview and Biblical truths will be incorporated into all areas of the curriculum. All students will be expected to participate in chapels, Bible classes, and devotional times in class. We respect each student’s ability to make their own personal choice regarding whether or not to follow Jesus however we want to be clear that they will be taught what it means to follow Jesus and encouraged to follow Him on a regular basis.
I have heard that an assessment will be necessary as part of the application, why is this?
We take great care to assess all of our students in key areas throughout the year. This assessment data helps guide our instruction and interventions and helps us to create balanced classrooms. It is important to help us plan that we have similar assessment data for new students that we have for all of our existing students. For this reason, new students in grade 1-5 will be asked to come in for some quick assessments in the areas of reading, writing, and math before they are accepted. We accept all kinds of learners including those who may have struggled in the past. We do, however, need to ensure that our ability to support current MEI students is not compromised when we accept new students.
How many classes do you have at each grade level and what are the class sizes?
MEI Elementary runs 3 classes at each grade level from kindergarten to grade 5. Our classes are typically always full and class sizes are 24 from kindergarten to grade three and 28 in grade four and five. In kindergarten, we also have a full time EA (educational assistant) in each room to provide additional support to all students and to enable teachers to work with small groups or one on one with students. We have not had any “split classes” for many years.
Do you have school uniforms?
No, MEI Elementary has a dress code that students are expected to follow but we do not require students to wear uniforms.
What kind of extra-curricular activities do you offer?
During a typical year, MEI Elementary offers opportunities for a variety of after school activities. Our grade five students are invited to participate in sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball and grade four and five students can often participate in cross country and track and field activities. We have offered different clubs from time to time that vary but have included Chinese language clubs, yearbook club, and art club in the past.
Can I volunteer in the school?
In a typical, non-Covid year, we invite parent volunteers into the school on a regular basis. Parents are often welcomed to help in a variety of ways including supervising on field trips, providing support in classrooms, reading with students, and support teachers and students in other ways. We also have a very active and supportive PAC team that engages parents to help in many other ways around the school. Parents help serve hot lunches and treats on other special days, they help plan and prepare special school events, and serve in many other ways throughout the year.
Do you offer ESL or ELL services?
No, MEI Elementary does not provide services for English language learners. We do have students for whom English is not their first language but these students will already have enough English that they are capable of engaging in all learning activities within the classroom. When additional support is required it would be provided by our learning support department.
Does MEI offer PE and music classes and a staffed library?
Yes, MEI has specialist teachers who teach PE and music classes for all students in kindergarten through grade 5. These teachers have special training and are especially passionate about teaching in these areas. MEI also has a full-time librarian who provides support for students and staff and plans exceptional learning activities in the library along with providing access to a great selection of reading materials.
How old does my child have to be to attend kindergarten?
Your child must turn 5 years old before December 31 in the year they begin kindergarten. MEI does not accept applications for kindergarten for students who do not meet this age requirement.
Does MEI offer bus service?
Yes, MEI offers bus services from a number of different locations but not typically door to door service. Please check our website for further information on bussing. Please note that are bussing services are often at capacity with waiting lists so we recommend investigating this as early as possible if you are considering bussing for your child.
What the next steps once my child is accepted?
We will send you a formal letter of acceptance by mail. We will then communicate with you as necessary to ensure that you have all the information that you need prior to the start of the school year. If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office.
What if my child is not accepted?
You will be given the option of remaining on our waiting list pool until the fall should a position open up in the future. At any time you may remove your child from the waiting list pool and we will reimburse you the application fee. In November, if no spaces have come available we will send you a letter indicating that your application fee is being refunded with instructions for applying again for the following year should you choose. Our waiting list pools do not carry over from one year to the next and you will be required to complete a new application each year.
Are there other fees besides tuition at MEI Elementary?
Yes, MEI sources and supplies all school supplies for students and charges a one-time school supply fee each fall. We also typically charge a one-time field trip to cover the expenses involved with providing field trips throughout the year. Fees for gym strip and musical instruments such as recorders may also be required. These fees vary dependent on the grade level but typically range from $100 to $300 total for the year. MEI sometimes offers different optional after school sport “camps” or courses which would incur additional fees should your child choose to enroll.