What does RASA offer my child that other schools do not?
- International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB-PYP) education
- Challenging academics with inquiry-based learning
- Preschool – Grade 5
- Small class size
- Extended school day & school year
- Downtown location
- After-school care & clubs
- Term break care and summer camp
- Non profit school
- Secular education
What is the academic program at RASA?
RASA is the only school in Rochester offering the respected International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB-PYP). An IB-PYP education is globally-minded, academically and personally challenging and emphasizes development of the whole child as an inquirer. Six transdisciplinary themes are explored in a manner that deeply integrates traditional subject areas such as math, language arts, science & social studies. Daily foreign language class is also a key aspect of a RASA education.
At RASA, our class sizes are limited (generally 15 students or less) allowing for individualized attention.
What is the homework philosophy of RASA?
Homework is kept to a minimum in the lower grades, as there is ample time within the school day to learn. Homework should be meaningful and make connections amongst disciplines (math, language arts, science, social studies) consistent with IB philosophy of learning. Reading and language arts are emphasized. Teachers take the opportunity to individualize homework for students as they see a need.
How does RASA use technology in the classroom?
Upper grade classrooms have dedicated 1:1 iPads for each student. Students may use the iPads for online research, educational apps and coordination of assignments at the discretion of the classroom teacher. The school also maintains a fleet of iPads which are shared amongst the younger grades. State-of-the-art, interactive "Smart Boards" are in each elementary classroom. RASA is committed to modeling and teaching online safety.
How physically active are RASA students?
At RASA we value the importance of regular exercise, hence physical activity is factored into the daily schedule. All students participate in active playtime for at least 45 minutes daily. Students are able to participate in athletics in the multi-purpose room if the weather is inclement.
Does RASA have foreign language instruction?
Students receive daily foreign language instruction. Language lessons are also aligned with units of inquiry ongoing in the classrooms. Our students currently learn both Spanish and French daily.
Does RASA have a particular religious ethos?
RASA is a secular school. We are not affiliated with the Christ United Methodist Church from whom we lease classroom space. There is, however, a deliberate focus on character development. RASA aims to develop principled, open-minded and caring young people to help create a better and more peaceful world. These ideals are at the core of the IB Learner Profile.
How does the RASA calendar differ from that of the public schools?
At RASA the academic school year is 186 full days, which is longer than the public or most private schools in Rochester. School begins the last full week of August and ends in mid June. The RASA calendar has five terms. Each term is separated by a 1 week school break with the exception of the 2nd term break in December, which is longer.
What are the school day hours at RASA?
Classes are in session from 8:00am – 3:25pm. The curriculum at RASA is broader than that of many schools in Rochester. Our school hours are longer to accommodate this.
Does RASA provide before and after-school care for students?
School doors open at 7:35 am for student drop off. Early drop-off at 7am is available by special arrangement for an extra fee.
After-school care is available from 3:25 - 6:00 pm. From 3:30 – 4:30pm a variety of after-school clubs are offered (e.g. STEM, Chess, LEGO Club, Yoga, Theater). All after-school care/clubs are subject to additional fees.
During the week-long term breaks in October, February and April, RASA provides child care for an additional fee. There is no term break care available during the December term break.
What if we want to apply but can’t afford the full tuition?
RASA values a diverse student body. We strive to provide tuition support to qualifying families and have a track record of following through on this commitment. A limited amount of scholarships are awarded each year at the discretion of the RASA Board of Directors. Applicants must submit a financial aid application via TADS. For more information see our Tuition Assistance page or make an inquiry with our principal.
What is RASA’s inclement weather policy?
As a private school that does not utilize student bussing, RASA is able to safely stay open in most weather situations.
Rochester Arts & Sciences Academy has a track record of staying open during inclement weather, having canceled classes due to weather less than one day a year over the past four years. On days when Rochester Public Schools cancels school due to inclement weather, RASA's school day will run as normal from 8:00 am – 3:25 pm. However, based on school attendance and staffing, the structure of the day may be modified (i.e. combined classes). In most cases, we expect classrooms to operate normally. Some families may elect to keep their children home on these days and RASA respects that decision though regular classroom activities may be missed.
The ability to be open for after-school care & other after-school clubs is made on a case-by-case basis based upon forecasted weather conditions.
Does RASA provide transportation for my child?
Transportation to school is provided by each child's family. Transportation for field trips is arranged by the school.
Do RASA students wear uniforms?
Yes. All students, including preschoolers, are required to wear a RASA uniform consisting of white or navy school-logo shirt & navy blue pants/skirts. Lands End is our uniform provider. More information can be found in the school policies/information area.
Does RASA provide a school lunch program?
Yes. Milk is available for purchase with lunch each day. Preschool and Junior Kindergarten students must bring lunch from home. For students in grades K-5 there is an option for purchasing lunch. Each term, a menu of lunch options from local restaurants is provided. Families may select from as many or as few days as they choose.
*Please note that RASA does not allow tree nuts or nut containing products to be brought into the school. See our Policy on Food Allergies.
What opportunities are there to volunteer at the school?
One of the advantages of our small size and close-knit school community is the ability for parents and family members to be actively involved in the school. This may range from volunteering to help teachers in the classroom, at school events or chaperoning field trips. Often family members are invited as guest speakers to classrooms to share their occupational or educational expertise. Our PTO is also active in organizing school events and fundraisers. Our school’s Board of Directors primarily consists of parent volunteers.