Q. What is an Open House? Should I attend one of the scheduled Open Houses?
A. Yes. Smart Start Academy encourages families to attend one of our Open Houses because it is an important step in our application process. Our open house events last approximately one hour and provide general information about our educational program.
Q. My family has attended an Open House and would like to enroll our child into Smart Start Academy. What steps should we take next?
A. Please complete an application and submit same with the $150.00 non-refundable annual registration fee and a $1,000.00 non-transferable security placement fee to ensure your child’s placement into one of our schools. The security placement payment can only be applied to the last academic month of the school year (June.) You will also have to submit a copy of your child’s birth certificate, most recent physical and immunization records. At the start of each year (July) all re-enrolling families will be required to submit the following annual documents and fees: application, $150.00 application fee, universal health form and A-45 health form are all available on our website, Smart-StartAcademy.com.
Q. May I apply at anytime during the year?
A. Yes. Smart Start Academy accepts applications all year round. Please keep in mind that space is limited. Therefore, we encourage families to submit their application and fees at least 3 months prior to their desired start date.
Q. What will happen to my security placement fee and prepaid tuition if my child is unable to start school on the agreed upon start date?
A. As a courtesy, parents are allowed one postponement of their original anticipated start date. This postponement cannot exceed 30 days from the original start date. If the child is unable to start within this period, the security placement fee and prepaid tuition is forfeited. Security placement fees are non transferable.
Q. What will happen to our security placement fee and/or prepaid tuition if my family needs to relocate mid-year, preventing us from completing the full academic school year?
A. Your security placement fee and any prepaid tuition may be applied to your child’s last month of tuition given SSA is notified in writing of child’s withdrawal 2 full months prior to the departure. Written notification must be submitted by the 1st of the month. If notification is submitted after 1st of the month, the following month will be considered the first full month’s notice of withdrawal.
Please Note: Security Placement Fees can ONLY be refunded in Tuition Form and are non-transferable. The Summer Months (July & August) do NOT apply toward the 2 month withdrawal notice clause stated above.
Q. Am I still responsible for the full month’s tuition if my child is absent?
A. Parents are responsible to pay for the full program tuition chosen regardless of holidays, inclement weather and/or desired start dates/student absences.
Q. My child will turn 36 months on the 5th of the month, am I responsible for the 19-35 month tuition fee on my child’s “birthday month” or the 36 months and older tuition fee?
A. A student must have turned 19 months on or before the 1st of the month in order to be eligible for the 19-35 month tuition rate. A student must have turned 36 months and fully potty trained by the 1st of the month in order to be eligible for the 36 and up tuition rate.
Wait List Policy
Q. Does SSA currently have a wait list? How long is the wait list? How do I get on the wait list?
A. SSA currently has a wait list for all age groups at all of our locations. We encourage prospective parents to call the center they are interested in directly for specific wait time information.
In order to be placed on the wait list, we recommend that prospective parents schedule a tour at their desired SSA Center. Then, a fully completed application with fee ($150.00) and Security Placement fee ($1,000.00) must be submitted. Please note: Application Fee is non-refundable.
In addition, prospective families will be asked to sign our “Wait List” Policy upon being placed on one of our wait list. Our SSA administrators will review and explain the policy in detail before obtaining your signature in order to ensure full understanding of said policy.
Q. What should my child bring on the first day of school?
A. Make sure your child has the following items on the first day of school: lunch/snacks, extra clothing, diapers and wipes (if not potty trained), a sheet and a blanket (full-time students). All items must be labeled with your child’s name or initials.
Q. Does my child have to wear the Smart Start Academy shirt daily?
A. Yes. S.S.A. requires all of our students wear an SSA shirt for security reasons. Once your child reaches our toddler program, he/she will be required to wear the uniform daily. Our toddler – pre-kindergarten classes participate in group walks and visit community parks daily. Therefore, in order to ensure maximum safety, visibility of our students and security, our students are required to wear an S.S.A. shirt.
S.S.A. supplies one (1) school shirt upon registration. If parents would like additional shirts, a $20-$35 fee per shirt will apply. Prices vary depending on type of shirt purchased.
Q. What fees should I expect annually?
A. SSA requires submission of an annual application and fee of $150.00 for all re-enrolling families. Fee includes a uniform shirt and a new backpack at the start of the new year (July).
S.M.A.R.T. Tuition: A yearly fee of $50 is associated with our SMART Tuition App. Yearly maintenance, 24 hour customer service, auto-payment services are all included. (Please note: SMART tuition is a 3rd party vendor/payments are made directly to 3rd party vendor)
Staff & Ratios
Q. What qualifications are required to become a lead teacher at Smart Start Academy?
A. Smart Start Academy values and takes great pride in their educators. Our teachers are carefully selected based on their education, teaching experience and their passion for teaching. All of our lead teachers must hold a Bachelor of Arts and/or Master’s Degree in early childhood education or related field.
In addition, our educators must attend annual professional development conferences in order to ensure professional growth and development.
Q. What is your student to staff ratio?
A. Our ratios vary depending on the age group of the children. For infants through toddler years, S.S.A. has a 1:3 ratio. For our preschool through pre-k program, we have a 1:5 ratio.
School Emergency Closures
Q. How are parents notified of school closings?
A. Upon registration, parents are given a list of all major holiday closings during the school year. In case of inclement weather, we will notify the parents by Email, Social Media and Daily Connect Message of any delays/closings. Please keep in mind, if the Hoboken and/or JC Public Schools are closed due to “bad” weather – S.S.A. will also be closed for the day.