831 Houston Street - 512-452-5437

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1) How are Elsass Academy and Crenshaw Athletic Club connected?

Crenshaw Athletic Club was purchased in 1976 by Art and Gil Elsass, long time Austin residents. The original facility which specialized in gymnastics and swimming began in 1951 and is one of the oldest private gymnastic schools in the United States. In 1985, Art and Gil expanded what was then a morning only preschool at the Crenshaw location into an all day academy on Twin Oaks Drive. This was the beginning of Elsass Academy.

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2) What is the youngest age child Elsass Academy accepts?

Elsass Academy Preschool accepts infant through and kindergarten. The program provides both academic and physical education for preschoolers. Our After School Program accepts kindergarten through age 10. The program picks up at several area schools. Our summer day camp accepts children ages 5 years to fifth grade.

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3) Why do you rotate the children?

Our rotations allow the academy to hire teachers who specialize in one particular area. These special talents may be Dance, Gymnastics, Arts and Crafts or the academics of Reading and Math. By specializing, the children will be working with teachers who are strong in their area rather than a "jack of all trades." We do, however, keep the younger groups with one teacher most of the day to aid in their adjustment. They will rotate to different areas, but keep a familiar face with them. The rotation also aids the staff in keeping up with your child's active attention span. It is also possible to specialize rooms with specific materials rather than spread resources throughout our school. Each morning, children rotate from: Reading & Math Readiness - Gym - Arts Discovery - Library. The morning is broken up with a snack and some outdoor free play.

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4) What is the Commons Room used for?

This is a great multi purpose room that is used for lunch time and large gatherings. Parents are welcome to come have lunch with their child in this fun and colorful room.

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5) Why do you not provide a full meal?

The Academy has found children will eat better if the main course of the meal comes from home. This avoids a great deal of waste in the lunchroom. Parents best know their children's likes and dislikes. Morning and afternoon snacks are provided for each child.

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6) How much free time do the children receive?

Mornings are fairly structured. A morning rotational schedule is posted. The teachers have lesson plans and goals for the classes. After nap, the schedule slows down with activities which are less structured. When outside, children will be involved in both planned and free activities. Teachers are always working toward a balance of structure and free time to help make the children happier.

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7) What is the student-teacher ratio?

(List of ratio goals:)

Infant  1 teacher to 3-4 children
 18 mo. - 2 1/2 Year Olds  1 teacher to 6-7 children
 2 1/2 - 3 Year Olds  1 teacher to 8-9 children
 3 - 4 Year Olds  1 teacher to 10-13 children
 4-5 Year Olds  1 teacher to 13-15 children

(All of the above ratios are below the DHS Minimum Standards)

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8)What types of discipline do you use?

The best discipline is creating an atmosphere where the children are kept busy and learn to relate with their peers. However, the situation does present itself to correct children. Teachers will work with children on better ways to interact with friends, explaining the positive and negative points of each activities and will place kids in time-out only when necessary. If particular problems continue to exist, children will be directed to the office for time-away from the classroom and parents will be notified.

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9) What are your teacher qualifications?

We hire teachers with experience within the area they will be teaching. It is our goal that the lead academic teachers carry a high level of experience with preschool academics. Our teachers are required to continue their education in early childhood training. Throughout the year, they will attend clinics and seminars.

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10) What if the family is going to be on vacation?

The Academy will give one week, twice a year vacation credit. Credit will not be given for less than a full week. The year is considered from September 1 through August 31. Click here to see preschool tuition page for pricing. Please give the office advanced notice.

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11)Beyond the registration fee and tuition, what other fees will I be charged?

There is no charge for the weekly gymnastics lessons at Crenshaws or the summer swim lessons. There are pre-summer swim lessons at Crenshaws. There is a nominal charge for these lessons. There are some special adventures which you will be asked to provide money. We will send out notices or post reminders.

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12) Are summer swimming lessons extra?

Summer Swim lessons are provided at no additional fee during the summer months as part of the child's schedule. The lessons are provided twice a week. Children are also provided free swim.

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13) What holidays will the Academy be closed?

Elsass Academy observes most all of the holidays as outlined by DHS. Those include: Labor Day , Thanksgiving and the following Friday, 2 Days over the Christmas Holiday, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4th).

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14) Will the children ever go on field trips?

Special field trips are planned for the children throughout the year. Some examples are library trips, Crenshaw gymnastics classes, picnics in the area parks and other activities which will enhance your child's experience at Elsass Academy.

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15) How involved should I be as a parent?

We welcome your input as a parent. The Director, staff and parents work hard as a team to make Elsass Academy one of the best schools in Austin. The children are at the center of all of our thoughts. Parents who work with the staff are a great asset. If teachers are having problems with your child, they will ask for either formal or informal conference to discuss ways for improvement.

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16) When is tuition considered late?

Tuition is late AFTER the fifth of each month. This includes those paying semi-monthly. Click here for preschool tuition page for late fee and return check charges. Like all businesses, The Academy has staff and bills to pay on the first. The Academy reserves the right to discontinue service to clients who continually pay late.

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17) Why the strictness of picking up my child prior to 6:30 p.m.?

Children are very tired and hungry by 6:30 p.m. and need to be picked up. The teachers who stay have been working a full day and need to leave for other commitments or plans. Very often a relaxed policy will lead to our staff staying late every day. This is unacceptable to our staff.

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18) What kinds of information concerning my child's activities do I receive?

The teachers compile a monthly newsletter to keep parents informed on their children's activities. Many times the newsletter is long, but will provide a great deal of necessary information.

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19) When may I visit my child during the day?

Parents and visitors are welcome throughout the day without exception. We hope if children are disrupted by the sight of their parents, the parents will keep visiting short. Lunches are hectic, but a great time to come sit and eat with your child. If parents have special talents, we encourage them to come share these talents with our classes. Examples may include: reading stories, sharing cultural differences, playing musical instruments, cooking a fun recipe, planting a garden, teaching a new craft, touring an exciting new place (ie job), etc.

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20) What if my child is ill?

See the general information sheet for a list of illnesses for which your child should not attend school. If a child is not well enough, or not sufficiently recovered from an illness to participate in school activities, including playing outside, then he/she is not well enough to be at school. We do not have extra staff to attend to children who are not well enough to participate in the school day. If children become ill at school we will move them to the office and call you to pick them up. Please make sure we have an up-to-date listing of phone numbers where you can be reached.

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21) How early do I need to register for summer camp programs?

Our summer camp programs are for school aged children and fill very quickly. We generally open registration for former students in February. Then in March, the remaining spaces will go to the general public. If you have older children, we will allow them to register in February along with former students.

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Webmaster: Matthew Elsass