Frequently Asked Questions

See below and search for answers to The Franciscan School’s most Frequently Asked Catholic School Questions. 
You have questions, and we have answers.

    Frequently Asked Catholic School Questions


    Are The Teachers Certified?

    A classroom teacher in the Diocese of Raleigh is required to be licensed or in the process of being licensed. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction implements the school laws in NC. Teachers with less than three years of verifiable experience must participate in the Initial Licensing Process (ILP). The ILP is coordinated by the Catholic Schools Office ILP coordinator.

    In maintaining a continuing license, all teachers are required to follow the guidelines. Those guidelines are from The Diocese of Raleigh License Plan, approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

    Is The Franciscan School Accredited?

    The Franciscan School is accredited by AdvancED. We are approved by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. The Franciscan School is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association. Additionally, TFS complies with the North Carolina Guidelines for Non-Public Schools.

    *TFS was last re-accredited in March 2017.

    Can Parents Volunteer?

    Volunteers are central to our success as a school and community. The school provides many opportunities for volunteerism. We appreciate the services of our dedicated stewards. Also, we recognize the invaluable benefits that come to our school community through their investment of talent and time. TFS encourages mothers, fathers, grandparents, and members of St. Francis of Assisi parish to volunteer. Each of you can offer your many skills to enrich our children and education programs.

    Does the school provide transportation or bus service to/from school?

    No, please arrange a carpool or ensure that your student has an approved walking pass.

    A commercial bus service will provide field trip transportation. The Franciscan School does not allow parents to transport students on field trips.  We also cannot provide refunds, as reservations are based on the expected number of students.

    Student Life

    Do you attend Mass regularly during the school year?

    Students attend weekly Mass. They also attend student-led Holy Day community liturgies, religious classes, service projects, and activities that coincide with the Catholic teachings of social justice.

    How Are Lunches Handled?

    There are two options for lunch. A brown bag from home or a hot school lunch (which are pre-purchased online). Milk is available daily, using pre-purchased tickets. As the school cannot provide lunch if a student has no lunch, parents must make arrangements for food for their children at school. Repeated need for TFS to call a family regarding its failure to provide food will result in a parent-teacher conference. If your child has any food allergies, please notify the school nurse. Please note that The Franciscan School has peanut-free tables in the lunchroom. Lunch will conclude with a prayer after meals.

    What Special Electives Are Available?
    Frequently Asked Questions


    When Can I Apply For Next Year?

    Registration for 2020-2021 opens January 28th. 

    Can I attend The Franciscan School if I am not Catholic?

    The Franciscan School does not discriminate based on race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious background, or gender. We welcome families of all faiths who are seeking an education in a Catholic environment.

    How Much Is Tuition? Is tuition assistance available?

    All families agree to pay the Full Cost Tuition Rate per child unless notified of eligibility for the Steward Rate as approved by the Pastor.

    Full Cost: A non-Catholic family.

    Catholic Participating Member of a Parish (other than St. Francis) in the Diocese of Raleigh: A Catholic family registered in another parish, who has submitted a signed Pastor Recommendation Form.

    St. Francis of Assisi Parish Steward Rate: The Parish Steward Rate is available to registered parishioners who support our community with their time, talent, and tithe. This discount is available after a review by the Pastor of the annual Family Stewardship Form.

    The Family Stewardship Form can be accessed and submitted on the parish website here.

    Click here view and print the 2020-21 Tuition Rates.

    Fees and Payment Options

    Application Fee: $60 non-refundable
    Registration Fee: $400 per child

    Payment Options

    • Annual – payment made directly to TFS on or before July 20th. A 1% discount applies to this option.
    • Trimester – FACTS Tuition Management administers the trimester payment option. Payment draft dates are July 20th, November 20th, and February 20th.
    • Monthly – FACTS Tuition Management administers the monthly payment option. The first payment is on July 20th. The final payment is on April 20th.

    We are committed to serving all those in our parish who seek a Catholic education that’s rooted in a Franciscan dedication to helping others. The parish and The Franciscan School provide significant need-based financial aid for families. We strive to ensure that there are no parish students not afforded a Catholic educational opportunity because of limited financial means. In the 2018-19 academic year, we awarded over $310,000 in financial aid. 

    If tuition costs, changing family circumstances, or the enrollment of a second or third child strain the monthly budget, parents are encouraged to contact our Admissions Team at

    In addition to our funds for tuition assistance, we encourage families to access Scholarship & Tuition Assistance available through the Diocese and outside agencies as well, including the:

    • North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship and Disabilities Grant Programs: The Opportunity Scholarship Program expands school choice in North Carolina through scholarship grants for eligible children in Kindergarten through 12th grade. This program provides funding of up to $4,200 per year for children who choose to attend a participating nonpublic school. The open application period for the Opportunity Scholarship is February 1 through March 1. For more information regarding the program, please visit Opportunity Scholarships.
    • The Diocese of Raleigh Office of African Ancestry Ministry & Evangelization (AAMEN) and Native American Catholic Community: The AAMEN office provides funds to the Catholic Schools of the Diocese. Funding for the awards come from the Black & Indian Missions. The open application period for the scholarship is January 28 – March 18. For more information on how to apply, contact Mrs. Lauren Green at
    Is there a discount offered if I am an active member of a Catholic Church?

    Yes, as determined by after a review by the pastor of the annual Family Stewardship Form.

    Full Cost:  A family who is non-Catholic.

    Catholic Participating Member of a Parish (other than St. Francis) in the Diocese of Raleigh: A Catholic family registered in a Catholic parish, who has submitted a Pastor Recommendation Form, signed by their pastor.

    St. Francis of Assisi Parish Steward Rate:  The Parish Steward Rate is offered to Catholic registered parishioners who support our parish community with their time, talent, and with identifiable financial contributions at a level commensurate with their means through a parish tithe. This discount is determined after a review by the pastor of the annual Family Stewardship Form.

    The Family Stewardship Form can be accessed and submitted on the parish website here.

    Is there a multi-child discount?

    Families with more than one child enrolled at The Franciscan School receive a $200 sibling tuition discount per each child, including the first child.

    What Age May Children Start Kindergarten?

    Children entering Kindergarten must be five years old on or before August 31 to enroll in the current academic year. Children entering the 1st grade must be six years old on or before the same date.


    Do you offer special needs learning programs?

    The Franciscan School is committed to the success of all admitted students. A licensed psychologist may identify a student with a different learning style. If this is the case, the administrative team and teacher will collaborate with the parents/guardians to provide students with a holistic network of support. 

    Diagnosed Special Needs

    In the event that a student has a diagnosed special need (documented by licensed medical personnel) accommodations may be offered. These accommodations must be reasonably made within the normal general education classes and when the school has the resources (academic/staff) available to accommodate the students’ needs. Additionally, we do assess whether the TFS Modified Program, utilizing modifications to our academic requirements or alterations in general course of studies, will provide the opportunity for the student to be successful in our program.

    Additional Accommodations

    Partnering with the parents and trying those programs we have available may not be enough. If a student cannot be accommodated within the school program, every effort is made to assist with placement in another school program beyond The Franciscan School. 

    Parents should contact the School Counselor, Laureen Wacenske, for additional information on testing. Ms. Wacenske can also provide a list of available accommodations, and referrals for psychologists, psychological services, tutors, and learning specialists.

    Laureen Wacenske
    School Counselor
    919.534.4837 ext. 255

    What Is The Maximum Class Size?

    Grades K-5 – maximum of 27 students per class
    Grades 6-8 – maximum of 29 students per class

    What standardized test do students take and when?

    Students take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) test in the mid-fall semester.