Ss. Simon & Jude School

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cathy-cMrs. Cathy Chrisman
Mrs. Chrisman, married to Walt Chrisman, SSJ Class of ’80, has been an educator for 19 years.  She graduated in 1994 from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education.  She taught first grade and was a lead teacher in math and science in a nearby public school for 8 years.  She received a Master’s Degree in Education in 2002 with a special emphasis in technology integration.  She had the special blessing of staying home for 9 years to care for her children and stayed close to education by volunteering at SSJC, continuing her education and working at a local preschool.  During that time, she received a structured English immersion and early childhood endorsement on her state teaching certificate.  “I feel so honored to have been given the opportunity to open a pre-kindergarten program here at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral School.  My own faith has deepened as I witness the children at school encounter God’s love and discover His son, Jesus Christ.  Sister Raphael’s wisdom and love flow through all of SSJC.”

Ms. Rachel Sellers
Ms. Sellers is a proud 2007 SS. Simon & Jude School alum. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2015. Ms. Sellers came “home” to SSJ after graduation from college, and found her love of teaching as a Pre-K aide for three years. She received her Masters of Education in Early Childhood Education from Grand Canyon University in 2018. She is a certified teacher in Early Childhood Education with a Structured English Immersion Endorsement. Ms. Sellers began teaching Pre-K at SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral School in 2018, and feels so blessed to be a part of the amazing SSJ community.


The Pre-Kindergarten classroom is an academic program to assist in children’s development in a faith-filled environment. The Pre-Kindergarten curriculum emphasizes language development, basic math skills, writing, science and the development of listening, following directions, sharing, asking questions and social skills. We nurture and balance the social and academic growth of each child as a whole person. We believe in developing a well-rounded student.

The program is five days a week, from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday—Thursday and 7:45 to 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Drop off and pick up are required at the classroom.

We are licensed by the State of Arizona Department of Health Services. Cathy Chrisman is the Administrator/Director. The teachers and aides are personnel of the school who have been screened by Sister Raphael and are authorized by her to work in the program. The Pre-Kindergarten program is covered under the school’s liability insurance.


  • Pre-Kindergarten students must be four (4) years of age by September 1st.
  • All Pre-Kindergarten students are required to have age-appropriate immunizations as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
  • All Pre-Kindergarten students must be potty trained and able to independently use the toilet before school begins in August.
  • Prior to promotion to Kindergarten, all Pre-Kindergarten students will be given the Gesell Developmental Assessment in February. The Gesell team, in partnership with the parents, will decide if another year of Pre-Kindergarten is needed to allow for more time to grow socially, emotionally and intellectually as a whole child.


Tuition for our Pre-Kindergarten program follows the same tuition schedule as the K-8 students and does include the multi-child discounts for registered participating SS. Simon and Jude parishioners.

There is an additional $200 per student fee for Pre-Kindergarten students to offset the cost of consumable materials provided exclusively for the program.


All students must have a copy of birth certificate, baptismal certificate, and immunization records on file. Please present these items with the registration card to the school office.


Parents will provide lunch with drink and cold pack. No sharing of foods due to allergies. Morning and afternoon snacks will be provided by the school; peanuts and tree nuts will not be served. We are a nut-free zone, so no peanut butter sandwiches in your child’s lunch, please.


The school will provide morning and afternoon snacks that follow health guidelines as directed by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Child Care Licensing. The cost of snacks is included in the tuition fees. A monthly menu will be posted in the classroom.


Children get messy at school! We paint, dig in the sand, AND play in water to provide a variety of sensory experiences including messy art projects. SSJ Pre-K T-shirts will be worn with any bottoms. (If girls wear skirts, make sure that they have shorts underneath.) Students must wear closed-toe shoes with socks for playground safety. The T-shirts will be available through the school. An order form will be provided to you in June.


This schedule is based on the Preschool Curriculum Standards of the Diocese of Phoenix.
Each day follows a similar schedule of events, providing consistency for both student and adults.

The classroom will open at 7:30 a.m. for sign-in. The school day begins at 7:45 a.m. Students should be signed in, have their lunch and backpack put away in their assigned cubby, and be at his/her seat at 7:45.

Greeting Time
Greeting time provides a smooth transition from home to school and gives children and adults a chance to share important information for the day.

Calendar Time
Whole group floor time is to reflect upon the important events of the day. Planning and group discussions help to establish a classroom community, reflection, and prayer and develop social skills.

Work Time, Small and Large Groups, Centers
Students follow through with academic tasks and activities that encourage children to think and to develop their problem-solving skills. Our language arts curriculum integrates language and literacy skills through rich content. Units integrate science, social studies, math and language skills as well as providing an opportunity for students to improve their social skills and fine motor skills. Each center will have a variety of activities for children. This arrangement allows for a wide range of developmental interests and abilities.

Recess Time
Students spend time outside to explore, climb, dig in the sand, jump and kick balls. Children will strengthen their large motor skills, explore nature and develop social skills during outside play.

Lunch Time
All students will bring their own packed lunch with drink and ice pack. Lunch will be eaten in the classroom.

Afternoon Quiet Time
All students will nap or rest after lunch. Students who need a longer nap will be allowed to continue sleeping after the prescribed nap time is over. Each student will have his/own towel or mat and individual space for napping or quiet time.

End of Day Center Time
Students will have opportunities to play games, tell and reenact stories, sing songs, do fingerplays/puppets, dance and discuss special events. Students will share ideas and learn from the ideas of others. Activities are designed to encourage conversation, social skills, and concept knowledge.

Recall Time
Recall brings closure to their day. Students reflect on and discuss what they have done at work, play and prayer time.