Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

My kindergarten student can already read.  Will he/she still be challenged at Cedar Tree?
Many of our kindergarten students can read, and that is wonderful.  They will still be challenged, and have opportunity to develop these skills even further.  Our emphasis is on learning phonics, which they will be able to apply instantly in their reading.  Students who don’t read will not feel left out, but will rather get the strong background needed to begin reading soon.

Do you have a gifted program for the advanced students?
The classical curriculum is full of challenges and we have not found a need for additional programs to challenge our students.  Our curriculum goals and standards are already set above average and our students encourage each other to keep up.  At the same time, our small class sizes help teachers to be aware of our students’ individual needs and abilities and to encourage excellence from each one.

Are you state registered?
Yes, Cedar Tree is an independent private school registered with the state of Washington.

Is your school accredited?
Yes, Cedar Tree is accredited by the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS).  The lengthy and rigorous process of pursuing ACCS accreditation was completed in 2012.

Do you have a hot lunch program?
Upper School students frequently offer a weekly pizza meal in order to raise funds for class trips.  Students eat bagged lunches in their classrooms and each class is equipped with a microwave to facilitate a variety of food options.

Do you have computer classes?
Logic students (7th and 8th graders) have a class in typing and basic keyboard skills.  Rhetoric students (9th through 12th graders) have classes in software (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database, and desktop publishing) and help produce school’s newsletter.  But while we do require participation in classes which help them form sound skills in basic computer use, we do not emphasize this tool above others.

Is the school associated with any particular church or denomination?
Cedar Tree is not affiliated with any church or denomination, but enjoys a healthy diversity of Protestant perspectives.  In fact, over 40 different congregations are represented within our student body and staff.

Do you have chapel services?
We begin each school day with prayer and hymn-singing in the courtyard.  But rather than church-like chapel services, we have regular assemblies.  Each assembly features prayer, hymn-singing and Scripture reading, but most of the time is devoted to class presentations.  All Cedar Tree students get the opportunity to minister as a class to the rest of the school multiple times throughout the school year, displaying their learning through songs, Bible and poetry recitations, drama, etc.

What is your music program like?
Our music teachers are trained in the very successful Kodaly system of music education, and students in first grade through twelfth grade not only learn to read music and sing, but about music theory as well.  Formal instrumental training includes recorders, boomwhackers, handbells, and guitars.  We do not offer a band program at this time.  Many, if not most, of our students take music lessons outside of school time.  Students are trained to appreciate the rich tradition of Christian hymnody through our all-school hymn-singing at the beginning of each school day.  In addition, many students are involved in Cedar Tree’s outstanding Performance Choir (grades 6-12).

What about your art program?
All Cedar Tree students in 1st through 11th grade study art.  They learn the main elements of style, study the techniques of the masters, and experience a variety of media.  Rhetoric students also have courses in Art History, where they study in depth how art/architecture has developed through the ages which correspond to the time periods of the history and literature they are studying.

Does your school have PE?
Students in Grades 3-12 have PE class three times a week throughout the school year, where students work primarily on the skills and rules employed in a wide variety of team sports.

What electives do you have for high school students?
In addition to their core classical liberal arts and math and science coursework, High School students take Art History, Spanish, New Testament Greek, PE, Software and Publications, and Music.

Will my student be able to participate in sports?
We offer a WIAA cross-country team. Many of our students utilize programs offered within their public school district.  Occasionally a Cedar Tree parent will coach a team largely made of Cedar Tree students.   Many of our high school students have enrolled in the athletic programs of their local high schools.  This has been a win-win situation because the student gets to be involved in a high-level of athletic competition and the coaches and teammates appreciate the leadership, discipline, team spirit, and respect shown by Cedar Tree students on their teams.

Why do you choose Latin as your second language program?
Latin’s different forms force students to think precisely about how words are arranged to convey ideas, which in turn fosters articulate communication. More than 50% of English words derive from the Latin, and thus provides a great vocabulary boost.  In fact to this day technical fields today (especially science, medicine, and law) rely heavily on Latin roots.  A student’s understanding of English grammar is greatly reinforced by learning Latin, as proven by standardized test scores.  In addition, Latin provides a perfect foundation for the later study of many other modern languages which are related (Spanish, French, German, Italian, etc.).

How will my older student be able to catch up in Latin if he/she starts Cedar Tree after 3rd Grade?
One of our Latin teachers offers a brief, inexpensive summer class in Latin to help incoming students get caught up.

What are Parent Service Hours?
Parent Service Hours are a reminder that parent involvement is one of Cedar Tree’s core values.  Each family is required to fulfill at least 6 hours per quarter for a minimum of 24 hours per school year in approved areas of service.  Our Parent Service Coordinator will use your indicated preferences and schedule to assign you particular areas of service.

What is your discipline policy?
Most matters of discipline are handled effectively by teachers within the classroom, using both positive and negative reinforcement. Teachers communicate directly with parents if there are any issues involving their children.  After warnings, a student will be sent to the Headmaster, which will bring about more severe ramifications if the pattern continues.