I went to St. Thomas Aquinas from kindergarten all the way to 8th grade, and I can tell you right now that I had an absolutely incredible and one-of-a-kind experience. The teaching staff is ridiculously amazing - I learned so much in every subject and was so well-prepared for high school that I started off my freshman year taking all honors and Advanced Placement courses. Throughout my nine years at St. Thomas, I was blessed with the constant encouragement and positive reinforcement provided by my teachers every year. They always pushed me to be the best that I could be. I formed close relationships with every teacher, particularly my junior high instructors. The class sizes are small, and it was always so comforting to know that, to your teachers, you are not just another familiar face, but rather someone that they know intimately and well enough that I literally could turn to them for anything at all. I was provided with such an incredible academic, spiritual, and moral foundation that I honestly do not think that any other school could match.
I have found the academic load to be a bit rigorous, but the results, fantastic!
I have been in Arizona for 4 years. It took 3.5 yrs to find a school which offered quality education, reasonable classroom sizes (24 students on average), educators who are teachers - not just doing their job. We have 2 children in school currently - 5th and 1st. They are doing well and my husband and I are extremely happy with the eduction. My 5th graders has some holes in his learning so this school has taken the time to assess him, identify those areas and develop a plan with us to work on those areas. His progress is noticeable. This school is definitely taking the time to identify problem areas for children and working on them. If you are looking for a great school - this is it!
Maybe a notch below average here or there. Students get basics but do not have access to art or music room or labs. Some classrooms have older computers that may limit media options. Integration of technology into learning is limited. Additional programming is all pay to play. You pay for premium but get basic. Teachers are fundamentally strong and caring;many go above and beyond.
This school is average on every account. Nothing out of the ordinary. That is about it.
STA is a warm, loving environment, and we are honored and priviledged to have the opportunity to send our children to this school. Excellent teachers from PK-8, working together to provide a safe, nurturing, spiritual, and challenging academic programs. The parents are actively involved in the school, and our active in the church as well. The children in the school are held to high expectations, and the result is polite, engaging students at all levels. We could not be happier to be a part of this wonderful school and church community.
The academics are good, but they are very traditional, inflexible and rigid in thinking and practice. If you're child fits the Catholic school kid mold, and apparently there is such a mold, then this is the place to spend your hard earned money. And keep in mind that the more you contribute financially to the school and parish, the better your experience will be. The teachers and administration have proved untrustworthy and deceiving. It is always clear that there is another agenda. Communication is lacking.
We cannot be more pleased with our school. The principal has this marvelous combination of fun and high expectations! We truly believe that our children are receiving a top-notch education and will be prepared for their high school years. Grades K-8 have experienced teachers with clear expectations. Grades 6-8 have exceptional, professional educators. We love that our children attend a small school where parents are involved and families know each other well! Even our office staff is outstanding...friendly and helpful.
I will forever sing STA's praises to any and all interested parties. Our son is now in first grade and loving every minute of it. Last year his kindegarden teacher was able to uncover his academic strengths and defecits with pin-point accuracy. While the outside tutoring meant more out of pocket my partner and I have geater peace of mind knowing where our child is and what the pre secondary school years will be like.
STA has been a great experience for our children and family. We currently have a child in the 1st grade class and can not be more pleased with the education to this point. The Kindergarten teacher has done a wonderful job preparing these children for the 1st grade. It's truly amazing how children can blossom personally and educationally during each year with the nurturing teaching professionals that this school has at every grade level.
2009 is a new year and we can't say enough good things about STA. Last year was a frustrating waste of time and money. This year our child is reading, thriving and happy. The 1st grade teacher is amazing! The perfect example of a committed, quality teacher. Her extensive early education background is obvious. STA has many more just like her as the children move up through 8th grade. New homework club, expanding athletics and excellent student govt are the icing on the cake. One suggestion would be that STA make sure that the teacher quality and expectations remain constant from grade to grade.
We absolutely love STA! The staff and teachers are highly motivated and always go the extra mile for the kids. We have been here a few years and and any time we have had a concern, it was addressed. The education is well above average and the reinforcing of our Catholic faith is tremendous. As with anything, you get out of it what you put into it!
STA is a great school and will prepare your children for success in high school. The early education teachers are awesome and really care for their students. My child began first grade well prepared and ready to build upon the foundation set in preschool and kindergarten.
I have to say that Sister Fran is an excellent 1st grade teacher. What a huge positive change this year. I can't believe how well my child is reading and we just finished the first month of school. The children are making great progress. I am so looking forward to seeing how much the children grow in education and in faith.
If you are looking for warm and fuzzy go elsewhere. The administration is very poor at St. Thomas- evident that children are not the priority here. Although the community and parents are great it is not always the best interest of your children.
Our family has been at St Thomas since the doors opened. There are growing pains here and some very poor decisions being made to satisfy a few . This is true in every new school as it expands. However, 99.9% of our parents do not expect special treatment for themselves or their child. 100% of teachers/staff make themselves available to families at any time for any reason. 100% of fundraising and monetary expectations are spelled out upon registration. The majority of parents work hard daily, on and off campus, to fundraise, volunteer and support this community. There are countless opportunities to help out. 100% of many fundraisers go right back into the classroom. Our front office ladies, support staff and teachers are concerned, caring and superior to other schools. Sadly, I agree, it is going to be a long road to building completion. In the mean time, we will continue to give 110%.
My child has been with STA for 3 years and we are very pleased in his performance and education. All cots are posted and readily available for anyone with questions. Discounted The tuition is discounted for active members and further discounted by scholarships and fund availablity (which all families have received). In the three years that I have been with the school, there are few who ever leave. I would also like to address the posting on 3-14-09. My child is the one this posting addresses. He has many allergies, the most severe is a peanut allergy. I find myself very blessed to be surrounded by such a loving community. The classroom structure was not changed, just a simple request to keep the Classroom a peanut free room, as in the previous years. Sincerely, A most grateful parent
We are so pleased with our experience at this school. We have found that all of the teachers to be friendly and caring no matter who you are. This hasn't been our experience at other schools. We would choose STA again and again.
We have been a St. Thomas Aquinas family for three years and have nothing but wonderful things to say about the pre-k and kindergarten teachers. They are lovely women who care deeply about each individual student. They are hard working and available to address any concerns that parents may have. Although we have not yet worked with any other teachers at STA we are looking forward to first grade and beyond. We are blessed to be able to call St. Thomas Aquinas our family's school.
The mission and goal of St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School and its' community is salvation. This is the school's most important purpose and I believe that teachers, staff, and most parents are committed to this. This school is always trying to improve itself. No school or situation is ever perfect, but I have witnessed nothing but dedication and professionalism from the teachers. Several times I have passed the parking lot and have seen the teachers' cars parked early in the morning and late into the evening. Not only are the students given challenging curriculum, but they are all encouraged to be self-disciplined Catholics.
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