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 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.
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.