Great school with solid fundamentals. We have loved the preK and the kindergarten levels so far. A wonderful community of parents, as well.
We have had a tremendous experience at St. Thomas. Our three children have each benefited by a strong curriculum, faculty and administrative leadership. The principal Mary Coffman is exceptional in every way. The school has high expectations for teachers, students and parents. There are no free riders at STA. Faith and values are demonstrated not only in the classroom but by the examples of the administration, teachers and religious (nuns/sisters) who serve the community. The students and families are dedicated to creating a positive environment for students to excel. The only element that Catholic schools should change, including STA, is the grading scale which requires a 94% to receive an A. Every student can find success at the school but it does require effort by each parent. Bottom line - STA is a wonderful place where students benefit from both a strong faith filled culture and high academic standards. In my opinion, it is one of the very best schools in Phoenix.
My son is in 4th grade, having attended STA since Kindergarten. He has received a wonderful academic education and is also receiving a very traditional Catholic education. Check the diocesan website and you will find that student averages in all grade levels are at least one grade level above their current grade. The school ranks consistently in the top 5% nationwide on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Most of the families are very involved and are expected to donate their time and/or money to the school. We have had nothing but good experiences with our son's teachers and the administration. Make no mistake about it. The pastor definitely controls the church and the school. It is no democracy, so if you are thinking of enrolling your child, you need to trust in the pastor's leadership. If you want your child to have "rights" to express himself through sloppy clothes and disrespectful language, if your child has behavioral problems, if you have a disdain for grooming and dress codes or if you are a professional victim and expect people to cater to you without yourself first making an effort to participate and become part of the community, you will be happier elsewhere.
This have been my child's first and last year at this school. Many of the reviews state that the value of the educations it top notch. I have to disagree with those statements. My child had had a difficult time adjusting to the new environment because the work resembles what was being tough last year. The school does show favoritism to those with money and time to devote to the school. My child has felt bullied and singled out. As a parent I have also experiences this first hand. When dealing with the teachers, I have been belittled and talked down to, my parenting style have been called into question on many occasions. Not all teacher have acted in this manner. The school would be a better place if staff were evaluated for by the success of there students and not who they know. I would not recommend this school to anyone that whats to promote free thought in their household. If you are looking for a better educational environment look some place else.
Decent school, but not open to improvement or new ideas. It is run like a dictatorship and despite a school board and faculty, nothing, I mean nothing happens here unless the church's pastor says so and he is NOT open to change at all. I prefer a more collaborative environment where teachers and parents can contribute and continually improve the school....where a school board and not just one man can decide what is best for the school. For that reason, I give it an "unsatisfactory" rating.
Two years ago there was a tumultuous change in administration that has turned out to be quite the blessing in disguise. The optimum class size has been lowered to 30 (although a couple 'carry-over' grades still have 31 or 32) and the few teachers in the upper grades that many parents took issue with have been replaced with enthusiastic, vibrant educators with a genuine Christian spirit. The academics are challenging, however, the children are also taught grade/age appropriate organizational skills and personal responsibility that goes a long way to making the academics achievable for most. The 2009 Iowa Basics testing STA scored in the 96% in the nation. Aside from the academic excellence, the spiritual and social growth of the students is a primary focus as well. Finally the parent community is amazing willing to give time, talent and treasure for the betterment of the school as well as the community.
Great teachers! Great community! Great reputation! Great Principal! My children are getting an awesome education at STA!
Our child has attended STA for 3 years now. STA is wonderful school that is not only outstanding academically but spiritually as well. There is no doubt STA is Catholic! Our principal always open to new ideas and has made some great changes this past year. There are always parents willing to volunteer their time at STA. They have a very strong sense of community which makes STA a great place to be!
Our child just completed the first year at STA and we would highly recommend this school to any family looking to provide their child with a solid Catholic education. The school does a fabulous job of teaching the children academics and the Catholic faith. The parents at STA are extremely involved in their child s activities and there is never a shortage of parents willing to lend a helping hand.
We have had children at STA for five years and think it is an outstanding community. The parental involvement is outstanding. The academics are challenging, and the school does a tremendous job of nurturing the whole child.
We have been blessed to be a part of this community for over seven years. Our current Principal has made many positive changes at our school. She is forward thinking and has instituted new and challenging curriculum as well as maintaining a teaching staff that is exemplary. We have children from all walks of life with diverse backgrounds. Students are encouraged to work hard and are given many opportunities to excel academically. Our Catholic faith plays a major role in our children's education as well. The most important thing is that my children are happy and are getting an excellent education at St. Thomas.
We have attended St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School for the past five years and absolutely love it! Our children are challenged academically, have developed a strong sense of spirituality and feel a great sense of belonging in the community. The principal, Mrs. Mary Coffman, is outstanding. She's forward-thinking and approachable and truly cares about each and every child in the school. We've been very pleased with the teachers and staff at STA and feel that the parental involvement at St. Thomas is unparalleled. Also, the sense of commmunity that you feel on a daily basis is truly special! We feel that STA is a wonderful place for our children where they can learn in a positive and safe environment and we would strongly recommend it to anyone who's looking for a well-rounded, well-respected and excellent Catholic school for their children!
the two new principals are on power trips. upper grades are getting suspended for the dumbest things like wearing the wrong socks. I have teachers who can not teach (only 1 good teacher in my grade) and need to retire! favoritism is given to kids who have parents who work at the school or donate big money to the church. we can't take home our tests copies because they think we will save it for our friends. our parents do not like this at all as they can't see what work we have done. sta needs better teachers and better stuff to learn.
My daughter used to attend this school but moved to another private school this past year. I will tell you that the math that was taught to my daughter was unacceptable! For the tuition that we pay, she has learned not too much without the intervention of a tutor. Upon entering our new school, my daughter was nearly 2 grade levels behind!
New administration is trying to turn things around however if your child needs a push and is not self-motivated, this is not the school for you. Its very hard to have individualized attention and children who might not understand concepts, will become lost. I suggest entering STA in the upper grades, but to mold a younger child I would possibly look elsewhere. STA might be running on fumes and reputation right now so just maybe the truth will not come out before things start to change. My child has attended here for 4 years. This school has a very 'un-diverse' student body too. Nevertheless, considering alternatives in the neighborhood, this school might not be so bad. Proceed with caution!
My child has attended STA for 3 years. The overall education currently is very good, especially for strong learners. Special needs children (at both ends of the spectrum) may find themselves frustrated & bored. With a classroom size of 36 and greater, it's difficult to offer focused programs and individual attention. There is a lot of homework issued, especially in the middle school. The students will be prepared to handle the workload of most high schools. The teaching philosophy is very traditional and minimal focus on individual creativity. Parent community is school's strongest suit & volunteer hours spent at the school is very high. Classroom facilties are small & dated. Good catholic school choice but a higher quality education may be had at other private institutions.
The class sizes are way too big (close to 36 even though diocesan max is 35). If you need your child to learn in a smaller envionment, this is not the school for you.
This school is great, the children and practice their Catholic faith and are kind and welcoming. Sister Patricia is a very popular principal and does a great job running the school. The parents make every event exceptional.
this school has a great student to teacher ratio, they emphasize academics & religion first.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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