After touring several Catholic schools in the area, my husband and I selected St Francis Xavier for our children and couldn't be happier with our decision. What sets St Francis apart from other Catholic schools is that it is a Jesuit school, the only Jesuit elementary school in the state. The academics are stellar and the teachers are amazing, but what also attracted us to St Francis is the way they care for the students as a whole. St. Francis believes strongly in helping foster the social, emotional and spiritual formation of their students as well. We love that the motto is "Kids For Others" and is ingrained in everything they do and throughout the curriculum.
The sense of community is a big part of St Francis as well. Each morning begins with the principal leading the entire student body in Pledge and Prayer in the courtyard. Parents are invited to stay for Pledge and Prayer and it's a nice way to start each day with your children and the other St Francis families. The community is very welcoming and there are many opportunities to get involved. We didn't know many others when we started, yet our children quickly made friends that we feel will last a lifetime, as did we as their parents.
We are so happy we selected St. Francis Xavier for our children.
I couldn't disagree more with the review below. My daughter has attended Saint Francis since the 4th grade after transferring midyear from another Catholic school. She is thriving academically, socially and spiritually at Saint Francis. Kim Cavnar is a holy woman and the administration is kind and peaceful. We have attended other schools and no school is perfect and the fact that we have consistency is very important. We came from a school that had 7 principals in 14 years and it was like being on a bad ride at Disney World. I'm saddened to see anger like the review below directed at such a sweet and kind place. Sure there are cliques -- there are cliques everywhere and it's a learning opportunity for my child to see that there are people that are exclusive -- it's not a reflection of the school. Perhaps this school is not suited for people with such negative outlooks. There are other choices out there...why write something so awful -- just move on if your not happy.
The teachers get a 5 star rating! The teachers care about each and every student and truly love their jobs with the kids. On the other hand, they hate their jobs because of the administration. The administration rules with an iron fist, and only treat a few teachers fairly. The principal continues creating new fake positions to bring teachers she likes on as administrators. The administration is too big, and Kim Cavnar (principal) enjoys surrounding herself with horrible administrators, to make herself look better. The only thing that will make this school better is to remove the entire administration. Do NOT send your kid here, send them to a place that will love them for who they are and doesn't have teachers who are afraid of their administration.
I have to disagree with the negative post that was recently made. The classes may be larger than some schools, but the quality of the education, the support from the teachers, and the community as a whole make SFX on of the best decisions our family has ever made. Fundraising is a part of most schools, but the results show in the quality of the music, art, Spanish, P.E. programs, beautiful campus, etc. There is no pressure to participate financially if you can't and all things such as the art sale, class trips, auctions projects etc. are given to those who may not be able to afford the additional costs. The SFX community cares for all the families and children and I see examples of that each and everyday. Like most things in life you get out of it, what you put into it.
I agree with many of the comments here. The class sizes are really big, the teachers have to depend on parents to get the job done. It is all about fundraising. I was excited to go to see my children's artwork, but when I got to the art show their artwork had a price tag on it... I am one of the few parents who can't afford to spend $25 to take home my children's artwork. There is very little communication from the teachers. I am disappointed with the art program and the music program. The food served at lunch and sold from the snack bar is not nutritious and it saddens me to have to always be telling my kids no to the candy that the other kids are purchasing from the snack bar. The science curriculum is very weak. Public schools follow the USDA meal plans and offer much healthier choices. The drop off and pick up procedure is terribly time consuming, and prevents my children from participating in some activities that are offered after school. I also agree with the comment about this not being the school for an out of the box child. Diversity is not encouraged or welcomed... if your child or family situation is different, this is not the school for you.
We are new to St. Francis and have to say that we have never felt so welcomed by a community of teachers, parents and students. This operation is top notch and really emphasizes the well-rounded student, not only academically, but also spiritually. Having come from a school with only an academic emphasis, it is so refreshing to be in an environment that really cares about the overall well-being of each student. That's not to say that academics are not a priority, just considered one piece to the equation of a successful child!
We love St. Francis Xavier and could not disagree more with some of the negative reviews. The principal and staff are wonderful and work incredibly hard to continually improve the school in all areas of student life. Every child and family matters. And honestly if the only reason you are sending your child to SFX is so they can get into Xavier or Brophy then you are there for the wrong reason. SFX is about educating the whole child and fostering an environment of love and compassion that compels children and families to serve others. If that is what you are looking for in a school then that is the reason to send your child to St. Francis. We, as a family, have been blessed to call St. Francis our home.
Other than a few pretty buildings, there isn't much that separates this school from other Catholic, charter, or public schools. In fact, you will get more rigor in the curriculum and a more welcoming culture at most public schools and definitely at other Catholic schools than here. The favoritism is blatant and the brutal gossiping from the administrative "team" is quite unprofessional. I agree that the teachers are incredibly stressed and overworked. Student discipline is arbitrary and, unfortunately, the principal although quite good at marketing has limited experience in early childhood development and elementary curriculum. Send your child to another Catholic School. They'll still get into Brophy or XCP if that's what your goals are. At the very least, they'll be loved for who they are as opposed to the money your family can contribute to the school/parish.
I would have given this school four stars a few years ago. The only thing missing back then was a little stronger academic rigor. Since constructing the new school, tuition has inreased, class sizes have increased to a minimum of 32, children above 2nd grade have only one 15 minute recess a day, and a 15 minute lunch. The teachers seem much more stressed than they were even 2 years ago. We chose this school because of their commitment to maximum class sizes of 30. We also chose them because they provided 2 recesses every day (15 - 20 minutes each). Those have been cut to one a day along with a 15 minute lunch, where most kids are not able to finish their lunches. My daughter in 5 th grade still loves her teacher and her friends, but is beginning to see the "favoritism" many talk about at this school. If you are not one of the "in" families, your child's opportunities will be limited. My other children haven't noticed yet as the younger grades teachers are really wonderful, albeit tired and stressed. My hope and prayer everyday is that the Jesuit principles they speak about are demonstrated by the administration.