This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Philip Neri Elementary School5
Posted September 25, 2014
- a parent
This is our third year at SPN with our daughter in second grade. What I really like is how the school goes beyond academics and puts a lot of focus into development. In addition to the new Transitional Kindergarten program, the K-8 students and parents are told upfront about the Student Learning Expectations (SLE's) - to be respectful, responsible, reverent and a life-long learner. There are school year themes, like Goals which get repeated and intertwined throughout the year. Sports start early in the private schools so not only is it nice to get the Kindergarteners out four times a week for Cross Country in the Fall and Track in the Spring, but it's is a great way to connect with other parents. The teacher ratio is about 15:1 which we really like in addition to a lot of modern technology, a wide array of extra curriculars like Spanish, Art, Music, Broadcasting, Debate, just to name a few. And the parents, let me tell you about the parents. I've never been around so many parents that are so generous with their time and talent. Because so many parents help out, it keeps the tuition low and the fun up. We couldn't be happier at SPN.
We are relatively new to the school entering our 3rd year, are not members of the parish or even Catholic and have found a very welcoming community of parents, teachers and administrators. No school is perfect but SPN is doing all the right things. Our new principal who is starting her 2nd academic year with us is absolutely excellent and has been very proactive and bringing significant energy and renewal to the school. Our tuition is one of the lowest in the Oakland Diocese, due in part to the active parent community volunteering, our test scores are some of the highest, SPN sent several students to the countywide science fair last year and they did very well a few receiving top honors. So if a small welcoming open minded school community, with parents, teachers and administrators who really care about the kids and their success sounds right for your family, then do give SPN a look it may just be the perfect fit for your family!
Love the new principal! She seems able and willing to celebrate the great aspects of the school and creatively, but directly address improvement areas; we all have them, & schools are no different. Always a good, solid school - now moving toward excellence.
A wonderful school with a warm and welcoming community. We have a fourth grader and kindergartner and could not be more pleased. The teachers and staff are professional and committed to the students. A community gem with rigorous academics and strong spirituality right here on the island! The new principal has a clear vision and collaborative style.
SPN's small, close-knit community is ideal for our middle school children. The academics are challenging and we are pleased this past year the school tested academic progress using ITBS Common Core standards. We are glad we moved our children out of the 900+ API score neighborhood AUSD school to attend its not just numbers. When we began our search for a better learning environment we considered the charter schools on the West End of the island and found SPN offered more areas of academic growth and opportunities for community service. We know firsthand SPN infuses beliefs, values and standards that our children will carry all their lives.
St. Philip Neri School has provided a great experience for my children. The principal is wonderful. She takes the time to get to know all the students. One of my kids was excited that she knew who Sofia the First was. We have heard all the gossip, but it is not based on facts. The teachers always give extra time to help my children out and are available. Last year I did not appreciate being approached by faculty (don't worry they are no longer there) to say how the principal was holding them accountable. People complain about mandatory $2,000.00 script, my nephew's school is required to have $5,000.00! HELLO it benefits our children directly. Honesty, if you are not happy leave our community. We will miss the current principal and understand she is leaving to be with her 7month old son. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. I apologize for those board housewives of Alameda. They are the ones who have done the damage to themselves and now are deciding to post here without a name. SPN is a great community and I will continue to support the administration, teachers, staff and kids.
No matter how hard we tried to get them to show us some indication of test scores they refused and would only claim that their scores were only just good, but very good. I guess we were suckers because after trying this school for a year we had to bail. Academics are absolutely horrendous. It appears the teachers don t even actually have to be credentialed, which probably explains why they were bringing in tutors for the teachers just to get the teachers competent in basic elementary school math and science concepts. After having spent a miserable year here we also got the impression that at one point this may have been a slightly better school but it is not widely recognized by nearly half of the families there as an underperforming school that they can t wait to follow suit like us and leave. If for some reason you are seriously considering this school, don t let them give you the run around and instead insist that like any other school in town you be shown the schools overall average scores so that you truly understand where things sit.
My son is a Kindergartener at SPN this year and is very happy in his class. Despite my worries that starting Kindergarten would be a difficult transition for him, there have been NO issues. He felt comfortable from day one. I believe a big reason for this is that the Kindergarteners have their own classroom and playground away from the bigger kids on the main campus, combined with the high level of adult supervision both during school hours and during after care as well. My son likes it when very clear expectations are set so he knows what he is supposed to do, and his teacher delivers in this area. He is quickly becoming a confident reader - the language arts instructional approach is working for him without question. The homework load is very reasonable, only 5-10 minutes per night, 3 night each week. I am not a big fan of homework for young learners, but I like the aspect of discipline it instills, and bringing school learning into the home. There was one issue early on in the year that prompted me to contact his teacher with a serious concern, and she acted immediately and appropriately, and alerting other staff members. I have no regrets about choosing this school.
St. Philip Neri is a wonderful school full of dedicated faculty and staff who care very much for the well being of their students. I have personally seen the wonderful relationship that the students have with each other and those who teach them. Every child is treated with the up most respect and is given individual attention. St Philip Neri provides an education that serves the whole child, academically and emotionally. Great School! Great Teachers! Great Leadership! Great Experiences!!!
We are the parents of two students and are in our fifth year at the school after starting out in the public school system. We could not be more pleased with our decision. Most important to us is the joy of watching our kids develop into the type of good people we want to send off into the world. In addition to meeting their education requirements, our kids recognize the importance of looking out for the younger students just as the older students look out for them. They know they are part of a bigger family. It is great to think they will have this support network through middle school. The school says that Respect, Responsibility and Reverence are every bit as important in developing a whole child as are the other 3 R's. It's definitely working for us and our kids.