The staff works very hard with the students to ensure they are treating others and themselves with kindness, courtesy, and empathy. While religion is taught here, the basic values of kindness and cooperation are at the heart of every lesson.
We moved here for Middle School, and couldn't be happier. We came from a $$$ private school, and I can tell you the education my daughter is getting here is much, MUCH better than we were getting there. We turned down several other private school options to come here as well. I was sold by the amazing principal, Jessica Murray, and after attending several school meetings by invitation, I was very impressed by the school's organization, as well as the kindness of the staff and other students. The academics are old school and solid--the curriculum is transparent so you know what your child is learning and how your kid is doing. They have ipads and Macs for each kid in the classroom, but homework includes lots of good old fashioned pen to paper (which is a plus to me). We are not Catholic--actually we are Jewish--and we have been welcomed and included. There is religious education, but honestly, this is the crazy Bay Area, and I don't mind other adults sharing with my kid that it's important to be kind and make your community a better place. The religious focus is mostly community and social-justice oriented, and my child is never made to feel like an outsider. The kids are really, genuinely nice, though many of them are busy, so it can be hard to get playdates and one-on-one time. My daughter found a group and was included right away, which was a great sign to me. There are lots of electives, including broadcasting, art, music, and genius hour. Google is coming to visit the school, and several of the teachers have done continuing education with Google. In short, for 1/3 the price, I feel like I'm getting 2 times the education we were getting before. My daughter's former school left her with some basic skill deficits, as there were some pretty big holes in their curriculum, which was more go-with-the-flow--and that led to $$$$ in tutoring to get her ready for SPN. St. Joe's is the feeder high school for SPN (which is where my other kid ended up after graduating from the $$$ private school--and is another great school). SPN is a great place if you love strong education, structure, and a close-knit community. We love it and are glad we found this hidden gem.
This school is fine for general ed children who are very obedient. If your child is challenged wth special needs, the staff is ill equipt to support anything like this.
Class was chaotic and teachers had a hard time structuring class and redirecting. Often would just give up and start calling the principal in to handle the situation.
Saint Philip Neri School is a very welcoming community with dedicated teachers and a strong commitment to educating the whole child. SPN is an active community with parents and families taking part in events like a family Ice Cream Social, Auction & Crab Feed, Fun Fair, as well as Winter and Spring Concerts. Principal Jessica Murray has a wonderful combination of business and scholastic experience and brings a wonderful attitude and great skill to leading our school. We have been with the school for 5 years and could not think of a better fit for our family and our children's needs for success.
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.