We had high hopes for this school and we're very disappointed in the education. If you go to this school be prepared to get a tutor for math and writing. And let me be very clear that my daughter is very bright and scores high on testing but I feel that most of what she learned was from extra tutoring outside of the school. My daughter was continually bullied. The school has no consciences for children that misbehave until 6th grade. We left after two years because we needed a structured environment where children are more respectfull and kind to each other.
Everybody kept telling me that the school gets better in 6th grade and I just didn't want to waste two years.
The community at the school we felt was lacking compassion. As a newcomer coming in it is very hard to find new friends and to fit in.
We gave the school 100%, my husband and I donated a lot of our time and money to the school and we felt very sad that it didn't work out for us.
I feel that the younger kids do not get much discipline so the classrooms are loud and sometimes out of control but I do believe in the upper grades the children do get consequences for their actions and the children are well-behaved and develop a sense of honesty and integrity.
Our children have been at St Marys for many years. Initially we were very happy with the school. But as time went on we developed more and more questions / concerns. The first concern is that tuition seemingly goes up every year, and typically by $1000 / year. It now costs roughly $18,000 for middle school. The Board argues that St Marys better prepares kids for typical private HS in the area. Perhaps. But to be paying the same for middle school as we are for HS makes little sense. Also, Board says the increase goes largely to teachers. Rough tuition increase over our time has been close to $9,000 in total – that’s $6 million across entire student population. Yet we don’t see the improvement in teaching. Indeed what we have seen is increased indoctrination from some teachers concerning very liberal politics, and some teachers having extremely poor teaching skills (many kids have to go to tutors). And yes, the total staff continues to increase, but adding zero value. Adding insult to injury, the kids have increasing homework load, with average being 2-4 hours / night. This is simply too much. Finally, if you do decide to go here, expect constant badgering for more money. St Marys has become a business first, and a school second (or third, or lower). Its simply not worth it, and there are far better alternatives.
St. Mary's is an incredible place, full of passionate kids and wonderful teachers. The IB program draws families from all over the world, further enhancing your experience at the school. My children have become deeply curious learners that don't just memorize, but instead understand the subjects they are introduced to. They learn from the inside out, by question instead of being taught by lecture. Their learning and even their homework, is student driven, making projects and homework incredibly independent for them. I have loved watching my kids light up as they explain in detail what they have learned that day in school. The hands on approach of a trans-disciplinary program such as IB, truly creates lifelong learners. I am excited to see what the next years bring!
We chose St. Mary's over two of the best NB priv schools and have been so happy with our decision. Our child is at the end of her kindergarten year and it's unbelievable to see her growth both academically and socially. Her teachers are passionate and transparent, involving us regularly with regards to her learning/social development. St. Mary's checks all the boxes: Small class size...check! Art, music, science, spanish, STEM, PE...check! Christian enrichment, service learning, focus on values kindness, helping others/the earth...check! Global perspective, IB curriculum...check! Our child had severe separation anxiety entering kinder and it lasted all of one week! Now she LOVES her school and has gained so much confidence. I disagree with the reviews that the school is materialistic and exclusive. We are not "wealthy" but in fact make sacrifices to send our daughter here, and we have NEVER felt out of place or excluded. Just the opposite. One of the things I love about SMAA is the sense of community...that it's not just a "drop off" school...that you walk your kids in and get to know their friend's parents. The best gift you can give your child is a good education.