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PK-8
Private
Fair Oaks, CA

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4745 Pennsylvania Avenue
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

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(916) 967-2814
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Map of St Mel School address.

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April 28, 2014
This school is amazing. My family has been completely welcomed by parents and staff. The experiences these kids get to be involved in is second to none. I am completely impressed with the principal who knows what goes on in every classroom. If you are not happy with this school. There is something wrong with you.

- submitted by a parent
April 15, 2014
I attended this scool in the mid sixties and taught by the original Sisters of Mercy brought over from Ireland. The nuns terrorized us.

- submitted by a teacher
June 14, 2013
This school is awesome, we couldn't be happier. The leadership says it all....and the families here really make a difference!

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2013
This is our first year at St. Mel School - and we've been impressed with the teachers, principal and resources that St. Mel provide, The Kindergarten teacher shares a weekly newsletter, emails frequently, responds to request quickly and takes a genuine interest in the children in her classroom. Her assistant is kind, fun and a wonderful addition to the classroom - and will help the kids to make good choices in a kind way. I've only needed to call the office twice, but both times, I've had Mrs. Nagel, the principal on the phone within minutes. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the school - which I like - and so does my son. My son didn't enjoy preschool - but he loves St Mel and I believe this is a direct result of the wonderful people leading this school. We're fans of St. Mel School - and I plan to send my two year old there for Transitional Kindergarten as well.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2013
This school is horrible, the bullying is unbelievable, the education is ridiculously unbelievable, most of the class is teachers telling the students life stories and relating it to stuff that doesn't actually relate, horrible, glad to be out.

- submitted by a community member
March 19, 2013
We have attended St. Mel School for almost 8 years, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about this school and its community. Both our children are receiving an excellent education, as evidenced with their test scores amongst their peers in other schools. I attribute their education to the faculty, my children's comfort with their surroundings, as well as the involvement of both my husband and myself in their daily lives. As it is not just a school or teacher's responsibility to educate your child, but the Parent's themselves. Our experience with St. Mel's has been wonderful and I know that after they move on to High School, they will always treasure the friendships, memories and Religious foundation that was formed at St. Mel School.

- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2013
I had children in two different grades, both received a sub par education in core subjects and I have heard similar reports from other families that switched schools. There is only one teacher per grade so you are stuck with what you get for an entire year and it can be extremely discouraging. Follow through from staff and administration is rare (in addressing a problem) and it is well known and chatted about in many parent circles. Much of how you are treated does boil down to money. If you pay full tuition and donate to the school and church you and your children will be highly favored and will be able to do whatever you please with no accountability. I never experienced bullying problems involving my children but I am aware it is a problem at St. Mel. I did however witness parent bullying and it is completely ridiculous. There are "cliques" in every school/club/workplace but it is far beyond average at St. Mel.

- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2013
I have had all four of my children attend school at St Mel, two of which have moved on to high school and I am very happy with the education they have recieved! My children range from a straight A student that is very focused to my youngest that struggles in certain areas. The principal and staff have embraced every one of them and helped each of them excel in their own way. In 4 grades so far, the teachers and principal have worked hard, in partnership with us as parents, to ensure that our youngest is getting what he needs in his education. When issues arise, as they do in every school, I know the principal takes fair and decisive action. I love the accelerated math program and the attention given to those who are struggling with early reading. Amazing field trips are taken to enrich the curriculum at each grade level. If you want your children to attend a school with a sense of community, a strong curriculum and staff that truly care about every child, St Mel is a great choice!

- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2013
Our four children and 5 cousins have attended/ been attending St. Mel school for the past 10 years. We feel privileged to have our family and many friends sharing in the Catholic faith and academics in all the various grades. We have our oldest son attending Jesuit High School this year and he is thriving. We feel that St. Mels not only prepared him academically for the challenges he came across in high school but he was also prepared mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our other children receive the same care and consideration by the teachers in each of their grades and they have never encountered any bullying. When there was an issue that needed to be addressed, we requested a meeting with the teacher and with the principal and it was handled professionally and delicately, always with the child in mind first. We have never felt intimidated or left out due to our low socio-economic status. We highly recommend St. Mel School as the school of choice for people who want to raise their children in a faith-filled environment, that not only provides a solid academic program but a morally and spiritually sound education as well.

- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2013
I rate the teacher quality low only so that attention is brought to the areas of math and science at this school. When 2/3 of a 7th grade math class require outside tutoring, then something is wrong with the instruction. The science dept also needs attention - there is crossover here, so similar issues apply. Unfortunately, at small private schools, it's hard to find the most dynamic teachers for every subject at each grade level.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2013
Both of my grandchildren attend St. Mels and I would highly recommend this school. The education is fine, they are given excellent opportunities for extra curricular activities including sports, drama, music, academic bowls. We transferred from a accelerated learning public school curriculum and St. Mel holds its own in comparrison. We are not a typical family and have many challenges and I have friends from all groups at St. Mel. I immediately got involved and volunteered and everyone was extremely supportive to our family. The girls go to mass once a week and they do have a lot of home work. I have heard parents complain about that. Last week the entire school participated in a dance off with the new music teach and PE teacher and it was fantastic. You get a sense of community and are part of a family here..

- submitted by a community member
February 15, 2013
The school is a home away from home for my son. He has flourished in their program and has been allowed to be a kid. Students can bring treats to class for their birthday and dress up for Halloween. Starting as a kindergartener he had Spanish, Computers, PE, music, art, along with the core curriculum. The grades are posted online and can be accessed at any time. The principal and staff are easily accessible and I couldn't imagine a better school in the Fair Oaks community.

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2012
I strongly agree with the previous 2 commenter who posted on Oct 15 and 21, 2012. I have 5 kids. My oldest went through all 9 years at St. Mel's and is now at Jesuit High School. While he experienced some bullying throughout his years, it was handled well by teachers and the principal. I now have an 8th grade daughter finishing, a 2nd grade daughter, a son in TK and a 2 1/2 yr old that will attend in a few years. We are very satisfied with this school, the academics, the staff, the curriculum, the enrichment classes, the facilities, and overall genuine care and concern for our children. St. Mel's takes the "whole child" approach focusing on their spiritual and academic well-being. Academically, my kids are excelling and are prepared for college-prep high school. I don't feel the school is "run by the rich" or that there's a snob squad. There are cliques in EVERY school and if the commenter that complained about that felt snubbed, I'm sorry to hear that. That is not the true spirit at St. Mel. Getting involved in your kids' classroom through volunteering is key and I look forward to another 11 years at St. Mel's :-)

- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2012
After the poor reviews, I feel compelled to defend this school. The principal is amazing. I've had a few meetings with her, and find she's not only very invested in each and every student, but goes out of her way to make sure lower income families, like mine, can attend. Never has she appeared to be snobby or treated me as anything but an equal . She greets families every morning as they drop off students and is available to meet with parents on short notice. Reports of parent bullying are exaggerated. I don't believe it's any worse here than at any other school in the area. I've met wonderful parents from all social classes and I'm certain that "rich people" don't control the school. IMO, the majority of parents and staff are concerned with promoting faith-based academic excellence. The curriculum is wonderful, the classrooms are up- to-date and have smart boards. Kids are taught computers, art, and Spanish, take plenty of field trips, and enjoy weekly class visits to the school library. My third-grade daughter has participated in choir, Girl Scouts, soccer and basketball, all directly offered or partnered with the school. St. Mel is a blessing for my family .

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2012
This school has been wonderful for our son. The parents are friendly and the principal is phenomenal! The academics are challenging and the structure within the classroom is great. The fact that the principal and some of the teachers either have sent their own children or are currently sending their children here says a lot about the school and the academics. Worth every penny!

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2012
I was previously a student of this school and looking back at my education and experience I would never think to send my kids here. There were a couple really great teachers (only one still works there) and the before/after school extension staff was excellent but other than that it wasn t great at all. After reading reviews and hearing problems of bullying it seems this issue hasn t improved at all since I graduated. Keep in mind this bullying isn t just students bullying other students but parents bullying parents, grown ups acting like their still in high school. The parent groups are divided into the rich people who think they are better than everyone else (who control everything at the school) and the regular down to earth people (far and few between here). The student bullying was so bad when I went there we lost at least half our class by the time I graduated. This is only part of the problem with this school. My parents worked very hard to send my sister and I here to get one of the best educations we could have gotten and come to find out it wasn t one of the best educations at all. They were so far behind so many other schools academically it was ridiculous.

- submitted by a community member
August 11, 2012
I enrolled my son quickly into St Mel in October 2006 from a horrible public elementary school. He was in 1st grade and the first 2 years were wonderful. The principal is very genuine and loves the families. The secretary, Jane, is the glue that holds it all together. But there is the "snob squad" parents that unfortunately were the parents of the kids in my son's class for the entire 4 years we were there. They snubbed me from day one. I simply did not exist. They would not talk to me or look at me. Then my son had a bully problem in the 3rd year which continued in the 4th grade and on top of that a new teacher was hired who did not like the children nor respect them. The bullying is tolerated because the parents pay big bucks in tuition.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2012
Can't agree more about the reply from the Feb15th 2011 posting. It is everything that post says.Starts out nice when you first start going but if your children don't have the "fit in the box" personality don't even bother wasting your money ,time and energy enrolling there. The bullying has become so bad that many are pulling out as we did. And the sad thing is that it is caused by the parents. Biggest mistake I ever made.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2011
This school has been exactly the blessing we needed. The faculty, staff, and community are always welcoming, positive and supportive. This school provides the academic challenges our daughter needed with the additional help she required in others. The principal leads by being a consistent, firm, and positive individual that has, by example, helped me learn to be a better parent.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2011
excellent school, the principal is amazing, the children are very well manered and the relation between older kids and young ones is very kind, good academics in a catholic environment

- submitted by a parent
February 25, 2011
St. Mel School provides my children with and outstanding education in a faith filled environment where character development is as important as learning the academics. The curriculum is challenging, the teachers supportive and the parents welcoming. There are many ways to be involved at the school either in the classrooms or other school wide events. My family is greatful to have found such a great place!

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2011
St Mel School has proven to be a wonderful community of learning for my children. They are constantly held to high standards both morally and educationally and always in a positive environment.The teachers are professional and the parents, welcoming. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who is looking for a faith filled environment with a challenging curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
February 16, 2011
My wife and I brought our son to St. Mel's mid-year. He's currently a year behind in math, and the faculty from the Principal to the resource teacher to the class room teachers, have rallied 'round my son. The success we've seen in the two short months have been nothing of amazing. They've given my wife and I so much feedback and support, and we're so thankful for that. Great People. Great place.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2011
Sad, after attending there for years, the parent clicks have got out of hand to the point of us removing our children. The emotional distress caused by these people is horrible. Apparently, the parent clicks control what goes on with the staff and children. At times, the battles of these parent clicks get s pretty ugly, especially when staff want to intervene. Supposedly, it is about who has the most money, or they believe so because all the parents work So we could not figure why the attitude of I m richer than thou .. Should you send your child to this school, chances are if you don t fit in your child may suffer some form of bullying either from parents or their children. We found other fantastic private schools in Rocklin that offer a more stable environment for our children without the fear of being bullied by parents or their children.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2010
St. Mel is a very good school, and we have enjoyed our time there. It has provided a solid Catholic education and a well-balanced environment for our sons. We appreciate all the effort and hard work that goes into everything. Thank you for twelve great years!

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
I have enjoyed 12 cummulative years at St. Mel School between my 2 boys. One has graduated and moved on to Jesuit Highschool (and thriving) and the other is still making his way through the first grade. I would never consider sending my boys to any other school. Not only has St. Mel educated the mind of my boys, but it has also enriched their hearts and nurtured a faith-filled life. When either boy struggled with an academic or disciplinary issue, the St. Mel faculty addressed the issue with concern, care and sincere interest. The faculty truly cares about the personal needs of each child. Above the academic and faith-filled aspect of St. Mel is the community of supportive and loving families / faculty that you will find there. When we endured a terrible family crisis, the community & faculty surrounded us, especially my boys, with love, charity, prayers, and support.

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2010
I am a public school teacher and made the decision to give my daughter the gift of a Catholic education. I made this decision partly because my husband is Catholic but mostly because St. Mel's reputation was outstanding. I wanted my daughter to receive an education that not only focused on academics but brought out the best in your child by integrating the arts, sports and emphasized the importance of physical education. St. Mel's has been a true blessing for our family as it supports our goal in raising children who have appropriate social skills, morals, values, respect and courtesy for others. My daughter has thrived at this school. As a public school educator I am aware of the current textbook adoptions by the state and current state standards per grade etc. I can say with certainty that St. Mel School is current on all texts, curriculum, standards and standardized testing.

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2010
St. Mel's has focused on the total formation of our children s characters. It does this by rewarding charitable works (volunteer hours) and recognizing acts of kindness, justice, as well as the fortitude required for excellence in the classroom, playing field and society in general. When we interact with Mrs. Nagel, a teacher or Mrs. DeLucca, from the school extension program, we are reassured that our kids are not lost in the constant activity that flows past in a typical school day. When an issue has arisen, we have found school staff and administration to be responsive and thoughtful in its recommendations. There is an integrity that shows through in each and every person we have interacted with at St. Mel s. Not entirely sure what previous reviews mean by a 'stepford feel', there is definitely structure and some parents may not feel particularly comfortable with religion.

- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2009
My daughter currently attends St. Mel and loves going to this school! As a parent, I could not be more satisfied . St. Mel is great school for many reasons. The teachers are highly motivated, compassionate, and professional. The principal is very accessible and visible on campus. Her commitment to fulfilling the school's mission is evident on a daily basis. In the many activities and events I have attended, the students are well-spoken, well-behaved, and respectful. The parent community is wonderful as there are so many parents who graciously volunteer their time and talents. I truly feel my daughter is receiving a gift of an excellent education combined with learning and living her Catholic faith.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2009
The quality of education my children are receiving at St. Mel School is excellent! It makes the sacrifice my wife and I make worth it! My children love to be 'involved' and St. Mel School offers a variety of activities. They have had a chance to try many things such as drama, choir, little dribbler's basketball, cross country, track, volleyball, golf and the academic decathlon. The faculty and support staff are experienced and cooperative. I appreciate the efforts of the entire school community making St. Mel School worth every penny of tuition!

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2009
What I love about St. Mel School are the Student Learning Expectations. Each week the entire school focuses on a particular SLE. At the weekly Monday Morning Assembly individual students are recognized for their efforts and achievements related to the SLE's. My child comes home weekly literally able to recite each one. My child also loves being a member of her Faith Family and going to Mass together. The parent community is great, too!

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2009
As I read all the past reviews I must take note that St. Mel's must have gone through some pretty positive changes over the last couple years. I have been part of the school for two years and am very pleased with the academics, arts, teachers and especially the loving community. I agree that the campus is older, but improvements are being made continually and the school recognizes the need for improved facilities. The prinicpal is great, open, understanding. She is part of what makes St. Mel a great environment for my son. The art program is great, the computer program is great. My son loves the school and so do I. I plan on sending all my kids there barring any change in circumstances.

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2009
Warning, do not send you kids here. The curriculum is below public school levels. My child had tons of friends, and after graduating attended public high school which he found far more academically challenging with a more open administration. St. Mel does not prepare students for the future and has very stepford-like morals

- submitted by a parent
November 24, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2008
I've sent all 6 of my children to this school. My childrens' performance in high school and college has attested to the quality of education there. Over the years I've always found the principal and faculty very responsive to my needs. The school is always neat and clean, although it is a bit aged. Security at the school has been recently upgraded (fenced), and it has good visitor control procedures. Computer lab has been recently upgraded. Parental involvement is impressive. The principal is very caring and involved, not only within the school, but throughout the district (I know this through my wife's volunteer work.) The school's focus on teaching good judgement and moral values makes me very comfortable trusting my kids with them.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2008
I am a student at st.Mels school and the place is filed with trash and classes are very easy. I dont feel like im to my full potential. The text books are old and so is the school

- submitted by a student
no rating August 09, 2008
We are extremely unhappy with the quality of this school. I would not recommend the school to family or friends.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2007
I have children presently attending St Mel's and want to provide current input re:its programs. Academically the curriculum meets or exceeds the Sacramento Diocese Standards.My eldest child has consistently scored a 99 on his Math ITBS testing which I believe is reflective of the advanced math program he has been in since fourth grade.The school has gone above and beyond Catholic School requirements by providing elementary school advanced math classes,an art docent program,music (including band) and a new science lab completed over the summer.A new computer lab is in the works.At the start of the year St Mel's contracted with a computer training school which supplies the children with a specialized computer teacher.Extra Curricular activities include a parent booster club which supports choir,sports(girls & boys:basketball, volleyball,track,football),computer clubs. We participate in fundraisers a lot,however that is the only way to afford these upgrades.Teachers are approachable, dedicated,helpful and qualified in their fields.

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2007
We has to move on from this school. Our son had good standardized test scores, fair grades but he was struggling. He loved his friends and we loved the community, but now that he's at public school we see how far behind he is and he needs so much tutoring. Math and science were really, really lagging. He is almost a year behind. I think they should have told us how far behind the kids were.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2007
Our child will graduate this year and looks back with some fondness. All in all this has been an okay school. There is sort of a Stepford quality, but our kids didn't seem too affected by it. It's hard to tell from test scores that don't compare to public school testing, but we think our kids have done okay academically. It has been very important to have a religious education, so that is probably the trade off. We really think highly of many of the teachers.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2007
We have been very happy at St. Mel School. The academic curriculum is excellent. Our standardized test scores shows that our children are scoring well above grade level. The principal, Janet Nagel, and the teachers are very caring. Parent involvement is excellent as is our art docent program, sports program and drama club. Our children are well prepared for Jesuit, Loretto, St. Francis, all college preparatory high schools. The faith based education and feeling of community is what distinguishes this school from other schools. Our son is extremely happy at this school. We will miss St. Mel when he graduates.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2006
We are happy with this school after moving from out of the area. It has fewer facilities and programs than we are used to, but it has a small town feel to it and teaches good Catholic values.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2006
My son's father and I were very frustrated with the public school system and the chaos in the 1st grade classroom. No structure. No discipline. Kindergarten level. We had an interview with Mrs. Nagal, principal at St. Mel, and we felt St Mel would offer higher academics, which it does in addition to good morale values. We are noncatholic and yet we were very much welcomed and accepted to the St Mel family.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2006
Our daughter is happy at this school after we transferred from another Catholic School. We see some academic drawbacks compared to her old school, but her teacher is really great and very invovled with the kids. The facilities and resources seem behind other schools but they have added new things this year and we hope they will add more.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2005
What a fantastic school! We are new to St Mel's this year. Our experiance is that this school has a wonderful teaching staff, reasonable expectations academically for the students while at the same time challenging them, and a caring and empathetic principal. Here is just one example. Due to medical issues, my husband and I had fallen on hard financial times. We went to Janet Nagel (the principal) and explained the issue. Although all of the aid usually offered by the school was taken, she just asked what we needed and said it would be taken care of. She even took money out of her own pocket so we could attend the Harvest Festival. They also started a school band this year! In all, this is a wonderful school that is equally supportive of the students as of the parents. We look forward to many more years as St Mel's parents!

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2005
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- submitted by a staff
September 29, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2005
We are quite happy with St. Mel School. Its a wonderful community to be involved in and our children are getting a great education. We are also happy with the spiritual aspects of the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2005
A really good school. Principal greets kids in the parking lot, has an 'open door' policy. Have seen some reviews that seem to be more about the parents sour grapes than the children. They are the exception. Good teacher feedback. Parents are very involved. Parent leaders have had to deal with a lot in the past. Come see how great this school really is.

- submitted by a staff
September 06, 2005
Principal has open door policy, which all principals at all Catholic schools do (and at public schools - where accountability begins at the top). Teachers are generally receptive to input and have improving resources. High parent participation (also the greatest drawback - some parents hold too much power). Great kids. Good environment. Needs to get its focus back on the kids first, parents second - but a truly good school and our kids are happy here. That's our bottom line.

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2005
We have two children at St. Mels. Text books and study materials have been fair but there are signs improvement will occur. Supportive parent participation in classes and fundraising. The education our kids receive has been very acceptable.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2005
We have our fingers crossed that things will turn around this year or we are out of this school. We lost so many friends in the past year and our children lost so many classmates because the school administration has been so unresponsive to the children's needs for so long. Back to school night was a hopeful sign, promises of facilities other Catholic schools have and of responsiveness - let's see if they are followed with action. Our kids are struggling academically, so we really need these promised resources and better teaching.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2005
I'm actually a grandparent but was a long time volunteer while my grand daughter attended this school. There are lovely families and many sweet children - but the atmosphere is artificial and very materialistic.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2005
We just left this school after 7 years. After just 2 weeks elsewhere our kids are doing great academically, feeling accepted and thriving. We are finding that information flows more freely and honestly at other schools. All schools have problems like gossip or the problem teachers here and there - other schools address these issues. St. Mel's did not. We miss our friends and teachers like Mrs. Joyce (no nonsense, very qualified)and Mrs. Booth (very responsive), but we don't miss all the downsides.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2005
New school year, new hopes. Our friends asked us to write a review because so many for this school were negative. After reading them, we can't do that. We are here for the duration. Our son won't leave his friends. But, we have to agree, there are more weaknesses than strengths here. We went to mass at a nearby school today - wonderful, full of the spirit, everyone involved. We seldom ever get that feeling at St. Mel - and it is reflected into the school environment. Maybe it will get better. We hope so.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2005
Good school, great families. It is well worth the cost. The principal and parent leaders had to put up with a lot in the past but we had a great response at back to school night this year and look forward to a great year.

- submitted by a staff
September 02, 2005
St. Mel is a good Catholic school. It has issues but is improving. Especially for people with younger children who aren't yet school age I would recommend, as it will be much improved when the principal retires. Our children have been here over a year now and we already see improvements.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2005
St. Mel school is an excellent Catholic school. The teachers are well qualified. The faculty takes a personal interest in every student. We have been there many years and are exceptionally happy with the quality of education. Our children look forward to going to school every day. There is a great deal of parental involvement in the school. Reading some of the reviews from earlier this year I can't undrestand why anyone would write so vindictively about the principal. I have found her to be very kind,fair, and open to positive change. It would be wise to check this school out in person and talk to parents whose children actually attend.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2005
Our family has been at St Mel School since 1998. My two boys have thrived socially, spiritually, and academically there. I believe it is the combination of dedicated teachers and administrators. When issues have arisen the principal has been very helpful and respsonsive in helping to find constructive solutions. She has an 'open door policy' and greets students every morning in the parking lot. My children and I are very comfortable talking with her. I have learned a great deal from her and appreciate her wisdom and wit. St Mel School is focused on the basics and that is what we want for our children. I have volunteered as an art docent and think the art program is very good. I believe the school has a very solid core of involved families that are focused on Catholic education.It is probably best when families who don't find the school a good fit.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2005
Too many kids per class, curriculum is not up to public school standards. Does not emphasize sports

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2005
Our family has had a very positive experience with St. Mel School. We feel part of a community here. The principal truly cares about the welfare and safty of the children. The principal has an open door policy, and is always greeting the children every morning in the parking lot. The teachers are hard working and responsive to parent concerns. As for some of the comments about the administration being money hungry, well it takes a lot of money to run a school! One draw back is with the upper classes having close to 40 students. Overall, I feel that this is a good school.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2005
Excellent Catholic school. Focuses on traditional Catholic formation and basic curriculum and learning study skills.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2005
My child has attended since Kindergarten, and is now entering the 5th grade. I feel he has the opportunities at this school he would not receive at the Blue Ribbon school in our neighborhood, ie: a WONDERFUL Catholic education. Now academically, the school has room for improvement, but any school does for that matter, and the school is aware of the areas it needs to improve and they are currently in the process of making the academic improvements. Music and Art have seen increased quality improvements. The parental ivolvement is the highest of any school I have ever seen. I rate St Mel school an 8 on a scale of 1-10!

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2005
Now that our younger child has graduated we are relieved to be out of this school. The lapses in education just got worse and worse and the principal puts on blinders and will not hear any voices of concern or conflict. The school is now full of older teachers and aides. The principal does not want to be challenged and is threatened by innovation. You shouldn't feel you 'survived' a school, you should feel proud to have been a part of it. Our children do not feel that way. All of the good things eventually were outweighed by all of the bad things at this school. We cannot recommend it to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2005
We too are leaving this school and we are very sad. Our children made good friends, we felt part of a community for a while, and then things started to fall apart. Some of the teachers are great, but the principal has got to go. She controls absolutely everything. The principal even declined an exit interview with us. We thought she'd at least want to hear why we'd decided to leave, but now we see we had no value at the school at all.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2005
We will not be returning to this school after many years. The administration fails to communicate honestly or get honest feedback. The principal doesn't know how to make this a good place for children to learn in their faith and weakens the school academically. We just lost a great new math teacher, the final straw for us. Many of the families are really great, but the principal annointed a 'power elite' - to run events and be a part of the school community, cutting off many families and children. It is a sad situation. We miss the way things used to be.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2005
St. Mel's has become a toxic environment for children and families. The principal runs every aspect, including taking over our Parent Club and cutting back sports and eliminating any real music and drama programs. Our child has become mean at times and is very stressed, and we notice many of the children adopt the gossipy and snobby attitudes of their parents (and the principal). Too much stress and too little community or caring for us. Along with fourteen other families that we know of - we are leaving this year. So there will be plenty of openings...

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2005
I agree with some other ratings that the school misrepresents teacher qualifications, but many of the teachers are very dedicated and capable just the same. They do need better classroom support from qualified resource aides in the lower grades. We are committed to this school and believe that with parent support it is becoming a community again and provides a good background in Catholic teaching and practice. Yes, it can be elitist, but that is also changing. The kids are really great.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2005
After reading all the other comments I feel bad. I loved this school. I know the teachers are hard working. I do have to agree that fund raising and making money seem to motivate the administration, and better resources are needed in the primary grades. 40 kids don't learn at the same pace and the school does just dump some kids rather than invest in well-rounded teaching and whole child teaching. But, the children are wonderful. Many of the parents sincerely want to help and be a community. It's a good Catholic school that just needs some work and refocusing.

- submitted by a teacher
May 03, 2005
Our vibrant, bright child struggled socially and emotionally here. When I expressed concerns about the environment to the principal and suggested we might go to another school to get a better education and be more accepted, she insulted me by assuming we were struggling to afford her high priced school. Not the Catholic and christian environment we'd hoped for and tried to help create.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2005
We are very active in school activities here, and we think that has helped our children succeed. We recognize that the school isn;t well rounded with music, art and other programs, and the field trips are pretty limited and almost exclusively local - but the parents welcomed us when we came and we have had good support from teachers in the upper grades. We are hopeful there will be some changes made administratively to create a more nurturing and inclusive environment though. If you can be very involved in your child's education, this is a good Catholic School.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2005
This school is all about money. No substance. It was a great school when our older child was going through, but what a change by the time our little one started. We had a terrible experience with our younger child and will not be returning. We spent a lot of time trying to work with the principal and teachers, but they tended to blame the kids and the parents and were always asking us to do much more outside of school than they were willing to do inside school. The classes are large and some of the teachers are not very qualified. We will get a better Catholic education and certainly a better academic education elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2005
This is basically a good school. Right now it has administration problems (unqualified principal), but it will rebound. The teachers have been around for more than a decade each in almost all classes. With better classroom help and more resources to teach the younger children, it will be as good as any of the other Catholic Schools in the area. It has a good core of families and teachers.

- submitted by a teacher
March 16, 2005
This is a pretty good school with some great parents, but boys seem to have a hard time here. If you want your child in a safe environment with low pressure learning, this is a good place. No real music or art programs though, and they are weak in math and science, especially the so-called 'advanced math'. Invest in some outside school programs if you want your child to have a well rounded primary school education and this is where you go. The 8th grade teacher is great and so are the pre-kindergarten and P.E. teachers. Others are okay. Emphasis is on conformity. Girls do very well, especially with parents who can spend a lot of time volunteering in the classroom or perhaps getting a job as a classroom aide.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2005
We think this is a pretty good school. We've stayed very involved in parent activities and think we have been able to positively influence the environment. Teachers are responsive to parent concerns. Our two kids have done well here and are getting a Catholic education, which is important to us. There is virtually no teacher turnover, which we see as a good thing - many of the teachers have been here 10+ years. All schools have some rough spots - but we think this is a good place.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
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St Mel School
4745 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fair Oaks, CA  95628
(916) 967-2814
Last modified St Mel School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
St Mel School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 80 reviews. Top