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St Mel School

Private | PK-8


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Living in Fair Oaks

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $205,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $970.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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3 stars

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72 reviews of this school

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Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted June 3, 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

Posted June 2, 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.

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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..

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted September 1, 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.

Posted 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

Posted February 4, 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

Posted April 1, 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

Posted 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

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 74% 26%
Hispanic 9% 52%
Asian or Pacific Islander 8% 11%
Two or more races 6% 3%
Black 2% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Janet Nagel
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of Sacramento
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4745 Pennsylvania Avenue
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Website: Click here
Phone: (916) 967-2814


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