This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Bede The Venerable Elementary School1
Posted April 17, 2014
- a parent
Teachers not only cannot teach but worst, they take pride in punishing children in such a way that will even promote humiliation. These teachers need some child development education! Their policy is "My rules are the only rule and as long as you are in my classroom, you have to follow. I don't care what your parent(s) say!" Adhering to the teacher's classroom rules is not the issue, however, when it comes to humiliating a child thru these rules, that is a problem. Principals and Archdiocese needs to interview!
Suggestions are rebuffed with "maybe this school is not for your child." Horrible, unforgivable behavior by some teachers is unpunished. The lack of competitive technology is excused by the view that tech does not teach discipline or self-reliance. Students are left to learn how to live/behave with tech later than peers. iPads are not enough. The school needs online posting of assignments and grades, communication via email, electronic submission of homework, e-books, learning to communicate with video/online, etc. In-class instruction can be spent grading self-directed learning from homework. Many students do well when parents organize work for them. High school faculty report St Bede students have a poor reputation in science, writing, foreign language and arts/music. They do well with math, english and history. Some students were described as "beaten down." The lack of "fairness" or appeal for inappropriate teacher behavior instills a view that authority is illegitimate. The school rejects kids with physical or mental challenges from attending unless the diocese intervenes. Thank God for Bede's active parents and some awesome teachers. The Pasdena privates are much better.
My first of 3 kids attended a local public elementary school which was a fine school but missing something for us. We experienced a loss of a close family member which reset the plan for our immediate family. We wanted to belong to a community and we wanted to share more of our faith with our children. We were lucky enough to find and get our kids admitted to St Bede's. We found everything we were looking for and more. I was surprised by how challenging the curriculum is and how well prepared the kids that attend St Bede's are for high school. They also have an excellent iPad program, state of the art computer lab, fantastic sports teams(volleyball, basketball, flag football, etc), scouts and much more I can't fit into this review. You can read these reviews but do yourself a favor and tour the school and talk with the staff. If your lucky enough to greet a student you can be sure they will have learned true character, say please and thank you and make an impression on you.
Very mixed feelings about our child's experience here. The parents and families and church are fantastic. You can not find better catholic values or closer, friendlier neighbors anywhere. The administrators are ensconced in habit and repeatedly have been protected even though they have been told of very bad teacher behaviors. There is an outright refusal to use modern technology for grade and assignment tracking unlike over 95% of schools today...and the post-graduate real world. The emphasis is not on teaching, but instead on punishing students who do not keep up with self study or who make mistakes tracking homework assignments. We know,of physically challenged but able students the school attempted to reject, and a very wealthy family whose donations and efforts to improve the academics were rebuffed. Science, foreign language, extracurriculars -- ie band -- and third grade are particularly horrible per our post-grade standardized tests and how far behind our child was when put in a new school. Physically new building, but the bathrooms were disgusting. This is a place you go only if you value God, the friendships, and are OK with self-directed learning at early ages.
After years of hoping for improved student-teacher academics, as springboard into a successful high school, St. Bede failed. Look for other schools. It's too small, and teachers aren't punished for lousy, inferior work. A lot of parents volunteer (a parent "teaches" Writing), and lacks all qualifications and real-world writing experience. Parent volunteer teachers show favoritism. Spare your children from unfairness & improper start in education. Give them better than this "school with a playground of asphault."
I agree with the last poster who says that students should learn to manage for themselves -- they should learn to manage SCHOOLWORK for themselves. However, they should not be required to manage teachers who don't know how to teach! As a parent, you need to maintain a certain level of involvement in every activity your child is involved in. If not, abuse can happen. We've seen this in the Church. Parents should not send their children to school with a blind eye. As the last poster said "there is nothing wrong with personal accountability." Don't you think that statement should apply to the teachers & administrators too? Shouldn't they strive to improve themselves? When wrongs are pointed out by parents, is it best to respond with "parents should stay out of it & let their child figure it out"? Really? What is most important for children is to know that they are loved and cared for by their parents. This starts at birth & does not end when they enter middle school! Teachers at this school should stop pointing fingers and look inward to see where they have gone wrong. Look for ways to be better at your job. Leave moods at home and stay consistant in the classroom.
After reading reviews, I feel compelled to respond. I find it amazing that parents are complaining that they are not able to manage their child's homework due to poor technology. As a parent, I am grateful that my children have had to manage for themselves. Just as learning to read is an essential skill for success, so is learning to figure out what is required. I have seen students who have been coddled in their elementary years only to have a rude awakening in high school or even later. There is nothing wrong with personal accountability, and this is something that is taught at this school. I have two children who have gone through this school and they are thriving with their workloads and performance at their high schools. I see their preparation compared to students coming from La Canada public schools as well as other Catholic schools and there can be no complaint about the school. It seems to me that some parents should take their complaints to a forum other than the internet if they are looking for change. As with other facets of life, there is no utopia.
Very small-minded school with parents who behave as if they're in a high school clique. Snobbish attitudes prevail and the school is asking for additional monies at all times, as is the church. Many teachers are not credentialed by the State of California! Education is equal or better at most nearby public schools.
As for technology to allow helicopter parents to monitor their child's every move, the school choses instead to teach students self-reliance, responsibility and has plenty of parent communication vehicles. For technology that matters they have new iPads for Kinders, new lap tops for every teacher, new wifi network, school wide microsoft software upgrades for classroom computers, Edmodo and google apps for 8th grade, and will have an upgraded computer lab next semester. As for teaching credentials being important, why doesn't Sidwell Friends where the President's daughters attend school require teaching credentials, or Polytechnic our locally renowned school require them? Because teaching credentials do not screen for excellent faculty, they are a bureacratic checklist. St. Bede and all Parochial schools have a rigorous criteria for hiring faculy, including prior teaching experience, religious education and commitment to students who can inspire learning. Credentialing is a public school obsession which has done little to improve these schools. St. Bede is a school full of wonderful people of faith giving their children the gift of a lifetime, a Catholic education.