We transferred our daughter (4th grade) from St. Hedwig in Los Alamitos, to OLR.
I don't have anything bad to say about St Hedwig. It was a good school, and I believe my daughter received a good education for her first four years there. However, the social difficulties started early and the difference between social classes was felt by my daughter, and it seemed to be getting worse as the girls grew older. We made the difficult decision to move her to OLR in our community.
I don't know why we didn't start her there. On the surface, our original school was beautiful, with nice tiled roofs, green grass and apparently lots of families with money. And I thought being big, it would offer more opportunities for activities than a smaller school. So we made the drive and paid the higher tuition. After moving her, I realized that this less impressively looking school had so much more to offer! More activities, smaller class size, STEM emphasis, community hours for the kids, and to my daughter's delight, air conditioning! It also felt like more of a community with much less attention put on our socioeconomic differences. My daughter said her teacher (Mrs. Whitmore) was the best teacher she had ever had. How can you not love a teacher who does voices and accents! :) She enjoyed her engineering exercises and science experiments and is looking forward to the time she can participate in the Academic Decathlon.
We are so happy with our decision and my daughter is thriving at her 'little' school. Glad I could share our experiences!
The teachers as a whole all are more credentialed, (multiple subject teaching credentials, masters etc) than comparable schools. The proof is in the results. See where the graduating 8th graders go to school and how they do in high school. The over whelming majority of OLR students are going to top Catholic high schools and they do great. Sadly one parent is disgruntled and keeps gossiping and about the school because of a gripe but for every one like that you will find 100 parents that really believe and support the school like no other. As for everyone gets As-its not only inaccurate but silly , anyone going to the honors awards would see that s not true. You need As to be called up. If someone is saying they only have 5 minutes of homework they are either doing it in day care or they aren't doing all their homework. The only times they cut back on homework compared to other schools is when they bring in a special evening speaker like Immacul e Ilibagiza ,a Rwandan author and motivational speaker. She is Catholic and Tutsi. Author of Left To Tell. Google name for more. You just don't get this quality at other schools.
Great school. We transferred our child from another well thought of Catholic school in the area. That school was good OLR is better. Why? They teach Catholicism in word and spirit. The school staff, kids and parents are very welcoming. Our child felt at home inside of a week. The kids all play together, there are not cliques. The Ipad for middle school students is a plus. The small classroom size is more like individualized teaching. If you want your child to be involved in extracurricular activities from sports where everyone makes the team to academic decathlon they just sign up. Homework is relevant and not just busy work. Day care is more reasonable and they can have your child do homework, not just play. BTW: No way the homework is just 5 minutes, but I do like that they don t load you up on meaningless busy work for the weekends. The principal is dedicated, smart and accessible. The rest of the friendly staff is also and approaches their jobs as a vocation. Did I mention that the tuition is less than other Catholic schools? If you to meet some of the kids, your child can shadow or during the summer there is a free open to all basketball camp that goes on Saturday mornings.
I'm a parent and as the 1st trimester ends I'm in a panic. What happened to the rigorous curriculum we've come to expect and quite frankly is the reason we attend the school. Suddenly, everyone is getting A's. Not because they got smarter but because it's been so easy!! Homework now takes 5 minutes. Will Have to look for a better school next year. This is just not up to par.
We transferred our son this year from a different Catholic school into the middle school program. We chose OLR because of the educational vision of the principal. She is an educational leader that has a keen understanding of what it takes to educate 21st century students. Education in the United States is about to be revolutionized with the implementation of Common Core standards and any Catholic school that does not change with the times will be left behind. OLR has an excellent learning environment that will prepare students with the skills necessary to succeed/excel in high school and beyond under the new national curriculum standards. I am a middle school educator in a neighboring public school district with 20 years of teaching experience. Ask any educator and they will tell you that the key components to academic excellence are administrative leadership, high academic standards, small class size, engaging lessons, differentiated instruction, and a positive learning environment. OLR has all of this plus one to one technology. We feel blessed to be a part of such a wonderful Catholic community.
AS a past alumni of OLR, I had the greatest experience for the 9 years I spent there, K-8th grade! The teachers, the friends, the school and the values that were taught were priceless! My educational foundation was so amazing and i was completely prepared for high school. The best part of it is with todays impacted schools is the class size is small and the individual attention given to each and every student is great! The perfect school for family!
For three generations now, my family has been experiencing excellence in education at OLR. I graduated in 1962 and I have stayed involved in the church and school community. The staff right now is the best ever. The class sizes are small enough that your child will get plenty of attention. I think the hidden blessing is that the parent participation is awesome. Once you experience this school, you will never want to leave.
Our Lady of Refuge School is an excellent school for your children and a welcoming community for your whole family. Our sons received a top notch education and were completely prepared for the private high school that they attended. The computer and science programs are second to none and are keeping up with the rapidly advancing technologies of today. When the current principal started 3 years ago the enrollment was 1/2 of what it is now. She has put "Catholic" back into this Catholic school! The atmosphere is one of pride and the enthusiasm of the parents and students is contagious! This school and parish community are very near and dear to my heart! I am so happy to see the wonderful things that are happening. If you are looking for a place where your children will be academically challenged as well as spiritually enriched Our Lady of Refuge School is the place for you. You will also become part of a community that will welcome you and support you 100%
What a great find! Our family looked for two years before enrolling our child in Kindergarten at Our Lady of Refuge. The Staff, faculty, parish and parents were always welcoming, cheerful, accessible during our experience. Now, after our first year, we are even more enthused. We have participated in almost every event and opportunity the school has offered. As a private school there are many needs and "helping out" is a necessity. Through it all there are smiles, encouragement and a real feeling of family. The Principal, staff and teachers are always available and patient with any parent question or suggestion. This is a welcome attitude as many others schools are not so open. Our Kindergarten student learned in a happy, gently disciplined and calm environment. We are looking forward to many happy years at Our Lady of Refuge.
Our family is so blessed to have found Our Lady of Refuge School. The sense of community is truly a family environment. All of the teachers know all of the students by name. The teachers are involved and inspiring- absolutely dedicated to their students. An 8th grader thinks nothing of stopping to help a kinder student tie their shoe. The connection here between everyone is just second nature. The families here are extraordinary and we are lucky enough to call them our friends. Being able to be involved in the school is an amazing experience- you know who your child is friends with. These students are kind, smart, caring, well-rounded people. The school truly encourages every child to be their best selves. The academics here are challenging yet engaging. The technology initiatives are exceptional- the cutting edge ways of teaching are really preparing these kids for the future. The sports program is small yet supportive. The kids have the opportunity to try so many different sports- it is amazing how many teams this small school has. The arts program is terrific and growing. The variety of educational opportunities is astounding. We can t imagine our kids anywhere else.