We transferred our sons last year from another well thought of Catholic school in the area, to OLR. Our Lady of Refuge school has more activities, smaller class size, STEM emphasis, and community hours for the kids, and air conditioning! The tuition is less than other Catholic schools in the area, with the quality of the staff, I believe every penny is being well spent. Did I mention the new teachers added this year (2016-17) are outstanding? The teachers as a whole all are more credentialed, (multiple subject teaching credentials, masters etc.) than comparable schools. The proof is in the results both my sons are striving academically and socially.
OLR uses the peace builders program to reinforce and reward good behavior. I also believe the revitalized scouting at OLR has increased the schools extended family mentality. My sons are striving academically, socially and have made some great friends.
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.