I have two children that have graduated and one in the school currently. Both graduates have gone on to exceptional high schools and were fully prepared academically, socially and emotionally for the rigors of high school. They are also wonderful people because this school is concerned with the whole child and not just one part. we love this school!
I have many unique perspectives on this school being a graduate, current employee, and parent. This school provides a wonderful sense of community in a city that can often feel sprawling and isolating. The faculty is experienced and credentialed, but more importantly, they care about partnering with the parents to educate the whole child. We are proud to be a faith-based school, and are always striving to integrate the important tenets of Catholicism into every-day life. As a graduate, I can attest to the wonderful education you receive. You leave prepared for high school and beyond.
Both my children graduated from St. Paul's and received a great academic education. However the best thing about this school is the attitude of the teachers and the community to encourage children to be good to themselves and others. The school does a terrific job of not only outstanding teaching but also creating an environment where children are taught responsibility and caring. Learning that life skill is priceless.
The classes are large- every class is just over 30 students. 1 teacher and 1 aid in every class. Some teachers are really good but the level of integrity, honesty and fairness is dependent on your socioeconomic level. The wealthy kids can get away with a lot of misbehavior and there is a problem with the constant bullying.
My eldest child struggled socially at the school but she graduated. The cliques are pretty strong at this school. And they gang up against someone often. My second child came home one day and declared that she would not return to the school- she went to another private school and that opened my eyes to what is available in terms of education. My third child was having nightmares about the bullying from her classmates. I complained to the teachers and the principle- nothing was done. We just decided to leave and not deal with it anymore.
St. Paul's is a really great school academically and has a lovely community of families. The faculty is constantly striving to improve and incorporate new ways of teaching. Are there a few teachers who have lost their inspiration? Yes, of course, but you find that everywhere. We love the strong tradition and the willingness to be innovative. The former principal, Sr. Stella, was a gem -- an amazing spiritual leader and a great administrator. We are thrilled she is still around campus. The new principal seems really great as well. He is enthusiastic, a very spiritual man, and has a good vision of how to continue the tradition and innovation at St. Paul's into the next part of the 21st century. In addition to all of this, the families are really nice. There is more of a range of economic backgrounds than many people think and it is a place where you can find your little niche of friends and enjoy your time there.
The school is strong in academics. The community is not warm or welcoming. Bullying is a huge problem at the school especially by the girls. The girls are mean and their moms are even meaner. . Sad that a Catholic school allows bullying to happen. They tried to implement an anti-bullying program but it did not do any good. The teachers are nice but some of the people who work directly with the children are so rigid and hard to deal with. Their is no diversity at the school. Many wealthy parents who think they run the school. We are glad to be out of there.
Very good academically--I wrote the review above where I said "academics seem good". That was 3 or 4 years ago. Now I would say it is very good academically. Some students transfered in from good public schools (api 900) and found St Paul's harder. I am impressed at what my daughter is learning-- complex numbers and algebra in 6th grade. As for my comments about the parents social class-- Our daughter likes the school. She has enough friends, though it took a couple of years. It depends on what you are like- we (the parents) are shy and not the best at making friends ourselves. For some people even though not rich it would be fine. And a bunch of parents are friendly towards me. I don't know anyone well but I haven't made a big effort either. As for the review "This is a very old fashion traditional catholic school", I think it is exagerrated though partly true. This is not a Catholic school from the 50s (probably nowhere is, since almost none of the teachers are nuns). The very long serving and elderly principal is retiring this year (2014) and changes may be in store.
This is a very old fashion traditional catholic school in many ways. Many legacy families who are happy to keep things as they were back when they were in this very school treasure the past and keep in alive for better and worse. There is still coloring inside the lines, and all the kids art projects look basically the same. Not a lot of space for the individual to spread his or her wings and fly. Behavior cards (green yellow orange red etc) used, tardies still punished severely with children being held out of class with the nun/principal even if their parents were the ones who got them there late--lets face it, kids don't walk to school and make themselves late these days. Lots of emphasis on tradition, but not enough on progression. Remains to be seen if culture change will come with the updates in the campus itself. Handwriting and coloring inside the lines may not be the best foundation for life in the 21 century for this generation. Parent involvement great in fundraising etc, but the school is has cliques, bullies, and there is a clear pecking order here amongst the parents, and well as with the administration.