The principal has no clue about what works and what doesn't. He has now implemented the most complicated and convoluted carpool system on the planet based on an app. Forget going to this school unless you have hours on end to wait in carpool each week. This is just another bad idea Implemented from his wife's school.. Does he have no ideas of his own? Having endured this lack of leadership for over two years enough is enough. I believe the reviewer below is correct SMT is truly becoming GSW. At Back to School Night we had to sit through another family vacation. He should get a clue...we don't care! We want to know how OUR children are doing.
SMT has really gone down. My parents and friends call it GSW - Good Shepherd West. Our new principal's wife is a principal at Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills and I think he wants us to do everything the way they do. We even had to go on our DC trip with them. I think he just became principal so that he could hang out with her. I am sad that we are now known as GSW.
SMT used to be a great school. I don't know how someone without professional experience in elementary education and an elementary teaching credential could be the principal of an elementary school. It seems to run contrary to logic. Most of the teaching staff are good. More emphasis on the sports program is needed. If you are looking for a school there are many excellent schools out there. Keep looking!
The matriculation to some of the best private schools in the region is indicative of their abilities to educate. That matriculation also carries forward to colleges as well. As with any school there are "dynamo's" and "average joe's". The good news is that the curriculum is strong and the dynamo's shine and the average joes are, well, above average.
I'm an active parent at the school with a daughter who just graduated this spring and a fifth grader. The school is a special community within a major city. The school maintains one class per grade (20 to 25 kids on average) and begins with pre-K and goes through the 8th grade. given its small size, the school community (parents, teachers, students, administrators) have a unique opportunity to get to know one another very well. that's a big asset in a big city where the only constant is change. both of my girls have forged lasting friendships that will serve them well beyond their years at the school. the other great thing about the school is that it is highly academic. the coursework is challenging and helps kids develop a strong foundation in reading, arithmetic, writing, the sciences and computer science. In addition, there are ample opportunities to participate in sports, the arts and music. lastly, the tuition is relatively affordable compared to other private school options. I strongly recommend the school.
SMT has a vibrant community of committed, nurturing teachers alongside a highly involved parent body and school administration. Our children have very much enjoyed both their academic and social experiences at SMT, and we parents have also enjoyed getting to know the many great families that we have met through our involvement in the school community.
Although SMT certainly does care about educating the "whole child", it has historically always had a strong focus on academics, a necessity given the many distinguished secular and Catholic schools with which SMT competes for students in LA's Westside. That focus on academic achievement/excellence has continued throughout the tenure of the legendary Cecile Oswald (Mrs. O) and the current school leader, Dr. Gavin Colvert. SMT students are very well prepared for their high school experiences, whether at the respected local Catholic high schools (Loyola, Marymount, Notre Dame, etc.) or the secular private schools like Harvard Westlake, Brentwood, etc.
One of the great things about SMT is that the kids are offered an academic experience that is on par with the top local private schools, but with a more toned-down/laid-back atmosphere within the parent body, than I believe you might find at many Westside private schools. While there are many wealthy families, they tend not to wear it on their sleeves to the same degree as you might find at other local schools, and the parent body is made up of many lawyers, doctors and other working professionals.
I understand that there have been a couple of negative postings on this web site. While every person's opinion should certainly be respected, my personal view is that those negative commenters' experiences are completely at odds with our family's (and most importantly our children's) experience at SMT, and I believe that the vast majority of our fellow SMT families feel the same way. While no school is perfect and there are certainly things that SMT can do better (as with pretty much every other school), we feel that SMT has been the perfect fit for our children and for us as parents.
I highly recommend that parents check out SMT to see if it might be a good fit for them and their children. A good way to see the school and the community is to attend the Carnival (Nov. 7th).
we are blessed to be at a school that cares about the "whole" child. When I see my children around those from other schools, there is a significant difference in the caliber of SMT students. You see 8th graders who are kind, articulate, confident and most importantly in this fast town ..... age appropriate.