My husband and I grew up in the LA Catholic School System and have many friends that went to St. Mel for K-8. They all loved it and were very well-rounded people by the time they went to high school. We encouraged my sister to send my nephews to the school and they couldn't be happier. My mom has met many people who were thinking of sending their kids to public school after preschool at St. Mel but after seeing what was in the area they came back to St. Mel for Kindergarten. She had a similar experience with those trying to send their children specifically to a private elementary school and found that St. Mel was so popular they were not able to get their child into the school and went to schools like Campbell Hall instead because it was private and they were able to get in but the parents feel that they would pay much less for St. Mel for the same education. My husband and I will be sending our children to St. Mel one day. It is currently the best and most sought after Catholic school in the valley.
NO real security. Easy to access from several areas. If your child is absent they will NOT call you. So if your child ditches, is abducted etc you will never know if he or she is in school until pick up time. The teachers: Some are nice, however your child will NOT receive the best education from the teachers. Many of them are not qualified for teaching and should never work at any schools. The principal is a JOKE. She has no clue what she is doing. You will pay for many extras beyon your tuition, but you can get away with it if you brown nose it and do "email" type volunteer things. Most of all if you really want your child to attend school with GOOD kids and if being around GOOD parents and GOOD faculty is important..stay away from St. Mel in woodland hills. There are so MANY better schools. This place will NOT prepare your child for High School or life at all. They do not have one decent alumni, which adds more evidence.
Amazing school!! We went to just about every good private, magnet, and charter school we could for Kinder. The school had a very thorough entrance exam, so we were nervous, but he was accepted and we could not be happier. I can say that this is one of the very best schools, public or private, in Los Angeles. The Principal and staff seem to love what they do, and they run a very tight ship. Teachers are dedicated, creative, and overall outstanding. Parent involvement is excellent. It is definitely a rigorous academic environment, which worried me at first, but we see the school's high standards paying off. Our son loves going to school as well as his teachers and is learning like crazy. I could not recommend this school more hightly. Submitted by a parent
Compare to other Catholic Schools in SFV this school is superb . Positives: parents are very involved ( voluntary only ) with very organized PTO and alumni , teachers are fair, are subject matter experts, Principal is extremely involve ( real campus presence) , forward thinker and energetic , students have very few cliques because of 2 class & they get to be mixed up yearly, advance technology ( iPads) , usual fundraising & family obligations are way more sensible to current economic times . Security is also good. Negative: Huge class size ( though must be a good sign cos @ this time when other Catholic schools are struggling, this school is pretty full ), difficult parking on pick-up/drop off esp. for working parents , less diversity (though all are respectful of each other), after school activities are pricey ( though impress there are avail. programs compare to other schools). Overall, my kids are happy, thriving, challenged and are being raise as Catholics , as of us working parents , we are getting back what we paid for and more .
I rate the teacher quality low only so that attention is brought to the areas of math and science at this school. When 2/3 of a 7th grade math class require outside tutoring, then something is wrong with the instruction. The science dept also needs attention - there is crossover here, so similar issues apply. Unfortunately, at small private schools, it's hard to find the most dynamic teachers for every subject at each grade level.
My child went to St. Mel for 2years and in those 2years she excell in academics but had problems socially, there's a lot of clicks and even though they say they are againts bullying, you will find a lot of them in this school.I was amased also but how there's teachers that favor kids because their parents do a lot of hours at the school, some parents are not very friendly either so unless yo have money and you and your kid have the same look as everyone that goes there you will be fine.
My son graduated from St Mel in 2010. He received a superb and well rounded education. When he started high school he, like most St. 'Melians" (as we call them in our family) blew the curve. He was completely prepared in every way. He has developed a love of all subjects especially reading, history, science and technology. He loves going back to see his former teachers. I have known them all and they are exceptional. We are truly blessed to have such great educators and the close family community. My son has a great future ahead of him because of this school. But a big shout out to Mrs. Genders, Dr. Vrdoljk, Mrs. Lutz, Mrs. Gorman, Mrs. Grombacher, Mr. Lapore and Mr. Lavin who is, according to my son, the worlds most fun music teacher.
I absolutely love my school! Going to St. Mel is the by far, the best choice I have ever made in my entire life! I went to the preschool, and all the way from kindergarden through 8th grade. Now that I'm in 8th Grade, I am very sad to leave it. So many fond memories.... I love St. Mel for numerous reasons: -the teachers -the students -extra-cirricular activities (drama, volleyball, basketball, soccer, football, music theatre, golf, student council, academic decathlon, and much MUCH more) -the parents of the students -sense of community -the staff (principal, vice principal, office staff) -technology (We have a computer lab and iPad 2's for each individual student) -Of course we have science, social studies, english, math, etc. - but we also have religion, music, art, and Spanish I and Spanish II -the enthusiasm for learning -we go to mass once a week during school and learn all about our faith -they have certain programs for struggling or advanced children St. Mel is awesome, and if there is any school you want to send you child to - it is this one! :) (Note: This is by an actual current 8th grade student at St. Mel)
I have never seen a school's teachers so dedicated to the students as St. Mel's School of Woodland Hills, California. Also, the school is technologically advanced and innovated, using IPads for all students starting with the 2011 school year, and allowing instantaneous access to student grades by parents through EdLine. The school as excellent teachers, strong leadership by the principal, Mary Beth Lutz, and challenging academic programs. It also has a strong Catholic identity, providing for a strong foundation in Catholic theology.
I went to school at St. Mel and my 2 daughters have gone there too. The school has Smart Boards in every classroom, (you wont find that in any other school in the valley) The teachers and staff are dedicated, but the MOST Important thing is that the school reinforces VALUES!!! Here is a very simple test. Walk on the St. Mel campus and any public school campus and you can HEAR the difference!! The language used by the children on the playground is like NIGHT & DAY.