First , this is more a constructive criticism of the school. I only comment on what I observed. We live in arguably the most diverse state in this country. I I was initially attracted to this school based, on what I have read about it. I visited the school with my daughter who was interested in enrolling. She genuinely liked what she saw. The students were friendly. After waiting for about a month from the school to determine if she was accepted or not, we received a letter stating that she was not admitted. Although, disappointed, I realized there were many other schools she could apply to. What was insulting on the letter was that her name and another student's was on it. The school didn't even bother to proofread the letter before sending it out. Maybe they weren't interested in her as a student in the first place. I am happy to say that my daughter is now in an academically great Christian school with a diverse population. She is very happy with the outcome. Something great came out of this. My advise to this school, you need to a have a more diverse population which represents this great country. Isn't this what a true Catholic Education is all about. Good Luck!
This is the second wonderful year for our daughter who was not challenged at her previous school. SMA challenges the students to love to learn, not simply to have excellent grades. History for instance is studied from several sources, each presenting a unique prespective. Each course is similarly addressed. We have our doubts that Latin would be easily conquered, given that she came late to the school, yet, because of the manner in which the course is taught she has excelled. In just one year her academic national standings increased significantly. We can wait to see what happens this year ! The school is not perfect though... Up to approximately 160 students, it lacks its own facility and associated amenities. What it lacks in physical space is however made up in the educational emphasis placed on each student.
I have one high school graduate and one current student in the high school. My daughter was accepted into all of the colleges that she applied to and I know it was due to the unbelievable curriculum and high standards in the high school. These are some of the most engaged and knowledgeable faculty to be found. We consistently have had National Merit Scholars and have been accepted into many very good schools. On top pf that, I find the administration to be supportive and open to parents. Both my children were very happy that they attended and have made life long friends.
St. Monica Academy is an amazing place. We have been there 3 years and am very happy. The dedication of the teachers and staff is awesome. There are great opportunities for the kids to do drama, travel, have outstanding field trips and experience way more than is offered at other schools. The academics are strong, but all sorts of students can do well here. Now there are plenty of sports teams as well so that is not an issue any longer. What is best about our school is that children learn values that they see practiced every day. They do not just go to mass on Sundays and then not see their faith in action on the playground or in the classroom. These children are the types of children you dream your child to become. They present themselves with poise, self confidence and humility. Truly, an amazing school.
This school is unbelievably good--if you don't mind your children getting a conservative Catholic education. My wife and I are not Catholic; but we feel that the problems that we face in 'unteaching' our children things that we disagree with at St. Monica pale in comparison to the problems that we face in 'unteaching' our children things that they learn--or fail to learn--in the public school system. What a disaster! What a breath of life St. Monica has been by comparison. The students are loved, well taught, and appropriately behaved. They seem to be what kids should be--cheerful, happy, not stressed out. They *love* their school. This is the first year in my life that I've known kids to be *disappointed* when the school year came to an end.
Regarding the review posted on November 29th, 2007, a few things need to clarified. St. Monica Academy is not a traditionalist Catholic school in the sense of rejecting Vatican II, or even especially promoting the Tridentine Mass. The claim that 'many if not most would prefer to have a Catholic Church pre-Vatican II' is incorrect. This is not the case with anyone within the administration or faculty. Because the school takes fidelity to the Church seriously (which should simply make it 'Catholic' as opposed to 'very conservative') there are some who might be termed traditionalists who appreciate a place that is what it says it is, namely, a Catholic school faithful to the Church. As far as their number at St. Monica, I am aware of three families in the eight year history of the school who were actually affiliated in some way with traditionalist institutions or groups.
The school has many dedicated teachers and a healthy social and learning environment. I am impressed with the school's emphasis on personal development, responsibility and respect. Also, the religious formation is outstanding.
Our 8th grader is 'ecstatic' about Saint Monica's. As he describes it, when asked, it just has an 'aura'. Academically strong, very small, with a strong atmosphere of faith and virtue which is safe and nurturing for the right child. While academically rich, with a classical educational orientation, it does not have the 'elitist' ethos common at many better schools.
If you want a traditional very conservative Catholic school that emphasizes rules and one way of living life, educating your children, living your faith then this is your place. However, be careful that you know what you are getting into and that you know that the school is not tolerant. Many if not most would prefer to have a Catholic Church pre-Vatican II. If you are comfortable with their rules and look at life their way, it is good place. There is minimal sport activities and there is not a play area for the kids to play soccer, kick ball or sports of this nature.
Our first grade child just transferred to St Monica Academy from an excellent parochial school. At this early stage she is already being challenged in all subjects, in an environment that is nurturing, kind, and intellectually gratifying. Socially, we are already noticing remarkable changes in her confidence level. The administration really sets the tone, with their professionalism, camaraderie, and positive attitude overall. The teachers are of outstanding quality. The parents/families are unbelievably friendly and helpful to those of us who are new to the school. Before school began over the summer, in addition to a welcome picnic, we were also assigned to a mentor family to helped answer questions and help us become more integrated. This is truly an environment of unity and Catholicism.
SMA has been an answer to many prayers. The school has a very special relationship with the surrounding homeschooling community. The transition from homeschooling to 'real school' was relatively smooth for my two high-schoolers. The school is true to it's mission statement and delivers to our children a balanced education and life philosophy.
We have a ninth grade girl at St. Monica Academy this year. We have found the school delivers exactly what it promises: a classical education in the Roman Catholic tradition. There is an emphasis on writing, logic, and developing the ability to articulate and defend beliefs and principles. The centerpiece of the curriculum is the language arts and history sequence where each year the literature is matched to the historical period being studied. This year the high school students produced a truly fantastic production of Shakespeare s Midsummer Night s Dream; they are reading Churchill s History of the English Speaking Peoples, Beowulf, Song of Roland, The Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare, etc. In geometry they begin with Euclid. Our daughter travels 1-1/2 hours every morning to get to this school and every minute is worth it!
Traditional teaching curriculum based on Roman Catholic values, very small class sizes at very reasonable tutition rates, cheaper than most private schools in the area. Teachers are outstanding for their ability to positively motivate and encourage kids to learn and to love learning itself. Highly dedicated families form a real social community outside school activities. Extracurricular programs include music and drama in all grades, high school debate and some sports.
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