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St. Michael's School

Private | K-8 | 544 students


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Living in Poway

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $406,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,540.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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3 stars

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17 reviews of this school

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Posted August 4, 2014

Once a pond time, this was a great school, not anymore. The other two reviews in 2014 are dead on accurate. The principal, Kathy Mock, is a complete joke and more than half of the current teachers are intimidating to the children and don't care about the well being of the kids. It's a complete shame, as I finally had enough and removed my children from the school even through is was close to graduating. His self esteem fell big time over the past two years, he went from being an above average student to a below average student. The teachers did very little to help. The sad part is there are no teachers who you think back and say "that teacher made a different in my child's life". The assistance principal has been there for 30 years, if not longer. She needs to retire as she truly scars the children. My child said he rather fail than ask her about an assignment. There is another Catholic school near by which has excellent review. I would not recommend this school to anyone. btw - I have never seen the principal smile or engage in a friendly conversation with a parent and heaven forbid you point out something wrong. She will lecture you on how she is correct and you are wrong. SAD
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 24, 2014

This school is very poorly run. The principal only cares about taking as much money as she can and no interest in improving the standards of the school to be on par with other local public schools. When we put our kids in the school they were far above average in all categories. Their scores have steadily dropped and are now barely above average. The administration has no clue how to implement common core, and the teachers grading is on some archaic total point scale that makes no sense. Speaking of the teachers, they run off any good teachers, and the only ones that remain are the brown nosing older ones who dislike children and take any chance to demean and insult kids leaving them living in constant fear of doing something wrong. The curriculum is way below the private high schools in the area, and also below all other local public schools. Do not waste your money. This school is in severe decline.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 25, 2014

My children went to this school in the 90's and at the time they had good teachers, but a few years down the line they started hiring teachers that I found to be rude and verbally harsh on the kids. My son was picked on by one of the teachers and she was so controlling that she started turning other teachers against my son. Even the principal at the time was controlled by this teacher. She never had a smile on her face. When you would smile at her or try to talk to her she was short and abrupt with you. I finally made the decision to remove my kids from the school. Unfortunately, this teacher marched herself to Principal and I have talked to several new parents that have complained over and over about her throughout the years. As you can see there has been reviews that are negative about her. It is her way or the highway. Sure education is good at this school, but when kids are having low self- esteem because the way teachers treat them, like this teacher did to my child, the outcome is more damaging. So, I would think twice about sending your child there if that Principal is present.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 2, 2012

St. Michael's does a great job! We have children in multiple grades and have been very pleased with the academic rigor, the sense of community, and the incorporation of Christian values into all aspects of the school day. The administration is very accessible and receptive to suggestions and the faculty is great at helping each child achieve his or her full potential. An increasing focus on the incorporation of technology into all disciplines helps ensure the kids are well prepared for high school and beyond. Advanced classes give those students with stronger skills the ability to challenge themselves. The St. Michael's students are known at Cathedral, Saints, OLP and the other high schools they go on to to be some of the strongest students academically. Having two classes of students per grade creates an ideally sized environment where the kids are still able to receive individualized attention from the faculty but have a large enough group of peers to help them develop the social skills they'll need for the larger academic environments they'll enter as they move on in their education. We continue to be very pleased with our decision to send our children to St. Michael's.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 25, 2012

Such an amazing school! We have been so happy with the the entire experience at the school! Our son has such a complete, well rounded education! Not only is he challenge every day without any fluff teaching through the days, he also experiences the extra classes of weekly music, art, spanish, library and PE 3 times a week. He is enriched academically, spiritually, and there is such a feeling of family and community at St. Michael's. We are so Blessed to be a part of this school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 18, 2011

So far, so good. My daughter has been going to this school for 2 years. She's had two good teachers and always looks forward to going to school. The only concern I have is that if your child is advanced in any subject, they don't seem to be interested in advanced learning in the classroom. They do, however, encourage it at home. Not a perfect school, but great so far.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 9, 2011

I was a student here from kindergarten to the end. I am sure this place is quite different from how it was in the '90s. However, I'll write a review, anyway: maybe someone will find it useful. I found it an extremely stressful experience, mainly because of the social atmosphere. Kids at this school are mean (esp. the girls)! It did not help that teachers set a bad example by treating some students better than others. Which brings me to my next point: Many teachers clearly had favorites--and "unfavorites," if you will. One year, I was one of the latter. My teacher SCREAMED at me for my messy desk in front of the class, threatening to dump it over (A--it wasn't that messy and B--I was only 9!). I also remember having to perform uncreative, boring tasks repeatedly if it was not satisfactory to the teacher (yes, starting in kindergarten). This taught me to be slow and inefficient, and I am still suffering the consequences in school today. I WILL say that this school taught me to be an excellent writer (might not show here), and I suppose I'm above average in math skills, too. Still, this school does a poor job of bringing up kids to their full potential.

Posted December 9, 2010

The new principal is not a very good communicator. She received a lower rating this year on the parents survey, then proceeded to suggest in a presentation at the open house that the survey must be wrong because she was doing great. The vice principal has a chip on her shoulder and uses the teachers against the kids of parents who stand up to her. Ther are some good teachers but the administration is poor.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 30, 2010

It has often been tough to get in to St. Mike's, but once you get in you'll understand why. Top notch.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 21, 2010

poor leadership starting with the principal. This school does support children who think "out of the box." My child is highly gifted based on standardized tests and is not encouraged to channel his knowledge. This school is very traditional in the sense that the teaching styles and curriculum is not innovative or uses proven, current strategies that support all learning styles. The technology is behind the times. It lacks support services and parents tend to be unfriendy and cliquish. I am pulling all 3 of my children out and sending them to a top-notch private school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 26, 2010

This is the best Kindergarten program I have seen. The teachers are great with the children. They always do very creative activities with the children. Every week they have PE three times a week. separate from recess, computers, library, art, music, religion and that is in addition to the normal Reading Centers and Math centers. The child gets a well rounded education. There are 30 children in my sons class but don't let that detour you they are broken up in two groups of fifteen, with a full time aid and parent volunteers. Every Monday you get a letter home from the teacher, letting you know what they will be doing for that week. They are very organized and orderly and do not tolerate bad behavior. We do not live in Poway but make the drive everyday. Kindergarten is such a great time for children, and they do a great job!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 19, 2009

My daughter just finished kindergarten here. This school was wonderful. It is small, but still offers lots of great classes: art, P.E., computers, sports. There are many special events that go on as well. The teachers are qualified and caring. The parental involvement is superb. You feel as if you are part of the St. Michael's family when your child attends. Unfortunately, we have to move out of state, but if we were to stay, I would keep my child here through 8th.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 6, 2008

I could not have ask for a better school. The teachers really care about their students and create an excellent learning environment. Maybe the best part is that all the parents are active in the education process.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 20, 2006

This is one of the best schools I've ever seen. Teachers are commited and care for their students. Academic programs for Kindergarden are good and the teachers make it fun to learn. Our son loved to go to school everyday.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 26, 2006

Academically strong, great social environment for children and parent community. Art and foreign language programs could be better.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 27, 2005

Administration has no control of teachers. A very hostile learning enviroment. The elementary school does not prepare the student for the middle school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 13, 2004

This school is a parent's dream. The teachers are caring, there is great leadership and a high quality of teaching and administrative staff.It seems as though there is nearly 100% parental involvement and the kids learn to live by the rules and accept responsibility. I have one child that graduated and another still there. I'm very pleased with the St. Michael School experience for both of my children.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 76%
Asian 13%
Hispanic 9%
Black 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Rev. Neal Dolan
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of San Diego
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15542 Pomerado Road
Poway, CA 92064
Phone: (858) 485-1303


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