This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Albans Country Day School5
Posted April 08, 2015
- a parent
St. Albans is a wonderful school that provides an enriching education for my children inclusive of drama, music, art and spanish. I have one child that has already graduated and jumped right into Honors high school classes and is doing phenomenally well in high school. She was wonderfully prepared coming from St. Albans. My other 2 children are still at the school and doing well. Like anything there is no thing as perfect. Anytime there has been any problem with my children the teachers have been accessible to discuss as had the Head of School. We are very pleased with the school, the community and the level of education. I highly recommend this school!
We have been here for several. Here are our opinions based on firsthand experiences and knowledgeable insiders: GOOD: Language/English program, music/drama, fine arts (although teaching methods get some complaints), parent participation is required and strong, school seems to prepare kids for high school (similar to other good elementary and middle schools locally), daycare (nice to have). MARGINAL/BAD: Math can be stronger (the amount of drill/kill homework unnecessary), Spanish (while required from PreK on, is not rigorous, high school placement results are mixed), social environment (families of older students feel a tad worn by the 7-8 year mark, kids are sheltered), some bullying issues (I think they're addressing it quicker now), computer curriculum/technology (no one here knows what they're doing, kids freely surfing the web), leadership (biggest complaints: principal has no previous experience as administrator, she doesn't come out of her office much, has no genuine connection with the students). Wish I can add more positive comments, but some of the concerns addressed by postings from 6/10/13 and 5/10/13 are right on. Sites like these should help school to improve.
This school provided an excellent learning place. Although, there is a lot of privileges taken away if you do not obey every command they tell you to do. St Albans is too strict and uptight even to their first and second graders, who should be having fun, but instead is having homework. The regimen is strict and every child is expected the same as the smartest kid in class. Your child needs a good education? St.Albans. Your child needs a safe and loving environment while they grow the first few years of their lives? Not St. Albans. On top of that the moms of St.Albans upper grade are nosy and stuck up because they send their children to a rich school and think they can do whatever they want. They will hear gossip and drama and get in your childs face about it. Most of the students there become very sheltered and not prepared for high school and the social whirlpool it can be. In one grade three children left in the same year because of bullying issues and attitude issues. NOT job or financial relations. God bless. sources: Firsthand Experience
St. Albans offers an excellent academic and enrichment curriculum in a safe and caring environment, with a focus on parent involvement and high values. I can take to task every point made in the May 10, 2013 posting, but will sum it up in this way instead: We have three St. Albans (now university) graduates and one current St. Albans student and all are thriving. One of the three graduates will begin the UCLA Anderson MBA program this Fall ranking in the 98 percentile. All four have made lifelong friendships at St. Albans. The reported 10% turnover is inaccurate. Max student body is 240 (ten grade levels with twenty-four students max). Approx. 4 - 7 students leave per year or 2 - 3%. For unbiased information, contact the admissions department at the local high schools such as Granite Bay, Del Oro, Jesuit and St. Francis. Meet the Head of School and read the lengthy Western Assoc. of Schools and Colleges accreditation report. Their team of evaluators left "no stone uncovered." St. Albans is not perfect. Small schools have their own set of issues; however, I feel they are minor. St. Albans has given our children a great start on life. The best part-our children agree.
EXCELLENT school. We have been thrilled with the education at St. Albans for several years now. Our children have been challenged, nurtured and love going to school. The teachers are excellent, communicate well with parents and genuinely care about academic and personal growth. The May 10, 2013 is incorrect. In our experience maybe 3 or 4 students leave per year and most often this is due to financial or job relocation reasons. The school does have a wait list and believe me, many people wish more students left the school so they'd get the call, but it simply doesn't happen. We believe if you research other area schools and do comparisons, you'll agree St. Albans is a top notch school!
Do your homework and research what top schools in Placer County are doing before choosing this school. St. Albans' reputation for superior academic quality no longer rings true (see posting from July 1 2009). The principal and board are floundering in managing the school and retaining students. There is no one running the school who has any experience to fix the aging curriculum, dormant parent fundraising and ancient computers. Many of the "older" teachers are stale and completely scared of adopting anything new because it means more work. Families are unhappy and looking for alternatives. Be sure to request a meeting with the principal and ask why the "Best Little School in the West" has more than 10% student turnover each year. Don't fret, you'll get called from that "long wait list" soon since so many leave each year. Oh, and when budgeting that tuition payment, don't forget to add in the thousands you'll shell out if your student is asked by the teacher to get extra tutoring after school. Is the problem that the students they admit can't keep up or the teachers aren't good at teaching to different students? Either way, the school is not doing its job well.
St. Albans, academically, is a great school. It pushes children outside of their comfort zone sometimes, and in many ways that is good. The homework load is a large amount, but it really prepares you for high school. However, after being there for ten years with the same students, you feel "locked in." With students, school is looked at as a popularity contest, and in my opinion, that is not a good thing. The school is very small, and teachers do not pick up on bullying very well. Bottom Line: Academics- wonderful. Social Aspect- Poor.
The art and drama programs at this school are terrific. However, I would say that the other academic subjects taught at this school trailed the surrounding public schools substantially. This school simply does not have the capacity or resources to deal with kids who are varying ranges of academic progress. As a result, classes are taught at too slow a pace for many of the students who catch on quicker. Further, I had concerns that the social development of my child is put at risk on a daily basis. The classes are filled with students who are very much used to getting their way. If the student can't get their way on their own, their parents can help as the head of the school unabashedly plays favorites with certain parents. To put it mildly, the head of school has failed miserably in her responsbility to ensure that certain bullying students, and their bullying parents, are not properly put in check for the benefit of all of the other students. The situation has been strikingly different than the experience at other surrounding schools (which is markedly more nuturing and confidence-building).
Although there are many good schools in the area, St. Albans' academically challenging program is far superior. From the time my children were small, the school nurtured and taught them everything they needed to know. The impressive curriculum, test scores, and high school placement make it an outstanding choice. The teachers and administration are caring and consistent. The Head of School is fair and has high standards for everyone. This is truly a family environment. I encourage everyone to check out their website!
I ve seen many positive changes over the 10 years that we ve been at the school and the academics have always been superior. I love that students receive not only challenging core classes but also music, art, P.E. computers and Spanish. My unique perspective, children in elementary school and high school, have given me an appreciation for what St. Albans can do for their students way beyond graduation. My high school child went into advanced classes as a Freshman and the AP classes were a breeze. The teachers, Head of School, and office staff are caring, competent and always look out for the best interests of the students. The outstanding reputation that St. Albans has earned over the years is truly deserved.