This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Nazareth School Of San Diego, Inc1
Posted March 01, 2015
- a parent
I am very disappointed with the lack of knowledge of researched based teaching practices by the principal. I see no support for teachers--ZERO! Lack of professional development coupled with the "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" attitude from the inept principal equals numerous families and teachers leaving the school these past two years. Enrollment is down, moral is down, and we will not be returning next year.
I have been a parent at this school for 9 years and have been very active in school activities. I have seen expected teacher and leadership turnover. Unfortunately, during the last 3 years this school has taken a nose dive. The campus and community are well above average and the stewardship of the Nazareth Order is great. These seem to be the only things holding it together. There are a core of parents that are very involved but are stymied at every turn in their efforts to improve the quality of the school community. Any dissenting voice, either staff or parent, is met with hostility from the adminitrator. Last year when 3 teachers left (some under 1 year tenure) it was deemed an anomaly. This year 4 teachers left (some very senior ones) and over 25 families have departed for other local schools. The only constant over these past 3 years has been teh questionable leadership by current school administrator. If you have 20% turnover of your workforce and a 20% drop in enrollment in less than 2 years there is only one place to look. There is no denying that this school has tremendous potential but if the stewards of the school do no take action soon this school will fail.
I have been a parent at Nazareth School for 12 years. I am also a graduate of the school. Nazareth has educated 7 members of my family and currently has 7 members attending in various grade levels. I have witnessed many changes to the school over the years but two things hold true. When a child is finished at Nazareth they will be prepared for high school and they will have a greater closeness to the Lord. The Sisters of Nazareth are a constant presence at the school with their undying support, love, and prayers for the children. The faculty is caring and competent with Dr. Mauricio at the wheel. The child receives a well-rounded education with the opportunity for fine arts, sports, and computer training in addition to the daily courses. Mass is attended weekly and the priests at the Mission are very supportive of the school. Unfortunately, today, many Catholic schools are experiencing hardship while Nazareth is flourishing with beautiful upgrades to the school newly completed. I feel that is a testament to the wonderful atmosphere including the parent community . In my opinion well worth the sacrifice!!
I have been a parent at Nazareth for 7 years now. My wife and I view this school as the best money we spend. We are making the investment in our children's learning and development not only as students but as citizens. We feel we are getting our money worth by a factor of 10X. To give Nazareth a scorecard: Atmosphere conducive to learning -- A+ (perhaps the best school atmosphere anywhere in San Diego) Vision and Leadership -- A+ (Dr. Mauricio has a vision for the school and the faculty and staff are aligned to that vision and executing well to see that happen). School Culture -- A+ (The school has a values driven culture that is active in every part of the school's daily life. The kids routinely look to school values as measures of right and wrong. Assemblies and the environment strongly reinforce a greater purpose. . . its amazing) Parents within the community -- B+ (For the most part very high quality people very invested in their kids education . . .the occasional "pot stirrer" doesn't get a lot of oxygen, gets frustrated and leaves. Love this school and am thrilled that my kids are a part of this community!
Several years ago we transferred our 3rd grader to Nazareth from a prestigious independent school. Our initial reaction was: BEAUTIFUL, peaceful, SAFE campus, strong curriculum that actually includes art, Spanish and P.E., highly competent teachers and excellent leadership. Our Principal, Dr. Mauricio, is extremely receptive/responsive to parental input. She obviously cares deeply about the students and is, at the same time, able to run a "tight ship". Nazareth is more than a school, it's a community. From our perspective, the following are some of Nazareth's strengths: middle school improvements with emphasis on literature/writing, exceptional, high school prep science curriculum, tech program with new computer lab, art, foreign language, choir and P.E., on-site extracurricular activities including student council and a variety of sports, wonderful after-school options including low cost/ well-run day care and study hall (led by our terrific librarian who knows every child, his/her reading level and interests), morning assemblies to promote communication/sense of community, and an effective/talented PTG board. We have never regretted our decision to transfer to Nazareth.
This school is a wonderful place for children to learn. The teachers and staff are loving and kind and truly have the children's best interest at heart. The entire school community is focused on the academic as well as religious education of the students. I am a graduate of this school and am so thankful that my children are able to attend here. If you are looking for a loving nurturing and academic focused education for your children, you will find it here!
Campus is pretty, adjacent to the Mission; class sizes are small & students attend weekly Mass. Otherwise this school is a disappointment. A lot of wasted instruction time due to school-wide morning assemblies 3x/week. A fair amount of unprofessionalism among the staff: teachers talking to parents about other families and about other teachers. Teachers lose their cool a lot of yelling at the students. Teachers have been known to yell at parents and to break down in tears in front of parents. The leadership is very weak, both in terms of the current principal and the Sisters of Nazareth who have no true presence at the school. The parents run the school for better or for worse. There are many wonderful families and not-so-wonderful ones. Lots of cliques and drama. Parents band together against newer teachers they dislike, gossiping, undermining, and basically backstabbing the teachers. High turnover among new teachers, but ones that should retire stay on. School is not forward-thinking when it comes to instructional methods and materials. After 3 years, we enrolled at a Catholic school across town.
Overall I'm quite pleased with the school. I disagree with another reviewer's comment about the science program; in the middle school the curriculum is very rigorous. Language Arts is a bit weak, and the computer program is practically non-existent. Compensating for these shortfalls is the loving environment combined with effective discipline.
The school has a wonderful environment for children to feel protected, supported and loved. The school could be more progressive in it's academic curriculum relating to the sciences and computing, however. The ethos of quality and higher academic expectation I find lacking in some of the teaching staff, but overall a good starter school.
My child has been a student at Nazareth, since a Sunflower (pre-school) until now a 3rd grader. Our family is very pleased with the school, the teachers are great, the families are great and most of all the students are just as great. It is a small school and the kids seem to know each other and take care of each other. We love the religious, moral and academic teachings at the school. The campus is a sanctuary in the city. We never get tired of going there.