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St. Vincent De Paul5
Posted July 30, 2014
- a parent
Our family has been at St. Vincent's for 5 years and we give thanks that we found this school. Every teacher and aide that has been involved with our daughter has been top notch! She really enjoys going to school, playing sports, being in the choir, having art class and playing with her friends. I would highly recommend St. Vincent to families that want a small school with great families, teachers and a strong catholic education. Live, Love, Learn!
My children have been at St. Vincent's for over six years. I am impressed with the excellent academic program the school has created. St. Vincent's has a strong curriculum built upon blending the National Standards, California State Framework, the San Diego Diocesan Curriculum, and the Core Knowledge Sequence. I know they are going to be well prepared for high school & college. In addition to top notch academics they also offer a great sports program. The principal is very nurturing just one step onto the playground for morning assembly and you are able to witness how much she truly cares about instilling values and character in every student. Weekly she "notices" children from each grade for different acts of kindness and other good deeds they have done during the week. The faculty and teachers do a great job of making learning fun with the new promethean white boards and also wonderful field trips. The school also has a great art program which is nice to have when a lot of public schools are eliminating opportunities for children to have art classes. I just could go on and on about the phenomenal experience we have had at St. Vincent's and highly recommend it to others
FOR OUR THREE CHILDREN THIS WAS A BAD EXPERIENCE OVERALL SO WE LEFT(Preschool was wonderful) My 3 children have attended St Vincent for a few years now and I sat on the board for a year so know how this school is run. Staff turnover is a huge issue, class sizes over 30 and teachers are not prepared for the extra workload. Half of the teachers are burnt out (example, our nieces 4th grade teacher didn't feel like teaching Science for the year so simply refused even thought the parents all complained to Sr Kathleen). Our child was bored and we noticed they only finished half of the workbooks. The school does not have a Library (except a little spare room in the basement that smells of MOLD). We had our children tested at many other schools once we decided to leave and even though our children received Honor Roll and top honors they were testing in the bottom percentiles, this tells me the academic standards are simply not there. Many families in Mission Hills know the status of this school and choose to send their children to Grant or Francis Parker. My advice as a concerned parent is stay away until there is a new principal and they revamp the academics at this school.
My son is in Pre-K. The teachers are wonderful, Ms. Sarah and Ms. Soto genuinely care for the students and go the extra mile to help them learn and grow. The director on the other hand seems lost in a fog. Her communication skills are poor both in relation to addressing parental concerns and in providing general information of coming events and parental involvement opportunities. When a concern is presented to her she becomes defensive and seems to resent being asked to discuss the situation. The facility itself is newer and seems to work well for the children.
The academic program is archaic -- some currently used worksheets still bear dates from the 1970's. The teachers have lost their zeal and inspiration, and harshly deride the children too often. The fabulous new facility is underutilized, technology is inadequate, and it is very hard to get but a handful of parents to get involved to support the school -- and it's the same ones every time. The leadership seems to coddle the inactivity and ineffectiveness of the teachers, especially in the middle and upper grades, and encourages a "teach to the lower-middle" philosophy. School is going downhill and an overhaul will be required for it to survive as an alternative to the vibrant public and private schools in the area.
This is an immature preschool program - only 3 years old with issues with the quality of Pre K2 staff. While the teachers may have enough education/experience to teach a preschool class, they do not have the maturity or communication experience necessary to effectively interact with parents. They resort to writing notes when there are issues instead of communicating directly with parents. If a parent questions the way a situation is handled, they view it as being disrespectful and unsupportive of the teachers. What they don't realize is that respect is a two way street and if they expect to receive it, they need to be respectful and open to hearing other points of view. Again, this is a sign of immaturity and being unwilling to take steps necessary to make changes that will improve the quality and effectiveness of their program. Ms. Michelle especially has a negative attitude which shows in the tone of her voice when interacting with the children as well as with parents which is totally unacceptable. Our child did not feel supported or accepted by the teachers which ultimately caused us to remove him from the school.
My daughter was in the 3 year old class at St Vincent Preschool. What a gem. Ms. Katrina and Ms. Christina are "3 year old whisperers." They were always there, and key to set the kids up in their routine. My daughter had a fantastic year. Definitely my best preschool experience (and I went through a couple with my older son). I love how they work on both the gross motor, fine motor, language but also work a lot on moral education. The snacks are appropriate portions and healthy, and the entire school is very health conscientious and "green." We are not catholic, but felt welcomed right away and the moral education appropriate for everyone. The facilites are beautiful and designed for their age, and separated from the larger school. We became very close with her teachers, the director, and the other parents. Its a great little school and my best school experience as a parent (I am also a pediatrician).
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