Our family has been at this school for a couple years now and I now feel that I can give an honest assessment at this point. When we were looking for public schools in our area we were pretty disappointed. After touring this school it had the feel of the school we wanted. In addition to academics, we wanted the right environment and atmosphere. A place our children would want to be and not dread going everyday. The students were all listening at attention and the teachers had full command of the classroom during our unscheduled visit. This is an old school. It just celebrated 50 years as a school. It could use updating in many areas, but it has everything it needs. It does have a library and computer lab - though small, it works. It does have an art program, music and dance options for those that choose to participate. The school choir is absolutely fabulous-impressive. The kids go to mass every Friday and parents are welcome to join. A Catholic school operates heavily from volunteer work of the parents. We appreciate this because we know many parents are then involved with the school and their children. We constantly assess this school compared to our other choices - public and private - and always choose this school. One reason is hearing what the graduating 8th graders have to say about their time spent at St. Columba. They all seem to love it and appreciate the education, life lessons as well as the friends they made. This year 100% of the 8th grade students passed the Catholic H.S. acceptance exam. Over 60% are moving on to Catholic/Christian schools.
To address a couple comments from a previous poster:
1. There is fundraising to be done at every school.
2. Science curriculum is done in class at each grade level.
3. There is music class offered.
4. The Spanish is basic, but it isn't a Spanish immersion - it is for exposure and cultural teaching.
5. Every school I have investigated raises tuition at some point.
6. Summer camp was operating at a loss - This is not part of tuition. They will make a new program for next year that can be run without loosing money.
7. The registration fee is $250, PTG is $300 - this is comparable to like schools.
8. Uniforms changed - We love uniforms - we save money on other clothes in the long run.
Always asking for $ but not spending it on the kids. No science class, no music, and a very basic Spanish class taught by one of the students grandmother. Huge tuition hike, cancelled summer camp, $500 registration fee, $200 PT fee, and they changed the uniforms, so now we have to buy all new ones. I'm sad to leave. Would have paid the $ if we felt the principal had a clue.
My daughter went to preschool at St Columba for 2 years. She went from shy to outgoing with the support of the teachers. They focus not only on the basics: reading, writing, Etc, but also on her social skills. She thrived at this school. Wish we could keep her there for the next 8 years.
This small school is San Diego's best kept secret! It offers smaller class sizes, Art Corps program, choir, band, competitive parochial school sports from K up to 8th grade (mainly soccer, volleyball & basketball). We have been here 3 yrs & my kids LOVE it & have great friends. The older grades partner up with younger grades for reading buddies, class or school mass & various school activities. At this school all of the kids know each other & interact during the course of the day & help each other out. Each week the principal & student council lead the entire school in an assembly. The principal shows strong leadership & will always take the time to talk about any concerns you might have. Teachers are excellent and do a great job teaching the kids the faith & instilling good values in the students. Like any school (public or private) parent volunteers are essential. There are a few fundraisers throughout the year but nothing crazy. This is an older school so many students' parents or grandparents went here! We also have quite a few military families given our close proximity to Murphy Canyon. Great school! We highly recommend it!
Both my children completed K-8 at St. Columba and both received a very comprehensive, challenging academic education with high expectations and standards of achievement. The principal is very strong and caring as well. There is always a great sense of family throughout the school. My children went on to Cathedral High School and received great preparation for this school.
I currently have 2 daughters at St. Columba. We are extremely happy with the quality of education and teachers at the school. The kindergarten teacher is awesome!!! Before my daughter went to St. Columba I had done my research and realized St. Columba fit my needs in every way. The parent involvement is consistent and it is fun to interact and volunteer with different parents on a regular basis. I graduated from OLP and can see how St. Columba is a great prep school for OLP. 2 thumbs up for the best elementry Catholic School in San Diego.
Our family has been at St. Columba for six years now. I have been extremely happy with the administration and teachers. The small class size and caring community is well worth the cost of tuition. We tried the public school in Tierrasanta for several years but were disappointed in the education my daughter was receiving. My older daughter now attends OLP and is doing great and credits it to the preparation she received at St. Columba.
We have been involved with St. Columba School for over 10 years, with a child graduating this year moving on to high school, and one child moving on to 6th grade. Our primary reason to be a part of the school was simple - to have our children receive a faith filled Catholic education and a quality learning experience. The class sizes are great for the children to receive quality education, and there is a strong sense of community among all the parents and teachers. In today's economy, and with the lack of teachers who want to sacrifice to be a part of the Catholic school system, the tuition at St. Columba is below the San Diego average for private education. Lots of fundraising to be done, but it does help keep tuition costs down. Fantastic school, I highly recommend St. Columba to everyone looking for a faith filled learning opportunity.
While so many of the public schools are doing away with fine arts I'm happy that St. Columba still offers an art program to all their students. At the end of the year they have an art show to display one piece of each child's work. Many parents volunteer their time to make this program a success. The students also have the option of learning an instrument and practice with a school band, although this is at an additional expense. The children participate in a beautiful Christmas program and monthly Mass where they practice songs, thanks to another parent volunteer. The teachers and staff of St. Columba are great. So are the many parents that willingly volunteer their time to make it a good place for our kids to be educated.