This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Finn Barr5
Posted October 01, 2014
- a parent
St. Finn Barr is an amazing school. I have a kindergardener there and we totally love it. Our son loves his daily Spanish, science, and all the new friends he has met. The curriculum is rigorous and nicely embodies a balanced values based education. Kindness, social responsibility, and diversity are all seen at every level. The principal does a terrific job of heading one of the most progressive Catholic schools in San Francisco and does so with grace and aplomb. I am particularly keen on the stability of the school's leadership, safe learning environment, and focus on critical thinking. Truly great for working parents with enriching before (free) and after care (only a few dollars/hour). There is a wide variety of available activities (chess, dance, tennis, health and wellness, athletics leagues-even for k, theatre, guitar, etc that they even escort the little ones to and from. The parent community is very friendly and, in the short time we have been there, welcomed us with open arms. My son looks forward to everyday and quite frankly so do I!
Our kids (& their parents) love their school! The principal is amazing: she is energetic, dynamic, personable and has implemented a lot of additional activities for the students. Top 10 great things about SFB: 1) Spanish class & PE teachers are exceptional 2) Music: optional choir, guitar , drum & piano classes 3) Optional activities include chess, hiking, & gardening clubs, tennis, drama & more 4) Emphasis on using technology to supplement the classroom learning. School actively goes after & obtains grant money to implement various technology & improve science 5) Teachers genuinely care about the kids and communicate with parents 6) the SFB church Priest cares about the school 7) the kids are taught to care about others 8) there is a lot of parent involvement and fun activities for the parents (school festival, SF Bulls hockey game night, an awesome & inspiring Christmas concert by the students, horse race night, pancake breakfasts, walk-a-thon & more) 9) the men's club (Dads) raises money for the school and helps at activities 10) everyone at the school (faculty, parents, kids) are a welcoming community.
St. Finn Barr school is a hidden gem. After touring several elementary schools in San Francisco, my husband and I were overwhelmingly impressed with St. Finn Barr school and knew right away that it was the right place for our son. From the moment we walked in, it was abundantly clear that this is a special place. The principle is young, charismatic and is fully engaged with the students, her staff & the parents. She's also VERY accessible and is always willing to roll up her sleeves and get involved. Although the school is small, the student body is mulit-cultural & socio-economically diverse which is big PLUS in our book. As mentioned, we toured several schools but what really made St. Finn Barr's stand out was how happy and friendly the children are. We see daily how much our son is thriving -not only academically, but emotionally and spiritually. Because the school is small, parent involvement is key to the success of the school. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE pitches in so we can provide the best to our children and to our community. We feel very fortunate to be a part of the caring, nurturing community of St. Finn Barr school. Best, Karen N.
I was determine to find the best school for my daughter. So there we were in the hallway when a young, smart looking lady walks up to us and says HI! I am Mele the schools principle, She was full of energy , answered all of our questions, it was obvious that she was happy, excited and most of all loved what she was doing. She made us feel welcomed and at home. We met with the Kindergarten teacher Mrs. O Reily. She has been a Kindergarten teacher for over 30 years and knows her stuff. She seemed to really care about her students. We named St Finn Barr the Hidden Jewel. I have found the school where I feel my daughter will get the best education in a loving and nourishing environment. Because the its so small the parent involvement is super. You will need to make time for meetings and school functions but the parental involvement of the school is one of the reasons we choose to send our child to Catholic school. It feels sort of like a large extended family.My daughter is in kindergarten full day.She is in soccer and receives Spanish class everyday for 45 mintues.There is even after school programs like guitar, piano, or learn Chinese.
This is our first year at St. Finn Barr and we love it! The principal is dynamic and filled with lots of enthusiasm and energy that builds a great school community. The teachers do a fabulous job of teaching and are in regular communication with parents about the concepts being learned in the classroom. The parent community has been warm and inviting to us as a new family to the school. There is so much more than just academics at this school, and that is really what makes for a well rounded nurturing environment. If you are looking for a school community were everyone is pulling together to make a "great school", St Finn Barr is it!
After a rough 6th grade year at a public middle school, we needed to find a better situation for our son, and we found it: St. Finn Barr Catholic School. The principal is dedicated, dynamic, and approachable. She welcomed us to the school and treated our son s concerns seriously and kindly. The teachers know each of their students and truly care that each one succeeds. SFB tests at the beginning of the year, and it seems like that affects how the teachers approach their work: SFB teachers do not teach to the test, they teach the child. The curriculum is thoughtful, with college-like syllabuses, opportunities for extra credit, field trips, and a variety of approaches, including computer games and creative projects like poetry and drawing. And the science! A lab, a notebook, experiments, observations. Fabulous. The students are encouraged to behave kindly and to have respect for their teachers, their classmates, and themselves. No bullying! My son has relaxed noticeably, his confidence has increased, and he does better work. My son is working hard, and he s never been happier in school, ever. How many middle-schoolers can say that?
Last minute I had to find a school for my daughter entering kindergarten, because she did not get into my sons school nor any of the other San Francisco public schools. I called St. Finn Barr, which was due to start the new school year the next day, and they were able to get her enrolled that day. I knew financially it was going to be difficult, but they informed me of programs such as Basic Fund that would help a great deal, and the school also donated money towards my daughters tuition through a grant or scholarship. My daughter and I love this school, and I am planning on transferring my son there next year. The staff is wonderful, especially the principal, and the parents are involved. The students are very polite, and the St Finn Barr community is very welcoming, I couldn't recommend a better school.
We have been at the school for several years now, but I felt compelled to write this review after attending our annual Christmas fair on Dec 2nd. It was honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen (straight out of the kid's pageant in the movie "love actually"). But then with our links to "linda's musical theatre", how could it not be? She runs these workshops out of our school. I love that this is a small school and I know almost every kid and parent in my child's grade. I love that they have spanish daily k-4. I think they may be one of the only parochial schools in SF to do this.The new principal is great. Very responsive to addressing issues. She has a great vision and plans for where she wants to take the school. Okay, here are some of the improvement areas. (building is old, sports teams can be hard to field at a small school) But kids don't notice that stuff. What counts is that my daughter loves to go school every day and they are teaching her to be a compassionate person and lifelong learner. And the other parents are normal, low key people.
This is a great school!!!! We have a son and daughter at the school and both are thriving. The academic standard is high. In a test our son took at UCSF he tested at 5th grade math and English - he is in 3rd grade! The teachers are great, the parents are fun and supportive. Our new principal is FANTASTIC! She is energetic, responsive, open and the kids love her.