This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Isabella School5
Posted January 23, 2015
- a parent
I am so impressed with St Isabella's. This school is really unlike any other. The teachers and principal are phenomenal. They truly care about the students and it is such a nurturing environment. The kids also care about each other and it is evident. Just today I watched a kid get hit by a bouncy ball and although he was fine, the entire class of kids rushed over to help him up and make sure he was okay. The entire class. I have also witnessed time and time again the older students looking out for the younger students. At St Isabella's I have also noticed an emphasis on student leadership. For example, the students (including the Kindergarteners) give the classroom tour and answer any questions the prospective parents might have, and the school assemblies are led by the students. It goes deeper than that though- it's reinforced in the classroom. My child, who before coming to this school wouldn't make eye contact with adults and would speak looking at the ground, now confidently talks to the principal and other adults. And finally, academically this school has impressed me- and I have very high standards. The teachers are experienced and know how to teach!
My son attended St. Isabella from K through 8. The size of the school, with one class per grade, is just right allowing everybody to get to know each other and the location, away from busy streets, with a large, grass field is safe. Aftercare is a particularly strong asset as you can use it on an hourly basis, as needed, with no long-term commitment. Teachers really care for the kids and the environment is supportive. I was not catholic when my son first started at SI and when we were considering schools for him I was not very religious and was unsure about a catholic education but my wife went to catholic school and felt strongly about it. I have since come to understand the importance of moral teaching, social justice and why it is important for your child, Christian or not, to understand that they are not the center of the universe (despite what mom and dad think!). In addition to giving our son an excellent education that prepared him for high school (he is excelling in his first year at Marin Catholic) SI taught him that serving your community and helping people are more than just nice ideas, they are the core of a well-adjusted person and a valued member of society.
This school has a wonderful sense of community and is providing my child with excellent academics. In fact, the schools test scores have been consistently high - since we have been attending the school. It is a quiet gem in Marin County!
St. Isabella School is a wonderful, nurturing, and challenging environment. The school faculty and staff are excellent with the students. The students are happy and feel very comfortable at this school. We have been a part of this community for close to 30 years and St. Isabella has been a positive staple in our lives.
We left the school last year. The teachers are nice and well-meaning but our children were not being challenged academically. Their new school (also in Marin county) has an atmosphere that is not only more welcoming but more inclusive and a superior administration.
Our son has thrived at St. Isabella School. The teaching staff are excellent - challenging academically, supportive, engaged with parents, attentive to the children. Our principal exudes an "open door" policy - she is open to input from parents and eager to recognize the success and accomplishments of students. St. Isabella offers state of the art technology for all grades, a gifted music teacher and children's choirs, an award-winning Debate Club, and a spacious campus that the kids take full advantage of every day. If you are looking for a small, K-8 school with a wonderful community, conveniently located in Central Marin, you would be wise to consider St. Isabella School!!
I am a current student at this school and enjoy attending. There are some problems though. Even though the some teachers are friendly, others need to be a bit nicer. Another thing is that we used to have good hot lunch. Now we have a service called schoolfoodies. This service is nasty and one of my friends got moldy pizza. Also, schoolfodies produces so much trash and waste. Another thing is the playyard policy. We are not allowed to have a football, because they say its "too pointy". A football is about as pointy as my finger or tip of my shoe. I also think the uniform policy is ridiculous. We are not allowed to wear black Nike socks because there is a white swoosh on them and they say that is not matching.
St. Isabella in San Rafael is wonderful catholic school to educate your children not only in the normal education subjects but also in many of life's greater lessons. Things like being community minded, being respectful, caring, honest and giving are also taught. The classes are well structured and the teachers and staff are strong. This is our 3rd year and our kids love it at St. Isabella.
This school should not be considered to be parochial let alone religious in anyway. It is disappointing as both my husband and I both attended parochial many years ago and felt our experiences are no where where this school should be. Discipline is negative as are the teachers, especially in KG where you need empathic, warm-hearted individuals for the young ones. If you have a bad teacher, then you are stuck - only one class per grade..... and there are a lot of bad teachers. The good teachers have moved on as they too did not like the principal, vp and staff. I agree with the prior post that parents are clicky and gossip more than I have ever experienced in my life. Overall would not recommend - a VERY NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE AT THIS SCHOOL. We will be transferring our child to another parochial school in Marin.