SMCES is an excellent TK - 8th grade school. Contact the school's admission director at 310-451-9801 for information.
My son just started the fifth grade and we are very pleased so far. Academics are exceptional and rigorous - just what my son needs. Emphasis on different learning styles so many opportunities for success. Principal is amazing. Class size is too big, but that is everywhere. The Monsignor is absolutely wonderful - my son adores him. On balance, a 5 star school!
I completely agree with the parent's comment below (posted August 17, 2013)...This will be our fifth year at St. Monica's. Both my kids have started from kindergarten. This past year, there have been a number of changes and I believe it's been positive. My kids both have new teachers and so far, it's been good. There's a wonderful feeling of community at St. Monica's. We have a great relationship between the families, schools and church. My kids feel loved and safe there. They are happy and that's what really matters most for us.
My eldest just graduated from St. Monica's and my youngest has a few more years to go. Has the experience been perfect? Of course not! However it has been a great fit for my kids and our family and I feel really grateful that we found this school 4+ years ago. The academics are consistently strong, with a great variety of extra curricular options for all. The teachers and administration are incredibly accessible and approachable. The parent community is welcoming and active. They promote change in an effort to always be improving which is a refreshing and welcome improvement from our 5 year experience with public schools. The classroom size is not small, but the school is, & we benefit that all the staff really get to know all the students. My sons and family have been sincerely welcomed at St. Monica's, and I am confident that we have made the right choice. In reading several of the previous posts, I feel badly for these parents who are clearly so unhappy with their CHOICE to attend this school. While I sincerely hope that they find a school that is a better fit for them (and thus create a space for a child and family who WANTS to be there), the grass is rarely greener...
What does it say about a school when two of its best and longtime teachers quit (without notice) over the summer and families are left without knowing who will be teaching their children? At this point, the principal's entire job consists of DAMAGE CONTROL for the poor leadership decisions he and the "president" continue to make. I seriously wonder when other parents are going to open their eyes, band together, and demand change? Although I'm not sure that would even make a difference since the principal will just get out his smoke and mirrors in yet another attempt to make us forget what we are asking for or why we bothered talking to him in the first place. If you are not a zealot or blind follower of the principal and "president", you will most likely not be happy at this school. Our family feels stuck because we have no real public school options and cannot afford private school. Our search will continue as we bide our time.
Unfortunately, this school is going downhill. I feel like they are more concerned about filling up 35 kids per class, it doesn't matter who they accept, just as long as they get the $$$. Most of the teachers, staff and parents do care and try to make it a better community, but if the president and principal do not listen to the parents' concerns and be proactive leaders to solve problems, we can't move forward. Many parents who I've spoken to are tired of making an effort, thus volunteering and fundraising goals have gone down. Education is average. If your child is gifted or needs extra help, there's no help at the school for that. Come on leaders of the school.....Make some positive changes now!
I wish I could give this school zero stars. Bullying is rampant, not only amongst the students, but also amongst the parents. If you deviate from the rigid Catholic doctrines in any way, then good luck to you and your children! And it's not like the academics even make up for the social climate at this school because they are average at best. They squish 35 kids into each classroom, with one classroom per grade. Research shows that class size DOES matter. We are looking forward to switching schools in the fall.
I have two children that attend St. Monica Catholic Elementary School and my family's experience has been a positive one. The teachers are dedicated to the students and the school, and this is visible each and every day. The president/principal model that the school employs provides strong leadership and allows our principal to focus on curriculum and the day-to-day of the school. The academic environment is challenging and the teachers and administration are continually scrutinizing it to make it the best it can be. Above and beyond everything that I've stated above, the community at the school is wonderful. Students are educated in a safe and nurturing environment and the result is confident children who excel socially and academically. I highly recommend St. Monica Catholic Elementary School.
The classes are full at St. Monica's because of word of mouth. My children have and are receiving an excellent academic education. This is reflected in their high national test scores. More important to me is the nurturing community and environment. The rich array of after school programs, the sports programs and the involvement of all grades with one another in the "school families" that include children from each grade in one "family" all serve to bring children together in many different ways. The service hours that are required of parents also ensure that parents become involved and become part of the community as well.
We had a terrible experience at this school. I would not recommend it to anyone.
St. Monica's has changed A LOT since the previous reviewer's children attended. The new principal, now in his 3rd year, has stuffed the classrooms to capacity (35 children in each room), so the teachers cannot individualize the curriculum to ensure every child is reaching his potential. Many families left the school in the middle of the year because of this, and we are currently searching for another school. If your child falls outside of what is considered average, this is probably not the place for you.
My son has been attending SMCES since the first grade, he's now an seventh grader. He loves going to school. The staff is tremendous, the principal is one of the best I ever been around. The teachers are amazing. At back to school night they lay out their goals for the coming school year. The talk about their teching styles, and expectations for the students. You know exactly what to expect. The campus is safe and the elementary school works together well with the high school. I cannot imagine my son going to a different school.
My daughter, who is in 1st grade, comes home happy and can't wait to tell me how good her day was. Every morning at breakfast, she is so excited to go back to school that it is clear to me that the learning environment at SMECS is a nurturing and empowering experience for our daughter and, by extension, our entire family.
The school has a great principal and is very community-oriented. The school also has a great after care program, including on-campus enrichment classes.
This school is beyond lovely. The teachers, the principal, the community. Everyone seems to truly care and work together for the best of the children.
Great community! Fantastic teachers, awesome core values, incredible environment and an amazing principal.
We are so fortunate to be a part of this beautiful school community. Our son went from a public school to St. Monica's and adjusted well within a short time.
I agree with all of the prior reviews. St. Monica's offers a a very safe and comforting environment for children, the ideal environment for learning. Most of the families that have decided to send their children to this school have made an active choice to be very involved in their child's education as it is a requirement of the school. Research has shown that it is this active parental involvement that is one of the most critical factors in determining how successful and happy your child will be later on in their life. St. Monica's breaks thru class barriers and has really created a community all working towards the same goal. As the children progress thru the grades they are expected to become more independent. This is another aspect of the school that appeals to me.
We love St. Monica Elementary School. It provides an excellent academic program in a nurturing environment. There is a sense of community and family spirit that;s hard to find. The teachers are professional and caring. The principal supervises by 'wandering around' and is totally available and approachable. Eighth graders graduate on a positive note, proud of what they have accomplished and confident to succeed at the next level. We recommend this school with great enthusiasm to anyone who is searching for a super grammar school for their children. We have been very highly pleased!
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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