NIno Torres, September 20, 2010
Welcome to St.Mark Elementary School, home of the Lions. I have the honor of leading the best staff on the West-side. We boast a balanced program designed to educate the whole child. We offer rigorous academics, strong, competitive sports teams and an excellent fine arts program. Please stop by and let me show you all the reasons St. Mark is the right choice for your child. Thank you for stopping by and GO LIONS!!
My son and daughter both went to this school and had an awesome experience, great education and socialized with respectable-caring peers. Safe school, great sports and after school activities, we have been very happy here.
St,Mark School offers an excellent education! The students are bright and intelligent. Most of all they are aware of their community, respectful and tolerant of others. I could not ask for a better education, or a safer environment for my kids to grow up in!
St. Mark School is by far the BEST choice on the west Side. The kids are smart, they have a love for learning, a respect for their teachers and parents and academically they soar!
My daughter started in kindergarten and is now flourishing in 1st grade. Academics are solid, classes are small, and the teachers are significantly invested in individual student development and education. This is a school of relationships rather than rosters and numbers. Come on in, walk the halls during the day, and you will be amazed by the student teacher interaction that is both loving, professional, and intellectually challenging. The school is building upon its relationship with Loyola Marymount University, a leader in private school education research, private school teacher training, and social justice. You will be asked to volunteer; may seem a chore, but you will become part of a dynamic, diverse community and you will see the direct benefit of all your efforts. None of the snob factor, competitive parenting, or materialism you may see at other local privates. I have looked deep into this place, and it isn't perfect by any means, but the teachers and staff make this place special. If a parent has a concern, they are heard, and appropriate changes happen fast. Looking over my review, I almost want to erase it so the school stays a hidden gem with small classes.
St Marks has a committed teaching staff with low student-to-teacher ratios and a quality family experience. Student successes are celebrated and their hurdles supported in a way that builds confidence and encourages involvement. Students from every grade level support the younger students and remain involved in their "school family's" success throughout the year. In this way, the kids learn not only that they can be successful as students, but they can become even more successful by helping others achieve success - a lesson that lasts a lifetime. From the Lion Olympics to the Talent Show to the Carnival, SMS includes all the kids and encourages a safe, supportive environment. SMS teachers are among the most active in stressing a complete education of mind, body and spirit. Educational excellence is expected; SMS graduates go onto HS & College at rates exceeding most schools in LA. But beyond educational excellence, the teachers and administration at SMS engage the kids at an early age in the human experience. Tolerance and community is taught, along with humility and compassion . Tuition is affordable, education is excellent and school spirit is palpable. We love SMS.
This is THE BEST value for the money on the Westside. Our children are in Kindergarten and second grade and we are so pleased with the teachers, the curriculum, the environment and administration. It is a warm, friendly, welcoming environment with a small local school feel. Our children love their teachers and have learned so much since they have attended the school. I was a little nervous about sending my kids there because I am not Catholic, but they are very accepting of all denominations and I appreciate the overall values that my kids are learning. I would not recommend the school if we were not 100% happy with it - we cannot be more pleased.
This school in my experiance is absolutely the best in the Westside for my child and my peace of mind. It truely is a family like environment and a very very safe school. At no time does anyone come in or out of the school without being notice. It truely shows how important and special the children are at this school. The academics are at high standards. Love this school in it's all.
We are extremely impressed at how are son was welcomed in as a transfer student. We are equally disappointed he will never get to be in Ms. Opet's kindergarten class, but thankful that our next child will be! The school has great potential and it has brought great qualities out in our child. The teachers are wonderful and trained, and there is art, computers, everything for a well-rounded educational experience. While we don't want this secret to get out about this great school because we like the small class sizes, we think the school deserves to be applauded on this site.
We spent 3 years researching schools, as our local public school was going downhill. We knew that if we switched our daughter to a new school it would be hard on her and we did not want to switch her more than once. This meant researching almost every elementary school within a 10 mile radius of our home to find a good fit. We chose St. Mark over several other private schools that are closer to our home because we found the atmosphere so inviting. It turns out that because of the nurturing, cozy environment at St. Mark the transition was MUCH easier than we could have ever imagined for our daughter. Our daughter loves St. Mark School and we love the sense of community there. Within a month of school starting every teacher knew who our daughter was. As parents this gives us a great sense of security. Additionally, the quality of the teachers is very high. The teachers are well-trained and very caring. Lastly, for any non-Catholics (and there are significant number of them at St. Mark), the school is very welcoming. Students have religion class and are taught about Catholicism but in a very inclusive way.
The October-Fest Carnival this weekend inspired me to write this comment. As a former teacher and former administrator, I felt proud of the community spirit and teamwork shown by the families of St. Mark School. Key qualities were present: Parents whose priority is education, parents who model service and teamwork, and a SAFE place for children to hang out with a POSITIVE PEER group. Besides that, from an administrative point of view, I know that 95% of the Class of 2010 went on to private schools. SMS ranks above grade level in all grades on the national Iowa Test of Basic skills, and small classes ensure that individual needs are met by dedicated, hard-working teachers. St. Mark School is the pride of Venice. Just ask our Lions! Susan Soto-Campos, former principal
Saint Mark School offers your child a safe learning environment. The teachers are fully committed and offer 100% of their time, talents, and energy on a daily basis. The school prepares your child to lead a balanced academic life. There is a great balance between academics, sports, and extra activities.
I have been the principal here for about 2 months and am already impressed with the professionalism of the staff and the feeling of "coming home". The community here at St. Mark makes you feel welcome and like you have been a part of the family for always. Please stop by and i would love to show you around and share this feeling.
My Daughter loves this school. Our family is so happy we picked St. Mark. Teachers are great. Class sizes are small. Price is to good to be true.
It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, and I feel so blessed that St. Mark School and parish has been part of the village that's helped us to raise our three children. For the past 17 years, we've been St. Mark parents and we couldn't be happier with the nurturing and challenging environment that has surrounded our family. Highly qualified, experienced and dedicated teachers have enriched the lives of our children and set them on a life long path of learning. Excellent academics, athletics and music program are the order of the day at St. Mark. Alumni keep coming back here, whether as teachers, coaches, volunteers, visitors, or as new parents bringing their own children to school for the first time. "Come and see". You'll be glad you did!
Saint Mark School is a gift to all who enter through its doors. With amazing teachers, dedicated families, and a new (highly experienced) principal, Saint Mark School is on the way to greatness. The teachers work hard daily...and they don't get paid nearly as much as teachers in other area schools. Most teachers are at school by 7:00a.m. daily, until the early evening, and a few even come in on the weekends...just to make this a wonderful learning environment. The textbooks used in all classrooms are aligned with California State Standards. The teachers in all grades meet the standards every year...not just by reading books. This school is a haven for creative teachers who know that kids learn in different ways. These teachers use differentiated instruction and the students are becoming enriched daily in all areas of their lives. Go see it for yourself...you won't be disappointed!
I love this school. I come from a small town and felt overwhelmed by the public school system's size and the many budget cutbacks they were facing. Here, my children are in a very small class and I know the office staff, the principal and a host of other teachers by their first names. My children have thrived because they were given close, individual attention and their individual talents (as well as weaknesses) could be addressed specifically. They have a tremendous arts and music & to academic standards. They've added a very affordable summer program that was truly a miracle for working parents. In fact, the school itself is incredibly affordable given its high quality. And best of all, they teach such great interpersonal caring that 8th graders attended my kindergartener's bday party - b/c they cared! The kids have learned to be caring to each other and the world. Amazing!
St. Mark School is an amazing hidden treasure in Venice, CA. The teachers are highly-educated and talented. They put in extra time for everything...and seem happy to do anything to help our kids. While most schools have been cutting Fine Arts programs, SMS is keeping their strong programs! The students have art and music weekly, an art fair, a school musical, and a choir. Their sports program is great as well...they have teams from 3rd - 8th grade in volleyball, football, basketball, soccer and track. It is an amazing place to watch your child blossom...
As a non-Catholic, I didn't feel unwelcome. My kids suffered in their faith classes not having the background the other students had, despite having studied comparitive world religion. I attended a mass. Good vibe. The priest was a good public speaker with relevant messages. The tuition is reasonable, much lower than we expected. Used uniforms are available and cheap. I did not like that my children were given assignments that required parent work; and their grades suffered when I refused out of principle. If I had the time, ability and inclination to educate my chidren, I would home school; and it would cost less than tuition. Great sports programs if you can provide transportation immediately after school ends. I didn't care for the parents who offered advice they weren't qualified to give and weren't asked for, but that's everywhere.
A total letdown. My wife did an exhaustive research project to find the most appropriate school for our children. I had hesitations about St. Marks because I know how tight knit students and parents can be at small schools; (read: snobbish) and entering a small school in a higher grade could be challenging. One teacher, in particular, won us over with her small classroom size and emphasis on critical thinking. My son seems to be happy and progressing, with the exception of some discipline issues he feels are not being addressed with the other students. The staff is constantly praised and thanked for their service. However, we've experienced teachers who have been hostile to our feedback and requests. My wife and I have had a few concerns and none were met with any acknowledgement or compromise. Despite volunteering and donations, we are unappreciated and unheard.
I can't tell you how thrilled we are that we chose St. Mark for our Daughter to attend. We did lots of research and visited many schools in our area but just kept coming back to the feeling we got every time we visited St. Mark. I think I was most impressed with the few times I sat in the lobby waiting to talk to someone and noticed that every child that was visiting the office for one reason or another was called by their first name and their problem was dealt with matter of factly and immediately. The feeling of family came to my thoughts as I witnessed this time and again. I learned that there were just under 200 children in the entire school which again, just re-enforced our feeling that this was the right place. Our Daughter has now been attending St. Mark since September and never once have we questioned our decision. The staff from the Principal on down all seem to genuinely care and our Daughters' happiness each and every day she comes home is all we need to see. She has 17 classmates and 2 teachers which still makes me say 'wow' every time I think of it. Thanks, Ray Zarro
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