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St. Mark School

Private | K-8 | 188 students

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Living in Venice

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $880,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,750.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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School Official Point of View

Posted 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!!

43 reviews of this school

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Posted September 23, 2014

This school is just the kind my husband and I dreamed about finding after having kids in LA. A place where they will grow intellectually and as a well rounded young adult. The principle is top notch. Mary Ann McQueen, came from Marymount after 19 years. The staff that she has hired either all have their masters or finishing up their masters. The children are taught per their level in the grade through small classroom groups on their iPads. Because of the small class sizes you get one on one attention regarding your child, and the principle and teachers are always accessible to you. The school has adopted the "Peace Builders Pledge" which helps the children learn about treating others how you want to be treated, righting a wrong, helping others out, building peace at school, at home and in your community. Which is essential with any bullying problems. Last the community here is like no other i have seen at other schools. The parents, the children, the staff, make any family feel like they are part of the St. Mark Family. We are elated as we have a 3rd and 1st grader and can't wait for our youngest to start TK, as we are good until 8th grade. Venice's best kept secret!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 11, 2014

This school is a well kept secret! An amazing principal, caring and innovative teachers and small class size. My children are thriving at St. Mark! This school is the perfect blend of traditional values and forward thinking regarding education. We are grateful for this school and it's community!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 2, 2014

This school is all we ever prayed for in a Catholic school for our children and more. My son is in TK and my daughter will be starting TK next school year. My son feels so wonderful and welcomed by the entire staff. St. Mark School is made up of a wonderful Principal, staff and students that make a St. Mark FAMILY. As parents, we are kept in the loop with regard to everything including week by week curriculum, progress reports, behavior and activities. Class size is small and all of the students have plenty of attention from their teachers and instructors. We love St. Mark!!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 27, 2012

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 27, 2012

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!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 9, 2012

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!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 15, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 29, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 22, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 17, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 15, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 20, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 10, 2010

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

Posted September 28, 2010

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 28, 2010

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.

Posted September 28, 2010

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.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2010

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!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2010

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 won't be disappointed!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 16, 2010

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!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 31, 2010

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...

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.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 47% 26%
Hispanic 28% 52%
Two or more races 20% 3%
Black 3% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander 1% 11%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Welchhance
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA
Fax number
  • (310) 822-6101


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Auditorium
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • Computer
  • Library
  • Playground
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles
School leaders can update this information here.

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Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Drama
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
More from this school
  • In addition to all the academic studies, we also have an excellent choir. The school proudly showcases our future actors with a Spring production every year.
School leaders can update this information here.



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Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Loyola High School
Notre Dame Academy
St. Monica's
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912 Coeur D'alene Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
Website: Click here
Phone: (310) 821-6612


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