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PK-8
Private
Vista, CA
Students enrolled: 230
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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525 West Vista Way
Vista, CA 92083

School website
(760) 630-7960
Nearby homes for sale
Map of St. Francis of Assisi School address.

Profile Completeness

HONOR ROLL

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All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

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June 10, 2014
I'm very pleased with the education my child has received so far at St. Francis. His teachers have all been fantastic, and I love the school environment. The current principal is great, she takes the time to interact with all the students and it's obvious she loves what she does. I highly recommend this school to anyone thinking about enrolling their children here.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2014
We love our school. My child has been going here since preschool and he has grown tremendously in mind, body and spirit. GO FRIARS!

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2014
The school has a nurturing and loving environment that has encouraged my kids to advance academically and grow in character year after year. I appreciate the open communication between the new principle, teachers and parents. My kids have also been able to participate in some of the after school programs including: archery, art, tennis and little STEM (science, technology and math). As a minority I appreciate the diversity in the student population at St. Francis, which is usually lacking in other private/christian schools. St. Francis School has a family atmosphere for the kids as well as the parents. Our family has been at this school for 7 years and we love it! If you are looking for a new school come and visit this school. Also ask the opinion of the parents while you are there. Because of the family atmosphere there are always parents around who would be open to talking with you.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2014
I have been with St. Francis for over 30 yrs. as a parent, grandparent and staff member. There have been many ups and downs as in any work place and some personality differences. The main thing is, the welfare of the children has always come first. We now are getting back to where we were 10-15 years ago when St. Francis was THE place to be. Pastors, principals and some teachers have been a reason for the decline but we now have a good principal administrator and a very supportive pastoral staff. Yes. we will lose a few teachers this year however those teachers have been in education for over 35 years each and they would like to retire! It is a family atmosphere and the educators get to know the kids on a more personal level. As with any family there will be disagreements but for the most part, things get resolved. If I didn't believe in this school and what it stands for, I wouldn't have sent all my children and several grandchildren here.

- submitted by a community member
March 14, 2014
My school is a five star school! We have had an amazing experience at St. Francis. I wouldn't change much at all and the new principal is wonderful and supportive of all.

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2014
From outward appearances the new administration seems to be getting St. Francis back on track. There are more after school programs being offered and some of the new teacher seem more qualified than teachers in the past. However, the deeper issue at this school is the culture of the parents and staff. Something about the culture here is just amiss. Until the new administration is able to recognize and change the culture at this school, the conditions here will not improve.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2014
Our children both started at St. Francis in the preschool program. We've been enrolled now for five years, and remain very active in our children's classrooms, as well as on the Parent Teacher Group Board. We love this community of administrators, faculty, parents and children, and appreciate the common goal of helping our children thrive academically, socially and spiritually. We are a Catholic family, but there are many non-Catholic families at St. Francis who share our goals for academic excellence, and I encourage parents of all faiths to consider our school. Our curriculum is broadening with an array of after-school clubs and programs, as is our school's technology program. There is also a great camaraderie among parents and administration that makes us feel secure in our choice for our kids' education. We really do love St. Francis school.

- submitted by a parent
November 21, 2013
This is a great school and I highly recommend it. My son started out in preschool and is now in an upper grade. I like the fact that my son can learn in a safe and caring environment, All the children get along and because of the smaller classes no child is left behind,

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2013
We haven't had any complaints during the parent drama of the past Few years. Everything that went down with staff and admin has a direct Result of one priest . We Didn't mind the priest, the previous principal, the principal Before that, or the current administrator. Most of the previous complaints Are style issues-not actual educational content. People Get emotional and try to lump it all together. We now have after school clubs Sports, homework club, a resource teacher, extra math help, am basically excellent Iowa basic test scores. Aftercare has greatly improved, teachers are competent and caring since a few bad eggs have been flushed out. We have been Satisfied w our children's education and just as important, social Development . My only gripe is w the office staff. The "keeper of the keys" Takes her job very seriously. If she decides she doesn't like you she will Make you life miserable. One of the complaints of favoritism Stems from the front office . She has her rigid ways, if she decides You don't belong in the inner sanctum she will ensure you don't get there. The only bully Problem at this school is in the office.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2013
We've decided not to return next year. The teacher/principal turn-over rate is too high and the academics are too low, particularly in math. Due to an ever-shrinking enrollment, resources seem stretched thin. Books and equipment are out-dated. Also, I found the gossip at this school to be intense, creating an environment where people just seem to know your business. Maybe the new principal can turn things around, but for us enough is enough!

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2013
The previous poster for March 2013 has misidentified our school in her post. Specifically, our school does not have a gymnasium of any sort. All PE classes take place outside. We also have no one on staff that is a swim coach, nor do we have a pool/team for such. Our staff members do not meet the descriptions as portrayed by this poster. We invite all families interested in enrolling their child in a quality preschool (2 year olds) through 8th grade program to contact us directly and see what our school has to offer in our Christ centered environment.

- submitted by a teacher
February 03, 2013
Contrary to the parent post dated 12/9/12, the teachers who left (K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, MS math, Spanish, and Art) did so because of poor leadership from the new principal. These were professional, experienced, credentialed teachers, most of whom had been with the school for many years. I have spoken with all of them, and all left with a heavy heart. The same is true of the families who have left the school. When that many teachers and families leave a school in one year, there has to be a reason. In this case, the buck stops with the principal.

- submitted by a community member
December 21, 2012
We left St. Francis last year after increasing tuition and fundraising became too much a burden for our family. In three years the tuition went up 15%, and the mandatory fundraisers like Scrip also increased. We decided to try the public schools, and surprisingly, it has been the best decision we ever made! Even though our kids had A s and B s at St. Francis (and scored very well on Iowa tests), they were assessed below grade level in reading comprehension and they all struggled to catch up in math. This was very disappointing considering we had spent tens of thousands on tuition. We are amazed at the resources available at public schools: indoor gym, theater, band, multiple playgrounds and athletic fields, computers, library and so much more. Furthermore, the academic standards seem higher: All classes are taught every day and classes like Spanish count for high school credit. It is refreshing to finally belong to a school that releases test scores and post where fundraising money is allocated. Asking too many of these questions at St. Francis will label you a trouble-maker, as the previous post mentioned...and who wants to pay tuition for that?

- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2012
It is funny when people write a review and leave off lots of information, just so that they can justify making the school sound bad. The teachers leaving, IN ALL CASES, had nothing to do with the principal. The new principal is willing to listen to you, even if he does not agree. The old principal would put you on her "I will not talk to you" list if you disagreed with her. Those good families that decided to leave, many of them liked to stir up trouble for the school and not help our children! Our family has been at the school for 8 years, and we are finally happy with the direction it is going under the new principal. The school is looking at each child as an individual, and does not expect them to fit into the "Catholic Mold" like what was required under the the old principal. I know it is hard to find a good school for your children, and I really feel like this school is doing its best for the children. Instead of talking about all the "angry birds" that left, you need to see all the quality teachers that the school has. Trust me, some of the teachers that left we are better off without!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
November 16, 2012
Too many teachers, and good families left. The common factor was the leadership from the principal. Previous posts about his lack of experience are accurate. In addition, he has been very confrontational with parents and students. He demonstrates his lack of leadership qualities daily. It's too bad, this was a very good school not that long ago

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2012
St. Francis has been through it's ups and downs over the years but I can honestly say my children have received an excellent education and they go to school with quality children and involved families. I love the fact that my children are learning about their faith and are able to live that faith daily with their friends at school. It is so refreshing to have a new principal. It was time for fresh ideas and innovative approaches to running a school. I like the fact that the principal goes into the classrooms and observes the teachers to make sure their teaching techniques are solid. That did not happen with the previous principal. I look forward to the changes that are coming and to see the school continue to grow and be innovative in it's approach to teaching and learning.

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2012
I am amazed at how people can review a school by their perception of one individual's actions. If your expectations are that administrators make or break a school based on their presence alone, and accusations of negligence in timely responses, then perhaps the poster should find the the principal of their dreams and send their child to THAT school. That being said, St. Francis School continues to produce a great education in our children. National test scores shows that our classes excel in academics. The school has a full time resource teacher for those who struggle. Spanish is included as part of the curriculum. We have an active parent base that supports the school's needs. The school has SmartBoards in every classroom and I hear iPads are on the way. The P.E. program is great. Children learn in a safe and loving environment from preschool through 8th grade. I have never had a phone call, email or meeting request denied. And if I did, I would certainly confront the problem, not degrade an organization anonymously. You're hurting your own school in a public forum when your best form of action should be to address your concerns directly with the administrator or even the pastor.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2011
It is incredible how some people use the internet and e-mail as a platform to complain. Perhaps the parent who wrote such a hot tempered post below would have considered the facts, it would have never been posted. We send our children to a Catholic school for a variety of reasons. Catholic values is one of them. Apparently, there are some who feel the church and school should do what they want, rather than what is the policy of our diocese. Personally, if I were that unhappy with the way things are, I would leave. Anyone who looks at the community of St. Francis will realize how wonderful it is in its entirety.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2011
I wrote a 5-star review last year and I'm taking it back! PLEASE think twice before enrolling your child in this school, because at some point you will be unhappy and leave. The problem is the administration. The new pastor, Fr. Bud, is keen on using the children to promote his agenda of social justice and integration. Last year, he was attracting the homeless to the campus with his lunch program. This year, he is revamping the First Communion program for the students so that the students of St. Francis School will not receive the sacrament together, but in small groups who will be mixed in at the regular masses in May. I don't know of any Catholic school in the Diocese (except for St. Peters - Fr. Bud's old parish) that doesn't allow the 2nd grade students to celebrate First Communion together! Further, some of the students will have to have 1st Communion at the Spanish and Vietnamese masses if there is no room at the English masses. It doesn't make any sense! Two years ago, Fr. Bud changed the Kindergarten program from half-day to full-day in the middle of the year! They even have an online ad inviting families to try St. Francis for a few months for free. Not joking.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2011
Horrible school. The management and teachers are terrible. We left after 4 years due to new managment and bad teachers.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2011
I love the way they teach the kids. My child just finished kindergarten and he has grown so much in a span of one year. Their key strategy is "learning through play". I totally agree with it as 5 years old is still a child. Teacher turnover is very low - my son's teacher has been there for 17 years!

- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2010
Not only am I a graduate of St Francis, 2 of my brothers and my sister attended. All four of my children attended this school. One of my granddaughters (the only one local) attends the preschool. My wife and one of my daughters teach at the school. I am extremely pleased with the atmosphere and caring environment at the school. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants their children to learn in a caring family environment.

- submitted by a parent
December 07, 2009
As a parents, one significant attibute that my husband & I truly appreciate about St. Francis is the intimate Parent/Teacher/Child relationship. Anytime we have approached one of our son's teachers with a concern, a team approach ensued, resulting in a positive solution. The teachers make themselves very available for one on one time with both child and parent. Their committment goes far the end of day bell. Small, managable class size is terrific.

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2009
I have three children currently attending St. Francis School. I love that our parish and our school are the same place, that we see the teachers and principal at Sunday Mass worshipping along with us and other families. The school community is well-knit and supportive. The staff and teachers are more than willing to work with any issues that arise. The school is small enough that you can make a difference, yet big enough that you don t feel like you re in a fish bowl. They get faith instruction from home, at school, and on Sundays. It s a financial sacrifice for us to send our kids to a Catholic school, but it s worth the investment when you see where society and kids today are headed

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2009
My grandchildren are attending St. Francis and I have to say that the sincere attention that they have received from the teachers is above and beyond. The patience level is extraordinary, extending before and after school. I feel confident that at all times, my grandkids are safe, love their teachers, who have given them to skills to succeed at the next grade level, all accomplished in well rounded, Catholic, loving environment! THANK YOU, ST. FRANCIS! and all of the teachers and principal!

- submitted by a community member
August 19, 2009
We have been at this school for six years. Not only have they taught my child, they have also taught me about parenting! While I have not always agreed with some people there in the past, everything has worked out and I am very happy and comfortable. I enjoy the familiar faces and look forward to many more years at St. Francis. My child loves it and I wouldn't want to take him/her away from that.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2009
Excellent education in a caring Christian environment. Couldn't ask for a more supportive school.

- submitted by a community member
August 14, 2009
As a former student of this school and now a parent of four students who have or are attending this school, I highly recommend it! St Francis is a home away from home for us. Not only as our Parish but as my children's school. As a parent who volunteers there a great deal I see how this school is an extension of our family life. It is a nurturing and caring place for my children to grow not only academically but spiritually as well. Although no school can replace what children will learn through their parents and families, St Francis is an excellent source of assisting parents to teach their children life skills and learning skill. The entire staff are like family and care so deeply for all. We also like the fact that the Church is directly connected with the school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 14, 2009
Sent 3 kids all the way through preschool through 8th grade. Excellent school. Very satisfied.

- submitted by a parent
October 26, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
January 26, 2008
This school will not take responsibility for its actions. I have had to take a leave of absence from my business in order to homeschool my son to get him back up to the grade level that he should have stayed in and this school won't take any responsibility for its role in all of this. They won't help in any way at all. The administration needs to actually read the Catechism and find out what their responsiblities are as Catholic leadership. They are supposed to serve us, not vice versa.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2006
This school is beautiful. The children's souls shine brighter then the sun, when i see how happy they are with there teachers, i wan't to cry tears of joy. I wan't every child in the world to fell that blessed and full of LovE!

- submitted by a teacher
March 21, 2006
I have a child in Preschool and Pre-K. They have learned so much. I would recommend it to everybody. The classes are a little big but they have 3 teachers in each class.

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2006
This is a great environment for children to learn. The staff is extremely willing to go the extra mile to ensure success. Academics are taught in harmony with core values and cooperative learning. Parental support forms its own community with the staff to further encourage the children. My son received honest evaluations and was able to improve the focus in necessary areas. The teachers are careful to encourage all stages of development and are flexible to different learning styles. All around great place to have kids learn fundamentals in a safe environment that is committed to community. My son was extremely ready for Kindergarten after 2 years of pre-K at this school.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2005
This school, overall, has a caring and nurturing environment where kids come first, as well as an exemplory academic program. In 2000, when my kids went there, there were fantastic events, the yearly spring fine arts festival was outstanding, the third graders did an above-average school play, and the school had a nice, even balance between religion, academics and social-events. The first and second grade teachers seemed a bit rigid and overbearing, I hope that has changed, but otherwise a fine school. I highly recommend it.

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: October 28, 2014

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St. Francis of Assisi School
525 West Vista Way, Vista, CA  92083
(760) 630-7960
Last modified St. Francis of Assisi School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
St. Francis of Assisi School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 37 reviews. Top