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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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!