This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Mary's Academy5
Posted May 22, 2014
- a parent
My daughter is in the lower school and it's awesome. She's in the 2nd grade and reads at a 5th-6th Grade Level. She does all kinds of multiplication and beginning division problems. In comparison to her peers at other schools public and private she is further along academically and frankly she is kinder socially. I love the teachers and the Principals and most importantly they love my daughter.
I love Saint Mary's Academy lower school! Teachers concentrate not only on what children learn but how children learn. The curriculum entails an integrated approach which emphasizes the active learning process. The process, which encourages cooperative learning, includes problem solving and decision making. Young learners are provided with essential learning skills, cooperative social behavior, appreciation for the arts, good study habits and physical coordination, these are sequentially developed for each grade level. My child wakes up on the weekends wishing that it was school day!
We LOVE St. Mary's Academy! Our child has been thriving at this school for 4 years. She is in 3rd grade and reads at a 6th-7th grade level and excels in math as well - all from what is provided at school along with normal reinforcement at home (reading before bed, counting change back, etc.). The teachers go out of their way to present material in creative, hands-on ways which is engaging to the children. They also spend time engaging and challenging each child. Additionally, the classrooms are organized in fun, creative ways which keep the kids moving around and blood flowing to their brains. Our daughter has experienced social struggles but they are normal struggles we would expect her to encounter at any school. From our experience, St. Mary's is keeps a finger on the pulse of education and strives for excellence from every angle. We are extremely happy at St. Mary's and plan to have our youngest child start there in the fall.
I absolutely disagree with the negative comments I see posted regarding the level of education provided by St. Mary's. My daughter can go up against any public or private school gifted and talented program! I understand not every school is for every child. But the results of a St. Mary's Academy education are confident, independent, values driven, future leader that attend great colleges and go on to do great things with their lives!
We had high hopes for St. Mary's and even turned down a last minute invite from St, Anne's to keep our daughter there from Kindergarten through 3rd grade. We knew that we had utterly lucked out with our 1st/2nd grade teacher and team. But we had been warned by other parents on their way out to keep our eyes on the curriculum. We tried. Many promises were made - things would be different! The only thing that was different was that the bullying was coming from the teachers instead of being stopped by them. Educational testing showed that there were "great glaring holes" in her education that ought to be but weren't. Predominantly in areas like civics, vocabulary, and, math. Compared to someone taking the same test from public schools? St. Mary's kids couldn't identify 3 branches of government, what a myth was, or how to memorize the multiplication tables rather than just rapid-adding. We pulled our daughter mid-year and placed her in a nearby school that nurtures kids who are gifted but might face challenges. She blossomed right away I hear the high school is different - but I wouldn't recommend the lower school except for average middle-of-the-road students.
What I like most about St. Mary's Academy is the academic standard, the family atmosphere and the caring of teachers and administrators. Not only are our children prepared academically but also socially. As independent thinkers they are given the tools for leadership. The relationship between student and teacher continues to set us apart from other area schools. Both small class size and flexible schedule allow these great bonds to form. St. Mary's Academy provides the best education in the region and among the top schools in the country.
During the last year we moved from Australia to Denver. Like a previous reviewer we thought the small environment of SMAS might make the transition of our 3 children ages 8, 10 and 13 easier. And we were right! Remarkably all of our children have made many friends and have been welcomed and included with open arms. There were transition issues with academics and friendships but we feel the teachers worked very hard with us and our children to work issues out to enable the children to adapt. The community is very supportive and inclusive. Could not be happier.
My son spent a miserable year at this school when we first moved to Denver from California. My husband and I had thought that the small environment of SMA might make his transition to a new city easier. Were we ever wrong! My son, who had never had peer issues at his previous school, was bullied and excluded in ways that I thought only existed in bad sitcoms and teen movies. The administration was either unable or unwilling to help the situation. Although he ultimately found a small group of friends who felt similarly excluded and bonded with them, he still remembers his year at SMA as his worst ever.
Our two boys, ages 6 and 9, have gained a lot this year attending the lower school. Great friendships have been formed in a school that has become an extended family quickly. The academics are advanced, with tons of hands-on learning and creativity at every turn. We are so glad we switched to this school.
Some 6th and 7th grade teachers are impressive. Academics are strong but the middle school teachers overall were unwilling or unable to motivate my kid. Look elsewhere for middle school boys. Practically no assistance for high school placement. Leadership inconsistent. Lower school is, however, fantastic! The leadership in lower school and teacher's were willing and able to motivate boys and girls.
Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at
school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices and programs
in Oakland, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.