This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St Thomas Aquinas Elementary School2
Posted September 04, 2014
- a parent
This school is better than public schools in curriculum, but the spirit of the school is lacking.... psychological (subvertive vs. overt) bullying and isolation. My child still talks about how unhappy the school experience was and the mean-spirited treatment directed towards anyone who was not part of a group or a bit more artistic. Conforming is expected, creativity or anything outside of the daily rote of their program is not encouraged. By middle school the kids, esp. the boys, are particularly rude and disrespectful to girls and teachers. Most of the teachers are very good but having a child mis-treated and sad... not good. The damage is still evident today.
The public schools in Fairfield aren't that bad, but they aren't as good as private schools like St. Thomas Aquinas. The staff at St. Thomas Aquinas have higher expectations regarding behavior (dress, respect, presentation, decorum, etc.) that public schools would never address, and the academic expectations are certainly greater. If you compare your kids and the children of your neighbors, you can probably tell the difference in education. As mentioned by others, the principal and teachers at St. Thomas Aquinas are wonderful. To add to that, there are parents who are highly involved with great passion. There are also various after school programs that no one has mentioned previously, and a shuttle bus also takes kids to The Sportsplex. The school will watch your kids if you drop them off early or pick them up an hour or so after school for a fee. Uniquely, Fairfield school district provides public school buses for students of all private schools, so busing is another option, although one never knows when that budget will be cut. The only thing I'd prefer to improve is the music program; I would prefer to see more than a few boys singing in the choirs dominated by girls.
There are a great many factors to consider when choosing a school, but unfortunately, there isn t enough space here to go through most. That said, this is the 2nd town where we were concerned about the direction of the public schools. We chose St. Thomas Aquinas while considering Hunt Ridge Montessori and the Pierrepont School, and we are very happy with our choice for the past couple years. We are non-Catholics, but this is our 2nd Catholic school, and both schools have been very accepting. Our daughter is half Asian, she grew up overseas, and English is her second language. She loves both schools, and only one kid has made fun of her during the past 3 years. The teachers at St. Thomas Aquinas are very warm, caring, and responsive. The principal is the most outstanding that we have ever experienced; she has a wonderful style that commands respect, and she seems to know every student and parent! There are many activities for parents, but we just haven t had the time. The only things we would wish for are a later start in the day, a tougher academic load, and possible options for Latin, Greek, or German (alas, few schools offer those) in addition to the French & Spanish.
Unless you are a catholic and have been here for years, steer clear. Kids are mean and cliquey and talk over the teachers and throw things in the middle school during class. Other than basketball (which my son does not play) the sports program is nil. My son did get into a decent school after this school so academically it is far better for that than providing a healthy social and spiritual atmosphere. The principal is no nonsense and very good and the problem really is the culture of the school.
At St. Thomas children receive an academically challenging faith based education. It is co-ed with 2 classes/grade (pre-K - 8th) The St. Thomas Community encourages parental involvement in helping the children meet their academic and religious goals. The School offers after school enrichment in creative writing, drama, chess, choir, etc. Other Extracurricular activities: Scouting, Basketball, Missoula Children's Theater & Youth Group. Graduates are very well prepared and attend Fairfield Prepatory (Fairfield), Lauralton Academy (Milford), St. Joseph (Trumbull), Notre Dame (Fairfield), Sacred Heart Academy Greenwich), Hopkins School (New Haven), and Fairfield High School. The St. Thoams Community has just finished a significant capital campaign raising over 3 million dollars for the building of their beautiful parish center which has several state of the art classrooms for Science, Music and Religious education. The building also holds a beautiful Gymnamsium W/ Stage Area & a new cafeteria is currently Under Construction.