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St. Mary Magdalen School

Private | PK-8


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Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $151,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,210.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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17 reviews of this school

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Posted October 12, 2011

I reviewed this school years ago, when my son was moving into the first grade. He is now moving on to high school, and I have a daughter in the 4th grade. My feelings toward this school have not changed. The school is academically challenging while instilling the students with important values and respect. The school has an amazing feel to it, when you enter you feel the power of learning and an exceptional environment to learn in. Many times when I am at the school volunteering or visiting, I am impressed with the quiet learning environment that my kids have learned to take for granted. I have been in other elementary schools, and trust me they are far from optimal learning environments. This school is a little hidden wonder and if you are lucky enough to visit, you will feel that special feeling of SMMS. I read in one of the reviews about the family that had a crisis with a sick child. That family is mine. SMMS rallied behind my family and supported us through hour son's battle with childhood cancer. SMMS is extra special, we were told by the staff at CT. Children's Medical Center, they have never seen a school support a family in the way SMMS supported our family.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 27, 2011

I am a student at SMMS. We have a great school motto: "Work hard and be nice!". That motto shows in our students, who all respect and follow it. We have excellent teachers who try to support us in every possible way. We have challenging academic programs that fully prepare us for high school. Our school gathers in the gym to have prayer services and sometimes we walk down to the church on holy days of obligation. Our school rocks!!!

Posted February 1, 2010

We are parents of three SMMS students: one now in college, one in high school, and one a current SMMS student. Our children were offered a wonderful education in a safe and caring environment. Our two older children have told us several times that SMMS prepared them well to be successful students in high school and beyond. They feel that they have an advantage as students, because they have a good educational foundation and are disciplined in their study habits as a result of their time at SMMS. SMMS is very dedicated to producing students who are socially aware of those in need, service oriented, and caring leaders. These students truly learn to 'work hard and be nice! If you value an education that addresses your child as a whole person then your tuition dollars are very well spent here at SMMS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 20, 2010

We chose SMMS two years ago after there was a re-configuration to our public school system. We considered other Catholic schools, but decided to send our children to SMMS after touring the school. It had everything we wanted -- the students were engaged, not repressed; there were smart boards in all the classrooms; upper level grades had laptops; and it had an overall happy, learning environment. We believe in strong academics and SMMS offers all that and more. It really feels like a strong extended community. In the past year, one of our students was faced with a serious medical crisis and the entire school banded together to help raise funds for the family and help the family with anything needed during their time of need -- that is what this school does best. We couldn't be happier with our decision and our children absolutely love it.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 19, 2010

St, Mary Magdalen is a known treasure to those in the Oakville/Watertown section. At SMMS the students receive a well rounded education with a challenging curriculum with state of the art computer technology. The environment is peaceful and respectful which gives the students the edge needed to have an upper edge. One of my sons graduated and is doing incredible in high school and I know that the base was received at SMMS. I have one child left at SMMS and he continues to get A's & B's.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 14, 2010

I read the reviews on this website in 2004 when I was researching schools for my daughter. We ended up choosing SMMS and I am excited to have rediscovered this website years later such that I can write my own review! We now have two children who attend SMMS and we could not be more pleased. The level of education they receive is outstanding. Iowa Test scores are consistently grade levels above the national average. The school has high expectations for the children, which I appreciate because I believe that if you don't expect much, you won't get much. I love the fact that the school has so much parental involvement. There's a wonderful sense of camaraderie. If you're looking for a school which will academically challenge your child and reinforce values, this is the place.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 14, 2010

If anyone would like to find out what a terrific school SMMS is, just contact NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). Last year they came to SMMS for a week and completed an in-depth review that covered every academic and social aspect of the school and follwed it up with a 'glowing' review. As far as I am concerned, there is not a better school on the planet!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 14, 2010

When my wife and I were weiging the option of sending our daughters to SMMS or a public school with some other friends of ours back in 2001, we felt very strongly that the 'grade-school' years were the most important and impressionable years of our children's lives. We wanted our children to have an experience that would leave an impression that would last a lifetime. Having come from a Catholic school backround (grammar school, HS, and college), I was fully cognizant of what SMMS had to offer and what the experience would mean to my children; not just during their grammar school days, but their entire lives. Academically, socially, and spiritually, SMMS has met our every expectation and then some. We have one daughter graduating this year, a 4th grader, and a son who will graduate in 2023. Sending them to SMMS was one of the best decisions we ever made!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 12, 2009

All three of my children have attended SMMS starting from pre-k. If you walk in during the middle of the day the school is silent and in order. The kids are in control and getting an education not day care. Discipline, well rounded, outgoing, educated, and polite kids are the final result ready for high school and beyond. High level of parent involvement enhances the school atmosphere.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 27, 2009

This school focuses everything on religion which makes me feel very self-conscious about myself. It is a small building with large classes, so children don't get attention as individuals. I see my son come home disappointed or upset almost every day. I think they are way to harsh there
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 11, 2007

This year has been our first experience at SMMS. I am disappointed at the large class sizes. I think that alot of individual attention is lacking due to this factor. I also think the larger class makes it more difficult for teachers to work with children with behavioral/emotional problems. I would love to see a social worker at SMMS- this would help!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 11, 2007

I attended SMMS for nine years, it was not my choice. This school did nothing for me. It only focused on religion and memorization. Never one did we have to do real problem solving or use our minds.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted September 26, 2006

My daughter is in her second year at this school. I am amazed by the quality of education she receives. She is learning so much so quickly. The staff here is highly dedicated and every staff member knows every child by name. I am proud to be involved with this school and look forward to the next 7 years!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 2, 2006

Our son is in second grade and our daughter first grade. The love and caring in this school is what struck us first. The principle (Ms Pion) is fantastic as well as all of her staff of teachers. We feel blessed that our children will begin the most important time of their scholastic lives in this environment. Tom & Sheri Foley
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 1, 2005

I have had all three of my sons educated at SMMS and one has since graduated from college, one just entered and the other is a junior at SHHS. All three were extremely prepared for their continued educations. If you are deciding on a grammar school, stop looking and go to SMMS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 20, 2004

If you are looking for a school with an extremely devoted pricipal and staff, you just found it. My son started Kindergarten last year (9/03), and I was blown away with the teaching staff and the parent involvement. I would never consider sending my children to any other school. Ms. Pion has inspired the entire school community. I don't think a week goes by that I don't comment to someone on the excellent experience our family is having at SMMS. Sue Dunn
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 26, 2004

I am very pleased with my son's growth this past school year. Mrs. Bendsten and Mrs.Barnes are true teachers. Not alone did they have such interest in my son but they were extremely kind to a very nervous Mom (ME). A wonderful school! Kelly Keroack
—Submitted by a parent

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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 87% 62%
Two or more races 5% N/A
Asian 4% N/A
Hispanic 4% 18%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 4%
Black 0% 15%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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School basics

  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


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  • Religious


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  • Library
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  • Archdiocese of Hartford
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140 Buckingham St
Oakville, CT 06779
Phone: (860) 945-0621


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