We were at a public school for several years and then made the move to Our Lady of Fatima. We love this school and wish we had made the move sooner! After looking at other catholic schools in the area, we chose OLF because of the small class sizes, strength in academics and the Blue Ribbon status. When you join this school, you truly feel as if you are part of a family. The teachers are fantastic, and are able to give each child individual attention due to the small class sizes. Unfortunately, at the public school there were too many kids lacking parental support and discipline at home. These kids were a distraction in the classroom and took away attention from the kids who were there to learn at a high level. At OLF, we are surrounded by parents with similar values who are truly invested in their children's education. The curriculum is aligned with Common Core and they do take standardized tests like most schools do. However, compared to the public schools, there is not such a large amount of classroom time dedicated solely to test preparation. It is a school where kindness and integrity are valued and encouraged as highly as academic excellence. It is great knowing that the values we work to instill in our children at home are being reinforced at school.
I agree that the school is small and intimate. Family atmosphere is a good phrase to apply but not the main priority for us. My rating is for academic program. The reason we have decided not to move our children into the elementary school from the olf preschool is valid. My daughter loved preschool there but there were so few children it is not a real life scenario. I originally planned to enroll both my children but we have decided to enroll in public school for the exposure to race diversity and opportunities to foster their interests in science, creative arts at their younger age. I also want then to take foreign language at a young age. It seems as though many of these things come with middle school aged students. Common core is important but is not the only priority for us.
I left after a few years. It was once a great school but unfortunately it hasn't kept up with the times. I'm not as shocked with differing feedback. In fact, I think it's realistic and healthy. That could help the school. The atmosphere can feel like a family, however what works for a few families doesn't work for all. There will be families who have high expectations of a blue ribbon school. Regardless of the grade level they are in.
I am shocked at the last review on this page. I currently have a child in Kindergarten as well as an older student. My children have had nothing but the best experience since entering Our Lady of Fatima. The environment is full of love and a sense of community. The teachers are truly invested in the children and really take the time to get to know each one. My oldest student had the current Kindergarten teacher and we were blown away by the all around experience - the teachers really instilled a love of learning in both of my children. We have had another amazing year this year and are actually saddened to not have another student to enroll in the Kindergarten class. Luckily, we have more amazing teachers to meet at Fatima and know that they will continue to help our kids grown, learn, and laugh each and every day!
I enrolled my son for 2014/15. After having spent the school year in kindergarten, and comparing his progress with those at other local schools similar in age/grade I decided to pull him. I interviewed three schools the last 3 months, two are Catholic private schools and one an open classroom. I have learned that it's critical to understand not only the curriculum standards but also take the time to get to know the environment, educators background, disciplinary approach and transparency around turn over. The principal is very nice. The 2 & 3 teacher are promising. There are pros and cons to going with a very small school that only has one classroom per grade. If you have a child who excels with larger student bodies meaning they require diversity, creativity, challenging academics, transforming from very strong preschool programs- go in with an open mind and think about how they will embrace the environment.
This school is a special place that fosters engagement in the classroom and in activities and in friendships which, in turns, creates friendly, helpful, involved kids. The school provides a warm, nurturing community for children that allows them to feel safe, loved, and comfortable so that they can focus their energy on learning. We love this community for us as well as for our children.