This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Saint Barnabas Episcopal School5
Posted November 17, 2014
- a teacher
You are correct in stating we are not on the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence list for this year. The process of becoming a NBRS is something that must be reapplied for every year and a process that is very time consuming. As a school, we have shifted our focus and time from NBRS recognition to dedicating that extra time to the education of our students. However, our students' testing and scores far exceed the requirements of a NBRS school. Our 8th graders test 5 years above their grade level, our students consistently score in the top 4% of the nation, and we have even had 5 alumni in the last 4 years become Valedictorians of their respective schools! I'd say that is pretty impressive and a feat that no other private school in Central Florida can claim! Also, we HAVE recently been accepted into the National Association of Independent Schools. This is something that no other K-8 school in Volusia County or the 5 surrounding counties can say. Statistically speaking, St. Barnabas is, by far, the best private school education (K-8) in the Volusia County area.
It was very concerning to hear that a family had felt as though they were being discriminated against due to their financial class. I have never seen or heard any of our administrators, teachers, and staff participating in favoritism based on social class or wealth. There have been hundreds of compliments, this year alone, about how all our faculty, staff, and administrators genuinely care about ALL students that attend this school. I was actually a student here K-8 grade, I would not say my parents were ever a "wealthy" family and I was treated like every other kid at the school. Also, every private school has some sort of fundraising initiative worked into its plan. I don't know of any FCIS schools that don't have an Annual Fund. Considering we would prefer to keep our tuition lower, we ask for the support of our community. Without this support we would not be able to provide scholarships or new curriculum to our students. This is also a blessing to the school because it allows those that have been blessed financially to give so that others less fortunate can still attend. We are extremely thankful for EVERY student and family that attends St. B!
St. Barnabas has what I would call "big fish in a small pond syndrome". Both my children went here for several years, my wife had them switched to another private school after it became obvious that favoritism (as spoken in other reviews) is shown here. If you have the means to donate heavily to the school (yes they ask for grandparents/relatives names and addresses to mail them donation forms, applying pressure to elderly parents is not right) or have what they believe is higher status or pull in the community, you will absolutely love it here. If not, don't be surprised when they have no idea who you or your children are (even though they have been in the school for years). If you are looking for just a quality Christian education (regardless of social class, community status, or bank account size) I would suggest other schools in the area. BTW, this is in a very small town, I grew up in in an affluent area and knew very wealthy people growing up. Even they did not display such arrogance as I experienced here.
We came to St. Barnabas after a couple of years in the public school system. We were actually very pleased with our public school expereince, however, we thought that we wanted something more for our children. We have not been let down. St. Barnabas has been an amazing place to have our children and they have excelled beyond our imagination since being here. The faith, virtue, and excellence that St. Barnabas speaks about has truly inspired our children and blessed our home.
I agree with the teachers comments to the parent who's child needs tutoring. St. Barnabas is a school well suited for children that excel academically. And families that are willing to spend their evenings at the dinner table doing homework . If your child can't handle the rigorous workload here then yes you should find a place better suited for him/her. My child is doing very well here and we are happy with the school.
This is our first time at a private school and contrary to what I 've been told about private schools, St. Barnabas has proven to be an excellent choice for us. My child loves coming to school and is excited about being involved in plays, projects, and sports. We really enjoy that they give a religious study class and they participate in chapel. The school is small in numbers so their students have a close relationship with one another. Nothing is perfect but St. Barnabas is pretty close.
To the parent who says they aren't getting their monies worth. If anything I can gather from your thoughts is your child is needing some kind of special help for a (developed) learning disability. I have seen teachers and other children tutoring their peers. For a school the size of St B a special ed teacher is out of the reach for the salary they will need to be paid for the cost of your tuition. What were you expecting? You talk to the administration about a teacher but how is the teacher to know your concerns if they don't talk to their teacher. It seems team work is well at work here. Accept that your child has gotten the best of education your money has bought and would your child be as far as they are now had they been in public school all this time? Yes it is about the money. Giving a child the best education at the next to lowest price (to public school) a parent can afford. And again this year a St Barnabas graduate student achieved another award at Deland High with the Medallion of Excellence for academic achievement. Some times things aren't meant to be. Things change. Things don't go the way you want. Lift your child up and find what works best for him/her.
St. Barnabas is an excellent school. There's no comparison around - and believe, me, we've looked. The teachers are well-educated and very dedicated. They communicate constantly with parents. The classrooms are well-appointed with smartboards, carpeting, and new-looking desks. The extra-curricular classes like Music, Art, P.E. and Spanish are really great. The Music teacher puts on very nice shows and plays, and the kids take these very seriously. The older kids travel off-campus once a week for P.E. for six-week concentrations, including swimming and tennis. The school also has bus transportation to and from New Smyrna and Father Lopez/Daytona-Ormond. The schools' test scores are in the upper 4% nationally!!! Needless to say, the students are very challenged--but in creative ways, so we really appreciate that! Sixth Grade dedicates part of the last quarter to the Shakespeare experience, where they work with Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and produce a play, memorizing the actual lines. If you're looking for a beautiful campus with excellent teachers and bright, motivated kids, St. Barnabas might just be the place!
Under new leadership, both at the school and the church, the school is continuing its outstanding educational program. The closeness of this educational family, not only in the nurturing of the young minds from the teachers, staff, and parents, but in the compassion of how everyone's lives are cared about in this school family is just truly exemplary of its Christian values. These are the children who will be leaders one day. Sometimes it is not all rosy, as the devil tries to lead some astray, but compassion and forgiveness, teaching and patience, wisdom and guidance prevail from the leadership of Mr. Garcia and Father Brian. I see a bright new future for this school.