I'm glad I finally realized my pleas to school administration were not going to go anywhere, so I joined the dozen+ other families my children's ages who have also left recently, and pulled my children out.
I can count at least three mothers who have cried in Sister's office saying "please tell me you will address my concerns about," and got nothing but empty promises.
There are some decent teachers who love students K-3 or 4. Beyond that age, the teachers yell, punish, berate, embarrass kids for being kids. They are overworked and short-tempered, and I can understand that. The administration is blind to how overworked teachers are. The students suffer.
Teachers frequently assign 4-5 websites and say "do 15, 20, or 30 minutes of website XYZ tonight for homework."
These are drills, not helping students truly learn. Also, if I wanted a website to teach my child, I could have saved $5500 per year in tuition.
This school beats kids down. They are not even allowed to run on the playground during recess. They walk laps on a track, there are no pick up ball games of any kind, and recess is VERY regimented. That is unless of course, the kid/your child are undergoing a punishment such as "silent lunch" which my child had, which means lunch alone, no talking, and no recess. This is a COMMON punishment for infractions such as talking during the frequent masses (2-3 per week) or failing to complete an assignment. This punishment is assigned as early as third grade, and sometimes lasts days or weeks. One mother told me in March 2016 that her child hadn't had recess since January. Would this develop grit and determination in your child or would that break his/her spirit?
Respect for what? Authority? Respect at this school is motivated by fear of authority.
There is SIGNIFICANT family turnover beginning after 4th grade. Why is that? As in, 40-60% of families who went to HFCS from K-4th grade wind up leaving to go to other public or private schools due to the overcrowding. Families wise up to the overcrowding, the authoritarianism, and to the lack of academic standards. They are readily replaced by public school kids whose parents aren't in the greatest schools for junior high, so the school remains full. You just have to ask yourself- why are these long time families all leaving?????
Kids are not allowed to think for themselves in the majority of cases. Cheating is common, the use of tablets to facilitate learning sounds great, until kids use them for typical kid stuff (instant messaging, chat rooms, social media). Kids aren't given chances to develop moral courage. Kids are kids, and will try to get away with whatever they can get away with. Teachers use the tablets as babysitters.
The school has a 20 hour volunteer requirement. They gave 2 free hours to families who took a survey ranking Hoky Family #1 private school in Orlando. This was not a fair or unbiased vote by any stretch of the imagination.
My children required remedial math support after attending this school. Multiple other families employ private tutors to make up for lack of time, attention, and skill by teachers. School is extremely over-crowded, 33-37 kids per class, two classes per grade. The upper classes, 5th-8th grade have one assistant teacher to share between the 2 classes. Complaints to administration routinely fall on deaf ears. But hey, they have a drama program!
Teachers are over-worked, snappish, short-tempered, and sometimes downright bullies to students. There was one teacher this school year who was suspended by the principal (FINALLY) after 5+ families complained about her bullying this year. This same teacher had years of complaints from other families, so Holy Family's response was to take a page from a familiar Catholic playbook, and move the problem teacher to another grade so that she could terrorize another group of kids.
School has a prison vibe. School administration will expend far more effort and energy on ensuring that students are meeting the uniform / dress code standards than they ever will on your child's progress in math. Over the years I received countless emails about uniforms. I received less than three about math.
Kids at this school can be cold, mean, outright hostile. I equate it to the "too many kids in the class" to be able to allow for kindness with each other. There are frequent episodes of exclusion and bullying.
My child was one of 5 students on Tuesdays and
Thursday. Despite the small numbers the teacher did not figure out my son knew his colors, shapes, numbers,and letters until 3 months into the school year. In addition the teacher did not notice that my kid did not favor one hand over another.
During a parent teacher conference the teacher stated he will have problems writing his letters. This was due to poorly developed " fine motor skills". She suggested he get occupational therapy.I informed her that my son had been writing his letters for 2 months and he did not have a problem with it. She did not even notice that he could write his letters.
The only way this teacher helped my son at all was by increasing his vocabulary. I think I could have taught him that and it would have been cheaper.