This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St Mark's Episcopal School1
Posted March 27, 2015
- a parent
I am a parent of a an eighth grade boy at St. Mark's. He has attended the school since 2nd grade. Lower school was decent but since middle school, life at St. Mark's has been a nightmare! This is the time when Donna Bradley became Head of school and Alesia Hoy became the Middle school coordinator. These women have completely changed the dynamics of this school. My son is a typical fourteen year old boy that is very athletic and starting to really like the girls. He has been miserable at St. marks since 6th grade and I truly wish that i had listened to him and pulled him out. This is not a school for boys! After being here for 7 years, I have gotten to know many of the moms in our grade. This is the talk amongst the majority of the parents at school for the last several years. Several boys have left and they are thriving elsewhere. If you have a boy, I urge you to do your homework before you consider this school. I truly wish I could be raving about this school after spending 7 years and lots of money but it's virtually impossible for me to say anything positive.
I currently have a daughter in middle school and I have been extremely satisfied up until now. The current Spanish teacher is terrible! My daughter always tells me how long she takes to start the class and how unenthusiastic she is. My daughter also tells me that she is barely learning anything. The previous Spanish teacher, Mrs. Barth, was much better.
I went to this school from pre-k 4 all the way to 8th grade. One thing I did realized once I graduated and went on to high school is I was very sheltered here. I'm happy I was because in high school there is lots of new things good and bad and this school helped me understand how to stay out of trouble. Recently, the school built a gym which is very lovely. They are beginning to build a cafeteria and in about 4 years the school will be brand new. I also heard they are trying to hire younger teachers which is a good thing because they tend to be more enthusiastic. One thing about St.Marks is their determination to be perfect and the cliques within the students, at this school i was able to be unique in my group of friends and the teachers I remember being my favorite were amazing. My memories here will probably last forever and even though St.Marks is judgmental at times by 8th grade my grade was family. Before you enroll here, you should have your child take a tour of the school and maybe shadow a student if possible because I feel its more how the kid feels about the school than the parents.
Our daughter switched from The Benjamin School to St. Mark's in August 2010 and we are simply amazed at the educational, social, spiritual, environmental, interpersonal levels that she has grown in less than one year! Given that she entered at 2nd grade, she was welcomed lovingly with open arms with caring and supportive teachers and all other staff members. From an academic perspective, she has learned more this year than she ever did in the past 2 years combined at tbs where they did not even realize she was not reading until we asked them to test her at age 7 1/2 (talk about falling through the cracks). She has also blossomed in her peer friendships with both boys and girls and feels safe whereas before she had experienced bullying, being hit in the head and stomach and being called "fat". St. Mark's has proven to be a true blessing for our entire family. They stand behind their mission and they do hold children accountable for their behaivors (tbs did not for fear of losing enrollment and donors) which is a true life lesson. St. Mark's treats everyone with respect and honor and dignity. They value all contributions of time, talent and treasure (tbs wants your treasure)...
We moved here mid-year and toured the school to have my pre-schooler finish out the year. The school was amazing! I was then asked to come back on Saturday for my daughter to be evaluated. Politely wrote a check for $100 of which I was not told in advance! AND NEVER HEARD FROM ANYONE AGAIN! No one should subject their pre-schooler to an evaluation by a teacher's aid and pay for it. These evaluations are for the school's benefit ONLY. The only person who can properly assess a pre-schooler's development is a doctor. If you are a milquetoast person with lots of money, you will love this place.
We have been at this school for 7 years with 2 children currently enrolled. My daughter has never experienced one ounce of bullying! She excels academically. My son is occasionally disciplined as his behavior dictates not because he is a boy but because his behavior requires it. He also excels academically. Fabulous music program and love the intramurals offered to lower school children. Teachers are more than willing to offer extra help to those who need it and enrichment sessions to those who may excel in a subject after hours which is a huge bonus. Huge parental involvement and caring staff which creates a warm atmosphere for the students. Loving, nurturing, Christian environment.
I have two daughters at St. Marks; one in the lower school and one in the middle school. The academic cirriculum is challenging, and has prepared my older daughter for a successful high school experience. The teachers are fantastic! They are nurturing and always available. I think the administration is exceptional, professional, and approachable; they are truly committed to providing the best cirriculum and environment for the students. Any time I have had a question or concern, it has been addressed promptly, thoroughly, and fairly. This is a wonderful, safe, supporting & loving environment. - the school provides character education & has a staff therapist to promote healthy relationships among the children. I wouldn't have my daughters go anywhere else. St. Mark's truly does live up to its mission statement.
We have been at St. Mark's for nearly 5 years, with 2 children, and have absolutely loved our experience there. Every school has its issues - none is perfect - but we've watched our children grow into confident, respectful and motivated young people. This is not just due to the spiritual aspect of the school, but the warmth and dedication of the teachers evident throughout. This cannot be over-emphasized. In the past couple of years, after-school enrichment sessions have supplemented the academic program, for both those needing a little extra help or more challenge. There are great improvements currently underway in the school's facilities, and the administration has handled the problem of lower enrollment (a pervasive problem in Florida) without jeopardizing the many programs available to the students. Parent involvement is very high and there are plenty of ways to be involved for working parents too.