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1810 N Hermitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

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(773) 486-0119
(773) 486-0996
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Map of St. Mary of the Angels address.
Amount of homework: Not enough
July 30, 2015
The "strong academics" have been the Saxon Math program, a home-schooling math program. So, while we all paid for a private school education, homeschoolers were probably passing our kids by. The math homework was ridiculously easy and took the 1st graders 5 seconds to complete. They mastered counting pennies by month one. It never really got any harder all year long, the majority of parents were disgusted. So much so, the principal got a secret curriculum committee together to come up with another curriculum (not impressed with the parents on the secret committee. A music teacher and an ESL teacher shouldn't be picking out a math program.). They say they are implementing Singapore math, but who will teach the teachers how to teach Singapore math? I wouldn't get my hopes up. There have been more broken promises then actual promises that have come to fruition. However, this is all due to the principal and her inability to effectively run a school, promote cohesiveness, and develop her staff. She should spend more time honing-in on leadership skills and her job requirements so she doesn't have to run to the Pastor for every little thing because she can't sufficiently manage her role. Perhaps if she arrived at worked earlier than 7:50-7:55 AM every day she could better focus on lesson plans and curriculum of her staff instead of allowing them a free-for-all and judging her teachers by parents feedback of "oh I love him/her" and judged them by the test scores produced by the kids they teach!

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Disagree
July 30, 2015
Have you ever heard the saying, "You can't demand respect, you must command it?" It's equivalent to leading by example, not demanding it out of others because you believe you are so important. The principal demands respect. She will tell you how much she, and she alone, has done to grow the school, save the school, etc. We all know how well leadership does when there is only, "I, me, myself." Consequently, out of demand, SMA demands you follow their covenant and their Maryland Charter. It's a form of control and justification of SMA's lack of competence as it provides them an ability to hide their insecurities and incapabilities. Again, any love and respect is taught by the fellow outstanding families and teachers. Very hard to teach respect when demanding it.

- submitted by a parent
Develops grit: Strongly disagree
July 30, 2015
When the first graders received weekly spelling tests all year long, only near the end of the year was there differentiation, but not in the way you would expect. You would expect the smarter kids would receive harder words than "A" and "the," instead near the end of the year, there were a handful of kids that were SO behind (couldn't read, can't spell) and they received their own spelling test. Clearly this was in an effort in their own demented "no child left behind" policy, but all it does is hurt the kid that is behind and holds back the advanced kids. It's the antithesis of how one achieves grit and determination. Please note: when a school doesn't show you their test scores--RUN! Private schools do not have to provide scores to Great Schools, but the ones that do are open and honest. The same cannot be said for SMA. Remember it's show and tell, not just tell you scores!

- submitted by a parent

July 30, 2015
If you are considering St. Mary of the Angels School please do yourself a favor and tour the outstanding schools nearby as well (St. Josaphat, Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts, St. Clement, St. Andrew, Immaculate Conception/St. Joseph in Old Town). After touring these schools and hearing about their programs and seeing their facilities, you will be amazed that you ever considered this average at best school. Oh, and unlike St. Mary of the Angels School, all the aforementioned schools will proudly show you the test scores of their students. There are many reasons to avoid St. Mary of the Angels School, some of which are highlighted below: ** Many families with well performing students have left or are leaving due to the poor academics of the school. ** The school is claiming that they will institute a new and improved curriculum this coming school year. It is one thing to say that you will have a new curriculum, but the deciding factor of whether things will really improve is in the implementation. Nothing that the current administration has done in the past can lead one to believe that the new curriculum will be implemented correctly. Teacher development, one key to curriculum implementation, is practically non-existent (based on comments from numerous teachers). ** If your child is performing above grade level, the school cannot accommodate them. No differentiation of education. The school claims to have differentiation of education, but if you ask any parent who has asked for this, they will tell you that the school never followed through on their promise. ** Just ask to see the test scores and the administration will not share them with you, just say that they have improved. A big red flag when considering any school. ** Favoritism shown to the "Scholarship" students at the expense of the students who perform well and whose parents pay full tuition. ** The school is not financially sound and is running a huge deficit. This is due in part to the excessive number of "Scholarship" students the school chooses to admit, in addition to poor money management by the school administration. ** If you value your child's education, avoid the disaster that is St. Mary of the Angels School.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Not enough
July 28, 2015
the problem is not just the amount of homework but the type of homework and the way the teachers prepare children to do their homework at home.

- submitted by a parent
Develops grit: Strongly disagree
July 28, 2015
bottom line is students think school is about making friends, talking about sleep overs, vacation, the best new toy or gadget, the best vacation event. nothing else.

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Strongly disagree
July 28, 2015
When students are commenting of how the teachers are just on the IPAD or phone texting or having conversation with other employees during class time, there is clear view of no development in respect to them or others

- submitted by a parent
Develops empathy: Strongly disagree
July 28, 2015
The music teacher denied a child a snack because her parent did not send a box of snacks for the whole classroom. Her classmates shared with her some of their own snack. So the school no, parents who teach their children yes

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Neutral
July 28, 2015
hard to say when don't see that reflected on the school personal and some teachers

- submitted by a parent

July 28, 2015
I would not say terrible because there are some really good teachers. Pre-K trough 2nd grade is great expect what ever they learn begins to fade away by the time they make it to 4th grade. I experience many positive things but they don't match up to the negatives. I came looking for a smaller classroom size for my children so they can better learn because CPS failed. I found a great environment for my children that supported the values i was teaching at home. I did not realize that as my children got older there learning would suffer. My oldest came in with great testing scores from CPS and in less than 2 years drop to below average. I was not familiar with the new testing results and when i asked the principal and assistant principal to explain to me, they refuse. I had to learn my self and when I did I realize that they were doing worst that in a CPS School. The first communion was a huge disappointment. The children in the second grade along with the teacher worked very hard to prepare for this big day only to be share with some Saturday class children who along with their parents are rude and disrespectful. The good teachers have left because they have found no support to make a good learning environment for their students.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Somewhat effective
July 28, 2015
The second grade teacher is very effective but all her hard work goes down the drain when the children hit 4th grade and up.

- submitted by a parent

July 26, 2015
In an effort to save any potential parents the heartache so many of us have suffered, please know what to ask & look for when deciding on a school. Here are some highlights about our experience: * SMA is a Big Shoulders school. Please see their Website to see qualifications necessary to be a BS school. Note: this is NOT a good thing, especially sitting in the middle of Bucktown. * SMA has no ability to physically grow. That has been rented out to Midtown and Catholic Charities. In fact, CC moved in next door and SMA leadership never mentioned it to parents in 01/2015. Please google both to see what each is, especially what type of Catholic Charities is immediately adjacent to the school and requires a security guard. SMA sits in a district that's awful (financially, academically, etc). The schools are SMA, St. Helen's, St. Nicholas, St. Stan's and St. John Berchman. ALL Big Shoulders Schools. Other districts not far have stellar schools. They're in the black, National Blue Ribbon schools (Josaphat, St. Andrew). AACA is great, too. All Catholic schools with transparent everything. **please note how at those schools, parents give tours & no questions are off limits. At SMA, the totalitarian regime likes to control everything, including what you should know. Also note how board meetings are open, minutes distributed & members elected. Very different from SMA where meetings are closed & the President rules. (His 2yr term is supposed to be over 7/2015 along with the technology chair's term, too) * The entire '14-'15 school year, the music/arts teacher had no budget. That teacher fundraised ALL YEAR LONG. Then, a school severely in debt put on a ....$15,000.00 musical. Not even good schools in the black would ever do this. * the archdiocese is common core aligned. You need to ask yourself if CPS might suit your needs given you're paying a lot of $$$ at SMA that yields kids that are behind their peers due to poor academics. Not all of the teachers are even accredited! Anyone using it for prek & K is in love with it. We all were too. What's important to notice is when so many families that had been with SMA for a long time, including board members, yanked their kids in the middle of this past school year for other schools. Know what you are looking at & look at other schools that aren't Big Shoulders & compare.

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Neutral
July 19, 2015
I accredit all of it to the teachers and parents. Their value of the month is nothing but a smokescreen as administration preaches but doesn't lead by example. When you blatantly lie and deceive parents about the non-profit they are supporting, that's hardly acting with honesty and integrity. But, the majority of kids learn from the teachers, parents and one another. Great families equals great kids and SMA used to have plenty.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Ineffective
July 17, 2015
No one wants to go upstairs. Not all of the teachers are even accredited. Too much movement, no consistency. One year a teacher will teach 1st grade, the next year 4th., then prek, then 8th. Incredibly random tells you where this school is really at financially and academically. There is little to no staff development. Speaks volumes when the good schools have staff development every week!

- submitted by a parent

October 10, 2014
I have had a great experience at SMA. My daughter attended PK3 last year and is back for PK4 this year. The entire staff is caring and approachable - and they make an effort to get to know everyone in the school. I plan to keep my daughter there until 8th grade and enroll my second daughter when she turns 3!

- submitted by a parent

August 25, 2014
My daughter was in PreK 3 last year and will be back for PreK 4 this year. We had an incredible experience at SMA & plan on sending our daughter there through 8th grade. The entire staff is wonderful. The parents are so involved and made our first year there very welcoming, I'm looking forward to the new school year to welcome new parents!

- submitted by a parent

August 09, 2014
My daughter just completed PK3 with Ms. Beres - we LOVED it. Ms. Beres was a wonderful addition to the faculty. She and Ms. Zaida were compassionate and loving (as preK kids need) but also pushed them intellectually. The school really provides a community where our daughter is safe and thriving. The parent involvement is great. The director and principal are very approachable and engaged which was not our experience at another school.

- submitted by a parent

April 02, 2014
My kids have been attending St. Mary of the Angels for 3 years now and they, as well as I, love it. The teachers there really care about the kids in their classrooms and nurture them so they will accelerate to the next level. I also feel that a big part of the kids success there has a lot to do with the parent participation, it's great. There is a lot of involvement for all of the events and activities that go on at the school.

- submitted by a parent

February 22, 2014
I did a lot of research before deciding on SMA. The principal, Beth Dolack, came to SMA in 2009 and since then the school has nearly tripled in size. The school had the largest enrollment increase in the Archdiocese in 2013-2014, too. It's amazing what a turnaround the school has experienced -- strong academics, committed parents, innovative approaches to teaching religion and morals, and fabulous teachers! No class is over 20 students, and in preschool, there are 2 teachers to every class. My daughter is in PreK 3, and there are 18 kids with 2 teachers. The level of attention she gets is fantastic. She has been learning things that seem advanced (to me) for this age, like addition, graphs, greater than/less than, evaporation, photosynthesis. She learns Spanish and Chinese in the after school program. And for religion, they have a "Virtue of the Month" -- joyfulness, friendliness, truthfulness, etc. to illustrate Catholic teachings, instead of just readings from the bible or something . The school incorporates activities based on this value into the curriculum for that month. And just as important - there's good diversity and the parents aren't snooty!

- submitted by a parent

November 07, 2012
LOVE St. Mary of the Angels! Our son transferred from the pritzker gifted school( nightmare of a cps public school) and is now thriving in ms, Claire's kindergarten class! She is the most dedicated , organized and creative kindergarten teacher I have ever met! Our son is gifted and he's challenged and engaged in her class. We looked at a number of private schools from Latin - mt. Carmel and I am completely delighted with the staff/ teachers at sma! The class size is small and there is a lot of individual attention and feed back to parents. The parents/ staff are involved/ care about the school and students ( which was a refreshing change from the cps school our son attended). I honestly think the two negitive reviews were because their kids were not mature enough for a preschool setting. Every parent I have ever talked to has had nothing but glowing reviews of the sma pk program!

- submitted by a parent

November 02, 2012
I'm honestly surprised by some of the negative reviews. I have had two kids go through the 3yr old Pre-K teacher described below, and I thought she was fantastic. I talked with many of the parents who also found her to be outstanding. In fact, it seemed that the only parents who struggled with this teacher at first were those where there was a stay at home parent or other arrangement where this was the child's first experience in a structured environment. I suspect that is the case with these comments as well. This teacher tells you exactly how it is - no sugar coating. The candid and constructive feedback is appreciated. There is something special about this school. The principal has a vision and is executing on that to produce excellence all around. We have been impressed by all the teachers we have worked with. There are parents who are very involved and very passionate about making this school special. The continued growth speaks volumes.

- submitted by a parent

January 24, 2012
My daughter attended part time preschool here. The school is small (and hopefully remains that way) and the teachers and other staff know you and your child by name. You can literally call the principal on the phone and talk to her, unlike many schools where the principal is too busy to take time out of her day to speak to parents. All teachers are available via email. There are small class sizes and for preschool, 2 teachers in a room. The classrooms are huge, cheerfully painted, and stocked with fun learning toys. As this is preschool, I'm not sure how rigorous the academics are but all activities are learning activities. This school will not be a good fit if you are looking for "day care" where the kids just play all day. This school will be a good fit if you want your children to learn and play. I loved that when it was nice outside the teachers took the children outside to play, best of both worlds. You are not supposed to mention names on this website so I will just say that the office manager whose name begins with an R and ends with an A is such an amazing woman. She loves all the children in that school and can do 15 things at the same time. We are very pleased.

- submitted by a parent

May 29, 2011
I am very pleased with this school. The teachers and librarian are very dedicated in getting my daughter to read on her own. It's a blessing to find a school that is thankful that you are there!

- submitted by a parent

July 23, 2009
my daughter started kindergarden last year and she had a great time.I feel very good about having her at sma because she learned alot and the teachers are very dedicated.

- submitted by a parent

July 28, 2008
I investigated several schools before settling on St. Mary of the Angels School for my children. My sons' standardized test scores now rank in the upper 90th percentiles nationally. Graduates have gone on to the best high schools in Chicago -- where they go on to the top colleges in the country. The priests and staff at St. Mary's have created a wonderful and cheerful learning environment. I would recommend this school to any parent who wants the best for their family.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
May 23, 2008
My kids have had a great time at SMA- the teachers and principal are fantastic. Unfortunately the principal that made all of the activities possible was asked not to come back. I'm not sure what the 2008-09 school year will be like, I'm sure it won't be the same. My children aren't going back, but will cherish their memories of SMA.

- submitted by a parent

March 17, 2008
As a former student, I can honestly say that this school is terrible. Teachers spend more time trying to control the class than actually teaching, students are expected to do physical work thanks to a lack of staff (7th and 8th graders were forced to set up for the church's weekly bingo and move desks, boxes, and other large objects at the end of the school year, for god's sake), most of the students have no initiative to learn and harass the few that do, the school itself is falling apart, and (as were many others) I was not prepared for high school when I graduated. If you care about your children s future, you ll spend your money elsewhere.

- submitted by a community member

July 18, 2006
This school is a great school that offers many great programs and opportunities for children to grow and become successful in high school. (I am an alumnus)

- submitted by a student

July 01, 2005
This is a very good school if you want your child to make many new friends. This school offers SYLVAN classes that helps the students a lot, but many subjects are blury. If you are very smart this school is very easy to pass.

- submitted by a student

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About this school

St. Mary of the Angels School has been located in the Bucktown neighborhood since 1899. In the past 4 years, our school has almost tripled in size. Stop by and see why! We have instituted a new curriculum, new leadership, new programming and more! We look forward to being a part of the neighborhood for another century and more!

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Last modified: July 30, 2015

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St. Mary of the Angels
1810 N Hermitage Ave, Chicago, IL  60622
(773) 486-0119
Last modified St. Mary of the Angels is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
St. Mary of the Angels Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 32 reviews. Top