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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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