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
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
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.
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.
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.
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" (true story)--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. (Don't let them tell you, ask to see them--Good luck!)