This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St Helen School4
Posted September 11, 2013
- a parent
My child has been at St. Helen for 5 years. The teachers have been creative in tying education to themes of the week and encouraging young students to learn through pretend play. Art, music, gym, Spanish and computer classes supplement classroom instruction for young children. There are many extracurricular activities even for young children. My child has participated in and very much enjoyed dance, chess, science club, foreign language instruction, soccer, golf and piano. Tuition is very reasonable. Many of the families live in the neighborhood, which helps give the school a warm, community feel. The only reason I gave the school 4 stars instead of 5 is the facilities. While the school has excellent technology including SMART Boards and ipads in every classroom, the building and some of the other equipment are very old and show excessive wear in places. It's a superficial complaint, but parts of the building are dark and uninviting. There are places that look perpetually dirty from age. Still, we've seen many improvements over the years and know there are additional plans for improvements, so it's a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.
My son attended PreK at St Helen. We had a wonderful experience with caring and attentive teachers. He made a lot of friends and so did we! There is a great community of families at St Helen's. There are a variety of options for additional programming after school i.e. piano, foreign language, drama, dance, etc. My son also attended Summer Camp at St Helen, which was excellent. The teachers really care about their students and the principal does an excellent job of communicating with parents. I would highly recommend St Helen to anyone looking for a good education and good value in the city.
I had two children attend this school. One for 4 years and one for 4 days. My preschooler was expelled via a note sent home in his backpack. The principal has no personality and doesn't know how to conduct proper communication with parents. The teachers are nice and I thought were wonderful until I enrolled my oldest child in public school and found out he was a year behind in reading! There is not enough emphasis on reading, and although they send home tons of homework, the children don't learn quality. How to write quality sentences, take their time to properly learn how to read etc. My oldest is now getting the help we didn't even know he needed. I would only recommend this school if you have a completely high functioning and 'Normal' child. For everyone else....find a better place for your child.
My daughter is in pre-K at St Helen, and I can't say enough good things. You just get a good feeling as you walk down the hall. And the amount of care and respect she receives is amazing. The teachers are approachable and involved- I get a daily communication on how her day was. She's going on her 2nd field trip of the year next week - a play. As others mentioned, the principal is really should be commended - I've never seen a teacher or administor so involved in all aspects of school life. All that with the most affordable tuition around makes this school a quality find.
St. Helen School offers a very diverse environment, both academically and socially. The Principal at St. Helen School, Ms. Johnson, has been pushing her staff to embrace the latest approaches to early childhood education. The math program for the early elementary grades is based on the University of Chicago Math Program. There are lots of extra-curricular activities, from piano to chess, to science, to Spanish, to dance, to art. Sports are also big at St. Helen with participation in citywide soccer and basketball tournament in grades 1 through 8. I think today's parents are so stuck on making their children into little geniuses. St. Helen is a school that also takes care of the social and spiritual growth of children.
My 1st grader started at St. Helen in their Summer Care program before she started Kindergarten there. We have been incredibly pleased with this school, and the principal, Marianne Johnson is to be commended. She is very involved with the students and their families. We'll soon be relocating out of state, and I doubt that I'll find another school for my child as great as St. Helen!