(part 2 - apparently I can only write 1200 words; instead of being concise, my solution is 2 parts) Regarding the social cliques based on money. I strongly disagree with the "community members" assessment. Yes, there are groups of both kids and parents that gravitate toward one another. As is true in any social situation, this will occasionally cause tension. However, the division of these groups are not driven by socioeconomic status but they are driven by personality differences. I think its really important as parents to help your child through these obstacles be equipping them with the tools that they can use when on the playground or in the classroom. A kid that feels left out should express this to other members in the class and (parents and child) make efforts to involve others in their life. The parent should be careful not to become overly involved - express concerns to the administration or teachers privately, but not lash out on social forums as this will certainly worsen the situation. This school is one whose culture promotes social growth. They have a "blue collar" vibe where being a good person will socially trump $$ anyone has in the bank.
I am writing this review primarily in response to the community member that describes her experience at St. Andrew as a "living hell" and that social cliques based upon money dominate this school's culture.
I have children that attended St. A for the last 8 years. Like any parent, especially one that has so many competitive schools (both public and private) in the area, my spouse and I have always kept a healthy skepticism about what the school had to offer. After all, with how ridiculously competitive gaining entrance into high schools in Chicago, we wanted to make sure that our kids were in the right place. As many parents do, we visited and tested to gain entrance into the CPS academic centers, and other private schools (both Catholic and not) in the area but, in the end, chose to stay with St. A and, in the end, was happy that we did.
Now that our children are older and we can see that the HS question will soon be answered, my spouse and I have to say that we absolutely made the right decision to educate our kids with St. A. The administration is thoughtful and deliberate about how the kids are educated and are raised. (part 1)
Saint Andrew School has grown in recent years to approx. 525 students and has received national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School. The small class sizes have helped my child grow as an individual and academically. The curriculum is challenging and teaches much more than the basics. The school families are welcoming and encorage an enviroment of growth at all levels. The school administration has embraced the growth and adapted well to the increased number of students and their needs, especially in the upper elementary and middle school grades. Saint Andrew School is an example of how a good school can change into a great school very quickly.
On an honest note, I will say that my student life at Saint Andrew's was a living hell. The amount of pettiness and cliques within the school was absolutely ridiculous, the lack of challenge and adequate material covered by teachers is quite humorous. and I am ecstatic I was able to leave two years early. 99% of all the students and parents who go there/are involved in the school community are from a high socio-economic class, and this in turn leads them to believe they are, in a way, better than others and will blatantly show this with their actions and words towards families like mine, who were on financial aid and needed help with paying the tuition fee. Also the teachers favored students whose parents were able to donate large amounts of money to the school and treated the kids whose parents either worked or donated especially large amounts of money were treated with a certain "untouchable" status. However, as I mentioned, the biggest issue with the school was the pettiness and cliques within the students. Similar to their parents, the students, the girls in particular, were very ,judgmental and excluded and bullied people constantly. All in all, the school was simply horrible.
Saint Andrew School is a Blue Ribbon School for 2013! On September 24, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, recognized Saint Andrew School as part of the 2013 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools. This is a prestigious honor that represents excellence in education. Saint Andrew is proud of this accomplishment that has become a reality because of the teamwork between students, teachers, parents and administrators. Saint Andrew's Spirit- Study- Service way of life has never been more evident! www.GoSaintAndrew.com
Students have access to many extra curricular activities, standardized test scores are in the top 15%. Middle school teachers are dedicated.The school works hard to make sure that every family feels welcome. I have benefited from their tuition assistance.
Saint Andrew is a wonderful community. The class of 2012 had great success in finding high school placement. Over 50% of applicants were accepted to selective enrollment. The school helped find high school placements that FIT each child. Great community, great experience!
St Andrew is a great school in the early grades, but those small class sizes become a nightmare as the kids get older. Parents have strong clicks and that impacts the dynamics of the small classrooms. the graduating class of 2012 did not have the best high school acceptance either. Middle school is a great time to consider moving to the burbs or simply switching schools. A number of families appear to have left for 2013. We are considering
St. Andrew is an excellent school. Teachers are great, caring and very involved with each students education. I have one child that graduated in 2004, 2009 and one that will graduate next year!! All my kids enjoyed being there and always looked forward to each day. We live an hour away from the school, but nothing could keep us away from such a great community!! Highly recommend it!
My daughter will be attending Kindergarten this year. She has already taken 3 years of pre-school at St. Andrew. She loves school! We plan to keep her here through 8th grade. The teachers are outstanding, classes are small, and our whole family benefits from the school community. It makes living in a big city seems like a small town.