If you value the leadership in a school, then Saint Andrew school is not the place for you. The principal is not at all what a principal should be or stand for. We've never been treated so coldly, rudely, inconsiderately, & especially, so unwelcome ever before. A principal & his/her leadership is the backbone & speaks volumes of a school. They should be approachable & give parents their time, respect & appreciation. If this school is at all successful, it comes from the hard work of the underappreciated & undervalued parents & some teachers. The communication I've had with the principal was downright appalling! It left such a bad taste in my mouth, that I feel I need to put this out there. As a mere example, if anyone were to read the email exchanges I have between the principal & myself, anyone would plainly see that his responses were uncalled for & undeserving. These harsh replies were in response to emails from me that simply asked some very basic & innocent questions, & that is why they were so surprising & insulting. It seemed that I was a bother; a burden, even. No parent deserves to be treated this way. Any other communication between the principal & myself only reiterated everything I've stated & the initial reaction of my first impression of him from the start. We chose not to stay with the school & are so relieved & grateful with our decision, especially since our current school is everything that Saint Andrew school is not. What a difference a principal makes...
(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)