This is a wonderful school with a great community of active parents, teachers, and administration. My older child is challenged by his teachers so that he doesn't get bored, while my daughter is provided with the extra assistance she needs to keep up with the schoolwork.
They get this level of attention because the class sizes are manageable. I don't think that my kids have ever been in classrooms with more than 20 students.
There are plenty of opportunities for extracurricular activities, from clubs (like chess and science) to sports (basketball programs for pre-schoolers through 8th grade) to dance.
And they both get enough recess. Recess? Come on, we're talking about recess!
We are so grateful to the administrative and teaching staff. They are all so helpful. St Ben's has a great receptionist that helps everyone in the school and the school nurse attends to children's needs with great care.
We love St. Ben's and our children have experienced preschool through middle school there. The administration is very open to parent concerns and easy to approach. The middle school experience is great and really prepares them for the high school years. The kids shift classes in middle school just like high school, and because there is a high school they gave the opportunities to take higher level science and math programs. The new Agora program is fantastic for adding a love of learning for the kids. The teachers generally seem to care about the kids, and I've never heard of any complaints of favoritism, like another reviewer complained about. Overall the kids are engaged and challenged.
St.Bens is great until middle school. The elementary school teachers are devoted and great, but the middle school is horrible. It will be the most frustrating 3 years as a middle school parent. Some teachers favor kids and dont give other kids a chance. There are 2-3 great teachers in the middle school, who are devoted to their job, but only a few. The teachers dont let the kids mingle with who they wish. My child has recess 1 time a week, 2 if he's lucky. They claim that recess is four days a week, but they take any excuse to skip recess. For example, if a class wants to perform a play... No reccess. If they want to talk about the summer reading program... No recess. If its too loud in the lunchroom one day, and they want to talk about how it needs to be quieter... No reccess. Yes, its that bad. The only positive thing about this school is the sports program.
Our children have been at St. Ben's for three years now; we are thrilled with the school! The teachers are the most dedicated I've ever come in contact with. They bend over backwards to help your child. In our experience, communications with teachers has been superb. The administration takes parent concerns seriously and is willing to work with parents to ensure that everyone has a good experience. The curriculum is top notch. Classroom size is small so as to ensure that each child gets significant one on one time with the instructor. The school also has sports and club options galore. Parental involvement is welcomed and very much appreciated at St Ben's. The teachers are kind, loving, and highly qualified (most have advanced degrees), the administration is excellent, and the support staff is great, too! We love St. Ben's and are thrilled to have found it.
I have 2 daughters in Elementary School. Very strange what the previous reviewer stated. We've always had a great communication with the teachers and they all are quick to reply to any emails/questions we have. My daughters are more than happy at the school. There is a lot of homework for my 2nd grader. There are different levels within the classroom (normal, advanced, etc). My 2nd grader is in the advanced group and the level of work is very demanding. We are somehow involved in the parish but do not donate any extra $ and the level of attention we receive from all staff is absolutely wonderful.
I wish I had a crystal ball because I would not have sent my daughter to this school. The curriculum is not wonderful. If you have a smart child but don't have the money to donate they won't even look or help your child. The teachers never reply to your emails. If your child has a problem with another student they don't care.
We transferred our son to St Bens after being disappointed with his kindergarten experience at Bell, and we are so happy with our choice. Small classes, excellent curriculum, responsive, flexible teachers - it's a wonderful school.
My son has been at St. Ben's for the past seven years. Two years of full-time preschool and now in the 5th grade. He has excelled tremendously and has gained considerable social skills. This truly is a community of advanced teachers, stellar administration and parents who only want the best education for their children!