Academically, this school falls short. Other schools in the area - including CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS offer more academically. The curriculum here falls far behind that of other schools in the area - as much as two to three years behind. Many parents of students in upper grades and/or graduates complain that the school did not prepare their children for high school level math, science, technology, etc. Students graduating from this school have a distinct disadvantage academically. I do agree with other posters that sports is the number one focus on this school, but learning to play sports is NOT going to prepare students for high school and beyond. I have heard some parents complain about bullying, and that the faculty and administration do not try to stop that activity. Some families have left because of this. Overall, people should "pass" on this school - the curriculum is poor, the focus is on sports instead of academics, and they allow bullying to go unchecked. It does very little to prepare students for high school or beyond.
If your child is a "jock" he or she will fit right in -very sports-oriented school -the sports association calls ALL the shots. If your child is not a "jock" he or she will be teased and bullied. The bullies never are disciplined, and the ones they bully are labeled troublemakers or rabble-rousers.Teachers clearly play favorites. Some shouldn't be teaching at all, falling asleep when the kids are taking a test. Not sure how some of the teachers grade - when kids can get A's in a subject all ear, but do very poorly on the standardized tests? Shouldn't kids who get A's score higher than the 20th or 25th percentile? Not sure WHAT teachers are grading. Every month kids have at least one or two days off and one or two short days. Add pep rallies, parties, etc to that - when do they learn? Technology-wise, the school has FINALLY made it into the 1980's. - forget about learning 21st century technology here. Principal is very ineffective - tries to please everyone, and knows the "big shots" she must please (sports association, PTA members, etc). There are certain people who pull the strings - if you don't fit in with them, your kid is going to have a very bad experience here.
St. Symphorosa is the best Catholic school in the Midway area. My children have been very happy and have excelled in their academics. The Teachers are wonderful..I have never been in a school where the teachers genuinely care about each and every student. The Principal is a strong leader and has brought this school to new heights. Parents who want their way all the time and make it difficult for others have been sifted out....kudos! There is a true family atmosphere in this school
Not really a "Catholic" school though it is affiliated with a "Catholic" church. Teachers teach things that go against catholic doctrine, and the principal allows it to go on. If you are looking for a CATHOLIC education for children, there are better options close by. Academically it's ok - some of the classes are very large so the teachers don't have time to teach each student according to ability. Very few after school options: scouting, band, and sports. Sports is the most important thing to the school, and the sporting programs ALWAYS come first. Lots of bullying goes on that is never taken care of. The bullies are let go to continue, and the bullied are thought to be "trouble makers." Not a very friendly environment for parents, especially new parents. If you're not in the clique, then you're basically ignored - the same goes for the parish, too. There are many better options - including other Catholic schools - in the neighbhorhood.
I have one daughter who graduated from Syms, and another one currently at Syms. It is a WONDERFUL school. Yes-the tuition might be a bit more than other schools in the area, but the # of students is less than other schools. They have to make up the cost somewhere!? Compare our class sizes to other schools with larger #s and it shows your child will thrive with a lower student to teacher ratio. When my 8th grader was struggling, any and every teacher she asked to stay after did. (On their own time). Some even came early to meet her at school if after school didn't work for them that day. There are tons of sports and activities. The parents are very welcoming. I looked at other schools in the area and fell in love with the small, family size feel of Syms. And am glad I went with them :) Mrs. Loduca, who is the Vice Principal is a FANTASTIC teacher, she's tough, that's why I loved her. All the teachers have huge hearts and will help each student in any way they can. I was shocked at the 'unqualified' teachers review below. Each summer these teachers have to go to classes for continuing education, they have to stay qualified to keep their jobs, it's required!
St. Symphorosa is a great school. My children are very happy in this school and continue to thrive. The teachers are very caring and are definitely NOT unqualified. This school is worth the tuition.
Unqualified teachers with bad attitudes who treat the role as just another job and not an important career. Probably a problem all across the southwest side of Chicago. Definitely not worth the price of tuition.
This school has great, caring teachers. Kids are taught responsibility, academics are above par, and most important, kids are given a high quality CATHOLIC education.
After reading the reviews submitted before me, I have to say I am shocked. In the world we live in you hope and pray to find a school such as this. There is no better 'upbringing' atmosphere in any school in this area. The teachers love every student as if it was their child, and teach them just the same. Our principle is an amazing nun with all the right morals and values. I cannot say enough of the experience St Syms has given not only my children but also our family. The only bad choice would to not choose this school. It is worth every penny and some.
This has got to be one of, if not the best catholic school in the Midway area! I have 2 children in and 2 more to go. My children get the best attention and one on one they need from each teacher. There is plenty to do extracurricularly be it sports, social groups etc. It is a nice family feeling amongst all of us. Only at Syms can you get Art, Music, after school programs, sports, spanish, french, sign language, band, girl scouts, boy scouts, market day, after day care, chorus, a nice big gym, winning sport teams, great parish carnival, should i go on? St. Syms, a great place for my children to grow, keep up the great work!
Teachers take great interest in the kids. Tuition is high. Very little to no Bible study for the students.
I had 2 children who attended St. Symphorosa. My daughter began in 5th grade after attending a Chicago Public 'gifted' school where I found out the teachers were degrading the students. I also sent my son who was in 1st grade. From the time I enrolled them, I could sense the family-like atmosphere. Since we didn't live in the parish, I was surprised at how well my children were accepted by the other students. The teachers through 8th grade showed concern for all the students, whether presently in their class or not. My daughter, receiving D's at the other school, was back to receiving A's, due to the consistant teaching of all the teachers. Many parents are involved in the school. Both of my children are doing excellent in their schools, my son is in the top 10 in high school, and my daughter is in the honors program in college.
This is an excellent school, however they are extremely money oriented. By not attending church, you risk the chance of having to pay extra per child. The reigning clergy at the parish pushes for extra money. No other school in the area has this type of program. Take a look at St. Daniels, St. Rene or St Jane before selecting St. Symphorosa, or become a high paid Cop or Firefighter.
I can't say enough about St. Syms. I love the sports, but there are many chances for kids to try other activities like scouting, band, talent show and choir. I am very satisfied with this school.
My experience as a student at St. Symphorosa was that the teachers always held me accountable. At the time it often caused me trepidation. Now I realize how beneficial it was, and I credit my success to the self-discipline I learned at this school. Spiritually and academically, St. Symphorosa prepared me for the future.
St Syms is a wonderful learning environment. The teachers are dedicated, concerned and caring. I am extremely pleased with the academic progress my children have made while at St syms. Even now, with one of my children in High School, they still refer to the creative experiences they had and what they learned.
It can't be told in 150 words! The school is great! The curriculum is high quality. The faculty is experienced and gives freely/generously of themselves for the kids. The fund-raising commitment is used to help offset the tuition, and any fundraising done over your pledge is directly reduced off your tuition. There s NO mandatory church offering, that s illegal. They ask that you go to church as much as possible. If you can t afford to give$ that week it s ok, just give the envelope to show you were in church. They ask that you volunteer at some school events.(Most do because they want to be there with their kid s and don t have to be forced to interact with their own kids)Some don t, that s why service hours are needed. It's only a few hours anyway, It's really easy! It s a great education, in a safe environment(unlike many Chicago schools)at an affordable price.
My child attended St. Syms and I only wish she had the caring teachers in high school that she had at Syms! the teachers at Syms are awesome and they understand how the mind of a teenager works!!! The junior high is great and the trips to Washington and Great America is memorable! I only wish I had teachers like this when I was 'coming up'
St. Symphorosa, over the last 5 years or so, has been declining in the quality of teachers and leadership. They had some dynamic lay teachers and leadership has failed. It used to be a community leader in education, now tuition is being raised, enrollment is down and the quality of education is in the pitts.
I think academically it is average. There are extracurricular activitites at an expense. I do see a high level of parent involvement but that is because you are forced to or you have to pay. I think the tuition is slightly high, but the forcement of selling (you have to sell $400 worth or you pay) and the forced volunteering (you have to volunteer 15hours or pay $10 an hour) is just outrageous. Also you must not only go to church but put a certain amount of money in the envelope or you end up paying an additional $518.00. Your tuition could end up as high as $3500.
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