Our child has been at the school for 9 years. While any school has good and bad, the good at St. Mary's far outweighs any negatives. The level of education is good, the kids develop a good sense of community, and the administration is open to feedback from parents. I question some of the negative reviews here, as I have never seen issues with 'haves vs. have nots' (other than growing pains from the kids) and there is no PTA at the school.
Congratulations on receiving this year's U.S. Department of Education Excellence in Education Blue Ribbon Award!! Performing in the top 15% of the nation on your standardized achievement testing in math and reading is exemplary!! Our experiences at the School of St. Mary have been second to none! As an educator, I am knowledgeable about school systems and the types of programs needed to meet the needs of elementary students in preparing them for life. This school offers a kind, caring, well educated certified faculty and staff, faith based curriculum instilling morals and values, world language programs, support and enrichment for those students who are in need, differentiated instruction within the classrooms, small class sizes, social emotional development programs, an excellent fine arts program and so much more. Students are well prepared for high school and the school's Alumni are very successful. Thanks to School of St. Mary!
Incompetence and bullying are rampant at St. Marys. I just read the prior post which gave me comfort to know I am not the only victim. I am not a top donor at the school which means I have no value to them. What a disgrace of Catholic education.
The administration is unqualified and have proved so. The teachers are young and inexperienced. They seperate the girls and boys at recess to avoid actually dealing with social issues. They dim the lights at lunch and tell the children to keep quite. The children have very little gym time. The blue ribbon award they received is a waste of administration's time and parents' money (research blue ribbons). They promote children repeating kindergarten as a way of generating more tuition dollars. Parents not only pay a very high tuition compared to other local catholic schools, they are expected to donate an exhorbitant amount of additional money just to 'turn the lights on'. The art and music department have very little resources. The upper grade center children have recess in the church parking lot. The lower grade center recess area is usually under water due to leveling, so recess is cancelled alot. The curriculum is outdated. The education is terrible. The children who go on to the public high school have low testing scores. There is very little help for children who need extra help reading, writing etc. The help that is available is given by a very young and inexperi
Our children love the School of St. Mary! Our oldest has been there for over 8 years. The academics are competitive, the teachers are very dedicated and emphasize faith and respect, and the overall community is the best feature. Our children enjoy and participate in choir, debate, service hours, altar serving, football, basketball, volleyball and cheerleading. The parent volunteers who lead these groups do an amazing job. We highly recommend St. Mary. Also the school was just awarded the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award for a second time.
Four of my children attend(ed) the school and I have watched the quality of the school disintegrate over a number of years. It is a shame the school cannot hire or develop the kind of talent in the administration and teachers that was there a decade ago.
I have a number of children in the school, each with different needs. I have had a child with LD's, and he had amazing, supportive friends, coaches who really taught him and played him, and teachers who are academically challenging, personally supportive, and socailly aware. My gifted child is validated, and challenged. Most importantly, bullying behavior rarely finds fertile ground.
I am really surprised at the earlier reviewers comments on the football program. My experience has been a really positive and fair one. These coaches are extremely dedicated and are there to teach life values as much as they are to teach the game of football. They teach how to be a good team mate, how to be a good loser and winner, and how important it is to never give up. These boys are respected by the coaches and in turn the coaches are held in high regard by the players. It has been a wonderful experience for my son and a great addition to his time spent at St. Mary. The school, having just been awarded the blue ribbon award for academic excellence, is on par with all the best schools in the area. What sets St. Mary a part from other schools is its community of teachers and families. To be a part of this community is nothing short of a blessing. It is a place where everyone knows and looks out for each other. A place where your child will not fall through the cracks and parent involvement is always welcomed. It is a wonderful place to bring up your children. Our years at the school are coming to end and we will always have a special place in our hearts for the school.
We have 3 children at St. Mary's- we couldn't be happier with the excellent teachers and support staff. All 3 are growing and learning more everyday. Communication is high with the teaching staff, hands on involement with all aspects of the school. The sports programs are terrific. First class coaches, my children have had a positive experience with all activities.
I am a current 7th grade student at the School of St. Mary. I love St. Mary's! The school has given me many opportunities to be the best I can be. I love all my classes, but especially my honors reading class. I have a great teacher and am surrounded by good students. I have lots of wonderful friends here. When I came here in second grade, I was welcomed by everyone, and easily fit in with all the different kids. I have been able to be on team sports since fifth grade. Volleyball, basketball, and track are the sports I have participated in, though there are other options. Before fifth grade, I had never played volleyball. After two years of playing it at St. Mary's with great coaching, I have made it to a club level junior olympic team, which really says a lot about the sports program here. Overall, I think St. Mary's is a great school and I really enjoy it here.
We have been at St. Mary for 10 years, with our oldest now a freshman at Loyola Academy. St. Mary does an excellent job in preparing the students academically and emotionally and instills a solid foundation for sound values and morals. The administration has made changes in the last couple of years in the curriculum and faculty in order to meet the Archdiocese of Chicago and State "best practices" standards and to ensure the best preparation for its students. The academic preparation, academic support, differentiation in the classrooms, technology and community building and service all contribute to making this an outstanding school for our children. I would also reinforce that the school has set very clear expectations for its students AND reinforces them!
We transferred to this school following two years at a top-rated public school in another town. School of St. Mary is an amazing combination of academics, character-building, and Catholic values and education. The teachers and staff are caring and top-notch, offering differentiated learning and technology to support the curriculum. Our children learn how to be good, caring people with character and Catholic values. Leadership cares about the students and families. It's a truly unique, special environment for which I'm grateful.
A positive is the community is very involved. Unfortunately, the school's leadership is very poor and there is a lack of clear and consistent expectations.
This is not good. The leadership in this school is awful. My child was hurt so much by this school.
It is a very good school. Teachers are very good but strict. Religion is taught every morning. Although Lake Forest is an extremely wealthy town so some kids brag. Besides that I really love this school
I am a former student of st mary. I really loved going there. one problem was the uniform they are extremely strict. But most teachers were very nice and wanted you to do well.
I am a former student of this school. I felt that the teachers picked favorites depending on where you lived or how much money you had. Also the majority or my former classmates were rude and hurtful. They made fun of me for not having specific thing or because I was not a size 0. I felt that they placed a lot of value in the assesets you possesed. I also found that the favoritism did not just stop at the teachers but also with some of the coaches. I was in cheerleading for two years. The head coach was a mother of one of the girls on the team. I felt like if she was to get hurt the whole world would end but if someone else got hurt you had to brush it off. I graduated in 2006 and am very happy!!
I go to St. Mary's and I love it! The school is fairly small, so all the kids get the attention they need. You can also go in for extra help whenever you need to. Also, there are really great sports teams, and everyone gets on the team no matter what; You also get to play in every game you go to. I love it here at St. Mary's and I would never change schools.
We do not live in Lake Forest, and my children have had a marvelous experience at St. Mary s. The child-centered environment treats each student as an individual. My two children are very different, and yet I feel that they are both valued and respected for who they are and empowered by their excellent teachers to develop to their fullest potential. Administrators and faculty are both professional and accessible. Catholic values are modeled and practiced, and my children have myriad opportunities to grow in their faith. I could not be happier with my choice of school!
It is not a Catholic environment even it is named as a Catholic school and scheduled a Bible study every day. There is no feeling of the love. It is very hard for children to built friendships if you are not living in Lake Forest and belong to its narrowed social circle. Teachers are relatively good according to their education background. But your kids would not be benefit much if you were not PTA members.
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