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St Raphael Catholic School5
Posted September 26, 2013
- a parent
Wonderful learning environment. Top notch teaching staff. Very easy to work with and the school makes great accommodations for all children's needs either more challenges or additional services. What a loving community.
We switched our daughter to St. Raphael this year from another Naperville Catholic school. We have been extremely happy with our choice! The younger grades are using many of the same programs as IPSD 204 like Jolly Phonics, Guided Reading and the 6+1 Writing Traits. St. Raphael also uses AIMs Web testing in the younger grades to assess students' needs and progress. Yes, the class sizes are large, but all of the younger grades have a teacher and a certified teacher's assistant. So, it makes the teacher:student ratio better than what you'll find in the area public schools. The new principal is very knowledgable and approachable. As far as fundraising, we have found that it is less than the previous Catholic school our daughter attended. We feel blessed to have our daughter attend St. Raphael and receive a quality education that includes religious instruction and guidance!
I had two children attend this school for three years. Pastoral support was very positive. The staff really needs to change-they are not showing their passion for teaching or their concern for the children's learning. Many times when my daughter asked for help, she was told." you are a advanced student you should know how to do that". Which of course never answered her questions. Parent-Teacher communication is very poor.
Large student teacher ratio 36:1 Poor Spanish language instruction and outdated curriculum. Very rigid strict school with focus on procedure rather than product and learning. Children who need any special attention whether it be for special needs looking for additional help or for bright children with advanced skills that need to be more challenged are really out of luck and parents have to take a huge part in external after school programs to augment the schools short comings in staff and experience. Many of the social workers assessment lead to the diagnosis of adhd or add and parents are encouraged to medicate children because the school will not follow a 504 plan or accommodate any special requests to help facilitate the success of a student. I understand this was once a great school, but has suffered as a result in changes in both administration as well as staff. The only reason that I am ranking one star is that there isnt an option for zero stars.
Be aware that this small school comes at a price. Heavy reliance on parents for fundraising, large student to teacher ratio (36:1); very punitive practices for the slightest infractions ; outdated and underfunded curriculum; teachers that don't embrace individual learning styles (you must conform to their standards only) My personal experience having 2 kids go through this school is both of them were "labeled". In fact, my son's 6th grade teacher suggested we test our son for ADD/ADHD, inferring he had the "problem". As it turned out our son was not being challenged with his IQ in the 115-140 range and was suffering from anxiety due to the teacher's temper and hostility.
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