My daughter graduated from St. Mary last year and got in to Fenwick. Without the team teacher, principle help, good parents advises we would have never reach our goal. Thank to the comitted staff, parents and "friends for ever"-students. I hope, with all the changes, the school will just get stronger, better place to get the best education possible.
St.Mary is a great school. I have been there since I was in preschool and it's acted as my second home.From the start the teachers have showed me nothing but kindness and care which make this school different from a lot of others. I personally think that if you are deciding wether or not to send your child there you need to get student feedback, after all it's their education. I don't think anyone at the school would say they hate it at all. Everyone has done great things with the help of the staff at the school. If people would take the time to really look into the school you'd know that half of the junior high students are published poets already. We all have one accomplishment or another, so instead of bashing the school take sometime to really see what it's all about. I consider the school my second home and my classmates are my second family. I wouldn't have that without the school and staff that have made my 10 years as amazing as they were. I'm sad to be leaving the school because I grew up there and have so many great memories that I will not forget! I want to say thank you because I wouldn't be anywhere without the help of all the amazing people in the St.Mary family!
The principal of this school was in the process of turning this good school into a great school, and it is unfortunate she is leaving. She had an open door policy for students, teachers and parents, and was skilled at conflict resolution. She was honest and fair, and held students accountable for their actions. This did not always sit well with some students or parents, but she did always did what was best for the students. She was extremely knowledgeable in curriculum, higher level thinking skills, challenging all students, and aligning classroom curriculum with 21st century thinking and technology. She was in the process of guiding the teachers at St. Mary into this more challenging way of teaching standard curriculum, and was the key to making St. Mary an outstanding and exceptional school. She will be greatly missed!
St. Mary's School is definitely not worth attending. I went to school there for eleven years (pre-school through eighth grade) and I learned very little to nothing. When I went to high school freshman year I had to work twice as hard as my peers. Most of the subjects I excelled at I have always been known to perform well in such as English, algebra, chemistry, and history. St. Mary's had done nothing to ensure that their students not only mastered the basics, but also had divulged deep into their subjects learning raw material, instead we were taught biased philosophies. Not all teachers were like that however, there were a few great teachers at the school. I do personally suggest though that you should send your children to Central and/or Hauser, they have a great education system, and it will save you $4000 every year for tuition alone.
St. Mary is an excellent school with a strong community feel offering a Catholic faith-based education. The disciplined, yet caring environment truly teaches the "whole person." There has been some positive, and sometimes difficult, changes the past couple of years; I feel these changes will, in the long run, make this strong school even stronger. In my opinion, the "final product" (i.e. graduating 8th graders) are the best measurement of school success, and St. Mary 8th graders consistently get into their high schools of choice and go on to strong college careers.
I pulled my children from St. Mary. I found the families not friendly and the teachers not as good as the public schools in Riverside. I have friends who had a son graduate with F's, a daughter who went to Fenwick from St. Mary's and was told the majority of St. Mary graduates are behind in math upon starting at Fenwick. My personal experience is the school works for kids who do well and puts the responsibility of a struggling student on the parent to resolve. My children are a grade ahead in what they are learning at Dist 96 compared to friends children who attend STM. Faith is taught in the home. You don't need to pay for a excellent education in Rivetside.
St. Mary's has a new principal and new pastor - both extremely positive changes. The school offers an excellent education while ensuring the development of the whole child including strong values, discipline, and skill sets needed to become a productive young adult. I've had 3 children graduate and still have one child attending 5th grade. The teachers are very committed as are most of the parents in ensuring the long term success of the school. For most parents, it is a financial sacrifice to send their kids to SM so expectations are high - as they should be. The fact that almost all of our 8th graders are accepted into their schools of choice and excel once there - demonstrates the schools strengths. Children are taught Christian values and service to others and are expected to live it. Walk through the halls and it is obvious. I also like the diversity. St. Mary's offers foreign language, technology, art, gym, music, student council, talent show, and (no cut) sports teams all at close to half the cost spent per child in the public school system. Impressive.
The curriculum is great at this school, but I disagree with Jamie. I do not think the majority of families are friendly, and the teachers could be kinder to their students; and it is difficult as a parent, to get the teachers to see anything your way. It is a disciplined school (which has some benefits), and their 8th graders do excel when applying at Catholic high schools.
this school also has a computer lab. students have computer class every week to learn how to use computers and do projects. i have read about many schools with bullying problems - this school does not tolerate that at all. there are no behavioral problems in this school like that. children are caring and compassionate to one another here.