I am a K-2 public school teacher from Highland Park and our home school is Harper. I am very surprised by the negative reviews. This is my first year at St. Francis and I have been very pleased. I believe the current administration is very professional. At Open House, I grilled the teachers about best practices and the curriculum in the various grade levels. They know what they are doing. The curriculum is Common Core as it is in ALL the public schools on the North Shore, however there is a Catholic lens to the curriculum. As for the Kindergarten, they are doing exactly what we do in Highland Park. There are I-pads and Smart Boards in the classrooms. I wish there was a little less seat work in one of the K classrooms, but every teacher has their particular style. The bottom line is that my children are learning.
The values I am teaching my children are reinforced in the entire school community. I have found the school to be welcoming and open. The parents are down to earth and supportive of one another. In short, our year has been amazing. Our children are excited to return next year.
I agree with the last reviewer that the school is not what it used to be. We made a change in education once we, among others, were realizing the curriculum is behind the public schools across all grade levels, and the kids (who are generally intelligent) are not leaving 8th grade adequately prepared for high school. The nepotism is rampant (they are literally all friends, related, married) keeps sub-par faculty and administration in place. SFX is not interested in what the parents think, which is unfortunate because it's the families who make SFX what it is and who fund every single thing there. The principal and many of the teachers are arrogant. They shut out parents and are dismissive of suggestions to make it a better place. Many horror stories of inappropriate and deceptive behavior it's scary. They punish parents who challenge them in order to keep them in line, even at the expense of how they treat their children. The public school does a better job of treating the children and parents with respect and dignity.
This school has changed significantly over the last few years, and not for the better. The new administration is inexperienced and the school no longer has a family-friendly feel to it. They are exclusively focused on increasing enrollment thus the school is bursting at the seams and does not meet the needs of the students. This is definitely no longer a place for children who are above or below average at all. It's too late for us to change, but very sadly I can no longer recommend this school to anyone. There are a few exceptional teachers, as there are anywhere, but there are also several teachers who lack the knowledge and the maturity to teach and a lack of leadership to guide them to becoming better teachers. The curriculum also seems to be significantly behind where the public school is. A few families have transferred out recently and have found that their children are really far behind at the local public schools.
St. Francis Xavier has been a life saver for us. Excellent teachers, excellent administration, and great kids. Our son has been provided in-class differentiation to keep him interested and focused, allowing him to move ahead of the class at his own pace, and out-of-class differentiation in mathematics where he is so far ahead he could not be accommodated in class. Our daughter has received plenty of focus time in her classroom to help her with reading and attention span. Overall, I can't speak highly enough of St. Francis Xavier, and would unconditionally recommend it to any parent!
SFX provides an intentional combination of academics and values, preparing our children to be compassionate leaders. SFX is one of only 50 private schools across the nation to win a Blue Ribbon School Award in 2012. We love St. Francis!
I am A former student of SFX and I loved the school. I feel the school challenged me and they helped me achieve the best of my abilities. The teachers actually care about each individual student and help everyone's different learning styles. I also though we had the perfect amount of kids in each class. Never more than 15, it made it easy to learn. I loved SFX
Smaller, close knit school where the parents are very involved in their children's education and supportive of the faculty. Top notch facilities and faculty. A child is never lost here, and the curriculum challenges each student to reach and exceed their potential.
St. Francis Xavier school is a wonderful place. I have had three children go through the school and have found that they are not only getting a great education, but are learning in a very nurturing environment. There is a high level of parental involvement and you get to know all the other St. Francis families.