This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Roncalli High School1
Posted April 14, 2015
- a parent
Not a good school. Cliches and excludes students. Use of the term of "not all students are a good fit" is a cop-out. It's the administration duty of any school, private or not to include students not dump on them, glad my child is no longer attending this school
Our overall experience at Roncalli was disappointing. Although two of my children graduated from Roncalli and were adequately prepared for rigorous college courses, our family is from one of the smaller parishes and there was always a sense of not quite belonging to the "Roncalli Family." Our own parish priest highly recommended that we choose another school, as he was aware of the disconnect some families felt and lack of cohesiveness the administration provided to outsiders. Our third child struggles with ADD and is not strong in sports and is an average student with respect to his academics. What we found is that if you are not a student that will make Roncalli look good, then you will not find strong support from the administration. Based on our experience, we not only feel like outsiders, but we also feel that they failed to provide any type of support to our child who could have really benefited from mentorship and a support system. The most disappointing aspect of Roncalli, and why I am giving them such a low rating, is that they care more about their image than they do their students.
I graduated from Roncalli a few years ago. I came from the public school system and was not catholic. These are both reasons that people want to make you believe that, "if you fit in one of these two categories, you might not be welcomed." This statement could not be further from the truth. If you don't "fit in" at Roncalli then you are not trying. There is something for everyone to be involved in and they will help you find "it" is. There are more resources here for students than I have ever had before. The staff here, as a whole, could not be any better. Sure, not every school is perfect and not every teacher there is the best in the state, but Roncalli could not put more effort and care into seeing their students succeed. I don't know a teacher there that wont stay after to help you with questions, or an administrator that doesn't know the names of the kids and says hello in the hallways. Once I arrived at Roncalli, sure, it was an academic shock and sure, it was a financial strain on my parents but every penny was worth it. I study engineering at Purdue now and Roncalli has prepared me more for life than all of the intelligent students around me.
It would be hard to find a school that is more dedicated to providing the education that a student needs to compete in the highly competitive college and career world. Not only do they concentrate on the academics, but they also instill in the students a strong moral code and a sense of service to their fellow man.
My son transferred out of Roncalli to the public school at the beginning of 2014, because he has a breakdown when we tried to discuss with him what courses he wanted to take for the next academic year. It turns out that there was a kid that he had in two of his classes that was bullying him, as in saying things to him, making fun of how he talked, and throwing things at him, like pencils and spitballs. The vice principal in charge of student activities told us that "Roncalli isn't a good fit for all students". The dean was going to talk to the student involved, but, I believe he dropped the ball, because our son left the school. Bullying is the elephant in the room at Roncalli; I know of other kids who have been bullied. During freshman year, we had to attend a series of parent meetings, and during one, the same dean emphasized that there would be zero tolerance for bullying. I guess so, if all the bullied students leave.
Both of my children have graduated from Roncalli High School. They could not have had a better experience anywhere else. The instruction that they received for their entire four years was excellent. All of the Administration, Faculty and Staff are very professional and very qualified to do their jobs. The school is very faith based across all aspects, where prayer is said multiple times a day in class, on the athletic field or court, in the arts and for any extracurricular activity. The facilities are unmatched by any private school in the city of Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. College prep is stressed, but students of all academic abilities will find their niche, and Roncalli has an extensive special needs learning program, enabling a family to ensure that all of their children get the same faith based education. When both of my children entered college, they said that they were 'over prepared' and so far ahead of many of their college peers as far as academia, study habits and time management, not to mention their faith. The lessons that my children learned at Roncalli are life lessons which will stay with them forever. That is why we call it the Roncalli Family!
Our experience with Roncalli is somewhat limited, being that our son is only a freshman, but we know for sure that he is not going to attend it next year. We are most disappointed, both for the lack of professionalism from instructors (we do wonder if they have ANY college degree at all), and for the contents of their teaching. This school essentially teaches INTOLERANCE at all levels (sometime in a subtle yet perverse way), and we find it unacceptable. Also, they mislead the students with twisted and altered information about well known facts in science and history. My advise to those who would be inclined to attend Roncalli is: find a better way to spend your hard earned money.
Roncalli is an amazing and very special place. Not only has the school shaped me into a great student, but the school has made me a well rounded individual in and out of the classroom. The emphasis on faith first is what sets this school apart from the rest. They truly help nurture the Catholic faith in each student in things such as senior retreat and daily communion services. I love the Roncalli family. How many other schools call their gym the family room? The Roncalli community is truly a family that cares for each individual no matter what race, gender, status, financial status, sexual orientation, or household you come from. We are a family and I'm so proud to be a part of it. My experience with Roncalli was so great that I would love to end up teaching there! It has made such an impact on my life. I invite others who are thinking of sending their children to Roncalli to not hesitate to do so. Yes, Catholic education is expensive, but think of it as an investment in your child's future because you will not be disappointed and the affects of Roncalli will last long after they graduate. I can speak from experience! I love Roncalli! Go Rebels!
While I am pleased with the academic qualities of Roncalli there are other areas that need some work. Socially the school is very clique oriented. The students of wealthier parents look down upon those that come from average or low income households. Also there is a perception that minorities aren't welcome which is very unfortunate considering this is a parochial school. On the plus side, students are required to have a number of service hours each semester which I think is terrific. It's unfortunate that some of the spoiled brats don't get the meaning of service.