This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St Agnes Elementary School4
Posted March 26, 2014
- a parent
St. Agnes has been part of our lives for the last 7 years. We are active members in the school as well as in the parish. This is a wonderful community of people with an amazing 90 year history. I feel blessed that my children have all these great specials such as computer ,Spanish, PE, Library, music, and art. Yes, Spanish is once a week and only for 30 minutes, but my children know the Glory Be and Hail Mary and come home excited about different countries that they are learning about. In computer class, as they get older they learn powerpoint/excel and put together presentations, resumes, etc. When other schools are taking these programs away we feel so blessed that STA still provide these wonderful oppertunites for the students. We have a new parish priest and parish admin. I believe that this change will help the school become stonger.
St. Agnes is a Catholic school, so emphasis on religion is to be expected. Unfortunately, I feel they put more of an emphasis in the middle school on religious studies rather than core classes, such as Math or Language Arts. The computer classes are a joke, and nothing more than a "keyboarding lesson" year after year. PE also given a backseat, despite studies showing the importance of exercise for children. The Spanish program is also laughable compared to what it used to be. Not the fault of the teacher, but what can you expect the kids to learn in 20 minutes a week (if they have the class at all)? The backlash of parents against the new administration is appalling and not inline with Christian behavior. If a Catholic education and cliquish involvement is more important than the core learning you can get at the public school level, then STA is for your family.
The community at STA is what I used to brag about, but now this tight knit group has turned on people who were brought to be instruments of change. This hinders progress. I think the new principal is doing all she can to overcome the resistance from the "community" to new leadership. Big changes are needed for STA to remain competitive with a highly rated public school system that surrounds it. Common Core is here and STA is on its own, with little help from the Diocese. Unfortunately, in the upper elementary, teachers have been hit or miss. That and the lack of enrichment for children who test above their grade level are the two main reasons we will not return next year. For the lower-elementary, it was a wonderful experience and the friends we've made are priceless. Now that we are looking at middle school and high school options, I need my child to be competitive not only at the state but also national level. Unfortunately, I can't wait for the time it will take for the detractors to get out of the way and let the new progressive administration do their job. The small class sizes will be missed.
St. Agnes is overall a great place for our kids to receive a Catholic education. Classroom teachers are involved and caring, and go the extra mile to educate. Unfortunately, I can no longer say St. Agnes is the place to be if your child needs an individualized education, enrichment, or special education services. It used to be - but this year that incredible level of support has really deteriorated with a new principal and inclusion teacher/reading specialist. So far it has not impacted the education of our kids in major ways, but I know a number of others who have been negatively affected. I am hopeful this will change in the future because we used to be on the cutting edge of providing a specialized education for kids in the parochial setting.
I am a parent of two children that attend St. Agnes. One child has special needs and is on an IEP. This is our second year at St. Agnes. We came from another school in the Archdiocese. This school is so progressive and really works to meet the needs of both of my children. I love working with the staff and have never felt anything but positive about the school. The parents, students, and community have made us feel like part of the family. I often reccomend this school to other parents I know. We love it!
I felt compelled to write this as a mother of a St. Agnes student who has an IEP. This is our 4th year at St. Agnes and the administration and teachers that I have had to deal with have always been willing to listen to me and my child. They are caring individuals who see the best in every child and want to help each child succeed . As a parent I want a safe and caring enviroment and I feel that St. Agnes is this place. We came from another parish and St. Agnes has been welcoming and a wonderful faith community to call home. See for youself and attend and open house or schedule a tour.
As a parent of a special needs child (with a IEP) and a 4th year family of St. Agnes, I too felt compelled to post. I can only speak for myself and our family when I say that St. Agnes has always been the perfect decision we made for education for our children. While there no law required by private schools, St. Agnes is growing leaps and bounds in the areas of Special Needs and Inclusion. My children's educational and spiritual needs are always the focus at the top of their list. We are not just some number. The faculty and staff continues to work with us to educate on how to be the strongest advocate for our children. Without their assistance and guidance, our son would be "number" in the public arena; and due to his high level of functionality, he would have already fallen through the "cracks" and labeled a trouble maker. Here he has a name and he is a person. Not a disability. I am proud to call St. Agnes my home for family, faith and community. Never choose a school by a few reviews. Request a tour and information! You will be able to see my post in real time action!
How quickly things change, we wrote the post on February 21st & were the biggest cheerleaders for St. Agnes. That abruptly changed when our eldest son with special needs had an incident at school. He was suspended that day & the next day we were told he could not set foot on campus. Forget about teaching tolerance or forgiveness- he's a liability. We couldn't guarentee it wouldn't happen again and he's too big were the reasons we got. No one was injured & the other child involved ( & parents) forgave him & says he's a friend. It's a shame-they do not practice what they preach. If you have a child with special needs an IEP with the district is really not enough- have a written 504 plan or your child's civil rights may be in jeopardy. There are plenty of great schools in Johnson county- mark this one off your list if you BELIEVE that a child with special needs can learn from his mistakes and deserves a second chance and if you BELIEVE children learn more from the examples of others than the words they use. It's been devastating to our family- we lost our faith community. Yet another dream for our son has been dashed & he doesn't understand why he can't go to God's school.
Our family couldn't be happier with St. Agnes. It's much more than just a school - it's a community that cares about every child's emotional, social and spiritual development as well as their educational advancement. As happy and successful products of the Shawnee Mission school system, we made the choice to move into the SM District when we had our first child. We had every intent of enrolling her in the district when we discovered the Montessori program at St. Agnes - then we were hooked. Our oldest has now graduated from St Agnes and our two younger children currently attend. The economic and social diversity within the student body is a positive, but it's the striving for excellence within the faculty and administration that really impresses us. Bureaucracy is minimal an parental involvement isn't just a nice bonus - it's critical to St. Agnes' success.