I have two children at St Francis and it's wonderful In many ways. I like the emphasis on the Arts. For the most part the teachers have been good. We Had a couple that were not performing as well as Expected and were replaced. Small class sizes are good and bad. They are Great academically but socially it's another story. It's very Cliquey if you don't act and dress like the Other girls and "follow the leader" you are not included This happens more so in middle school and varies From class to class. For the most part we've been happy but I would highly recommend Shadowing to see the class you will be in.
St. Francis School has been a challenging, supportive, nurturing, place for my children for the last 8 years. The students are respected as individuals, and are allowed to learn Independence and challenged to to dig deeper into subjects with full support of the excellent faculty. The faculty work extremely hard to ensure that each child is pushed to their potential. The curriculum schedule allows for music, art, PE, and humanities 2 or 3 times a week every week along with core subjects math, science, Language arts, social studies, and Spanish. The school educates the whole child and prepares them for their life ahead. The school also has one of the best healthy lunch offering to students which is included in tuition and recess everyday. After school programs include drama, sports, choir, piano lessons, art classes, chess, etc....something for everyone! The parent community is very welcoming and open to new families in the community. The school works hard to ensure that any child wanting to attend St. Francis School can do so as financial aid is available. My daughter had a drs. apt. and begged for it to go fast so she could go back to school....what more could you want?
My child spent several years at this school before transferring to another private school in the area. The decision to move our child was based on several factors; lack of extracurricular activities appropriate for our child, excessive emphasis on the school's green/sustainability plan, and an overall atmosphere of arrogance (e.g. No other school could possibly be as good as SFS). This atmosphere is largely attributable to the arrogance of the Head of School.
Disappointing. Disappointing. Disappointing. We moved all of our kids to another private school after a few years at SFS. An individualized instruction plan is only available to those fitting within the school's narrow profile. Fall outside that profile (whether on the challenged or gifted end of the spectrum) and they don't know what to do. Was a big mistake for us.
St.Francis is an amazing place. I disagree with one of the reviews below. Although it is in the country and you do have to drive, it gives the school a peaceful feel. The children don't have to be in the noisy city or a distracting place. They can be surrounded by nature. You would have to drive to any other school too. The teachers and staff are amazing and know what they are doing. You can not get a better education at any other place. If you want a your children to have a great education in a beautiful place, then send them to St.Francis. You will not regret it.
I have to completely disagree with the post that indicated that St Francis was not accomadating to the needs of gifted children. We hae been very pleased with the individualized plan that St Francis came up with and implemented for our child. I have found that they treat every child as a unique individualized learner that needs to be challenged in different and appropriate manners. A great place to consider for any child, but especially one with unique needs on either end of the spectrum!
I have worked in several private school environments and find St. Francis to be the most student-centered place I've ever encountered. We give incredible attention to our students and require them to be actively engaged in their own education. (Forget test-taking drones!) My colleagues are dynamic, engaging and very involved in tailoring a fantastic curriculum for our students. Students seem very happy to be here - you get the sense that learning is fun for them and they take real ownership in acquiring knowledge. Also, the emphasis on creative thinking, expression (artistic, written and oral) and physical activity ensure that students develop high-level critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I absolutely love working here, and you would be hard pressed to find a more energetic and satisfied faculty.
St. Francis Goshen promises a lot, but delivers little. It seems to be a lot more about what one sees on the surface than substance. For instance, the school is out in the middle of nowhere, almost requiring each student be picked up and dropped off individually. This is ironic given the amount of attention that the school supposedly places on the environment. The standards for academics are average with a couple of great teachers; similar situations exist at any other school. I do not feel my daughter was challenged enough or that most of the staff actively pursued issues with her when she was late with homework -- way too many excuses were allowed. While I agree whole heartedly with celebrating the child, I do not agree rewarding mediocrity. To me, this school, with the exception of a few of the staff, is not worth the price.
I am a recent high school graduate with an International Baccalaureate Diploma and a 4.0 GPA. I went to St. Francis from kindergarten through eighth grade (as have my two siblings). My parents, siblings and I think that St. Francis is an extraordinary school that well prepared us for high school. The teachers taught us to think for ourselves and to think outside the box. One of the gifts St. Francis gave me was the ability to 'learn how to learn.' Most importantly, I retained the information I learned because it was taught in a manner that understanding was more important than memorizing. It is a small school and, to me, it felt like a family, a support system.
I have 3 graduate or current students at St. Francis School. It has been a wonderful environment for them, and the oldest were well prepared for secondary education. The quality of the academic program is excellent due to concerned and involved teachers. They read classics, had special projects and became independent thinkers. My sister comments on the impressive fine arts program which many other schools have scaled back. All of my children were involved in sports and learned sportsmanship and the love of the game. There are many opportunities for parental involvement at every grade level. We are pleased with the education our children have received at St. Francis School.