This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Paul's School for Girls1
Posted April 23, 2015
- a parent
I am so glad I found this page. We are still trying to decide what to do for next year and even if we lose money on the tuition we put down, we are likely leaving. We and our daughter have been unhappy with the turnover in staff and the lack of accountability for changes in the school structure by the administration. I think the head is only that on paper. The person who seems to be making all of the decisions is the second in charge- the academic dean mentioned in a lot of these reviews- who is making sweeping changes with little communication to parents. Of course parents talk and we are concerned that they will not be able to be re-certified by the governing body of independent schools in Maryland.
We are new this year and the Middle School experience has exceeded our expectations. I can't comment on the teachers that have left, but my daughter's have been excellent. She is being challenged academically, while being supported and encouraged personally. She has also found a welcoming community of classmates, which was something we had apprehension about since she didn't know anyone going in. Maybe because we're new, we're not privy to all the drama, but I also don't care about that stuff, just about the education my daughter is getting.
What is going on with the board of directors at this school? It's bad enough to make a terrible decision in hiring the head of school, but another to blindly ignore it. I would not be surprised if this school actually flat out closed, there is no leadership evident on nearly any level. (And seriously, ask around. This head of school has taken the reputation of this school down in flames, and every AIMS school knows it.)
Unfortunately, we have to agree with the negative reviews of this school. It looks like there will be more turnover again this year as the school counselor left mid-year. The experienced teachers are dedicated and wonderful but the administration does not support them and seems to be looking to get less experienced teachers in place. We sent our kids here because we thought they would get a quality education in a supportive environment. That has eroded over time and we anticipate the education of students can only get worse with this continued turnover. We have other choices and we would rather leave before it gets worse. We will not return next year.
I really like to write good reviews. There are a few teachers here that likely deserve one. I wish I had better news, though. SPSG has been a profound disappointment and, now in our 7th and final year, is a constant reminder of our poor decision not to switch our daughter out sooner. I certainly was for a stronger head, and am not afraid of change, but 29 of 50 teacher turnover was a surprise, and life on the other side of it - is brutal. The teaching quality suffered, there continues to be little structure, but now with even less institutional knowledge. The political correctness remains off the charts, whereas the moral compass makes even less appearances. The new head is cold, with a track record of poorly handled student situations. The Associate Head for Academics is terrible, just terrible. What a crying shame that every prospective family can't see how big a mistake it is to send a girl to a declining, decaying institution such as this. Jeez, expensive mistake.
I unfortunately have to disagree with the 11/9 post- it's been my experience in the last 10 or 15 years that the girls at SPSG have always been happy, but the last couple of years have seen a turn for the worse, presumably from the change in leadership that has led to a mass exodus of teachers (sorry, but you can't have 50% turnover without bad management disguised as "righting the ship.") The professionalism of the staff prevents the worst traits of this administration- insincerity, lack of shame, antisocial behavior, poor judgment, lack of insight, and an egocentric worldview- from affecting the students but I believe this can only last so long. I would not recommend working here or sending your children to this school.
Removed our child without regret. After a parade of leadership cut from the same cloth...realized that the school is run for the edification of teachers with an agenda, not students. The board is way off base on this one, can someone educate those people, how about an exit interview.
No school can be everything to everyone, nor can a school be characterized by disgruntled or positive chatter submitted in 1000 characters or less. SPSG strives to be current and intentional in bringing out the best in the students we have each year. This means change and this means tough decisions at times, but good things can not arise from stagnation or weakness. Come and see the welcoming community. Ask direct and pointed questions, and I think you'll be impressed by the answers. Meet the faculty, and I think you'll be pleased by their level of commitment.