St. Mary's of the Mills is an extraordinary school! Throughout my nine years at the school (K-8) I was constantly growing to be more competent and stronger spiritually. Without St. Mary's I would not be the man I am today!
To touch on the 5 of 6 Golden Apple winners...Yes, they won 5 years straight, last year missing out BUT only TWO, of the five still work at the school! It is one thing to have good teachers but that ability to KEEP good teachers is rapidly decreasing! :-( Each will tell you, LEADERSHIP was the ultimate deciding factor! :-(
My son is going into his 3rd year at SMS. He has loved his teachers the past 2 years and looks forward to going to school. We have had issues with my son's attention span in the classroom and other behaviors, and exchanged many emails with teachers. The teachers and staff care so much about their students! SMS has had a teacher receive the "Golden Apple" award for 5 out of the past 6 years since the award was introduced by the Archdiocese of Washington. Previous reviews mentioned technology and I thought I'd comment on that too. Every one of the 22 classrooms has projectors and white board technology. Students get media/computer lab 2x a week, even in kindergarten. I do agree that the principal is not very tech savvy and needs to be more responsive to parents when issues arise. I think he feels that he has a team around him that will address these issues when he should handle them personally and directly. The process for raising concerns needs to be improved. I do believe that my son is receiving a quality Catholic education at St. Mary of the Mills. I'm so glad that he can attend mass, talk about his faith, and that the school focuses on building good character.
Highly disappointed and keeps getting worse. This school use to be so wonderful with great staff and teachers. Unfortunately the principle has angered and chased away so many wonderful teachers, staff and students. Catholic values are NOT being met under his leadership and he cares more about his own image and does not put the kids first at all! I pray that this school can return to the great school it once was but right now it is going in the WRONG direction!!!
The middle school teachers are very supportive. The school has poor leadership; the principal does not show any interest in his teachers nor does he take the time to meet with parents. We are sadden to see so many great teachers leave this school because of the leadership.
I would not recommend this school, especially if you are not Catholic. I agree with another parent in that the curriculum is very weak, it does not prepare kids for the technologically advanced society in which we live today. My daughters have attended the school for 2 years and I have made a grave mistake enrolling them. They were in a Mandarin-immersion program in a school that utilized Smart boards and computers as a part of their curriculum. St. Mary's staff is still thinking that they can teach students they way they were taught 20 years ago.
My daughter loves this school. She is finishing her second year there and already told me she wants to stay there until 8th grade. She says she loves her teachers and the staff. All her teachers have been very nice, supportive and open to communication. The only true thing I don't care for is the lunch options.
I have been at this school now for 3 years and have a middle schooler and two children in elementary school. I have been extremely pleased with the academics at this school, and with the teacher support and input. When I had a concern with one of my children, I arranged to talk to the teachers and we worked out an ongoing communication method so we could keep track of how my child was doing. Moreover, there are lots of opportunity for community involvement for families.
I have been very pleased with this school. I have 2 children currently enrolled who remain very enthusiastic about school and learning. I find the environment to be caring and nuturing while maintaining a strong academic focus. Would strongly recommend this school to others