This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Our Lady Of Grace School5
Posted September 22, 2014
- a parent
The teachers at Our Lady of Grace School are excellent. They are really caring and definitely have developed an individualized approach to my child. The time they spend in and out of school focusing on the path for my daughter is above and beyond the call of duty. I cannot recommend this school enough. I know my daughter is flourishing because she is in a caring, loving, environment which gives her the confidence to be herself. With this foundation, she is prepared to learn. I also have a son in public school, and I like that there is an alternative to the common core curriculum in Baltimore County.
In a small and caring community, like Northern Baltimore County, it is hard to find a place where you don't feel welcome, but then there are those places when you just feel at home. Our family has had it's ups and downs in our seven year stay (as you would in any school) and we seriously contemplated a move for our kids during the "downs." The other schools here are great. What made us stay? Our kids love the school. We love the people. They are getting a fabulous faith -infused education with outstanding student:teacher ratios and excellent technological and traditional resources; they are challenged to achieve excellence in mind and spirit; they get help when they faulter and they are praised when they succeed; they are making friends; they are being very well prepared for a long academic career; the community is incredibly cohesive. When choosing a school, set aside what others tell you and do what is best for you, for your kids, for your family. Don't let the public vs private debate drive you, nor just a single comment. It's not a competition. Visit all of the schools. Most kids will do well anywhere. Mine are thriving at OLGS and I hope yours will, too!
In a short snapshot comparison (which is what people really want) HZ Public Schools: as far as public schools go, you are hard pressed to find much better. However, they are filled to capacity+ The volume of students puts a strain on the good things the schools have to offer. The student:teacher ratio is discouraging and while not a real problem in lower grades, believe me, throughout middle school, you want teachers to have their fingers on the pulse of everything - not possible with numbers found in the public school. Diversity is a plus and helps kids appreciate differences and become authentically accepting of others. Local Private Schools: Within a 40 mile radius. Typically very expensive. You do get state of the art facilities and very knowledgeable teachers - a lot of bang for your academic buck; you also get family wealth that may lead kids in a variety of potentially negative directions and attitudes. Our Lady of Grace: small community, authentic student/teacher relationships. Very reasonable tuition. Advanced math starts at 3rd grade for those capable, reading screening for all and intervention for anyone who needs it, plus tutoring if necessary. Excellent leadership.
Both of my children attend/attended Our Lady of Grace School, and although their personalities are nothing alike, they both have done very well at this school, and have been happy there. The principal, Mrs. Ricketts, is excellent; she is an intelligent and experienced educator. The academics are very strong and I have always found that the teachers are very accessible and responsive to students and parents. Socially, it is a friendly place, the kids all seem happy and well- behaved (having observed this over many years of lunch duty). People often express concerns that the school is too small. I, personally, think this is a plus, as students all have to be involved (no "flying below the radar") and end up more confident and better educated. My oldest child is now in high school, which is a much larger environment, and aside from the usual adjustments, has made new friends with ease, participates in extracurricular activities, and has risen to the challenge of rigorous high school academics. If you are considering this school, take the time to visit, meet the principal and teachers, and have your child "shadow" there for a day. I think you and your child will be very pleased.
When we moved to this area we had every intention of sending our children to a private Catholic school. We just thought we would have a bit of a commute to and from school. We had no idea that Our Lady of Grace was so close to our home. Once we attended Open House we felt the sense of family community immediately and knew this was the school for our family. We have had nothing but a positive experience. The staff is amazing and the educational experience has been wonderful. I have never seen a principal that is so hands on on a daily basis. I am amazed at the level of confidence every child displays. It is like an extension of our family. Would not trade this experience for the world!!
We moved to the area because of the great public schools then decided to try Kindergarten at Our Lady of Grace. Our daughter has now been there for 3 years and we all love it. Our friends and family are always commenting on her maturity level, and especially her confidence. I see her classmates and they all have the same attributes, and are especially caring and compassionate to each other. Her teachers and schoolmates are an extension of our family and we couldn't be happier with the sense of community, not to mention the curriculum. As a working parent, the Playcenters program offered on site is perfect. We couldn't be happier with the school and everyone connected!
I can't say enough about how wonderful Our Lady of Grace has been for my daughter and our family. The entire school community is supportive and nurturing offering their very best day in and day out for the benefit of all of the children. The academics and enrichment programs are excellent. My daughter frequently teaches me things she has learned in school and she is so proud of her accomplishments. She is becoming a confident, intelligent, (and goofy) young lady who cares for those around her and the world as a whole. When the earthquake and Tsunami hit Japan in 2011, she told me about it before I even heard it on the news. She then asked how she could help the kids in Japan. She asked me to reach out to the Principal to see if the school kids could help and the following week the children took up a collection to help those impacted by the devastation in Japan - pretty big endeavor for a child in kindergarten at the time. As parents we try to make the best choice for our kids, but we don t always know if we have. Our decision to send our daughter to OLGS has been the best decision. I couldn't ask for a better environment and educational experience for her.
As parents of two students at Our Lady of Grace, my wife and I cannot say enough wonderful things about the school. Before choosing OLGS, we researched and visited other private and public schools in the area. It was only at OLGS, though, that we truly felt at home. Now that we are part of the OLGS family, we see that the school truly is filled with incredibly caring and nurturing teachers who do everything they can to help students excel. We have even reached teachers via email as late as 11:00 at night! Our children frequently come home from school and teach us new things, and our oldest is in Kindergarten! For all these reasons, and many, many more, we highly recommend OLGS!
When the school opened in 2000 I would easily have given it 5 stars and then some. We have been there for a number of years now and I can't say it is the same school we bought into. Not sure if it is due to Sr Helen and Father Nicholas leaving or to the new leadership or to the different students coming and going-maybe all of those things combined- but it is not the wonderful school it used to be. Still an okay school, but not the wonderful school it was. Reading the other reviews, I would have to say some seem so positive, but others, not so much.....I can identify easily with each idea expressed. I think academically, it has to be rated above average, but there are other things to keep in mind when choosing a school as well.
As a parent, I was suprised to read the one-star comment. Although I could not give it 5 stars, I do wonder how the school could get a one-star comment from a parent. Admittedly, the school seems a bit confused about the direction it wants to go at times, but the best interest of the students is served very well on a daily basis. Please keep in mind when reading posts to assist in your education decision, that no one school fits every family and even a family that feels it "fits" perfectly will sometimes disagree. If you're looking for a small, nurturing, faith-filled community with excellent academics, OLG is one you should consider. If you prefer abundant social arenas with a competitive edge in addition to challenging academics, local private schools may be a better fit. If you're somewhere in the middle of both of these, Baltimore County public schools typically serve most students very well. Tuition at OLG is reasonable, but as in most non-public schools, you'll write checks for just about anything from A-Z. The lack of clergy is unfortunate, but this plagues many archdioceses today. Family, Child, School, Family...Fit.