Both of my children were educated at Cathedral. I have only good things to say about the school. Not only were the teachers great, but they were also caring of the students. The friends my children made were amazing, well behaved, and had parents that kept track of them and their behavior both in and out of school. One of my children is in college and the other is in medical school. I believe that Cathedral gave them a great start on their adult lives.
As an alum and current parent, there are good and bad that I can say about Cathedral. There is ample opportunity for motivated students, numerous good and challenging teachers, and some great honors courses. Learning is the priority and all students seem to acknowledge and support that philosophy. We've been told that a big transformation is coming with an application for the International Baccalaureate format to begin in 2012-2013. In order for that to happen, two major changes must be made. There are long-time teachers who are, plainly put, awful and are recognized by guidance and administrators as such. Some recent hires seem to be only because of their connections within the Catholic community, rather than solid skills. The guidance dept is deplorable, so don't count on them to guide your children toward their future. Culturally, there isn't enough diversity, which is problematic. The school is working to eliminate old ideas and stereotypes. The tornado destroyed the old school, so they are in a temporary location that is not ideal. With any luck, a new and better facility will be built by 2013-2014... and the school can begin again, new and improved.
This school is head-and-shoulders over practically all public options at an affordable price. Academic rigor in an involved community is the standard with teachers, administrations and parents all invited and involved.
Cathedral High School is no doubt one of the best, if not the best, educational insitution in the Springfield area. While the school may complain about the dwinling number of students in recent years (less students means less money which also means higher tuitions), the classes are small and in certain classes, you feel like you are actually in the room. However, after attending private schools all of my life (all, except Cathedral, are not Catholic), I find myself struggling with the religion and the approach adminstrators take in the school. I often have to deal with ever-changing rules and teachers who too often are graduates of the school, not 'outsiders' which can provide valuable teaching experiences for the school. All in all, Cathedral is not the best school that I've been, but unfortunately, it's the better school in Springfield.
Cathedral High school is one of the premiere educational institutions in MA. As a former student and current law student, I can attest to the quality education that the school provides. I am proud to be a Cathedral graduate and formed lasting bonds in my four years on Surrey Road that will not soon be forgotten. I recommend Cathedral High School to any student that searches for a quality education in an environment that promotes Christian values... there is truly no better place in Western, MA to get a college preparatory education.
This school put's far to much emphasis on it's title and less on an eduction. It's level of education has lowered in recent years. The resulting education, both in academics and self-growth, that the students receive is no better than any of it's neighbouring schools. Parents who send their children to cathedral, by paying, are providing their children perhaps opportunities afterwards, but with most graduates staying withing the region anyways, these benifits are miniscule if at all relevant.
Cathedral High School is a typical example of how a school can make the most of its resources. My daughter who is currently at Princeton, graduated from Cathedral and was admitted to ALL the five Ivy league schools she applied to, a testament to the strength of the educational and extra curricular program provided at the school, with limited resources. I currently have a son there and he has the opportunity to take challenging courses right from his freshman year, and loves the school so far. The students are trained to be good citizens through early active involvement in community activities such as serving at local Food Pantries etc, and even international social activities such their annual trip to deprived areas in Mexico to help with building and planting. The staff at Cathedral are wonderful, starting from the first person you run into when go to the school - Ms Kakley.
While it may be expensive to attend Cathedral High School, I feel that it is definitely worth it. Our children are our future so why not invest your money into them? Cathedral does have a few incompetent teachers but what school doesn't? Generally, all of the Honors and AP classes are taught by qualified and capable teachers so if you child is gifted or extremely committed to learning it would be best to place them into these rigorous programs. The current dean of students isn't as harsh as everyone says she is. Most people that dislike her are the ones that are always getting into mischief. Cathedral is an excellent school and I would strongly recommend it to any individual.
Although once a fine educational institution, Cathedral is no longer an excellent school. Many of the teachers hired in the past two years are incompetent; arbitrary and capricious rules have been added to the handbook, and the school was so underinsured that full repairs have not been made (and may NEVER be made) in the boy's athletic locker room. As a parent, I regret having wasted so much of my child's high school career at an institution that offers so little in the way of extracurricular activities, an extremely poor music program, and a laughable art program. Parents: be prepared to spend time at the school fighting with the dean of students, incompetent guidance counselors, and clueless administrators. I urge you to talk to current parents and give less weight to opinions that deal with how the school was five or ten years ago.