I am a college professor who cares greatly about education. That's why my wife and I are more than willing to drive 30 minutes twice each day to transport our daughter to St. Mary's School in Niles. We are thoroughly impressed. Learning proceeds best with love, and that is what our child experiences at St. Mary's. The atmosphere is safe, skillful, and spiritual. The leadership is eminently capable and caring. My daughter's classroom appears particularly inviting and rewarding, a warm reflection of a truly delightful teacher. In sum, St. Mary's loves our daughter and our daughter loves St. Mary's. I will recommend this school enthusiastically and most sincerely to anyone who is searching for an optimal venue for their child's early education.
Our son has attended St. Mary's School for the past two years. He has thrived in the transitional kindergarten program where he receives personalized attention-he is reading, learning math, science, social studies, music, art and technology. The small size of the school means that all the teachers know him and know us. We receive a lot of feedback and are well informed of all of his activities. The teachers are dedicated and experienced and the principal is caring and involved in all aspects of the school. Honestly, my husband and I are big believers in public schools and thought we would try St. Mary's for preschool but ended up really loving the fantastic education that our son is receiving here.
I feel very comfortable leaving my daughter in such capable hands each day. The faith that surrounds St. Mary's School provides great comfort to me. She is learning to think beyond. We truly feel as though we are part of a school family. There is a ton of positive energy throughout her classroom and school that is growing my daughter in an upward direction.
St. Mary's School is a place where children thrive. Enter the building and there is a feeling of joy and grace. The goal at St. Mary's is to provide a strong education enriched in faith to give students a promising start in life and structure to serve them beyond. Children are taught according to their needs. Days are enriched to celebrate learning. My children began their education here and were well prepared for the rest of their academic lives.
SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!! Within the walls and halls of St. Mary's School is complete dysfunction! The small class sizes continue to speak volumes of the decreasing enrollment due to the lack of a quality education. However, if you're looking for a school similar to a dysfunctional family, then St. Mary's School is the place to be!
We are extremely happy with Saint Mary's School. Our daughter is doing well both academically and socially. She is learning new skills each week as well as has opportunities for fine arts, such as music and art weekly. The afterschool program is extremely helpful to working families and our daughter enjoys it!
Due to economic conditions in the last few years, St. Mary's School has had to combine classes. The class sizes even when combined are below 15 students at the present time which is much smaller than the area public schools. As differentiated learning comes to the front of solid educational philosophy, St. Mary's School will be piloting a blended learning program where each child receives individualized attention and works at his/her own rate lessening frustration and creating a love for learning. This paradigm has been in place for quite a while, but the technology necessary has been purchased. Although there are fewer families than in past years, these families are supportive of the teachers and are "on board" with the educational philosophy. St. Mary's School is a great place to learn!
Sadly, St. Mary's School is in critical condition. Poor decisions and a very poor attitude on the part of the principal have resulted in a marked drop in enrollment in this already struggling school. Enrollment under previous principal was 100+. Current enrollment is less than 40. Speaks for itself. Families have voted with their dollars. Their dollars go with their children to other schools as parents seek a quality education. Even with the small class sizes, families who have transferred children to other schools are consistently finding that these former St. Mary's students are lagging behind their peers academically and often socially. It is unfortunate and is a difficult reality to face for parents who truly believed that St. Mary's School was the best choice for their child. Unfortunately, parents don't realize their error until their child has moved on to another school and struggles with higher expectations.