This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Nativity Of Mary School1
Posted January 26, 2015
- a parent
The school is trying to bury the real reviews from real parents from Sept. to Dec. 2014 about the principal and some teachers in grade 3 & 4. I guess it is easier to close eyes on the real issues and try to ignore them by asking others to post these positive reviews about the school to push the negative ones far down but read them, you may hear these positive reviews are for real but beware. I guess it really shows the mentality of the school, unfortunately, because many of us have experienced retaliation either through our families or child(ren), we feel this is the only way to act that will help us see change...
My child was part of the preschool program the past two years and now is in kindergarten. The preschool program was fabulous! The teachers were enthusiastic and took the time to get to know my child. They prepared my child and classmates well for kindergarten doing it in fun and meaningful ways. This year my child is doing wonderfully, and I know this is in great part because of the small class size. My child is not just a number in the room. The test scores for the school are high which is one of the reasons I chose this school. I have also been impressed with all that Nativity offers before and after school for students of all ages... many sports, karate, piano, choirs, a musical, childcare, etc. In addition, there are many opportunities for parents and families to stay involved. If you are interested in a new school, I would strongly recommend at least taking a tour!
My two children have attended Nativity for several years. If you are looking at this school there are a few important things to know. The preschool is good, my children haven't attended but many friends have had great things to say. The reading program that the school uses is great and there are some wonderful teachers. The school has a lot of issues though. The principal does not have a good relationship with many of the families and ignores problems. If you come to her with a problem it will be your problem because she will never admit that the school is anything except perfect. She wins principal of the year in Bloomington by the local newspaper because the school campaigns very aggressively via letter, phone call and email for people to vote, no other school in Bloomington does this which makes the 'award' meaningless. There is also a third and fourth grade teacher who need to move on. Parents have had concerns about these particular teachers for years is their length of time teaching. There is no development plan for bad teachers. The school is rapidly declining in enrollment because of principal and teacher issues. Staff turnover could make this school a much better place.
The school is academically challenging in some ways but lacks many of the programs that could take it academically from a good school to a great school. There is a need for new leadership in the school. The principal is very, very ineffective. She has control issues and has a long history of sweeping problems under the rug. Standing up for your child is looked down upon and there will be consequences for any feedback that you try to give her. There have been some retention issues in recent years mostly due to issues that aren't being addressed. There are some great teachers there. There are also a couple that have been allowed to continue to teach after years of feedback and frustration from parents. With a new leader and appropriate staff changes this school has the potential to be wonderful, but right now it isn't there.
Although most the academics are good I am disappointed in the school. Mostly due to a principal who has been there waaayyyy too long and has no understanding of parents concerns, children's care and simply shows up going through the day because of the paycheck, there is absolutely no passion for education here and it clearly shows. Our third grade teacher was calling in sick every2/3 weeks last year beside taking extra vacation time or extended weekends and it seems to be perfectly normal there. There is also $500 worth of mandatory fees that the principal will not tell you about so be prepare to pay them or substitute it by volunteering for various chores at folks houses outside of shool. And lastly, do not stand up for your child or what you believe at Nativity of Mary, it is not acceptable and you and your child (ren) will feel the consequences of it....
I am a grandmother who has been very active and interacting with the teachers and staff at Nativity of Mary. Our daughter attended Nativity, married a Nativity Student, and now our grandson is loving the same school. The teachers really give individual time and care to each student, and keep the parent up to date on what they are learning. I attend School Mass every week that I can, and the students amaze me with the respect they show to their teachers and to their peers. When my grandson came home and told me that his whole class had prayed for his deceased mother on the anniversary of her death, I knew he was in the right school!
The academics are good. The teachers are so very nice. The school building is clean and well-kept. The environment is safe, and class sizes small. The importance and instruction of a truly Catholic Faith are lacking. Of course, the kids get more Religious instruction than they would at a Public school, where there would be zilch. As Catholic parents trying to impart the beauty and grace of the Catholic Faith in all facets of their lives we are concerned about this. They do have Mass once per week as a school. They do get Religion twice per week, but mostly, our children come home from school with "having had no time" to actually do the activity lessons in the classroom, and the Religion is NOT homework to bring back! For our family, we consider this school to be a better environment for our children than the Public schools, but only haltingly recommend--Respect for Life, and a TRUE understanding of our Catholic faith must come from the family--it will NOT end up coming from this school. If you are a "Cafeteria Catholic"--then this is your school.
I am so proud to be a part of the Nativity community. The staff do wonderful things for my children and our family overall. We try to provide a solid foundation based on positive character and morals. Nativity helps fosters and supports what we are tryng to do as parents. I feel listened to when I have concerns from the teachers and principal. At Nativity my children have the opportunities to provide service within not only our local community but our global community. I feel that the environment is safe and nuturing yet pushes my children to challenge one's self to move beyond their comfort level. Their is a strong sense of community at Nativity of Mary.