As a graduate of Totino Grace who has never had a lot of love for the school, I have to admit that the education I received was outstanding. When I went to university I was fully prepared for the course work: no remedial courses or college writing for me. Of course, much of my success was rooted in my own drive and love of learning, but TG did teach me pretty useful skills that ultimately gave me an edge over my peers (e.g. analysis, critical thinking, pressure writing, etc.). The teachers, overall, were excellent and personable. As someone who struggled with math and some science, it was a godsend to have teachers who would stay after school to tutor me. I will never forget their work and dedication. Pragmatically, TG is excellent for the service it renders to its customers. HOWEVER, the experience itself was painful for me. Going to school everyday with a bunch of boring/pretentious rich people really took its toll. My peers, for the most part, were bland at best and annoying at worst. Culturally I could not relate to them and it often seemed we had conflicting values. In the end, though, I must give the school four stars for the great education. The culture gets less than 1.
TG does support religion and education. But paying tuition is a waste of money for this school. Most of our school day, which is shorter than most schools, are filled with prayer. I am not a very religious person and having so much of my day taken up by prayer, not to include the days we have liturgy, and having that precious time taken away from education is outrageous. To be fair to the school though the teachers are, for the most part, amazing and the food is good. With paying tuition we don't have to pay to join clubs or pay to watch home games. Still my overall rating of this school is low because I feel like a kid who is surrounded by rich kids. The school takes sports over education in my opinion. I would prefer for the tuition my family is paying to go towards college saving instead of a mediocre education.
Totino Grace was worth every dollar we invested in the school. Our son started at Totino Grace needing the learning lab resources. By the time he graduated, our son was on the honor roll and had earned credit for taking an advanced placement course. He was accepted to his "reach" college, and, by his own admission, was better prepared for college level coursework than many of his college classmates. His devotion to his faith and service to others, traits that are nutured at Totino Grace, continues today.
We are not a wealthy family & thought we would be surrounded by such at T-G but we were pleasantly surprised. T-G is not, in my opinion, a school for wealthy families. It is, however, a school where many families sacrifice so that their children can experience the T-G community. Faith, Service, Community and Learning, the four pillars of the school, are balanced every day. As a non-wealthy T-G parent I get so tired of others assuming we must be rich if we send our kids there. I would venture that the economic strata here is not much different than the surrounding high schools. We have some wealthy as does Fridley, and Spring Lake Park and Roseville. The vast majority of our parents truly go without new cars, or vacations, or expensive clothes because they choose to invest in their kids. And T-G is a great investment. The shining star at T-G is the community. This community loves and supports each other while holding their children accountable for their actions. I am a cancer survivor who can't say enough for the way the entire staff supported my family whether in prayers or other ways. I can't "afford" to send my kids there but we make it work & I would do it all over again.
To quote another reviewer, " the environment is heavily influenced by a wealthy, white upper-middle class majority." Maybe I'm mistaken but, isn't most of society that way? I don't think it's the schools fault that well to-do families choose to send their children here. Or that the school is mostly white; the majority of the northern Twin Cities suburbs are white. The school simply reflects the area in which is sits. And if wealthy families pay good money to send their kids here, then I feel it speaks to the school's high quality. We all know rich people don't tolerate poor return on investments. The school does everything it can to level the playing field; e.g. uniforms so everyone's clothes look the same, no prom court so there is no popularity contest ever Spring, required community service to show students how the other half lives etc. Grace is out-standing. Second to none is its formation of well-rounded, educated, physically talented, wordly, forward thinking, successful, Chrisitan adults. Of my graduate friends alone there are lawyers, doctors, journalists, social workers, teachers, professional artists, editors and investment bankers.
I am a relatively recent graduate from the school, and I will be the first to admit the that school offers a rigorous, first-class education to those who can afford it. However, the school boasts an 'academically, economically and culturally diverse' environment, and it is only true insofar as the school consistently garners a few outliers within their classes every year. Although the teachers were fantastic, the environment is heavily influenced by a wealthy, white upper-middle class majority. The school best suits the needs of the children of an affluent hegemony. If one belongs to any sort of 'non-normative' background, the social climate is remarkably stifling. Totino-Grace, as a school, serves its pragmatic function beautifully. However, it remains one of the most culturally stagnant places I have ever been.
Amazing school! I was far better prepared for college and the work force than many of my friends who also went to private schools. I am not Catholic but always felt very welcome and accepted. The school is not very diverse, but I stayed active in my own inner-city neighborhood and it kept me grounded. The level of respect and discipline is second to none, I don't remember ever seeing a fight on school grounds. To top it all off the extracurriculars are fantastic!
My daughter started her High School years in Coon Rapids. At the end of her 9th grade year she begged me to leave that school. BEST decision she could have EVER made. It was expensive but WELL worth it. I later found out that Totino Grace graduates - 98% go on to college. Coon Rapids has the highest rate of graduates and the LOWEST rate that continue to college. This school speaks for itself.