Compared to what a school should be, SAP deserves less than ave rating. Primarily, the principal lost her proactive energy and luster shorty after her being hired with illness diagnosis shortly thereafter. Ignored advocacy opportunity in critical areas throughout the yrs. from serious staff conduct issues, unfit curriculum trends, lack of authentic play for child development, more. SAP social culture largely benefits because of parent involvement in the U of MN area but beyond the formalized niceties, larger critical issues ride in the back seat. Most definitely affects the desired outcome and many individual students. Some of whom were not protected from real damages.
Wonderful school. 2/3 of the school tests gifted and talented but atmosphere is supportive and nurturing for all. Teachers are excellent, principle is excellent, parents are committed and caringe. All of the benefits of a private school with no snobbiness or attitude.
St. Anthony Park is a gem -- a small, community-oriented school where each child is known and valued. It is situated on beautiful Langford Park where students have ample opportunities for fresh air and outdoor play, including regular walks to SAP's carnegie library. Their specialists (computer, PE, art, music, GT, and science) are uniformly strong, with science being a particular standout. Smart and caring kids, involved parents, and a dedicated faculty make SAP a stellar elementary school.
First, there's a new principal who has received universally high marks for her approach and enthusiasm (08-09). Second, SAP tests compare very well with top schools in the city - public or private. Third, I haven't heard of a school that doesn't have a mix of teaching talent, but SAP provides a great structure for teachers to excel and a very supportive community providing talented volunteers and financial support for unique programs. How many elementary schools send their entire 6th grade class to a week long environmental camp? Kids that come out of this school have an improved IQ and EQ and that balance is what makes it a rich and rewarding experience.
The academic experience of the young students is strongly supported by neighorbood school familes and local business alike, by parent families, it's new Prinicpal and the school's strong parent association that is soley dedicated to regular and valuable cirricular enrichment opportunties. Most teachers seem to employ a child centered methodology as opposed to to a teacher directed methodology thus, children seem pretty engaged in their learning and feel generally respected and empowered. This and GT enrichment though, is largely dependant upon the partifculair teacher and can vary from class to class - grade to grade. With 40% GT, SAP needs to have greater consistency, programs and services to accomodate its GT population properly. I am disspointed that it did not fight the move to all day Kindergarten and that a good handful of teachers do not allow parents to observe the classroom.
The level of parental involvement at this school is amazing. However, the principal(in 07/08) does not seem to provide consistent and strong leadership. The quality of your year is extremely teacher dependant. Some teachers are amazing. Some are mediocre. My biggest complaint about this school is that despite it's large gifted/talented population, it does little to really serve these kids - especially those in the highest tier. At least my child is not being served or challenged in his current classroom. Any differentiation is completely dependant on how loud the parents are and the willingness of the teacher. Unfortunately, this school will not work for our highly gifted child long term.