My daughter arrived in the St. Martin School system during her first grade year. We were afraid of the transition because we were moving from a high performing district in Georgia. My daughter had a fantastic experience at St. Martin East and St. Martin North. We were quite nervous about the big move to Upper Elementary, however the transition has been very smooth. I have found the teachers and staff will go out of their way to help any parent and/or student that needs their attention. There are always opportunities for parents to be involved in classroom activities, even in the Gifted Center. Parent involvment is appreciated as well. I feel very thankful that my daughter is involved in a school that emphasizes character building, free thinking, along with getting through the required state testing. This is a fantastic district that I continue to recommend to friends looking for a new home and different school for their child(ren).
My child is in 4th grade at SMUE. After a great experience at SMNE from K through 3rd, we expected the experience to continue. That was evidently too much to expect. I am told that our state testing here in MS is some of the most difficult there is in the country, but this is ridiculous. Volumes and volumes of information are thrown at the kids in an effort to make sure everyone passes the tests. The problem is, it is so much that it becomes all about memorization. There is a big difference in memorizing and actually learning. My child's teachers are wonderful, but they seem overwhelmed by the way they are expected to shove information at the kids without the time to really teach. I have the distinct impression that they don't agree with it at all but they feel their hands are tied.
I feel that St. Martin Upper is a great school considering that in August 2005 everything was lost. We have steadily been rebuilding and recovering from the terrible hardship of Katrina. The school is currently housed in temporary trailers until 2010. St. Martin Upper has continued to recover, this year the new library has been opened and 10,000 books are available for the students to check out. Last year we received a cafeteria trailer on site for the students. Things are moving steadily forward as our students learn and we become prepared to offer extra curricular activities. A field trip each 9 weeks is offered and fun things especially outside activities are planned. It may appear that the school is lacking, but the majority of our students have suffered such loss, they are being nutured and educated the data supports their achievements.
We feel as though this school to be terribly lacking in parent involvement and character building. This school teaches only to the test to maintain their state accredation and the over all well being of the children falls to the wayside. There is no kindness and compassion toward the children. Being military and having attended several schools, we have found St. Martin to be the worst by far.