My daughter goes to the grade school. Sion is a school where your child will stay a child longer than if she was in a different school. I like that. I like the small classes and I believe the teachers try to find what works. They also will not sugar coat things if your child needs help, they will tell you if your child needs help. Now the reason for my 3 starts is for the Head of the school, I would have given 1 star but that's not fair to punish this school just because of the head of the school. Since Sion is such a small school and like most private schools they rely heavily on donations from the parents. Not only do we pay a higher tuition, we are also asked to donate to help compensate. Fine. At least the head of the school can be a bit more approachable or go around and make the rounds and shake hands with each and every parent. Smile and say high to EVERYONE. If I was head of the school I would meet and greet each and every parent at every event. If I never met them before, I'll go in there and shake their hand and introduce myself. Sadly she does not that. My daughter will stay at Sion, but I will not donate $1 extra dollar from now on.
I went to high school at Sion and it was one of the best experiences oft my life. Sion got me involved and pushed me academically. I appreciate the relaxed, fun atmosphere that also promoted character development and college prep. Sion changed me for the better and I could not have asked for a better environment during my crucial teen years. Sion also gave me great connections that continue to help me three years later in college.
Another parent said "Parents are cliquish and the culture of the school is a bit snobby." Cliquish is being nice. I appreciate parental involvement in their children's education,but at the elementary level, the involvement at this school is extreme. In addition to lots of school sanctioned activities and sports, there are parent organized activities, sports, clubs and party/sleepover groups. They take up most school nights and weekends and spill over into the summer. Children and their parents learn early to place participation in Sion culture foremost or risk being an outsider. The commitments are nonstop, leaving little time for family, outside activities or just play. The education seems as okay as any other school, but it comes with quite a cost.
The faculty is attentive and knowledgeable, my childrens' teachers are wonderfully dedicated to their achievement and have made what could have been a rough transition a very easy one. We have felt so welcomed and love the environment. Sometimes they can be disorganized and expect new families to know what's expected without much communication. The education seems to be on par for what I expected based on test scores. My kids have quickly learned to read and begun to learn french here halfway through their first year. They say that they love their school and their teachers. Everyone is very patient, disciplines well, and genuinely cares for the well being of the kids from what I have seen. Parents are cliquish and the culture of the school is a bit snobby, but I'd rather have that than the general KC,MO public-school-parent attitude of "throw them in and see if they can swim." During the tour they typically don't show you the sanctuary with all the pews and kneeling benches unless you have expressed an interest in your child's catholic faith. I was told my kids would attend a class on basic faith and morality - turns out, they go to mass and learn to be catholic.
Sion High School is fun, yet rigorous, although it doesn't always place a premium on critical thinking (especially in its compulsory religion classes each year). Busywork occurs. Some of the girls are very smart, most are hard-working but some are unbelievable bimbos, sheltered in a super-suburban environment.
We had our child there for one semester and pulled him out ASAP. There was zero learning going in his primary school classroom and when I talked to the teacher about one minor adjustment that could be made to help get some academics into the classroom, she said she couldn't' do it. There was ZERO creative writing going on and the reading and math instruction were one size fits all. I think the lower school is surviving only because the other choices out there (the public schools) are so horrifically awful. If those are your two choices, I guess I would choose Sion, but I think it would be easier to move to Kansas where you will get an awesome public education.
When one understands that there are no good public school options for students in the urban core of Kansas City, and that there are just two private schools in midtown of any quality, then the attitude at Sion makes sense. The administration knows that there are few options and treats parents that way. That indifference is astounding, particularly in consideration of the tuition. We moved to a quality public school district prior to the last year of our student's time at Sion, but decided to keep him there - HUGE mistake. Particularly if you are a boy, 8th grade at Sion is an afterthought as they groom the girls for attendance at the all-girls Sion High School. Our elective selections this year? Crochet, knitting, music for life, and poetry. The Math program is an absolute disgrace, taught by an individual better suited to be a prison warden. There are committed teachers at this institution, but they are let down by an administration that simply does not care to address its own and the school's shortcomings. Stay far, far away.
I am a male tenth grader attending rockhurst high school in kcmo. I spent my grade school years at the coed notre dame de sion elementary school and it is by farthe best investment you can make for your child. The school is incredibly diverse and in a culturally rich part of midtown kcmo. The academics are marvelous at sion and prepared my classmates and I for high school very effectively. The school welcomes all faith traditions and the astute teachers encourage the students to form their own opinions and be open to new ideas. The school also has excellent art music and sports programs and students can easy find their niche and be accepted for who they are. You will not regret sending your children to, in my opinion, the best school in kc, sion.
By far the number one girls' college prep high school around. They know their stuff and will have your daughter prepared for college beyond your expectations. The administrators are experienced high school level educators who support a strong teaching faculty. My daughter absolutely loves the school and everything about it. What a wonderful place for her to be educated and challenged by her teachers. Sion is truly number one in every aspect. It is excellent!