St. Rose of Lima Academy located in Short Hills, NJ. is a warm, inviting, caring institution with strong and dedicated educators. Our experience over the past 5 years has been nothing less than rewarding for everyone. The education is top notch as is the attention to each child and their individual needs. The small school environment has worked very well for us and the school community is very open and welcoming. The new Principal has proven herself to be a wonderful addition to the already strong group of educators that make up the faculty. That combined with the warm and kind staff makes St. Rose a wonderful place for us to send our children.
The HSA (home parent association) works so hard to help make our school the best possible for our children. The time they give and their dedication often go unnoticed or are under appreciated. Thank you all for everything!
Compassion and respect for others is a consistent message through all the grades, from prek to 8th. The 3rd and 4th graders participate in Millburn's Caring Kids Program that specifically works with children to be inclusive of all children regardless of differences.
Deciding where your children go to school is a very difficult decision. When my son was in Kindergarten he cried every night because he did not want to go to school the next day. It was heart wrenching to see my happy boy so upset and sad about school. My son started first grade at SRLA with several other new students the next year. The structured and traditional classroom environment has worked wonders for him. He has been there five years now and the school and class size have helped him to develop into a confident young man. He is involved in sports, student council and strives to get good grades because that is what he wants for himself. His sister has joined him at school and his youngest sibling will one day go there as well. Not every student or teacher is perfect; I am not sure if that exists. Cultivating relationships for children and parents alike can be difficult and takes effort no matter what school you attend. So far, my son has been able to navigate any social issues that have arisen with the guidance of his teachers. I do know that there is a lot of heart in this school. The new principal, the teachers and the volunteer parent coaches and volunteer “PTA” all have the common goal that they want the best school and education possible for our children. As a working Mom who commutes into the city I find there are ways to get involved for every parent. Whether we read to the class on our child’s birthday, bake for Multi-cultural day, or volunteer for social outreach projects, there are opportunities for every schedule. I have found that the more you put yourself out there the more you gain in friendship and community and that is the best example I can give my children. I wish you all luck on your search for a school that fits your child and family and if you decide on SRLA, Welcome!
St. Rose of Lima is a small school with a very strong sense of community. As with every school, it has its strengths and weaknesses. But overall, our experience has been that the good far outweighs the bad. The students are very high achieving academically and there are many excellent teachers. The students are also generally very kind and look out for each other. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and I do not discount anyone else's experience. With respect to there being "cliques" among the parents at the school, I can see how someone brand new to the school might have this first impression. It is a small place and the families are tight knit. However, there are many social events to which all families are invited and tons of opportunities to volunteer. It takes a little time and requires a willingness to extend yourself a bit. Once people get involved, I think they find it is quite a friendly place. It is also a school that is inclusive to all types of families, including families with two working parents. Three of the six members of the Home & School Association Board are full-time working mothers.
My child attended this school as a transfer middle school student and was completely excluded by her peers. We were also excluded by the parents at school functions. Academic performance was greatly affected by the constant antagonistic behavior from fellow classmates. We turned to the principal to let her know of the issue and she denied knowing and seeing the problem, and simply suggested that our child would better fit in, if she were to follow school uniform code. The principal asserted that other children were turning away from our child because she wore an earring that they deemed inappropriate, and the length of her sweat pants for gym were too short. The principal did not work to help our child in any way or to guide the class to have a more welcoming spirit towards her. Our child was pushed, told that she was stupid, not a good "fit", and told directly to go away because she was hated. This all happened in a matter of 4 months. As for academics, I was shocked that so much pressure for rote memorization as emphasized instead of meaningful and holistic approaches to learning.
I went to this school from K-8 I graduated and I am a sophomore in HS. Throughout my years at St. Rose I saw that the parents and kids were very cliquey and if you did not have a big house or nice things you are left out. I am part white and part Spanish and I had nice things but the girls were mean because I was not fully white. I played basketball and I was good cause in 7th grade I got asked to be on the 8th grade team the girls got jealous of me cause they were not asked. Then the couch HAD to say that everyone can play up. They would leave me out of a lot of things. The Staff is not good. The Spanish teacher she did nothing I didn't learn anything in her class. I took Spanish form K-8 and took Spanish 2 in HS i was not prepared cause all we did was color. I was like a lost puppy in Spanish 2 but I had a good teacher in HS who went over everything I didn't know. The teachers always put you down in some way mostly the HIstory and English teacher. I loved the religion teacher cause she taught me. I ran cross-country I did not like how it is run by parents cause we practice in an open park and 1 time HS students were being mean to K-6 graders and the coaches did nothing.
I gave this school a low score. The teachers so far are good. Again my son just started this year. As for diversity it is certainly not. As I am in the minority with regards to race I do feel that if you are not of a certain color you are not part of the circle. My son doesn't notice this as the children in class are all young and innocent. However at morning prayers In the gym it clearly obvious there's a divide. I do not feel comfortable but again the school and teachers so far is good. But camaderie, there is none. I'm a working parent and my son is in aftercare. Invitations to parties during work hours are prevalent. Indicative of lifestyle and ignorance of the people in the area.
The teachers here are generally terrific as are the kids and most of the parents. The Principal is okay (not great) and the curriculum is quite good. The kids do very well on standardized tests but this may be attributable to many factors. Overall, a warm, nurturing environment with good emphasis on Catholic values. Not the most diverse school, that's for sure. The car line comment below is out of date now that there are buses offered for many of the kids (especially for those from Maplewood and South Orange).