This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted April 07, 2014
- a community member
Most elementary schools require their pupils to wear gym uniforms if they happen to have gym that day. I find it very practical and my daughter doesn't have problem with it. I think this school is set in a charming and nurturing environment where children achieve higher standards because of their small class sizes.
Snooty, Pretentious, horrible facility. The worst qualities of Montclair in a nutshell. Several days a week the children wear sweatshirt and pant "uniforms" because the staff too lazy to allow them to change. Too small space, tiny classrooms. Upper level staff uninformed and dismissive. Principle was loopy an out-of-touch during interviews. How do places like this go on?
My son attended Lacordaire from Pre-K through 8th grade. The early grades were very nurturing for him. When he got past grade three things began to change. Teachers become much more demanding. We noticed that teachers were not as helpful if there were academic concerns. Lacordaire has no use for students who learn differently or have a learning disability. They offer no services for students who are very intelligent but learn differently. Their compassion ceases. Some of the teachers, especially in the middle school demean the students and do not treat them with fairness. I know several students who left Lacordaire because the school did not offer any services for students with learning disabilities and teachers did very little to try to understand or service these students let alone raise their self esteem. These scars remain for a long, long time. Don't be fooled by the plays and fluff.
I am a long-time Lacordaire parent. Lacordaire gets the critical elements right and it does so with efficiency that keeps tuition reasonable. A key success element is effective teaching of respect for faculty, but as importantly for schoolmates, both young and old as the school spans Pre-K to 8 in one charming, but small-sized building. Assemblies, which often feature student performance of one kind or another, are celebrations in front of an attentive (and notably diverse - economically and socially) audience of kids. The kids care about each other and greet each other with smiles. Another key success element is spirituality. Lacordaire is a Roman Catholic school, but an inclusive school with a global outlook not parochial in nature. A third success element, no less striking than the others, is the emphasis on academic achievement. Hard working graduates truly have their pick of top high schools. It's a real treasure.
Lacordaire Academy added a number of extracurrricular activities,clubs and sports in order to meet the requests of parents and students. A boys basketball team for grades 6-8, a coed basketball clinic for grades 4-8, a coed running club for grades 5-8 as well as tennis, flag football, and soccer clinics were added to the list. An instrumental program that includes band for grades 3-8, recorders for grades 1 and 2 and individual lessons started last year. Voice and dance lessons are offered in addition to the choral program that exists. Lacordaire has strong performing arts and fine arts program and an award winning forensics (public speaking) team. Currently, Lacordaire's Elementary Division offers 23 various clubs or after school programs and the administration and student council is always open to new ideas as long as there is a moderator to supervise the group.
My two sons attended Lacordaire from Pre K to 8th grade and loved it. They recently graduated and received scholarships to all boys Catholic high schools, one received a full scholarship for all four years to an extremely competitive school. The academics are excellent; the teachers are dedicated and kind, and the environment is a nurturing, safe. If you are looking for a competitive Catholic school where your child can learn and have fun, this is the place.
Lacordaire is a fine school that provided my son with an excellent foundation to succeed in high school. The drawback is the ratio of girls to boys. The boys are in the minority. They lack the extra curricular activites and sports to provide variety to a growing male. They have an excellent volleyball team that is co-ed and has wonderful, nuturing coaches
Lacordaire Academy has a strong foundation and ideological basis on fostering an integrated, respectful, and secure community. But it is also limited by a strict adherence to this ideology and a lack of future planning for the school and its students. Having two daughters in the school I can confirm the small class size, strong curriculum and great teachers. The disappointments we have encountered and would offer to potential parents as a concern is that the school offers little in the case of extra curricular activities, intramural sports, and the basic resources of a library or cafeteria. The school also suffers from an aging leadership that has displayed more concern for keeping the status quo than attending to the current students needs and wants and planning for the schools, and thus the students, future. For case in point, the school celebrates an 85 year anniversary while lacking an endowment or clear future plan.
Excellent school. My daughter attended for two years, and the strides she made were significant. The students are constantly challenged by fantastic teachers, and the curriculum was much further advanced than at her prior school. Also, the the school presents two plays - a Shakespeare production and A Christmas Carol - a year, in addition a Science Fair, a championship Forensics team, and many other extra curricular activities. I highly recommend this school to anyone; your child will benefit. My only regret - if I do have one - was that I found out about it later than sooner. But the key thing is my daughter did attend for two years and benefitted. Your child will, too.