Principal Cantrell has taken the school downhill. It is very sad because so many excellent teachers have left or have been fired and replaced with teachers who don't even have teaching degrees! Mrs. Cantrell seems to think all the parents are incompetent because she acts like she's doing amazing things for the school. Parents are being taken advantage of by paying for this school. Teachers are unprepared, confused, under qualified, and being spread thin. She also got rid of all of the teaching assistants and morale is very low because of the way she is running this school. She never gives straight answers and lies straight to parents about the new teachers' qualifications. This used to be an excellent school with a waiting list, but now there are only a handful of good teachers left and I don't know why they're staying. People are leaving in large waves because of what the new principal is doing.
I enrolled my son for the 2014-2015 school year and this has been the worst year that we've ever had. He was only in pre-k however the teacher was totally incompetent. She had a total of 12 kids and a full time assistant and could not manage the class. My son learned more at home with me then he did at school. The school also decided that my son had a learning disability and required us to get him evaluated by the APS special education program who determined that he was significantly behind. What all of these "experts" failed to tell me was that by placing my son in this evaluation process and therapy, they all received additional funding. No incentive there, is there? I had repeated run-ins with the the teacher through out the year since she decided that my son was a 'problem.' She even hung up on me one day after calling me to tell me to come get him. Additionally, i was called in and told that they didn't feel that my son was ready for kindergarten, but I was later told that the majority of the class wasn't ready so who's fault is that ultimately? I've had so many problems that I can't even list them all here but my biggest regret was not pulling my son out at the beginning of the year when i suspected that we were going to have nothing but issues. If you decide to place your child here, be prepared. At some point they will probably tell you that they need to be evaluated, and if you take any issues you have to the principle she will back the teacher even when the teacher is blatantly in the wrong. There is a reason why this school always has openings... a lot of parents are like me and wouldn't return if they paid us to put our kids there.
My daughter went to St. Mary's since kindergarten. Now the new principal Carissa Cantrell is rude and has made the school like a buisness. Several amazing teachers have left forcing myself and several families to look elsewhere for top notch education. I would not recommend this school to anyone. As we will not be returning!!!
This school has been very good to me over the 10 years that I have been there. I have been going to St. Mary's School since Pre-K (in 8th grade currently). I do want to say that I feel that Sister Marianella was a better principal than Mrs. Cantrell though. For one reason, I think that Sister was more loving and caring with her students. St. Mary's is still a good school even though it has minor issues.
My son attended St Mary's for 2 years before going to Public school.We noticed the student teacher ratio had no benefits for him.He had a student teacher ratio of 14:1 with no added instruction. The last 3 weeks he attended was goofing off because the required curriculum had been presented. The money you pay would be better spent on tutors and a 529 plan.
We liked St Mary's because my son was able to practices his faith in a school setting. However, the school staff and the administration make feel unwelcome and that its you should feel lucky to be at that school, and parents do't have any say on goes on with your child at that school. We pay good money for our child to attend to not have a say so or question any behaviors of the teachers is nonsense. My son had an accident in his pants in class because the teacher did not allow him to go to the restroom and we did not get apology from his teacher outrageous and now we are struggling to help my son trust again.
St. Mary's has been a great school. My child reads extremely above grade level and continues to excel in all areas. He enjoys attending school and is very involved. Sister has always been warm, approachable, and professional. My child has made wonderful friendships with fellow students and parental involvement is ever present. The school is solid in its leadership and academics. We are very pleased. Their uniforms could use a little upgrade.
Our five children attended St. Mary's from pre-school/kindergarten to eighth grade which if you count each year individually amounts to approximately 46-48 years. It was the best financial investment we ever made as all five of our children went on to excel at St. Pius X High School and found college to be "easy" in comparison. The three oldest are college graduates and are pursuing medical degrees. The two youngest are finishing their last year of high school. Thank you, thank you to the teachers at St. Mary's. They set the stage for success. The teachers pushed our children and expected them to succeed, thereby teaching them that hard work was important and very rewarding. Thank you to Sister Marianella for her life long devotion to her "love doves". I hope one day to see my grandchildren wearing the plaid jumpers and skirts worn by St. Mary's students.
My family has been at St. Marys for 12 years now. Sister needs to step down, she is getting too old to run a school. The office staff is rude and needs a class in respect and customer service. There are quite a bit of teachers that really care, however, there are some that do not belong there. I believe they are just placed in positions they shouldnt be. Even though there are some issues, I would pick this school over APS anyday.