Posted April 13, 2011
Here at Saint Helen's we are striving to treat all students and families as individuals. We offer varied programs to meet the needs of all our families. We will always put the child's needs first and we always consider the families as a whole when making any decision. Our door is always open to anyone who has concerns!!
At what point does it become a legal issue when behavioral issues "Bullying" are not appropriately handled by the administration. Catholic values do not leave a child emotionally scarred.
I could not be happier with the teachers at Saint Helen's... for that reason I have rated this school with two stars. They are dedicated and put a lot of effort into the education of each student. Overall, I have been very disappointed with the school's lack of organization, issues with class size, behavioral concerns not appropriately handled and unprofessional administration. The staff in the office seems very hardworking but the paperwork that is sent home is unreliable. There are often last-minute papers sent home, incorrect account information for tuition, I have had checks go missing, and the very infrequent principal's message is full of spelling and grammar mistakes! The cap on class-size is a joke. I feel horribly misled. The school continues to register new students because it seems that money is more important than teacher:student ratio. Teachers are moved around by grade-level every year. Students with behavioral concerns can be found walking the hallways or playing in the principal's office. On more than one occasion I have heard the principal speaking inappropriately. She is very abrasive and doesn't connect to the students or parents at all.
My son loves school here and the teachers are great. The administration on the other hand needs a major overhall..Paperwork has been misplaced or lost and somethings just seem very unorganized. A great since of community at the school, which is very important to us and our child..
I am so proud of everything my son has accomplished being at St.Helens. he now loves to read thanks all their staff. He loves going to school everyday, he even gets upset when they have a day off. St. Helens cares about each and everyone of the students and their family when you go to any school function you feel like welcomed.
My children literally run through the doors of St. Helen's everyday, so excited to get to their classrooms. Each day they are greeted at the front door by several caring staff members. Our family feels like a part of a community at St. Helen's. Father Bob can often be seen at the school interacting with the students and encouraging the growth of their faith. The principal and assistant principal are very accessible and cooperative in addressing any concerns that may arise. The teachers communicate with us regularly via emails, conferences, newsletters and updated class pages on the St. Helen's website. I feel like the staff and administration is very invested in seeing my children succeed. I would recommend St. Helen's to any family looking for an academically enriching and socially supportive environment for their children.
My daughter is in Pre-K and my son is in second grade. I couldn't ask for a better school! My son had struggled with attention and socialization in his other school. The smaller class size and personal attention has helped the whole family run more smoothly. My son loves the afterschool program- he gets his homework done, eats a snack, then gets to play with his friends. I am very impressed with the Spanish language instruction, in addition to art, music and phys ed. The core curriculum has kept my son busy and interested- he loves science and reading the most! My daughter's program has the right mix of academic activity and playtime for a 4 year old. I lloked at one of those kindergarten readiness lists online and she meets every requirement already. The character education is just the icing on the cake. My kids are taught to be good people in a nurturing way. They look forward to seeing the parish priest when he has mass with the kids. He makes it an enjoyable experience, with age appropriate homilies and music. My family is not Catholic, but we feel very welcome, and even received some financial aid from the diocese.
St. Helen's is a warm and welcoming school with an excellent academic program. I have two children enrolled here and I could not be happier. Not only is St. Helen's a safe place where children can learn, they feel comfortable being themselves and are treated with respect by their peers. Most impressive is that my son (who is only in nursery) has classes in Spanish, Art, Gym and Music every week! The teachers are caring, creative and well educated. My daughter's first grade teacher was even recently recognized by Channel 13 as one of the top teachers in the Capital District. I would whole-heartedly recommend St. Helen's school.
I have worked at St. Helen's for 2 years and I love it! I am treated as a professional and respected for my skills and ideas. This is the general atmosphere of the school. Our students are encouraged to find the things they do best and that they love and given opportunities to incorporate that into their learning. We work to communicate with parents so that we are all on the same page, should any problems arise. I see so many dedicated families who are committed to their child's education, and I am so grateful! We are constantly educating ourselves to be the best for our school. Beyond our college degrees, we attend seminars on everything from discipline to handwriting. We are available for any concerns and work as a team. If I can't help, I will tell you who on our staff can.
My son has been a student at Saint Helen's for 2 years and we can not be happier with the programming and the teachers. We have found a family and home for our son.
Major inconsistencies and disorganization on the administrative end. All tuition is negotiable, some kids receive discounts for certain activities that others inexplicably don't, haphazard distribution of information and paperwork, published uniform policies are not enforced, and children are inconsistently quarantined following or during an illness. Some taught material is of questionable as far as appropriate age group, and controversial topics are not brought to the attention of parents prior to it being presented to the children. After school can be complete chaos HOWEVER, many teachers are wonderful, the issues seem to lie clearly with leadership.
Classes will begin in 3 weeks and I just got a note that the 3/4 combo class is going to be split. So all the second graders that were in the 2/3 combo (and were supposed to go to the 3/4 combo and learn fourth grade material) will now be in the third grade AGAIN. They want to ensure the test scores don't suffer (Yeah for teaching to the test!) Let's not worry about the kids suffering, because they have to repeat a grade. I would like to discuss this with the principal because we were promised that our child would be a grade ahead, but she won't be back until about a week before school. Oh yeah, we won't know who the teacher is going to be either. The school will call us when they know. Unorganized, last minute, unresponsive.
My son has a very postive outlook on school as a result of his experience at St. Helens for his first year of school.
They do have a room for the children to do thier homework seperatly if there is enough staff to supervise and children that need homework done to seperate them. As for learning challenges the school does make the arrangements for Niskayuna School District to provide the needed help to come in as per the no child left behind act, But that oes require a parent the is willing to take the needed steps in helping the school .
My son attended two years at st helens. The after care program was very loud, they tried to manage a large group but it was difficult. Some of the teachers were very nice and devoted people. Definitely a sense of community, and closeness if you are part of a married couple. Not for single parents
This is a small school with a dedicated staff. Great campus compared to other local religious schools. There is a nice sense of community. The uniforms, school rules and family involvement help preserve childhood. (Children aren't wearing makeup etc at a young age). In some ways its like stepping back to a simpler time. Great art teacher! My child has some learning challenges and the staff has been helpful in working with us and her.
Children are not properly assessed and may be matched with the wrong teacher. If two grades exist, one grade is more advanced than the other is and therefore not as challenging. The facility is small and requires many updates. The bonus is the new computer lab and library. The Afterschool program was misrepresneted, I was told ther was a special room set aside for students to do their homework and that is not the case. The children do their homework with the other children playing games, watching movies and yelling - too many distractions.
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