I'd been considering this school for my son. I went there to see it, and all I can say is wow. The students are so happy! The mood is enthusiastic and natural. The staff is welcoming and helpful. No hard sell. As some posters have said, more of a come and see for yourself. The longer I was there the more sure I was it's a special place. I'm glad we found it. There need to be more schools like this one. Thanks! We're looking forward to next year!
We moved to the Triangle a few years ago, and looked at all the high school options in the area. Most were so big and overwhelming. We were delighted when we found STMA and discerned it was the best option for our children. Over and over again, this has proven to be one of our wisest decisions. We assumed everyone in the area knew about this outstanding school, but have been shocked to discover that few people seem to know it even exists. With the size of most schools in this area, maybe that's a good thing!
We're so happy we decided to send our daughter to STMA! She loves it! The classical curriculum really teaches students to think, and this school does it extremely well. Teachers are really amazing. She says they're all very smart and know what they're teaching, which wasn't always the case at her previous school. If you're looking at STMA, do yourself a favor and look closely. It's a smaller school, and it doesn't have some of the amenities of bigger schools, but it also doesn't have the huge problems found at those schools. Its safe and good in all the ways a parent would want a school to be. They really care about our kids, and work hard to give them the best education possible. Do you really need more? We certainly don't. STMA has been such a blessing for our family!
I love this school! Have for three years! I get good grades, a few hours of homework every week (Latin!), do other things (lots), love the teachers. I don't get ppl who talk about all this work and how hard it is. You have to do some (not like a lot of schools LOL), but that's life, and it's actually fun here. I know more about history than ever. I learn about my faith all the time. STMA has helped make me a better person. And I'm getting ready for my college future. Go Chancellors!
I recently left teaching at STMA to pursue a PhD. My experience at the school was overwhelmingly positive. I think that the highest compliment I can pay the school is to say that when my wife and I have kids, we hope to send them to STMA. A strikingly positive thing about the school is the collaboration at all levels - the Headmaster, Dean of Studies, teachers, and parents are all genuinely collaborating for the intellectual and spiritual development of the kids (who are fantastic). STMA is succeeding in addressing the challenging reality that it's getting harder and harder to get admitted, even in-state, to schools like UNC and NC State. The college placement results speak for themselves. Former students often say freshman year is easy, even at schools like UNC. They are comfortable with primary sources, used to writing,and not afraid of learning a new language (especially Romance languages due to their grounding in Latin). They can articulate an intellectual position and engage in discussion with adults. School spirit, fun social activities like dances and plays, and a great sports environment are added bonuses. I can't speak highly enough about what's going on at STMA.
Okay. Does telling the truth matter? STMA is probably the best Christian school in Raleigh, one of the best schools period. Gives more than schools that cost three times as much. Bunch of Ph.D.'s who can really teach...growing sports program (new conference is great!)...amazing drama program. Upbeat, positive environment. Keep it up STMA. You're doing it right.
The school is great and just gets better. 99% of the other students agree. I came from a public school. I don t feel afraid here. I learn more every day. I also learn to be kind, responsible, and to tell the truth. So I will write an honest review. Anyone who wants to know the truth about STMA should come see for themselves.
I was an student at STMA last year. The school started out well, but slowly deteriorated. The work load became flat out insane to the point of overruling personal life and passions outside of school. I barley had time to spend with family and was unable to work on activities because of time. Teachers and staff were highly unprofessional. For example, not showing up for tutoring that had been scheduled, being late to class, wearing jeans, etc. While, didn't know the subject they were teaching. After Christmas break most of my teachers had quit their jobs, leaving students with new teachers for almost every subject. The students have higher standards than any of the faculty at STMA. Another thing that bothered me was that the teachers wanted to hang out with students almost as if they were trying to pry into our business. The faculty always told us that we were young adults, but were treated as children being restricted in every way possible. I now realize that STMA was awful now that I am at another school, where the faculty is organized, professional, teachers support their students treating us as adults. I am very satisfied that I left STMA opening my mind to broader horizons.
The teachers eat lunch with the students not at a teachers table but WITH the students. After school the teachers sit around the courtyard playing chess with the students, or they are playing basketball with the students, or they are listening while someone strums a guitar, and every March 15th some poor unsuspecting teacher who has been designated as Ceasar and is being murdered by students with paper knives. The students have their own garden and are selling produce from it. The lockers don t have locks on them, because there is no need. There s no graffiti in the bathrooms. They have a lot of field trips and service trips and guest speakers and all-school pizza parties. Students can come to tea and eat cookies while discussing Jane Austen. Or eat pretzels while practicing Guten Tag. They dress up as saints on All Saints Day, and as gangsters and flappers for the 1920s dance, and as ancient Romans at the state Junior Classical League convention. Come visit and then draw your own conclusions.
Strong small school run by kind and helpful people. Always feel welcome. You can tell they think about the school and work to make it good for the kids. My boy is very average and is learning all the time. We plan to send our next son here too. We've become big fans of St. Thomas More Academy. They do what they say, and they're good at what they do.
Why do the alumni keep choosing to come back and visit during their breaks from college? And why do they keep saying that making good grades in college is easy for them?
We are a mid-class family who was looking for for a small high school with a good curriculum and a safe environment for our daughter, and then we found STMA by reference from other families. My daughter had straight A's since 5th grade from public schools, but in her freshmen year, she has been challenged. Her grades are still good grades, but now she has grown as a person and as a student, by being more organized and efficient. The faculty is in constant communication with the students and parents in order for them to succeed. Of course, as parents we are very pleased to help our daughter when needed, but she is also OK by looking for help with her professors and other students (above her level). Discipline is a key part of this school, but it is given with love and always as part of an integral education plan for the student. Perhaps, this may be a little stressful during the first weeks for those students who are coming from other environments where discipline is not fully respected. Parents...your kid will not become a priest or nun by assisting to STMA (unless they decide to follow this path in the future), but they will be a better version of the kid you have at home now.
As a graduate of this Catholic, Classical, and College preparatory school, I cannot thank my parent enough for having the trust in the faculty to form me into an intellectual individual, eager (and prepared) to make a change in the world. At this academy, I was taught that doing great things didn't necessarily mean becoming the next president, or becoming a CEO.To do something with greatness could be anything, whether small or large. This school taught me what it means to be charitable, honest, and good hearted. Upon graduating, I was prepared to think about the world in a truly intellectual way, and to view the world through charitable eyes. The students here are taught to think for themselves (a quality that is actually very difficult to find). There is no regurgitating of facts, its a process of taking in information, putting it together, being able to identify the consequences, and form an opinion as a result. I would hate to think that any student did not have his needs catered to at this school. I came in as a B/C students, got help from the faculty during my time there, and graduated to make all A's during my first semester of college. Great school in many ways!
There were a few students who left the school, but there will always be students who would be better off in a different kind of school. This school is challenging, and they push you to do better than you thought you could. I usually do homework about 2 hours every weeknight, on average, but it varies. It s rarely 4 and never more than that. I have to limit my extra curriculars (3 during the week). I have to keep track of my time and do my social stuff on the weekends. Low performing students are not weeded out. We are given lots of help. But you have to earn your grades, and you have to take advantage of the help. Teachers are always willing to meet before or after school or at lunch. Some teachers have left and the new teachers are outstanding. A lot of our teachers are Drs. It is joyful here. Come to an open house and see. I don t see bullying, but when I did, those students were out of the school pretty quickly. We have to be nice to each other and respectful to our teachers and we have to dress appropriately and not make out in the halls and not text in class. And, yeah, we have to do our homework and study for our tests or we get zeroes. :)
My son is a freshmen at STMA. We searched many possible schools because we wanted a place that would be really safe/secure and academically strong. The local Catholic high school is more like a public school, and a lot of the other private 9-12's, some that do have good environments and academics, are very expensive. Then we stumbled on STMA. We've been happy with our choice and so has our son. He says school is fun and he's always "getting smarter." They are actually Christians (not just words/motions) and have terrific teachers and leadership. The school isn't for everyone (but no place is!). They don't put up with mean/bullying behavior, and kids with real study difficulties will be stretched. They say average kids who apply themselves succeed, and that's true in our experience. College is more competitive every year and they definitely get their grads ready for college. Kids who feel awkward socially will be fine. It's a welcoming place. We recommend it to anyone looking for a safe, positive, Christian, and academically serious school.
There are a lot of students who go to high school that end up regretting and hating the years that they spent in that environment. St. Thomas More Academy was the best possible high school experience I could have had in my life. The teachers teach more than just the subject matter of the course. They teach students how the subject matter relates to them and speak with them as intelligent young adults as opposed to just students. Students can develop a relationship and rapport with their teacher that not only promotes understanding but promotes a comfortable and flexible learning experience. This student and teacher relationship is underrated in the educational world. It allows students to introduce into the classroom, their own real-world experiences and queries that promote not only the education of the student, but the growth of the young adult within every high school student. It is because of this rare relationship that St. Thomas More does not only produce excellent students ready to engage the college atmosphere. It produces young leaders that are able to make distinctions and engage with a competitive and ever-changing world.
Our daughter absolutely loves this school! From the very first day she hasn't been able to stop talking about how "awesome" the teachers are and how incredibly nice all of the students are to each other. What seems clear is how much the administration and faculty love the students. We've really never seen anything like it. Visit any time and see their gifted staff (5 PhD's ?) hanging out with students talking, tutoring, playing games, mentoring, etc. The academics are really impressive. We've had the same conversation with a number of parents, "We wish we could take these classes!" We have heard some buzz about workload at the school, but we simply don't see it. We know families with students at other schools doing a lot more. Our daughter certainly isn't doing that much work, and she's getting very good grades. If anything, we think she could do more work. Spiritually we simply couldn't ask for more. It's a safe, joyful, and genuinely faithful Catholic school! You see the faith lived out beautifully in the loving way they treat each other at this school. If you're considering STMA for your child, visit the school and see for yourself. We can't imagine our daughter anywhere else!
My child spent one year at this school. and now goes to another school for sophomore year. *Curriculum is very demanding. Some of the material is college-level rather than college-prep. and students lack the background to complete it without a lot of parental help. *Smart students work as much as 4-6 hours nightly on homework and studying. *Students are praised for making low grades. (We were told a C or D in college prep school is good and expected of freshman there. ) *The school is very indoctrinating and does not encourage individuality. Creativity is often discouraged by the faculty. *The administration and faculty did not seem to care about my child. She felt like a number at this small school. I see that most of the negative comments I read on here about STMA have been removed. Maybe if mine stays up for a few days, it will be helpful to some people.
As a graduate of STMA I can say this school shaped the person I am today. The faculty do not only care about the intellectual growth of their students but also their social and spiritual growth. They do not want the students simply to regurgitate facts but be able to analyze and form their own opinions and ideas about various topics. One of the aspects of my classes I found to be the most helpful was the teachers encouragement of questions. They would go out of their way to make sure the student understood the material and were almost always available outside of class time. The faculty took the time to get to know the student as an individual and form a relationship with them. In my case this meant listening to me argue almost ad nauseam about various topics. The relationship I formed with the faculty has lasted throughout my time in college (I recently graduated from UNC) and I know I can always ask any of them for advice or help.
The previous two-star review is wildly off the mark. Truth doesn't matter much to people who want to hurt good things. "STMA" is without doubt one of the three finest schools in the Triangle area and widely known to be. The "pre-Vatican II" stuff is just funny! The school publicly embraces the vision of Pope John Paul's new evangelization. Powerful curriculum and fantastic teachers. Halls are filled with happy and engaged kids. It's a very loving and welcoming place. They say their only "rule" is Christian love, and it's true. Graduates do get into top colleges--and that's a problem?--because they're extremely well educated. "Elitist?" The school openly recruits average kids and turns them into leaders (and helps fund many of their educations too). Kids work hard, and the rewards they reap are obvious. We've seen changes at the school, but since the new admin came in 2011 changes have always been upgrades. The school talks of "constant improvement," and it walks its talk. STMA is what it says and more. A truly Great School that deserves the high ratings it has on this website.
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