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.
This was once a wonderful place that truly cared about its students focusing on being Catholic, classical, & college prep (in that order). Sadly priorities have shifted as the school intends on becoming elite, wanting to compete with schools like Phillips Exeter. While the classical curriculum remains, low to mid-range performing students are now weeded out; not wanting to lower the college profile. Senior classes have only 1/2 to 2/3 of the students that started 4 years prior. It is all about college acceptances & how many scholarships they have been offered. While some students do get significant offers, many do not end up going to these schools that their families cannot afford, but it makes for fantastic marketing! Teacher turnover is a problem. This year 7 staff members left, some mid-year. While explanations are given, it is a continuing trend & raises a red flag. Most disconcerting is the lack of an authentic Christian attitude in a place that prides itself on being so virtuous. The theology & practices indoctrinate students into pre-Vatican II superiority. Even devout Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterium find out they are not Catholic enough for this school!
Saint Thomas More is an exceptional school. Our son just graduated last weekend. This school challenges students while providing a supportive environment to foster their success. The class sizes are small (his senior class was about 30). But this has many benefits. All the students know each other and all the teachers know every student. Academically, my son likely spent 15-20 hours per week on school work. But that work resulted in his acceptance to NCSU. I'm confident he is fully prepared to do well there given the critical thinking and work habits he's developed as a student at STMA. The faculty is excellent and he will miss them as much as his classmates. This high school is just over 10 years old and already has a reputation as one of the finest in the area. It is a college prep school, therefore, you must understand the coursework is going to be demanding and challenging for your student. A number of prestigious universities deploy recruiters to the school and the institutions these students gain acceptance into is impressive - many of them with scholarships. We have always considered STMA as an investment in our son's success. It has proven to be well worth it!
It is unfortunate that the negative reviews have been removed, especially since they are referred to by the ones that remain. (Look for them on zillow.) No need to be defensive, as the one star reviews make some legitimate points. The school does have a problem with replacing excellent, experienced teachers with inexperienced ones. And parent involvement is not encouraged. Criticism is no more welcome than it seems to be on this web site. However, no school is perfect, and this is a very good one. The academic and behavior standards are very high, the quality of the education being offered is second to none, and these kids are being well prepared to get into any college in the country.
Wonderful school. Excellent teachers. Superior curriculum. This school has become the premier Catholic high school in Raleigh. Academically, there is nothing close.
For the anonymous reviewer on December 9, what school are you talking about? Must not be this one! Have you asked these "questions" of the school? I doubt they'd have any trouble answering you. And to say that a "behavioral model" is without Catholic credentials is simply false. They model their work after St. John Bosco. An ignorant review, either about the wrong school or just mean-spirited. This school has more applicants than they can take in. It's a super Catholic prep school, just what's needed.
Parents should understand this school takes spiritual life, morals, and academics very seriously. If you do your part as a parent, to ensure the right fit for your child's needs you will not be disappointed- I say this as I see one star reviews written in such generalities it makes me think they did not do their homework to find the best fit for their child/family. We looked at multiple schools in the area two years in advance of high school and it was a true blessing to find STMA. Our son has made more progress in academics in half a semester than his last two years of middle school combined. The beauty of this school is that there are no constraints on the administration/teachers to change things up and they do, all with the best interest of the students in mind! Our student is happy and growing in mind as well as spirit >::::>
Sorry, but there is clearly no credibility to a 1-star review of STMA. I have had a student there for three years and I am sending another son in the Fall- which I would hardly do if I felt the quality had dropped as precipitously as the other poster. By any academic measure STMA is one of the top three schools in the Triangle. And its costs are a faction of its competitors. Not only does the school have 100% college placement, and at good schools, the average SAT is excellent. The school is much more responsive to college placement than a typical HS. They bent over backwards to make sure that college had everything they needs for ED dates, including calling the admissions office for me multiple times in a day. I dont see how you can ask any more of them. If you are super concerned about athletics, STMA might not be the best fit. If you are concerned about academics and character you'd be crazy not to look them over. Maybe there is stuff you dont like but 1-star has no credibility.
I have always been extremely happy with this school in the past years but I'm not sure about the direction the school is heading in. I understand that there is always some growing pains with new staff members but the students schedules are so full and the homework has increased so much that my children are feeling very stressed and overwhelmed. I just hope the new administration realizes that an excessive amount of classes and homework doesn't make a great school.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill."(Matthew 5:17) It seems that there have always been people who resist growth and improvement. Don't know about the parents that posted the negative comments (without real reasons), but we spoke to the teachers and admin. It's clear that they are trying to fulfill the wishes of the school's founder and improve STMA to the benefit of all students. They're also doing what WE want, working hard to build a joyful CATHOLIC college preparatory school. Faculty turnover? We also asked about this. Teachers are going on to grad. school, staying home to raise children, start a business, retiring, etc. Others were offered opportunities to move from part to full time, but couldn't based on schedules. In hiring new teachers, it appears they've hired the best in the school's history. They all taught classes at STMA as part of the interview and our kids said they were "awesome." Honestly, the place needed new, enthusiastic, and experienced teachers! WHY WORRY? Trust in Him! "Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."(Matthew 6:34)
Lots of changes this year but all been for the better. Don't foresee that upward trajectory changing. Faculty move on for various reasons but new faculty coming in is outstanding. Please don't let a few sour notes on this webpage ruin a beautiful symphony. Great things happening at this school.
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