This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted May 25, 2014
- a community member
I am currently enrolled at Nativity School. It is a wonderful school. They offer exchange programs that really give you a perspective on the world. I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in one of these exchanges. I went to El Salvador and it really made a difference in my life. My teachers and the faculty are wonderful. They are wholeheartedly dedicated to making sure we have the best education possible. Technology is also a large part of Nativity. There are computers in most classrooms and we use SMARTboards which really make a difference in our learning. Students in the UpperSchool (6-8) have the opportunity to join Tech Team, headed by Mr. Grunke. We learn many things which I will carry on in my life. All in all Nativity is a wonderful school that made an impact on my life. I will miss it as I am transferring to WHHS next year. I would recommend sending your child/ren here.
Nativity is a great school for international and global awareness. They have excellent programs for exchange students and learning Chinese/Spanish. Nativity's academics are moderate. There is more work for the parent (helping with an abundance of sophisticated projects) than there is the child being taught & shown how to educate themselves. Ironically international diversity is valued more than domestic diversity within the administration. Parents/Families are click-ish. The same people head everything which leads to others feeling unwelcome. The elitist aura of the administration and some families makes for discomfort and is not substantiated. Nativity is overrated, but a big part of the Pleasant Ridge community. There's room to grow.
A successful school experience is impacted by many things: quality of teaching, the relationship among students, teachers and parents, the student s needs and the school s ability to meet those needs, the level of parent buy-in to the school s mission. When considering a school for their child, parents need to consider their priorities. Factors to consider: test scores, racial balance, arts program, world languages, proximity to home, extra curriculars, etc. Once you have the answers, it is good to walk the halls and sit in classes. You ll get a feel for what the student experience is by watching how the students conduct themselves in the classroom and cafeteria. Ask the question: Would this be a good place for my child? Keep in mind that there are things students learn in school for which there is no grade on the report card. These are life lessons: learning how to learn, to take turns, to collaborate, to respect and include others, to self-advocate, etc. At the end of the day, no school can be all things to all people. With due diligence, parents can find the best match for their children. We wish you all the best and hope that you find what you are looking for.
Sometimes it s just window dressing. As much as I would like to give a strong rating to Nativity, it would not be truthful. After 6 years at Nativity, my spouse and I decided for the future success of our children, they must leave the school. The Math program is equivalent to the lowest performing public school system. The focus on map testing is humorous! There is no defendable academic reason to place a majority of a child s multiple year grade on memorization of a map when mathematics & literature programs are suffering. The majority (not all) of teaching staff and administration are either under-qualified or should retire; like Goldilocks, they can get the experience of the staff and administration just right . Nativity is not the school for diverse students to succeed and retain important elements of self-worth, pride, exceptional educational and achievement of full growth opportunities. Black & Hispanic children are isolated mentally, physically and culturally. The teachers discourage children who speak other languages to speak those languages in the school. And the strict focus on Catholicism creates an atmosphere of Religious elitism that demeans other religious groups.
We transfered our son here in 3rd grade and now he is entering 5th grade. He loves this school. He made friends easily the children were all very welcoming and accepting. The teachers and staff are excellent and the principal is phenomenal. They are all so committed to each child and treating your child as an individual with their own learning style and needs. The emphasis on global education is great, the map program as well. The art teacher is really great too. There is excellent parent involvment. We love Nativity!
Nativity School is a Catholic parish school. Many, but not all, of the students are Catholic and many live in Pleasant Ridge or close by. It is truly a community school, and our family appreciates the warmth and support of community. The academic performance of the students is consistently strong, year after year. The foreign exchange program is extraordinary. The kids learn firsthand about other people and places. Our children have visited Argentina, Mexico, and Finland. We have hosted a girl from Malaysia. An exchange with China is planned for this year. The school is supported solely through parish contributions and tuition paid by the parents. The art, music and phys ed departments are very good and a wide array of sports are offered.