I am very pleased with the experience my two children have had at St. Chris. I love having all my kids on one campus instead of having them split between the various public schools. Miss Needham has an excellent rapport with the children. She is kind but firm and they seem to like her but also respect her as authority figure. As a mother, I know how hard it is to achieve that balance! The library program is great and reading skills are emphasized throughout the curriculum. Both my son and daughter think reading is more fun and more important than any sport. The art program is superb! Parental involvement is one of the things that makes St. Chris so special. Volunteering is encouraged and there are a lot of moms and dads who get involved and this adds a great deal of enrichment. Trunk or Treat 2012 is a great example. Parents can get involved without having to be a part of a certain "clique." In the public schools, I get the sense that you have to be friendly with someone in order to get involved with certain projects. (This is just the impression I get from conversations with friends and neighbors who have kids at the public school so I could be wrong.)
St. Christopher School does as good of a job as it can with the leadership we have. A supportive pastor and exceptional principal who is able to gain the respect of both parents and students is important to the success of any school. St. Chris has neither, and therein lies our very unfortunate problem. Enrollment is down and tuition will increase next year. It is difficult as a parent when you are already invested in the school though, and so with not much time left we might as well stay, but it is sad that we just feel like we do not have another choice at this point. Also sad because I see the potential that is here.
We were at St.Chris for 6 yrs before leaving. My kids weren't necessarily unhappy during their time there, but I had always wanted more for them. We had stayed because I knew going in there'd be concessions I'd have to make at a parochial school & was willing to do so because we believed so strongly in Catholic education. I had figured this was what all parochial schools would be like anyway & in the scheme of life knew my kids would succeed no matter where they went to Elementary. It wasn't until I saw what my kids COULD be getting at a neighboring parochial school that I was faced with the very difficult decision to leave. Smaller classes, an enrichment program, a commitment to hiring & keeping excellent teachers, an amazingly positive atmosphere & culture, a board (rather than a pastor) holding the purse strings--I knew it was just going to be an over-all better experience for them & it has been better than I had even anticipated. St. Chris isn't terrible--I wouldn't have kept my kids there that long if it was! Just do your homework before choosing a school. Meet the principals, hear their philosophies about education, take a tour etc. & make an informed decision from there.
I couldn't disagree more with the negative comments about St. Christopher school. Our family is almost at the end of our 9 years there and it is safe to say that we know the school as well as anyone in our community. We have seen first hand that the leadership and staff does take steps to keep improving the academic and social aspects of the community. Our students test well and are accepted into the local private high schools. I give so much credit to our principal who lovingly and thoroughly addresses each and every concern. Despite a small very strong minded, unhappy community who has taken every step to see St. Chris fail, our principal has not given up on helping the school to succeed. She is well loved and well respected by many many people, as is the school.
As a first time visitor to this site, I find it very unhelpful. Reading some of the reviews, it seems as though parents use it as a source of venting. My children have attended St. Chris for several years and I have no complaints. The teachers and principal work well together and foster a creative and challenging environment for students. Certainly, we all have room for improvement in this world, however, pointing fingers at the leadership is an unfair assessment. Thank you, St. Chris, for providing a great learning environment for my children!
We left in 2011 after the bullying was not being addressed by the principal. We are happy at a neighboring Catholic school where the principal is a positive influence on the school's culture. AND the academics at our new school are much more rigorous. Glad we left St. Chris.
I am a teacher at St. Christopher and I am very proud to say we have an excellent teaching staff that is dedicated and student centered. Our administration provides strong and professional leadership. Our students are bright, hard working, and a joy to teach. Our parents are supportive, giving, and very appreciative. It is no wonder we were awarded the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2010. The St. Christopher Community thrives in Rocky River and our school is a wonderful place for children to grow spiritually and academically.
My comments summarize my 3 year involvment at St. Christopher. The principal makes it a point to know every child's name. You can find her in classrooms reading stories, sitting at lunch tables and talking with the kids, out in the playground. She works with kids on projects, problems, and leads by example. She is a forward thinker, concerned with raising the student's awareness of their responsibility to their Church, local community and global family. Under her leadership the school earned the national award - "Blue Ribbon School of Excellence." I am a part timer at the school. She is very much a students' principal" always advocating for the youth directing them to make good choices and be the best version of themselves. The pastor is not a micromanager. He trusts his principal and faculty and will be there if you need him. Not every school fits every person's need. For those who have left St. Chris or any school, I hope that you have found what you needed for your child/children. That is one of the beauties of our country, it offers many options. -part timer