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.
School works hand in hand with Rocky RIver schools, amazing leaning atmosphere, amazing parish, school, community environment.
Great School, great teachers, cutting edge technology, warm environment. One of the best private elementary schools on the westside.
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
Unfortunately we had a terrible experience at the school as well. We were there for many years and finally left after realizing the academics were not going to get any better nor was the culture with the current Principal and Pastor. I agree whole-heartedly with the review from Jan. 31 below. A culture of bullying perpetuated from the top down in our experience as well. This community and school is filled with really smart kids and supportive parents and they all deserve much much better!!! We have really seen how great a Catholic School can be both academically and culturally now that we are at a new Catholic School just the next town over. Our children love their new school and talk often about how the Principal and teachers don't yell and that they are kind and excited about teaching. A demand for success both academically and culturally must come from the top down. Hoping for change so the enrollment does not continue to decline and this school can rebuild.
Our experience at St. Christopher has unfortunately been terrible. The Principal is negative and leads by intimidation. She does not treat parents, students or teachers with respect. The Pastor is not interested in the school and has done nothing to address any of the problems occurring. The academics are below par. Throughout our many years there, we have had a handful of very good teachers. However, many have left, and those still there have less influence because the environment is so negative. Yelling at students and "bullying" is very common throughout the school building. This is the result of poor leadership. We are sad that a school that was once a pillar in the community is now on the decline. The enrollment has been steadily declining over the last few years and will continue to do so unless drastic changes are made.
I have a son and a daughter attending St. Chris. My experience with the principal, teachers, and staff has been superb. Joyce Needham has done a wonderful job with this school. Last year it received the "Blue Ribbon" award for the top 50 private schools. My children have done very well at this school and they enjoy it more than they did the public schools. This community is very pro public school, but if you are interested in your child getting a Catholic education with excellent teachers with traditional values, this is the place. The athletics aren't the school's strong points, but if you can't find athletics for your child in the local community there is something wrong. There is plenty of opportunity in this community and this school is it's cornerstone.
St. Christopher School has been a wonderful experience for our family for four years now. We have found the community to be supprtive for our family in both the school and the church. We would recommend the school whole-heartedly!
We have had a positive experience at St. Chris. We chose St. Chris because we believe in a Catholic education. We do not feel that we have compromised our children's education by choosing St. Chris. We love the fact that our children will all be at the same school at the same time for several years. Perhaps there are some things that could be improved upon, but no more than would be found at any school, in my opinion. It is wonderful to attend an all-school Mass. Each morning there is a short scripture read during morning announcements. These were important factors in our decision to attend St. Chris. Often the school will post honors roll lists for the local and private high schools, highlighting St. Chris' graduates achievements. This is evidence that the school is preparing the children to succeed. All in all we are very happy.
My children are not happy at this school and we are moving on at the end of this year.
The point of this website is not for the parents and principal at the school to hear our opinion but for other parents to hear our experiences. Stop deleting our comments--if the school is as warm and wonderful as you say, what are you worried about? Our experience this year has been negative and, yes we are leaving. If the other schools are better we will review them but this school did not provide the academics, the warm environment, or the Catholic education that we sought and paid for.
It is sad that some parents have nothing better to do than to bash St. Christopher School. If you don't like it, then leave. There are problems everywhere you go, but overall St. Chris does a great job with its students and the teachers are loving, caring individuals.
I am a parent of children at St. Christopher School and have been pleased with the academics, the faith-based teaching, the dedicated teachers and the many other wonderful families we have met over the years. It is a community that fosters a commitment to the success of our children both spirtually and academically. No school is perfect and there will always be circumstances that cause a family to make another choice that is best for their child and family but we have not had the negative experiences noted in another review on this site at all. St. Christopher has a very strong enrollment in a public school district that is very strong which speaks to its exemplary quality and the many happy parents and children there. I would strongly recomend this school and am pleased with the Catholic education and foundations for life that my children are receiving.
I have 2 children enrolled at St. Christopher.. My children are very different in temperment and learning styles. St. Chris has gone out of its way to make my children feel included, accepted and nourished. We really like it here.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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