As a parent of a student at STM, I could not be happier with the level of the education that my child has been receiving. The staff and educators are so deeply involved in the students learning and building of honesty, integrity, and giving. The technology is top notch. As I read other reviews about bullying, I have to disagree. Bullying is everywhere. And my first hand account with bullying in the school was proof that the school staff and teachers take a pro-active approach to put a stop to it. I am very satisfied to date with the way it was handled.
This is my first time ever writing an internet review, but I feel too strongly concerning their bullying problem to remain silent. I am currently removing my son from ST. Thomas mid-year because of a severe harassment problem. He has been ostracized, physically hit, and ridiculed on a daily basis for years. It is sad to say that a religious based institution closes their eyes to such an epidemic that affects the well-being of children. This is learned behavior that progressively worsens at St. Thomas as the children reach middle school. Every year children are pulled from STM siting this issue. Yet, the problem still exists. ST. Thomas, I implore you, fix the problem and hold the antagonizing repeat offenders accountable. You have many students there suffering in silence.
Academically, STM is an excellent school. My child graduated with the last year, and did well. We found the quality of teachers ran the spectrum of moderate to superior. I can not say of the teachers were poor, though there are some real characters. The facilities are top notch, cutting edge technology, and the curriculum is geared toward success in high school college prep. The school is very well funded by the parish and lacks for nothing physically. The issue I do have is a lack of true genuine Christian behavior expectation. This is a Catholic facility, but the bullying behavior of some students and parents can be repulsive. Success in all things is really pushed here--success at all cost. CYO has come to stand for "crush your opponent", Sports and academic excellence is stressed over religious values. There is a large percentage of parents who are financially successful professionals, with a type A achiever driven personalities. They tend to be helicopter parents who demand special attention for their children. I sometimes wonder what Jesus would think of this culture. The only thing STM lacks is humility.
My daughter attended Kindergarten this year and so far my experience with STM has been great. She loved her teacher, was very engaged and made lots of friends. STM made the transition into school so easy for her, by creating a comfortable caring environment. I have not seen any of the bullying or gossip or 'clique' issues here that are any different from other schools where my friends send their kids. These issues are universal and not easy to solve. I feel that parents also have a responsibility in this and teaching their kids christian values. Monsignor Murphy is extremely committed to the kids and the school and it shows. My interaction with the older school kids has also been impressive. They are highly respectful toward adults and also are helpful to the smaller kids. I look forward to sending my kids here through 8th grade.
My child has been at STM now for 3 years and loves it, she wishes she could go on the weekends! The Msgr. is extremely passionate about teaching to the child's individual ability and many teachers are willing to tutor. While other schools are cutting back on expenses, STM is growing and expanding. A positive experience. Strong faith values and academics, great balance.
Good strong academics. Great teachers. Principal likes it his way or the highway but can be good at resolving issues. Bullying is high & there are little or no consequences for the bully. Very clichey rich kids who do whatever they please. Don't follow Christian values at all. Difficulty learning if you don't fit in. Don't dare to be different or you will not make it. 3rd & 4th grade teachers are wonderful. Office people are not truthful & very gossipy. Monsignor turns a blind eye to most problems unless you donate a substantial amount of money to the church.
While there a strong sense of community and the school breeds high achievers, those who have different learning styles that fall outside the norm are left behind because of the 'lack of resources.' The curriculum breadth and depth is lacking and very traditional, which works for some, but not all. When we were considering schools for our son, we were told that STM educates the child and not the grade. We have not found that to be true. My son has a diagnosis of ADHD and all we have heard is that 'we don't have the resources' to give him the individualized instruction that would be helpful to him. Also, there is limited communication with parents and the administration seems to be disengaged from the families of students who don't fit the cookie cutter that STM uses. We will be sending our son to public school next year.
Academically, this school is great. The situation with larger numbers in the 1st grade classrooms wasn't the best idea ever, but we'll all survive. The major problem with this school is, as someone else says, the bullying 'policy'. As far as I can tell, there is no policy other than to turn the other cheek to 'favorites'. This doesn't seem very Christian to me...I think the administration puts on a really good front, but when it comes down to what really matters for every child, they just don't deliver.