My son is attending St. Peter's for the third year and I can only say great things about it. The student/ teacher ratio is excellent. The academic focus is excellent, and the enrichment programs lift this school above average. There are many things I could talk about: the general discipline, which is always loving and strict at the same time without boxing kids in, the focus on children to achieve, based on their own merit and skills, the carefully chosen partnerships, with USC, with musea, with the Junior Achievement program. But the best thing I can say is the absolute individual care for each child. They are willing to work with each family to get that child the best educational experience that is needed. The teachers listen and they adapt so that a quick learner can excel and a slower learner can catch up without either feeling ill at ease.
I am writing this review with much experience in Catholic(and some public years of education (however not in the Columbia area).We came upon St.Peters after moving to the area from out of state. We were welcomed, involved, and made many friendships, child and adult, in this nurturing, academic environment. Coming to this school helped me to see the areas of academics my child needed to work on, and an excellent tutor was recommended. During this fifth grade year my child's scores improved from "D" range to "B" honor roll in the course of the year. This was not given, it was well earned. The teachers gave of their time and expertise to see to my students success. As a Catholic, Christian parent we found St.Peters Parish and School all were welcome! In the classroom the children are friends and inclusive. Gossip and bullying was NOT allowed! This was a breath of fresh air. The parish and school are a wonderful place for families to lay roots and grow in their Catholic faith. This school is supported by the Parish, Administrators, Teachers, Parents, Alumni, and Community. It is certainly worth taking the time to attend an information session to hear what they have to offer!
Our children have attended St. Peter's since k4. One has already graduated and now attends Cardinal Newman. Our other child is graduating this year. I can tell you the St. Peter's is the best education for the dollar when you compare private education. The school gets better every year. Programs have been brought in from USC, Junior Achievement, The Ballet school, the USC Music School. They have an Art Program that is outstanding! I am a very proud parent of St. Peter's. The academics are great as measured by the national test scores. St. Peter's is a secret in Columbia for the best education. We need to get the word out and let others benefit from our school.
Our daughter has been at St. Peter's since K4 and is finishing 5th grade this year and will proudly graduate next year. The academics have been great as her standardized test scores have been as high as the 12th grade level. The teachers are challenging, but fair The atmosphere is a terrific combination of discipline and caring for evreryone. The older students take care of the younger students and the teachers know evreryone in the entire school not just thier own class. The religious teaching has been very good for both Catholic children and non-Catholic children. At St. Peter's our daughter has not encountered things that she might at others schools such as bad language, drugs, bullying and a lot of kids that mis-behave. Respect for yourself and others is very apparent.
After my first visit to St. Peter s, I knew that I had found the perfect school for my daughter. While I am not Catholic, having my daughter attend a Christian school that is also academically competitive was a major factor in my choosing St. Peter s. My daughter is learning so much; but more importantly, she is getting the education in a traditional Christian environment. The teachers and staff at St. Peter s are exceptional. And because of the small class sizes, all the teachers and staff at St. Peter s seem to know all the students. In today s climate, even the school-wide celebration of holidays like Christmas and Easter at St. Peter s is something we do not take for granted. My daughter absolutely loves going to St. Peter s. Not once have I regretted sending her to St. Peter s Catholic School.
My child has attended St. Peters for over 5 years and during that time, we have watched him grow into a mature young adult. This school places a strong emphasis on personal growth, responsibility, structure, and most importantly, faith and spiritual development. The current principal has done a great job guiding this school over the past three years and improved the curriculum, structure, and morale. She is a compassionate administrator who is willing to both listen and work with the students (and parents) on any issue. The school is also in a great location in downtown Columbia. I would highly recommend!!
I am currently the parent of 2 children in this school and have been involved with this school for many years. This is truly a faith filled, nurturing, academically excellent environment for the students. ALL the teachers take every aspect of the child's growth seriously as they provide a rigorous learning environment. The school DOES use (this has never changed) the ITBS (not IBTS as the last review stated) testing in the fall so teachers can use those test scores to help individualize instruction for the remaining part of the year. Our current principal is amazing and has taken this school is a direction that fosters learning and excellence in all areas of child development. I highly recommend this school to any parent!
I was a parent of a child here from k5 until 6th grade. So I have much experience with the school (including 3 principals). First the positives, the school curriculum is very strong in most classes. The accelerated reader program is great and really encouraged my child to read more and more. Most teachers are very committed (esp. the 4,5,6 grade group). The classrooms are extremely well behaved with a great spritual and ethical atmosphere. I really enjoyed most years. The bad: math in the lower grades was just OK, they have moved from the nationally recognized IBTS scores which is one reason I enrolled my child. I am not impressed with how they compare to other terrible South Carolina schools. Now my biggest complaint.. the current principal HAS NOT taken the school in a good direction. From changing the IBTS, to generally not caring what parents have to say or think. This has gone from a great school with an engaged parent population, to one where there is one person who toots her own horn (a lot) but doesn't engage her stakeholders. I can't believe this is good for any organization. I used to recommend this school to all my friends, now I can no longer do so.
My son has been a student at St. Peter's for six years now. Although we are not Catholic, we chose St. Peter's for the small size, great location, nurturing environment and academic program that includes music, art and Spanish language instruction. The music program is a cooperative program with the USC Music Education Department and is a real jewel in the programming at St. Peter's. The current principal arrived in May of 2009 and has taken the school in a great direction, improving morale all around, delevoping the curriculum to meet (or exceed) state standards and enforcing high standards for behavior and acheivement in a loving and compassionate way. My son is thriving in this atmosphere and making great progress in all areas but particularly writing and math. He will be wel prepared for middle school no matter where he goes.
We have sent our daughter to St. Peter's for two years and have been very pleased. Yes, there have been some problems with past administration and funding, but all schools face this whether public or private - especially in the ecomomic climate of the past few years. We've known the staff to be caring and NOT overly harsh with the students, and we are very pleased with what our daughter is learning. And as far as not following SC state curriculum, I have seen little or no evidence that it's worthy to do so...our public schools are terrible and among the worst in the country - not an example to be following. We truly love the spiritual enviornment and structure the school provides and are happy to support the St. Peter's.
I am very pleased with St. Peter's. There is a new energy and excitement with the new principal this year. I have seen many positive changes. This is our third year at St. Peters. The teachers are outstanding and very caring. I am always treated like a customer, with excellent customer service and response. Regarding homeless population- Yes, I was very worried about this before my children started school. I feel very safe with them at St Peters. There is a fence around the school (homeless are not on the grounds) and the front door is always locked. Visitors must be let in by office staff. I am very pleased with St Peters and would highly recommend to others.
I am a retired education administrator and teacher who is working as a volunteer at St. Peter's school. The school has a new principal for 2009/2010 as well as two new teachers and a librarian. All are great additions to the staff. This is a wonderful school with small classes and nurturing teachers. There is an air of high expectations and infusion of new curriculum initiatives under strong leadership for this school year.
I'm relieved to see other parents expressing some concerns about this school. I wondered whether I was being overly critical. The downtown location is convenient for parents who work downtown, and the children do get first-hand exposure to homeless people who loiter on the sidewalks surrounding the school. There really wasn't much leadership under the former principal so there was little change for years. There is a new principal now, but she seems to be off at conferences every-other week. We'll see how the school evolves over the ensuing years.
I second the concerns expressed by other parents and former parents of students at St. Peters. The parents who stay seem satisfied, but there is a high degree of student churn and parents who expect more from a school quickly realize St. Peters is not a good choice. Being a private school, they don't follow the SC state curriculum, and they don't take the PACT. So, I know several students who, when they left for public school, had to re-take their most recent grade. Ouch. And parents pay for this sub-par education. Well, we did too until the deficits became obvious. The school boasts about their students' standarized scores, but since the parents who send their children there tend to have bright kids, it makes sense. Just because the kids are bright doesn't mean the school is helping them grow and learn.
My child attended St. Peters from first through fifth grade. The quality of instruction is very uneven and teacher-dependent. There are some fine teachers, and some truly incompetent ones. The overall tone of the school seems negative (obsessioin with silence, punishment) and defensive. We left with a very bitter taste in our mouths. I recommend St. Peters only as a last resort (and there are always other options).
St. Peter's has had its problems being an inner city school with no real 'neighborhood' but it is now under new leadership with a new principal, new construction is underway , and the overall academic excellence in a very small setting remains strong. St. Peter's builds character and the teachers seem to really love the children. My niece has been there 3 years and it was a good fit for us. I strongly recommend this school. Ina Fort
This school is has a great approach to academic, but seem to be pretty desperate for money. The overall quality is decreasing slowly but surely. There is no way to retain the current teacher talents with this type of strain.
This is a very good school. My child along with others are very happy with the school. Hope that this sad person did send their child to the below adverage public school in the area where guns, drugs, and fights are the norm for the public education system. This school is in the heart of the down town of Columbia. We Do Not have the need for a police officer to be stationed at the school, as all public schools have.That in it self shows the great love for each other and teachers that come from this school. The only spirit when you walk through the doors is happiness and friendliness which can be seen every day at this fine school
I know that a lot of parents are unhappy with St. Peter's, but I and my children have had nothing but positive experiences with the school. The K4 & K5 programs are fantastic, with great and caring teachers. I like the school's small size, too. My only hope is that the school keeps the wonderful teachers that they have left (I understand several good teachers were let go at the end of the school year). Parents need to get more involved as well.
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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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