I too was very surprised to read the negative comments posted January 30th. I found it even more surprising to hear these things being said because the reasons the parent cited for leaving St. Nicholas were precisely the reasons we left a public school and became St. Nicholas parents. My daughter's Kindergarten teacher at a public school did not know my child, did not know that she was already reading, and had no interest in really finding out. I am so glad we switched to St. Nicholas precisely because the teachers know my child and they communicate with me clearly and regularly. Teachers do not assign letter grades: all assessment is based on the skills that the students are working on. I know what my children are studying and what they need to work on. I learn about this at the once a month parent-teacher conferences that are scheduled into the school calendar. In addition, as the February 23rd 2010 post stated, I have a very detailed and very long written evaluation that I receive twice a year. Two of my children have graduated from St. Nicholas, one is a current student. The teachers at St. Nicholas have helped all my children truly realize their potential.
I was appalled when I read the previous review...As a current parent, it seems that the previous poster couldn't have paid attention to the twice a year, 8+ page evaluation given to each of us detailing the exact progress of our child. From the number to which he/she can count, to the vowel sounds known, we are handed exceptional information, much more than any letter grade could portray. Each and every teacher, even those who do not teach my child, knows her name, as she does most of theirs. While we looked at other schools across the river, St. Nicholas has been an incredible experience, from the communication (the website to the individual teacher's newsletters, to the monthly parent conferences), the teachers, administration, other parents, and very caring classmates - we have loved it and are very thankful we found it!
St. Nicholas was a school recommended to me by colleagues as a more advanced cirriculum with teachers interested in children of all scopes and talents. Like all parents, we went through the tour of the school and met with teachers. In the beginning the school appeared to meet expectations. However, as the year advanced, it became clear that poor communication, lack of leadership, and lack of actual teacher participation in individual student assistance/instruction was an issue. Most of the students who do well atthis school come from families whose children would do well at any system/school. At the end of the year, I felt the teachers had limited knowledge of my child and actually did not even know he was reading for 4 months- which was truly pitiful. I would not recommend this school to anyone and have gratefully placed my children in a public school and now excel.
I love St. Nicholas! My child struggled during his first year in school, but the teachers were able to give him the individual attention he needed. He is now flourishing and we are looking forward to the upcoming school year. In response to a previous commenter who said that it took his or her child 2 years to catch up with other kids after leaving St. Nicholas, I must say that that particular situation is the very rare exception and not the rule. Officials and teachers from schools where St. Nicholas grads move on to have commented that kids from St. Nicholas are usually more prepared than kids from other schools. St. Nicholas does an excellent job of meeting a child's individual needs - academic, social, emotional, and spiritual. It is a top-notch school!
We moved to Chattanooga from a much larger city where my child had many afterschool enrichment opportunities and participated in at minimum four extra activities per week. I was very concerned that Chattanooga would not be able to afford the same opportunity. Luckily we were guided to St. Nicholas which was able to accomodate a fulfilling extracurricular schedule and where teachers found the time to welcome and embrace my child. I readily recommend the school and believe that my child has benefitted from attending thus far.
My child loves St. Nicholas! The environment is so nurturing, and the teachers are so caring. I love that they have chapel every morning. They really work to instill values and independence in children, which is so important! Academics are individualized to students so that they can work at their own level and improve at their own pace. I went to St. Nicholas myself, and I will always cherish my own experience there. I hope that both of my children have the opportunity to go all the way through Level 7.
I have two children who attended St Nicholas, both starting in Level 1 and going through Level 7. I guess no place is perfect, but I believe St Nicholas was as close as we could have gotten. I believe St Nicholas help lay a foundation, both for a passion for learning as well as growing wonderful characters. Chapel is a place where they learned respect for those different from themselves and daily they were reminded of how special they are as individuals. Regularly they recount stories they heard in chapel or I see smiles on their faces when they recognize one of the songs they heard during this special time. They are thriving academically, take full responsibility for their learning and strive to do their best in whatever they are attempting. I will always be thankful for the lessons they learned at St Nicholas.
I'm in my 11th year as a St. Nicholas parent, and I can't imagine a more wonderful environment for my kids--socially, spiritually, & academically. It pains me to read reviews from disappointed parents, because I know how wonderful our experience has been. However, I know there is no perfect school, and no school can be perfect for every child. The children who thrive at St. Nicholas are the ones who are bright, inquisitive, and motivated to learn. Some children require more external motivation or do best with neat little rows of desks and complete silence from everyone but the teacher. At SNS, the classrooms at first strike you as chaotic. But the more you observe, the more you sense an amazing degree of organization, independence, and discipline that the teachers have been able to instill in the students. As a result, the students thrive and are highly successful learners.
I am in complete agreement with the parent who had the courage to post his/her comments on Feb. 15, 2008. It was with great surprise and disappointed that I as a parent could not share an ELC field trip experience with my child and was assigned to a different group. Nor am I allowed to visit or help in my child's ELC classroom. If some parents do not mind being in a different group than their child, their view point should be respected - but for those of us parents who would like to experience the few Pre-School field trips that our children go on we should be allowed to do that. It is such an uncomfortable feeling that when I saw something my child would like on the trip, I couldn't tell him/her because they separated us on the field trip. Please change this policy St. Nich.
The true benefit of a St. Nicholas education is that the positive effects last not just through secondary school and college, but manifest themselves even more upon a graduate's entry into the 'real' world as an adult. Shortly after graduating college and starting my first professional job, I realized that the basic skills and values I took for granted (i.e. budgeting my time, a strong command of the English language, concern for others) were not always evident in my peers' work. These skills and values had all been developed at St. Nicholas. Not only that, but my high standard of what constituted good work, also developed at St. Nicholas, was surprising even to my bosses, and resulted in quick promotions and continued professional success. I can only hope to find a school of equal calibur for my children in our current home of Washington, D.C.
Coming to St. Nicholas from another respected elementary school I've learned that St. N. is a school that teaches children top academics respecting each child as an individual as to learning style/pace. They are taught to care about those around them or those halfway around the world. Chapel begins their day with a focus, they learn to be part of a larger group but also how alone they can make a difference. The integrated school brings together spanish, art, music, science, math & language arts. My graduate learned that she is capable. She was accepted in all schools applied to. I feel she was well prepared in all subjects. St. N. teaches the whole child so they learn to look within themselves to find their drive, determination, compassion, creativity, accountability. St. N. teachers care. I have 1 child still at St. N. & cherish every day!
I am a parent who periodically checks this site out of curiousity. I have had 3 children graduate from St. Nicholas and another is going through. I cannot imagine a greater place. It disturbs me to read negative reviews because each situation is different. A blind review is just that - a blind review. As for my experience, 100% of children applying to the secondary schools were granted admission - that is not something other elementary schools can boast. The children are very well prepared - a statement which can be verified by any admissions officer in the next schools. I just wanted to go on record in saying what a stellar experince my children have had and to remind readers that every school will have people who love it or who had a harder time, it just depends on who is taking the time to rate and review.
Only now, two years after leaving St. Nicholas, has my child caught up with kids from other public and private schools. St. Nicholas did a pretty good job on Science, Math, and Art, but a poor job on reading comprehension, grammar, and language skills in general. There is too much emphasis on Social Studies at the expense of basic grammar, writing, spelling, and reading. In retrospect, I regret sending my child there and would have chosen another school like Bright or St. Peter's if I had it to do over again. Kids from those schools have smoked mine, and only now has the gap closed.
We are near completion of our first year at St. Nicholas and couldn't be happier. The atmosphere is welcoming and my child LOVES school. We looked at several other schools, in fact we live closer to the others, but chose St. Nicholas and are thrilled. We can't wait for a long relationship in watching our child grow and learn!
As a past parent, i think st. Nicholas is/was an incredible school which prepared my child for her prep school. She knows how to take care of her work and has an enthusiasm for learning - well done, st. Nicholas - thank you!
As a parent of a child who attends, I cannot say enough wonderful things about the place and the people. The academics are top notch, allowing my child to go at HIS own pace - not comparing himself to the other children in his class. Never once has he tried to match other's work, but strives to do his best for his own sake. This, I believe, is a direct result of the individualized plans his teacher create for him. I read the previous field trip comment, and my experience has be very open and great. I have attended many a trip - as a helper, not as my child's chaperone. I have enjoyed every minute, allowing my child to have his own experience. growing in his ability to function without his dad or I paving the way. St. Nicholas is wonderful - worth every cent!
The question for me regarding St. Nicholas is this: Is the overall experience at the school worth the hefty price tag- and how does it compare to other schools in its 'class?' Let me start out by saying that Chapel is a wonderful part of the day. Chapel is inspiring and spiritually uplifting. The disappointing part of St. Nicholas is that there is little to no communication from the head of the school. We have never received a monthly or weekly newsletter updating us on the vision of the school. So, communication needs great improvement. In the ELC parents are not allowed into the classroom to help, and if you go on a field trip with the class you are not allowed to be with your child. If it is important for you to be actively involved in your child's school during the early years, this is not a good.
my daughter has attended this school for 6 years (on her 7th) and once i got to go there i love how not only they teach kids what they need to know but in the morning they explain about how God loves every one. and recently they have been raising money for kids in Africa, giving stuffed animals to the fire statinon to give to kids in scary situations, and also giving pet supplies to the humane society, i don`t know about you but if your kids don`t go here yet just ask for a tour and you`ll see the difference
Disappointed with St.Nicholas. Sad to say our experience did not meet expectations of what is advertised to be an excellent school. St.Nicholas tells its candidates that their education is unique and meets your child's learning style and needs. For our student, this was not the case. Our very bright, happy child began to struggle with self esteem problems while attending the school. The teachers had frequent conferences, but were disinterested in being a partner in working out issues that came up with our child. The conferences were mainly one sided and not really communicative in nature. Oddly, the teachers that we encountered seemed unable to handle simple issues that come up when working with young children. At the end of the year, we realized that the school was nice and exclusive but mostly fluff. Lucky for St.Nicholas, it is full of students who will excel anywhere they attend school.
After five years of public education, we decided St. Nicholas School would be the best fit for our children. Boy were we right! As a parent, I am amazed at the amount of parent participation within the school environment. I have found excellent communication among faculty and administration. The evaluation process done on my children is incredible and far exceeds my expectations. I have a firm understanding of my child's strengths and areas of needed improvement. Academically, we have become involved with a more hands on approach to learning, and have been thrilled with the application of material with real life issues. My children are truly treated as individuals. They are expected to do their highest quality of work at their personal highest potential. What more could a parent want? Most impressive is that our children truly love school and learning. An absolute complete satisfactory experience for us.
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