This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Saint Michael's Episcopal School1
Posted June 07, 2014
- a parent
The school used to be offer a high quality, college preparatory education. In recent years there have been multiple heads of school. The school used to offer AP and Honors level classes in high school and no longer offer them due to loss of qualified teachers. In addition, the school has been financially unstable for the past 5 years and is no longer and accredited school.
Saint Michael's is dedicated to the development of each child as an individual. Our school motto -- Scientia, Pietas, Fides -- means Learning, Character, and Faith. We believe that true learning means learning to seek knowledge for its own sake, not learning to take tests. We also believe that it is equally important to develop the heart and the spirit along with the mind through our daily chapel services, a Buddy System that pairs older children with younger children, a House Point system that actively recognizes acts of kindness, and a family-like atmosphere throughout the school. Our students' parents and guardians are highly involved with many aspects of the school, and the teachers work incredibly hard to ensure each child's success -- not by inflating grades or giving them a pass, but by providing individual help and encouragement to motivate hard work. I would not work anywhere else.
SMA is a very special place. The level of education coupled with strong Christian values prepares those who leave SMA to be strong leaders in the challenging world we face today! St. Michael's will always have a special place in my heart and I will never forget the values and work ethic to succeed that was instilled in me. A unique institution that stands on its own, I wish every child could be apart of the SMA experience!
Huge turnaround in management this year (new principal, new board president-- these are making a world of difference). Last year's director had a lot of enthusiasm, but not much in the way of management skills. That has changed. Communication is also much better this year. The teachers have been amazing, even with last year's bad management. My son has gotten a fantastic education. He loves going to school each day. There's no bullying. The kids look out for each other. He's learning a lot, and so are his classmates. Small class sizes, lots of "extras", high standards, lots of individual attention. Everyone there knows each child by name. They're really good with meeting individual children's learning needs. Our son has just been thriving. I would recommend the school to any parent who cares about academics.
This school has been going downhill for years. They are always in financial struggle and ask parents and other organizations for donations to help the sinking ship. The director of the daycare has poor communication with teachers and parents. Turnover is high because the teachers are not treated with the respect they deserve and in the long run it is the children that suffer. I would have never sent my child there had I known the unfortunate situation I was putting them in. The only positive thing I have to say is the teachers seemed to really care about the children. My child now goes elsewhere and if you are thinking about putting your child there, do some serious research and think twice.
Positives: Small class sizes allow teachers latitude in working with your child. Kids are challenged, encouraged to think, learning is experiential. Big kids (middle/high school) view younger kids as siblings, and mentor them. Negatives: Facilities could use improvement. However, new leadership has added stability. I anticipate positive changes and continued improvement. Would NOT send my child any place else!
Positives: Rigorous curriculum teaching student to learn instead of teaching them to take tests. Engaged, caring faculty. Inclusive extracurricular opportunities including sports, music, drama, and academic competitions for anyone who wants to participate. Suportive community of students and parents. With new administration two years ago, many improvements in communications and teacher-management relations. Immediate online access for students and parents to homework and grades. Negatives: Some class sizes too small.
Positives: Languages (PreK-5th: French/Spanish; 6th-12th: French/Latin). Fairly ethnically diverse, although few blacks. Open, laid back campus where different grades mix. Currently small class sizes. Uniforms. High parent involvement. Strong music and arts. Great experience for certain types of children only. Negatives: Very weak overall school management and administration. Shoe-string mentality regarding teacher pay and facilities upkeep. Poor communications with parents (often not timely or clear). Systemic problems in teacher coordination of tests & homework. Tendency to substitute homework quality for quantity. Little to no use of the internet to communicate or manage assignments. Poor playground oversight.