STH is a college prep school, challenging. The homework requires planning ahead. Time management is gift if you have the natural knack, but it is a skill all students need to acquire for school, for life. There is a lot of reading and essay writing for nearly every class. Expect to read 3-4 classic books in English every year, and novels. Students have to take notes in all classes. Much like a college, teachers are allowed to set their own rules for their class. Some allow make up work, some do not. Most all offer extra credit work. Students learn to to take up their questions, requests for extra help directly to the teacher via email or in person. The school wants students to be ready for college and become independent.Bigger concerns or issues can be taken up directly with the academic office. Teachers respond to emails, phone calls and so does the Administration.
I feel there some extraordinary teachers. Very high level of critical thinking in their curriculum. However, some are difficult and incalcitrant to the point of ruining your childs ability to succeed and get a grade point average they need to get into colleges. It doesnt matter how hard it is if they make impossible to the grades you need to get into good colleges. Defeats the point.
At the moment I think they try although there have certainly been experiences where my child is defending himself from bullies and he gets admonished. I also think they have teachers who hold there students to a very high level of accountability without being held to that level themselves. There is also more focus on competitiveness than anything else.
Our son had scholarship offers from several schools but we choose STHS because of its philosophy of brotherhood and we felt it would be a more supportive and spiritual environment. However, we have been deeply disappointed. The faculty seems more intent on protecting itself then in looking to why there is a growing number of unsatisfied parents. There are a predominant number of very wealthy families whose son's are serious bullies and have diminished the brotherhood experience the school markets they embody. It is a struggle to get into any extra curricular activities and there is so much homework that there is little time for much else anyway. Although they tout that they give large amounts of financial aide that turns out to be untrue as well especially compared to the schools they compete with. There are some very good teachers there whose curriculum is well developed and on par with many colleges. I commend them, but do not be surprised if your child is lonely, isolated, exhausted and has teachers that could care less and that are absolutely unsupportive and unavailable. I hope they come to recognize they need some improvements. I feel there certainly is the potential there.
I have three sons who are attending STHS. It is an excellent school providing something for every type of students. Courses in advance classes and AP are offered, teachers are available before and/or after school to assist with questions. The LEC, Learning Enrichment Center, works with those who have learning differences. One of my sons has ADD. Extra curricular activities include sports, and programs for the non-athletic. Rocketry club, Spanish Club, Columbian Squires and many more. I like that the students are required to complete service hours, a prayer is said every morning, there are Masses throughout the year. The school motto is Teaching Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge. After attending St Thomas every student is ready to succeed in college or whatever they decide to persue in life