Both my son (1st grade) and daughter (3rd grade) have been attending St. Mark since they were around 3 yrs. old. We love the school for many reasons. The teachers have been awesome-- they truly love the children they are responsible to lead. We have met and established lots of great relationships with other families. We highly respect the leadership at the school. We know their hearts are for the Lord and they seek His guidance in all aspects of running the school. The students are amazing. We especially love that the 8th graders befriend the younger students. What a great mentor relationship for them. One way St. Mark fosters that is through the reading buddy program where an older student will read to a younger student just learning to read. We also feel St. Mark not only focuses on academics, but more importantly a child's heart. You can see that when you look at the character of the students in general. All children have their moments, but overall the students are good kids. It's a testimony to the Lord and the fact that at St. Mark you know He is present. We truly have nothing, but great things to say about St. Mark. It's been a blessing for our children!
The early childhood program at St. Mark has been above and beyond what I expected! Both of my children have had wonderful, caring and nurturing teachers and have come home excited about what they learned. The teachers are quick to communicate any issues and I have always felt heard when I raised concerns. My oldest will start first grade in the fall and my younger will start preschool. I await to see their progress both academically and spiritually. A great school with solid Christian values!!
This school is horrible. The principle is so out of touch with the school and students - it is disappointing. The building is ancient, the teachers are lazy and uncaring. They claim to have 1 to 1 technology - yet they rarely use their older model iPads and are not allowed to take them home. All the curriculum is still book-based, what a joke! And don't think because the classroom sizes are small your child will get any extra attention, because they won't! What a total disappointment, both academically and from a faith-based perspective. Save your money and send your child to the local public school.
My children have been at St. Mark Lutheran School for 4 years now. Each and every teacher has been AMAZING! They show love and caring for all of their students. They set great examples for the children in and outside of school. The academics are tough so the children are learning constantly! They are challenged in class and encouraged to think. The Art program is amazing and the kids come home with some impressive work. We feel very safe when our children go to school everyday. It is a loving environment and where we will keep our kids until 8th grade. Go St. Mark Cougars!
I have been very pleased with St. Mark. My oldest son has attended since he was in Kindergarten - he is now in 8th grade. I have another son who is in 6th grade and also has attended since Kindergarten. Not only are my children receiving a high quality education, they are learning incredible Christian values that have molded their character. They routinely score high on the standardized Iowa tests and are in the highest percentiles in most areas. The teachers are incredible and work with parents continuously to ensure needs are met. Grades and assignments are posted online. Additionally, an education form of Facebook called Edmodo is used to help foster communication. Teachers also communicate via e-mail, notes, phone calls and parent teacher conferences. There are also a large number of electives and extra curricular activities such as soccer, volleyball, cross-country, tennis, basketball, baseball, softball, swim team. To help with further enrichment, the middle schoolers are all issued iPads. This is relatively new so everyone is still learning how best to use them. I highly recommend this school.
Our student attended St. Mark in the 2011-12 school year in an elementary grade. If you are an outsider you are treated like an outsider. In their mission statement they claim to "...strengthen and send fully-devoted disciples for Christ". It is my opinion they do not have any idea what that means. There was much more concern with appearances than what is right. Some of the teachers are good educators and some genuinely care about the students. But others allowed some students to be truly cruel to other students. I witnessed multiple chances to use scripture to teach students how to treat their fellow students and learn who their Neighbor truly is, nothing was done. I am not sure why some teachers, the principal or the pastor did nothing but it was very sad to see. There is parental involvement but much of it is less than desirable. If you seek a safe learning environment for your student I recommend looking, and spending your money, somewhere else.
The early childhood program at St. Mark was fantastic! My son had Ms. Vivi for PK2 and Ms North for PK3. They were both extremely kind, nurturing, patient and skilled teachers. The curriculum is holistic and nurtures cognitive, social, physical and spiritual development. The teacher to child ratio was low and each child received lots of love and attention. We looked at many schools in Houston before deciding on this one - and we were not disappointed. The only reason we are not still there is that we moved out of the country. Would highly recommend St. Mark for the little ones.
I have been a parent of more than one child currently enrolled. I have been please with my oldest child's education. However, with my second child's education, I have been quite disappointed. The new principal is really just an administrator and does not really appear to care about what is really going on at this school. He does not listen to concerns of the parents. The Spanish 'teacher' this year was a substitute and spoke less Spanish than most of the kids enrolled in this school. I have been looking to transferring my two children elsewhere for the next school year.
Point of clarification regarding the post dated April 20, 2012: the special needs program is completely supported by the parents of the students with special needs. St Mark does not lose any finances or resources due to this unique partnership. Having the special needs program is a blessing to both the St Mark students and the students with special needs. Regarding the other areas of concern: I have found that my child has done very well academically at St Mark. My child has nothing but compliments for the Spanish teacher, the new principal, and the computer lab. Finally, I am pleased with the attention to detail and academic excellence at St Mark.
My 2.5 yo daughter is thriving. I can only speak to the early childhood education program. Frankly, I simply went there out of convenience. I moved into the neighborhood intending to take advantage of the well-regarded public school system, but now that I am at St. Mark, I am fully intending to keep her there through the 8th grade. She is thriving. She looks forward to school every day. All of her teachers have been loving and firm. The environment is enriching and structured. I work with her at home, but I am astonished by how much she has absorbed at school. The church congregation and leadership is highly-invested and committed to furthering the school's success. Now, I do not (yet) have any direct experience with the older grades, but here are my observations from watching closely. The new principal is excellent. Highly intelligent, innovative, disciplined, and experienced. The older children have impressed me by how mature and well-rounded they are. The athletics and music programs seem especially deep. More than anything, though, is that intangible "feel" that rather than money and prestige, the school's driving focus is each child's success and development.
This was not the school for us. As with some other private, nonselective schools I believe, there are students who come here because of ongoing academic and/or social problems elsewhere; by upper grades, a significant number have been through several other campuses. My young child s teacher was excellent but again, as with some other small schools was overburdened by the school attempting to take on way more than it could handle; just because it goes through eighth doesn t mean early childhood teachers should be expected to lead/coach middle grade extra-curriculars. I understand that without a full offering of arts, athletics, etc., some parents will complain but you are either foregoing some of those resources with a small school, or asking teachers to wear too many hats and burn out. There was an overemphasis on sports from kindergarten up. Chapel time was used in place of a general assembly to recognize sports achievements. Frustrating moderate parents were a handful of squeaky-wheel parents who could be found on campus any day of the week and who fully expected to have their every demand met, reasonable or otherwise, and who were never disappointed.
St Mark is a great school for producing well rounded and well grounded kids. Smart kids do very well here and are encouraged to participate in activities outside their area of excellence (ie sports, music, art, oral presentations in chapel). As a result they leave St Mark with some intangible skills that greatly enhance their natural intelligence. For kids of more average academic abilities, the academics will require more effort. Music, art, PE and keyboarding are part of every kid's schedule as there is no TAKS test to prep for. Overall the students score well above average on annual standardized tests (Iowa basic skills), indicating that base education is good with added bonus of all the extras. The community is small so folks who have a difficult time getting along with others will struggle.
My daughter attended St. Mark from K till 6th grade. She is now in a public middle school in HISD. So I am in a good place to compare the education at St. Mark & local public schools. She started keyboarding in K and by 6th grade was typing 60 words a minute. She learned how to read music in 5th grade and was playing flute by 6th grade. She took Spanish in 4th & 5th grade. In 6th grade, she was diagramming complex sentences in English & studying words off of the SAT vocabulary lists. I think that the math at St. Mark lags a bit behind as that was the only class she had problems in at the HISD school. Compared to current peers, she is very much ahead of HISD peers in keyboarding, writing and reading skills.
St. Mark is an awesome school! Low student to teacher ratios and excellent priviate school education. Very solid faith based education. Loving teachers. Great principal and hardworking school board.
This is the school to send your children to if you do not like them.It i is below the bar educationally. All the good teachers have left do to an ineffective board. They value religion over education. Some of the older teachers really need to go they have not adapted to a new world. Look around there are better schools all around unless you want a subpar school
St. Mark is a wonderful school. The school is has a safe and comfortable environment. It offers many after school activities. The sports program is overall good, but sometimes the teams are left too large. The teachers are quilified and supportive. The cafteria has excellent lunches and there is also an extended care offered before and after school.
The loving environment has enabled my children to grow academically, socially, and in their Christianity. Our kids started out in public schools and we feel so blessed to have made the move to St. Mark.
My children attended St. Mark PS-8th grade. They are now a junior in the public high school and a freshman in college. They were both in the K level classes and received hish school credit for keyboarding, health, algebra, and IPC from St. Mark. They had many opprotunities to participate in the band, sports and academic competitions. Most important they are now equipped to make good decisions for their life.
St. Mark is a great school. We have been there since Preschool (now starting 4th). We have seen some changes in administration but overall we have had a great experience there. We are looking forward to continuing our children's education there. The classroom size is between 15-23 depending on the grade. There are lots of opportunities for extra curricular activities in Sports or Academics as well as Music. We are starting the year with a new principal and I'm looking forward to great things with our new leadership.
St. Mark is a wonderful school! My children have attended here for 6 years, both in elementary and middle school. The academics are very good, the teachers are caring, and the school atmosphere is very supportive to children. Discipline is good, but not overly strict. Communication between parents and teachers is done a lot by e-mail and newletters and is effective. Most respond to e-mails quickly. The school has a very good instrumental music program for band, orchestra and symphony.
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