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St Mark Catholic School

Private | PK-8 | 650 students

 

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Living in Plano

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $179,200. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $940.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 11 ratings
2012:
Based on 7 ratings
2011:
Based on 5 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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43 reviews of this school


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Posted July 21, 2014

I have three children that attended St. Mark. Two have graduated and one is still there. I couldn't be more pleased with the Catholic education they received. My older children were very prepared for high school and impressed with their own preparedness when they reached high school. My youngest child seems to be following along the same manner. Students are given many opportunities to compete athletically and academically in various programs. I always felt teachers and administration were open to any of my concerns. Although, I never asked for preferential or special treatment for my children. My concerns were for the benefit of the school and children as a whole, not for individuals. If given the chance to do it all over again, St. Mark would still be my first choice!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 29, 2014

Our family has had a very positive experience at St Mark. We like the size of the school - around 75 students per grade - which means we can get to know all the parents of the students with whom our children interact. The teachers are terrific. Academics and religious instruction are taken seriously, as is discipline and respect. That said, the kids get to be kids - they get to play and have fun as well as learn. Our belief is your children's school is much like any organization - one gets out of it what one puts into it. We're active volunteers, and our children are hard workers. We've been heard by administration and faculty when we wanted to be heard, and our children have succeeded academically. Our children haven't needed much help academically - but when it is needed they get it, and it is gladly given. Despite what you may read, we know the administration CARES deeply about these students and CHERISHES each of them. They ARE responsive to parental input, such as revamping the cafeteria menu so lunches would be even healthier; the addition of a middle school Spanish teacher; and the addition of resource teachers for kids in need of extra help. After 10+ years: Always a Lion!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 14, 2014

Horrible school. If you love your kids, DON'T send then to this school. The teachers are disrespectful and the students are not behaved. The principal is rude and constantly refuses to help my daughter and her bullying situation. Worst school ever!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 21, 2014

I'm grateful my 3 children are part of the St. Mark community. St. Mark balances academics, sports, and discipline better than any school I have experienced. It develops independent thinkers and confident leaders. Teachers have always been caring to my children and looked for ways to challenge them academically. They are very understanding of their needs. The sports program is wonderful. All my children have played sports at different levels, and many times made it to the championship games. Teachers and admin staff show up at these games, and the children could not be prouder when they see their teacher in the stand. St. Mark sports have taught my kids to be strong, humble, and learn to win and lose gracefully. The discipline and values of St. Mark is one of its best characteristics. The children are taught to be respectful to others, accepting of differences, and compassion to all. If you are thinking about this school, I would encourage you to go to mass on a Friday morning when the school attends. You will see happy, caring, and well-behaved children. You will see devout teachers. You will see parents who would not trade this school for anything else.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 30, 2014

If you are looking for strong academics, a wide variety of extra curriculars, the expectation of Christian behavior, a spirit of community service, and a warm atmosphere, look no further. As a parent of 2 students who started in the preschool over a decade ago, I can honestly say that I would stack St. Mark against any school in any of these areas. While no school is perfect, this one strives to meet the needs of all students including those with learning issues and those with a need for more challenge (I've experienced both). My child who graduated was totally prepared for high school, was accepted into one of the top Catholic high schools in Dallas, and was not only prepared, but is excelling. The admin. has an open door policy and works hard to address any concerns. I volunteer a lot, and ALWAYS see happy staff and most importantly, happy kids. It is sad that those few who have uunresolved issues choose to take to the Internet to post negative comments. The comment about the smoking is especially absurd. Obviously it's a smoke-free campus -- it's a school for goodness sake! Those of us who are happy with our experience at St. Mark are, by far, the majority.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2014

I'm afraid I might have to address future psychological damage from what this place has done to my kids. There are much better schools; this school ruined them in Math-they are unprepared for PUBLIC HS math!? (I PAID for that?? "Blue Ribbon School"are you kidding?!) We are now paying for additional help just to get them to where they need solely based on a ridiculous, biased categorization! The teachers have no concern whatsoever for any kid of a family they don't favor. Period. You would have to tell me this is a Catholic school because there is NO Christian behavior from ANY of the faculty. This was so disappointing it has just been scarring-it gives me no pleasure whatsoever to say such sad things, but I feel it is important to tell our truth. We have been treated with callous disrespect, @ best indifference. I have wondered how and why the Diocese has not addressed those of us who have left damaged?! Parents dealing w/the damage but also dealing w/ scarred children coping w/what was done to them..I only hope mine will remain Catholic because of this place, I know some sadly who left who are no longer because of it...
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2013

I am so thankful that I pulled my children out of this school in time. We had the most horrible experience. It has no feel of a catholic school, it feels like Military. The administration has their own agenda and will never listen to you. The teachers in the middle school are awful and are disrespectful. My kids are good kids and have always done very well in school and loved their teachers until we moved here. (we came here from out of state). My kids cried every night to have me pull them out and I finally did. Respect the kids and the kids will respect you. Academics were ok comparing them to what we had. I did volunteer and saw what my kids were talking about. It's not normal run school. Before you send you child here, make sure the Middle school has been restructured and administration has made major changes.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 13, 2013

Terrible experience. Principal needs to retire. She is not about growth and educational modifications within the classroom. Our child struggled with reading yet no modifications would be made to the curriculum or teaching strategies. Teachers do not have the experience nor educational training needed to meet the challenges of meeting all the individual needs of each student. They teach one way and expect all students to fit that mold. They also lack many resources found in public schools. Would not recommend based upon the philosophy and approach applied by the prinicipal and staff.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 26, 2013

School management needs to recognize the efforts of students e.g. academic and leadership awards. I attended the graduation rite, parent went home open handed except a diploma and a personal letter from the student/s to their parents. Management failed to motivate the students from the lowest grade until they graduate. Human being needs to be praised and recognized. NO single award has given during graduation, it so backward kind management. I would agree that they should rethink/change their approach. I hope the next principal will do it. A $2.00 certificate of recognition will a make a difference....


Posted May 25, 2013

This is our first year at St. Marks. We count our blessings that we found such a terrific school to send our daughter. The students welcomed a new friend. The staff is always available to help with questions or concerns. The teachers have been amazing and understanding of the learning curve logistically for a new student in a higher grade to the school. The expectations were explained and the teachers encouraged our daughter to reach out to them directly when she didn't understand or needed further explanation. As a parent, I appreciate how the teachers gave her the tools to learn to solve her own problems. Our daughter responded positively to the higher expectations set by her teachers. She has become a more independent thinker. Her teachers encourage her creativity and reward her for taking academic risks. They create a learning environment where it is comfortable to try a different approach to projects or learning. As we complete our first year at St. Marks, I remain truly grateful that we were guided to this school last year and would recommend this school to anyone seeking Catholic education along with solid academics.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 8, 2013

Not good...Teachers are more interested in their own agenda and playing cop than actually educating the kids. The school seems to be heavy on mindless discipline and light on understanding and challenging the students. Most of the teachers are neither friendly nor welcoming to parents or students. To be fair, I assume that not every teacher here is just going through the motions, but I haven't seen it. The leadership and staff could use a good overhaul. I just don't know if I will continue to give them my money while they try to figure it out.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 9, 2013

St. Mark Catholic School(SMS) is the best educational option in the Plano area particularly in preparing middle school(MS) students for the rigors and demands of growing their knowledge during the high school years. Leadership at SMS is outstanding and MS teachers are demanding, but fair with students and parents, assuring parents that their children are ready for their next big step at the high school level. It's a great school...one of the best!


Posted April 8, 2013

Our children attended St. Mark Catholic School from preschool through 8th grade and it was a wonderful family experience. The positive environment started with the Church Parishioners and went to the school administration to the teachers and to each individual student. The teachers were intelligent, supportive, and kind. Many times I would see them volunteering at the school carnival, attending and financially supporting the school auction, playing volleyball, cheering at pep rallies, and giving their time, talent, and treasure to the students. The administration supports the parents and the positive growth of the students. The students were high-level, independent thinkers. They were challenged and supported to find their talents and skills. Students' individual abilities were praised and since my children were very different, they each came out of St. Mark with a sense of confidence and inspiration to do their best. Students were friendly and welcoming. Kindness is encouraged and my children participated in many service projects, did quiet acts of kindness and even helped a school family whose house burned. Our family is proud to be a St. Mark Lion family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2013

St. Mark is not only a school with high academics, it is a faith community. Gospel values are incorporated into the daily routine as a way of life. The children are kind to each other. At Mass on Fridays, you can see how much the students care for one another as they help their prayer partners. The parents are active participants in the school. My children love their teachers and their friends. We consider this our family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2013

We have been parents at St. Mark Catholic School for 11 years, with a few more years to go until our younger children graduate. We are grateful for the love and guidance that they have received, and credit the faculty and staff for preparing our children to succeed in high school. The negative posts that I have seen on this website saddened me because these families obviously had a bad experience. All schools are not suited for all children, and some people can never be pleased. The curriculum at St. Mark is challenging, but the teachers help their students rise to the challenge. I cannot recommend this school enough!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 11, 2013

I used to be a student at St. Mark and graduated there recently. I transferred to the school in 7th grade (the worst possible grade to go into) and the teachers were rude and unkind. No one wanted to help in the beginning. I had no idea what I was doing and my grades suffered. I dreaded waking up every morning and couldn't wait to get out. The math teacher did prepare us for high school, but she did not seem to care at all about her students. You could tell the teachers had favorites and I felt left out. Their method of trying to help us was to yell at us about how we weren't good enough. I could barely make it 2 years there.


Posted February 2, 2013

I have a 5th grader at St. Marks. Myself and my son love this school. Our experience for last 6 years has been great and we recommend this school to anyone who is looking for one in that area. Teachers are great....especially from 2nd thru 5th grade. If you have any concerns about your child, teachers are always there to "talk". I have spent very less time volunteering but there are teachers who takes time to thank me in person..make you feel that you are a part of the school. Whenever we approached the school with any concerns they responded promptly. Overall very good communications from the teachers , principal and other faculty staff..one suggestion though, the 1st grade teachers need not be so serious...the kids are just 6 yrs old!! If you are looking for academics, faith, discipline altogether.... Yes, This is the place!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 20, 2012

I am a student who graduated from this school only last year. I will make this clear- this is a school with rigorous academics, difficult athletic opportunities (though the current AD is great!), AWFUL leadership in the administration, and little respect from many students. The administration does not know how to truly develop kids. They do not support athletics, or handle many problems well whatsoever. I was bullied for much of my time at St. Mark, verbally and a little physically. Overall, the administration could never take a stand on ending any bullying. Some teachers were good, but many are terrible. This goes especially in the middle school; the reason we are so prepared for high school is because we practically teach ourselves and learn to work like college students. By the time I was in eighth grade, I absolutely could not wait to leave.


Posted November 28, 2012

I will be praying for this school! The families and students are great! The administration and staff are cold, non-caring, insensitive and look as if they are tired of working at this school. I am shocked by the way teachers treat their students. They should re-read the Mission and Philosophy of St. Mark's and be Catholic role models for our children. Bullying begins from the top-down. If teachers are constantly yelling, demeaning and grumpy in the classroom, the students will model the same. Before you implement a Bully Program, the teachers need to take a course on having a positive; loving and nurturing environment that builds future Christian leaders not tear them down. We are gone!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 3, 2012

This is our third year at St. Mark and my children are happy there- which is what matters to us most. I can however see why some of the posts on this board refer to the staff as being uncaring. Some of the people who work at St. Mark are so very wonderful, but there are definitely some there who just want a paycheck. Unfortunately I'm afraid that is probably the case at most schools, I guess you just expect a bit more from a Catholic school.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 87% 31%
Hispanic 8% 51%
Asian or Pacific Islander 3% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 0%
Black 0% 13%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Teacher aid/assistant teacher
School social worker/counselors(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Gifted specialist(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Art teacher(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Bell / Handbell choir
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Electives in French, Latin, German
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 7:55 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:15 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Patricia Opon
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Affiliation
  • Roman Catholic
Associations
  • TCC
Fax number
  • (972) 423-3299

Programs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Electives in French, Latin, German
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of Dallas
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Bell / Handbell choir
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Book/reading club
  • Boy scouts
  • Chess club
  • Community service
  • Cub scouts
  • Girl scouts
  • Math club
  • Robotics club
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Monitor the playground
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

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1201 Alma Drive
Plano, TX 75075
Website: Click here
Phone: (972) 578-0610

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