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St Mark Catholic School

Private | PK-8 | 650 students

St. Mark is best known for our strong academic program and Catholic tradition.

 
 

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 13 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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50 reviews of this school


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Posted October 7, 2014

I am shocked at reading some of these reviews. We have been at St Mark Catholic School for 12 years and will continue there with our youngest until he has graduated. Our students are incredibly well prepared for high school. Last year alone we had alumni at 2 local high schools that were valedictorians. My senior has done amazingly well in high school and I always credit STM with his success. My husband and I feel blessed that we have been able to give our children a faith based education at STM. Catholic schools in general are not for everyone. They teach to the middle child. Over the years, the families that I have seen leave the school usually had a child that was struggling and chose to get help from their public school. As for the sports comments? The entire Dallas Parochial League is run by parent volunteers at all of the Catholic schools and this is no different for STM. I would say please volunteer to those parents that are complaining. In regards to the "strict" comments below. Yes, they are strict with the kids in middle school. I do not think that is a negative. Again, I go back to my comments above that I believe it helps prepare them for high school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2014

I was sadly a student at St Mark's and this school is horrible because of the way they "assess" your child and then place them in the dumb, avg, and smart class. The teachers have students that they heavily favor and are not afraid to show their favorites and least favorites, but this is of their "middle school" (I went to a real middle school and had a totally different experience than this place) so their elementary school may be better...


Posted August 21, 2014

St. Mark is a great school! I attended from preschool through 8th grade and I wouldn't trade it for anything! I had great teachers every year. They were always caring and always there to help. Even now when I go back to visit, the teachers remember me and ask how I'm doing. St. Mark is truly part of our family. At graduation, we were told that it will always be a place to call home, and that's how I feel. I will be forever grateful to my parents for giving me a St. Mark education. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and really prepared me for high school. Once a lion, always a lion!


Posted August 19, 2014

We are very happy with St Mark! Our children have attended St Mark Catholic School since 2000 and we have several years before our youngest graduates. St Mark is has a strong Catholic identity and a strong academic program which ensures they are prepared for the local Catholic high schools. The community is truly an extension of our family. We've made life long friends here. If you are looking for a Catholic education, please call the school and ask for a tour.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 17, 2014

I deeply believe in Catholic education. However something is broken at this Christian school that too often doesn't treat students or parents in a Christian manner. Perhaps it all stems from the principal that was there for 30 years, and asst. principal that are finally gone as of this year 2014-2015. But many things about St. Mark in Plano need fixing. The administration is extremely unprofessional and very cold and this sets the atmosphere for the entire school. Some middle school teachers are known to be very mean and texting or looking at their cell phones in class. Recently many families like myself have decided to leave and not keep waiting for changes that will take several years at least. Hopefully the academic methods of teaching and materials which are behind the times will also improve. Having said that, the parents and families really do form a bond and support each other. Some families stay simply because they don't want to leave their own and their children's friends. For us it was a tough decision because of close friends. For us the actual Catholic education and classroom experience for our kids had to come first.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 31, 2014

This is our third year at St. Mark, and I am so saddened to see some of the negative reviews. I have been so happy with our experience. My children all love going to school everyday, and it's such a blessing to have them in school where God is part of everything they learn. Weekly mass is such a beautiful experience. Any problem we have had was handled beautifully by the teachers and staff. We have a brand new principal and VP this year - I think good changes are on the way. I think every school has some drawbacks, but it's what the foundation is that matters. Our children are getting a great Catholic education here, and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Our kids have had some wonderful teachers. Though there are some teachers who don't do much smiling, and that is one thing that would make a big difference. A smile goes a long way! That being said, most of the staff is very personable and approachable. If you are considering the school, I encourage you to come for a tour. Be careful making a decision based on some negative reviews. See for yourself what St. Mark is all about! We are proud to be Lions!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 30, 2014

I was lucky enough to be a student at St. Mark since I was 3. This school became my second home. The faculty and staff were like my family. They were always kind to me. I was very sad to have left them when I graduated. Some other reviews on this website claim "the staff would not change their curriculum because my child did not understand it." I would respond to that by saying, the teacher can not stop the progress of the entire class for one slow student. If your child can't keep up, then they don't belong at St. Mark. Others still attend St. Mark complain about anything they can think of, to them I say, if you don't like it that much, then leave. There is a very long waiting list of people that would be elated to take your place. Over all I love this school and I hope whoever reads this gets to experience my happiness at the place I still call my second home.


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


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 Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Spanish
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)
  • Robotics/Technology 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)
  • Poetry/Creative writing 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
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • 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
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Roman Catholic
Associations
  • TCC
Fax number
  • (972) 423-3299

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
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)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Spanish
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
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
  • Golf
  • 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.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2014-2015 school year
$6000 - $9000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Outside scholarships

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
John Paul II High School
Jesuit College Preparatory School
Ursuline Academy of Dallas
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

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

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