This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St Thomas More Catholic School1
Posted September 24, 2013
- a parent
Principal can't keep up with the issues that seem to be worsening. Teachers are incometent at all levels. Does not live up to or demonstrate Christian values. The staff and most of the teachers are unfriendly. There is favoritism towards certain students. Students are harrassed verbally & emotionally by students & teachers never seem to take notice. If you confront the principal about certain issues she will just tell you what you want to hear and do nothing about it. It is a shame that a student can go there for so many years and leave defeated...
With the perspective of a few years gone by, I will say that after graduating from STM my children went on to 'elite' Catholic high schools and then got great scholarships at selective private universities where they did well. I give STM some credit for preparing them. Were there teachers that were on the cold side? Yes. Were there teachers that wanted to beat my children? At least one. Were some teachers behind the technology curve. Yes. Was Catholic uptightness prevalent? Yes. There were also very good, caring teachers who made an extra effort to help the kids as individuals. They all had their own style. And, there are plenty of parents who expect the school to do their work for them and who have unrealistic expectations. I heard many complaints from parents and my own wife that I thought were unwarranted. 'Excellent' may be too high of a rating. My daughter rates it 'Very Good'.
Leadership is everything and sets the tone for the school in a positive manner. We've enjoyed the school for 7 years and think that any reasonable person knows that issues occur everywhere; but the staff, teachers, and children are at their best when they are a member of the St. Thomas More Community. I will be responsible..I will be caring..this is who we are; this is how we act even when no one is looking.
I love this school!!!! My children have gone to this school for three years, and have learned a great deal. My oldest daughter attended Walzem Elementary for two years with a very poor outcome. The classes are small. The teachers are well educated, and love their students. The staff all care about the parents and students. It is a very warm atmosphere. The parents are involved in their childrens education, and know one another. Most students start off in Pre-K and stay until 8th grade. It is a very close community. Only one class per grade level. My children are crying because we are moving, and they will no longer be able to attend this school.
One difficulty is that decisions are made about principals and teachers, without parents or students ever knowing why. Frequently, it seems the one you like best, that are innovative and breathe 'life' into the school that they seem to let go. On a positive side, there are small class sizes, the kids wear uniforms (less competition and fighting over appropriate clothing, and they supervise the kids closely. I would NOT describe it as one big happy family though. There seems to be some in-fighting among the staff and while some of the newer teachers are very good and seem to enjoy and encourage the students and the profession of teaching, others seem tired, irritable, and as if they do not like students (or children) at all. Thank heavens the principal helps set a positive tone, but it seems that is changing.
I have been very disappointed with this school. The teachers do not keep the students interest, they complain about the students and other teachers. It really isn't any different than public schools. You can get a better education elsewhere without having to pay for it.
When we decided to relocate in the city, I made sure it would not affect us being able to keep our son at St. Thomas More. My son (and most all of his classmates) could read after finishing Kinder after a great foundation in Pre-K and Kinder. The curriculum is sound, and I know my son is in a loving environment that supports our values. The school is growing its music curriculum, offers a great after-school program, and a summer program that is very fun and educational. Teachers keep us informed and involved; and the office staff is warm and helpful.
Teachers - hear a lot of complaining from teachers about each other and the students. Academics - really frustrated with Math program. Not every student learns material as quickly as others do. Parent Involvement - there is none - it's the same old parents helping over and over again. Extracurricular activities - what is available is fine if that is what you are looking for. Office staff - overall office is unfriendly. Ever hear of the Christian Radio Station?
STM's faculty and staff are committed to providing a quality education to their students. There are tutors and teachers available well after the regular school day is finished. Numerous parents and church parishioners provide personal time and financial resources to this school of only 200 students. There are some facility shortcomings in terms of not having a gym, but this is offset by having a strong link between the STM students and the Catholic Youth Organization for extracurricular athletic activities. The Principal is energetic and focused on improving teaching techniques and overhauling portions of the curriculum. Test scores are some of the best in the city.