We are more than pleased with the education and Catholic environment at The Atonement. Our job transfer brought us to SA, and when we looked for a school with daily Mass required of all students, this was the ONLY place in town. Hard to believe for such a Catholic town, but our visit confirmed that the old school traditions were the right fit for our family. New admin team is young, bright, welcoming. Never had the feelign that newcomers weren't welcome, and got to know a family that has been at the school 10+ yrs. No place is perfect, but if you want a sound education, discipline, and if you know how to be a parent rather than a BF to your kid, this is the place.
I have had my family enrolled in AA for several years. Yes, it's hard --the students work to achieve Blue Ribbon grades. The classes are very large (25 to 30 students). After many years of observation, as a parent, it is best to stay at the periphery. If you go with the flow then it will be a satisfactory experience. AA strongly encourages conformity in both parents and students. It is not a sign of weakness to disenroll but, rather a matter of finding the right fit. "Dfferent strokes for different folks." 90% of the students are well mannered and polite. The remaining 10% exude haughtiness and sense of entitlement, and seem to get away with things that other students do not, which is giving AA the reputation of a snooty, elitist school. If confomity works for your family, then AA is the right "Stepford" school for you..
I am a high school student at the Atonement Academy, and I have been enrolled since I was in 5th grade. Never have I been in a class with more than 26 students, and never have I felt that my homework was overwhelming. I am almost an Eagle Scout, I participate in at least two sports teams a year, and I have time to have fun with friends. My parents have never been responsible for my homework, and we get time at school to at least start our homework - of course some kids prefer to raise h--l instead. Oh yes, then they are invited to leave midyear. Lots of our kids are military and leave b/c they are transferred,& some do in fact flunk out. We can't help those w/ bad study habits, needing remedial work or undisciplined kids--sorry. Don't slam my Blue Ribbon School!
Catholic and classical curriculum are the hallmarks of an education at The Atonement Academy. It's definitely not the place for weak students and even weaker parents. Kids have plenty of time to be kids as long as use their time well at school. Not the place for being spoon fed and never having homework. The nasty remarks about the large family dynasties and the UNTRUE statements about teachers and class size sound like sour grapes. We have 2 kids at the school and have spent 6 years there with lots of other happy families.
We have two children in the Atonement Academy, and we are absolutely thrilled with the school. It can't be stated too often that this school is not for everyone, but if you want a thoroughly Catholic environment, a commitment to the teachings of the Church, dedicated teachers and administrators, and academic rigor, I can't imagine a better school. Also, our children and we as parents have made so many great friends at the school. It's a blessing to find so many people who share our values.
My daughter made her first straight 'A' report card this quarter (five of them were 100's) I still remember the day you accepted her....her math placement test score was concerning; therefore she needed extra help. Now she is getting excellent math scores after a year with The Atonement Academy. Since attending your school she has grown into a responsible and confident young lady. She always had it in her to do well, but you and your staff brought it out of her. The work load and expectations had me worried at first, but in the end I think it may have been what she needed to prove to herself she could do it. I am very grateful for everyone's dedication!
The AA is what it is...strict, stern and traditional. Parents carry the burden of part-time home schooling because homework is heavy without a doubt. Of course kids thrive here. Children are resillient and survive (sometimes thrive) even in abusive enviroments. If this is your image of what a Catholic should be, by all means enroll your children here.
I am now in middle school at the Atonement Academy, and I have been attending this school since Pre-Kindergarten. I love it here. No words can describe how blessed I am to go to this school. I thank God that my parents decided to keep me in the 'bubble' and protect me from public school. In no way do I believe that the Atonement Academy is a cold, cruel place. I hope to be able to attend this school until I graduate at 18, and I am excited.
I have had two children enrolled at Atonement for four years now. Coming from a public school myself, it is everything I could want for my kids. They are learning so much more than I did at their age with regard to academics. Their faith, and knowledge of it, has inspired me, (I often feel that they are teaching me in this aspect). They do have higher expectations than many schools for the same age range, but my children have had no trouble with keeping up due to the great teachers they have had and the parental envolvement my husband and I are committed to. I can not say enough positve things about The Atonement Academy. If you are committed to the Catholic faith, and your children... I would highly recommend this school.
This is our 6th year at AA. 4-9th grade! I feel so incredibly blessed to have moved to SA as a Military Family and find a school here like this! Our child is an average student that totally works hard and excels because the bar is set high. I have older children that we had to put in public school at our last duty station because no Catholic Schools were available after 6th grade. So I do know the difference! I love the teachers, the principle, and Father Phillips makes the school what it is. If you are looking for spiritual formation of your child along with a great education and a standard of excellence, The Atonement Academy will not disappoint you. I am so grateful we found it and have stuck with it. We also love that it is a Parish School and Affordable. Mass everyday! Nothing better than that.
Our family is very happy at the school not only because of the discipline and academic standards but mostly because of the spiritual formation in the Catholic faith the children receive. I wish I had known at my children's age what they know now about their faith! What a blessing it is to have daily Mass and to lern so much about their faith and the sacraments. The teachers and administration are exceptional and are great human beings interested in the well being of the children, what more could I as a parent ask for. The school is not for everyone for some it may seem a little too rigid but for us it is a great fit and I would recommend it to anyone who seriously is interested in the spiritual and academic formation of their children.
My daughter arrived at AA (from public) one year behind in Math. Thanks to the caring, educated teachers at AA, she not only caught up, she excelled! YES she works hard. YES she has lots of homework. And YES she realizes the positive impact her AA education will have on her future.
We're very satisfied with the education our children are getting, and the environment of the school is exactly what we were looking for. It's Catholic, affirming for our children, and academically challenging. We have three children in the school, including one in the high school, and I can't speak highly enough about what Atonement is doing for them. I know a few of the parents of former students who have published their complaints here, and it's the typical 'blame somebody else' attitude. Atonement isn't for everybody. It's for the families who are serious about real education. Lazy kids will feel the heat. Our children are fairly average, but they're able to excell here because we encourage them work at it and they know we support the program, the administrators and the faculty.
The Atonement Academy is a tough school! The studies are rigorous and require daily parent guidance to keep kids on track. Both the english and math are a whole grade ahead and the math has daily homework of 30 problems. The Catholicism is strict with a Anglican bent and can seem over the top; however, the priest, Fr. Phillips, is a very good orator and teacher. The times I have gone to daily mass he has impressed me with his practical homilies that speak to the lives of the children. Mr. Johnston, the headmaster, is responsive to parental concerns and very involved with all workings of the school. The sport programs are in their infancy - most of the coaches are parents. Overall, this is a very good school for college prep - not too expensive, either.
While I appreciate the strict disciplinary standards(this was the main reason we chose private over public), I find the teachers cold and distant. Their resumes may be impressive but all of the knowledge in the world means nothing if the teacher cannot relay that information in a way that children can grasp. Minimal time is spent in class actually learning. Subjects are skimmed over in class and the parents are left to do the teaching through massive amounts of homework. We strongly believe in parental involvement in our child's education but we shouldn't be the ones TEACHING the subjects hastily brought up in class. Our child has earned straight A's due to our 'Home Schooling' instead of the 'Teaching' of AA. One other note I do not understand, if the Catholic faith is such a selling point of the school, then why do most families attend Mass at other parishes.
If you want a strict, cold, and institutional education for your child this is your school. My child made some great friends and is a year ahead but at what cost. We went to the school for 4 years and it got progressively worse over the years. Great new teachers are turned mean, defensive about you concerns, and ridged within a year. My child is going to public school (best in SA) this year, when I talked to an administrator they said they had really great teachers that make learning fun...never heard that at atonement. We had some good times at atonement but our last year was hell to get through. I give them 3 stars.
Where can a Catholic family go to have their children educated and nurtured after having had the benefit of homeschooling for several years? That was my looming question, and we were so happy to visit and have our kids at The Atonement for the past three years. We belong to another parish, but we love having our children learn about their Catholic heritage at the Atonement. They are getting a fabulous education, too. Our kids had to work hard the 1st year, but they caught up and are learning so much about time mgmt too. For our family, this school is where our middle and high school needs will be met: an accelerated, accredited education and has a great college acceptance record already. Yippee!
I have two children at the academy, and I am so very pleased with their growth as young Catholics & scholars. As others have indicated, the school is not for everyone: it is Catholic (daily Mass req.), kids have homework, schoolowrk, and discipline. For our family, it works well. Our kids get the 'warm & fuzzy' love at home, and we pay tuition for the rigorous academics and religious training. It saddens me that so many people blast away at the school when it is not a good fit. Wish they would realize that, like any relationship, it must be a good match and it takes prayer and patience and love to work!
We have four children attending the Atonement Academy; the two oldest for about 5 years and would not take them to any other school. Yes it was a difficult transition from public school because of the academic demands, but they are all doing very well. This is a scholl that challenges them academically as well as spiritually. It places responsibilities on them to be on time, dress properly, abide by the norms and be respectfull of others, just like normal society. Have been very fortunate since none of our children have ever had to spend time in detention or been disciplined due to attendance or poor behavior in school, and most of the families we know at the scholl would tell you the same. The school leadership is tops. While any organization is not without problems, they are Willing to listen and be proactive. The best Catholic school in SA.
We have two children going to school at Atonement this year, and we wish we had our money back! The school is very over-rated. Some of the PhD teachers are great, and it's obvious they are in the right place. These few teachers love their subject matter, and they love their students. It shows. However, having a school full of PhD teachers does not equate to superior education. The teachers that have defensively posted on this site are probably the same ones that are teaching my children. The ought to become humbled by the poor ratings on this site, instead of becoming so defensive. I give this school 3 stars for being average, because despite all the PhD's running around, they still manage to be under-performing. My expectations were much higher at the beginning of the year. Now I can't wait for summer to be here so we all get a break!
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