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St. Thomas More Cathedral School

Private | PK-8 | 398 students

STM seeks to foster learning in a safe, faith-filled nurturing environment.

 
 

Living in Arlington

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $425,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,750.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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40 reviews of this school


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Posted Friday, September 12, 2014

The school has hired some good new teachers in the past several years. They have, however grown beyond their capacity to handle increased enrollments. Last school year they had grown to just over 400 students. This year they have grown even more and really don't have the space. A planned expansion is dependent on a funding campaign that seems to be progressing slowly. Teachers are less able to handle to growing class sizes; some long-time families are leaving as a result.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 8, 2014

this school has really helped my middle school child grow. The teachers have really taught my child how to experience life at the fullest. I must disagree with some of the other posts because saint Thomas more has become a nurturing place for my child. My child has always been bright and has now paved his future. I believe that the current principal was overwhelmed by all of the good things that the previous principal has done that she didn't know how she could finish them! Over this past year she has proven herself to be more than worthy of her principal title. She welcomed us with open arms to the school and has given my son a personal tour of the school. Saint Thomas more is a once in a lifetime opportunity for your child to grow religiously and academically. There is no possible way this school could get any better! Their classes are rigorous and challenging yet my child still knows what he is doing. I wish my child would've went to this school since he was in Preschool
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 25, 2014

What I saw happen at STM - after being there for many years - was an increase in enrollment (due to much hard work by the prior principal and parents) and a current principal who completely lacks the leadership and administrative abilities to handle it. We saw increased class sizes, involved families leave, teacher turnover, teachers who seemed to be stressed and unhappy and disgruntled parents who pulled their kids out of school mid year. We felt like it went from a small, happy community to a large bureaucracy, and that is why we finally left. We are very happy at a smaller, well run, Catholic school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 11, 2014

Sad to see this happen.... This school has some great qualities but I agree with some of the previous posts, administration doesn't really seem to care, and if they show they care its really done in a condescending way. Part of teaching children does sometimes involve shaming but not to the extent that they do it at this facility. Punishment or disciplinary action often is extreme when compared to the behavioral infraction. Some of the expectations about behavior are unrealistic for age groups. The academics and the teacher involvement is stellar but the way they handle behavioral problems is disappointing. I can understand why several parents have removed their children as stated in previous reviews here. I remember another parent removing one of her children one year and the next she removed the other two. There exists a rigidity and unwillingness to see things another way. Some of the shaming that they do towards children unfortunately extends to the adults as well which is inappropriate. You don't conduct yourself that way with parents who are responsive and do their best to work with you because they care a great deal. They're ruining school as a fun place to learn and grow.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 17, 2013

Few involved parents, Principal who either doesn't listen or doesn't care about serious parent concerns (regardless, they remain unresolved), teachers who humiliate children and, in one case, puts her hands on them as a form of "correcting" their behavior. Strict is one thing, abusive is another. Small classrooms reflective of exodus of families. The Diocese (and parents) should really expect more of The Cathedral School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 11, 2013

I m pleased with the education my children have received and I can t say enough about how dedicated and caring their teachers have been. I love the pride they have in their students, and appreciate the extra time they've spent to address special concerns. Parents asked for after school enrichment classes. It happened. My kids love The Science Seed, Drama, Tiny Chefs, and Lego Robotics. We haven't tried Yoga or Chess. Parents asked if we could help in the classroom more, and that happened. I ve set up math games, helped with a Halloween party and supervised in the Computers classroom while students learn about the satellite they re building. Yes, it s a Catholic school with strict rules, and that s what we wanted. It s also a place where manners count and values matter. I like the way you meet any middle school student and you're greeted with a handshake, direct eye contact and a polite introduction. btw, the largest elementary school class is 3rd grade: 23 students. The largest middle school classes are 6th and 7th grades: 28 each. Like others who posted, we could send our kids anywhere, but we are happy with our choice to send them to St. Thomas More.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 12, 2013

What an awful place. The principal is a horrible administrator, has no clue what's happening in the classrooms. She is unwilling to address parent feedback or to make proposed changes. Suggestions are viewed as criticism/attacks on the way they do things. The teachers and principal shame the kids. The things some of the teachers say to the kids have left me slack-jawed. There is no respect or appreciation for the students. It doesn't even seem like anyone who works here LIKES kids. What a mess. Those who stay do so saying, "This is the devil we know," fearful of leaving here and ending up in another lion's den. Not likely they'd find a worse school. The same parents volunteer for everything and end up getting burnt out. There is no enthusiasm to participate in anything and the PTO is a joke. Can't believe we stayed as long as we did. My kids were emotionally scarred at this place and are SO happy elsewhere.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2013

Horrible, horrible principal. Now that we are gone and experiencing a well run school, I can't believe we didn't leave earlier.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 24, 2013

Our daughter just finished Pre-K at STM and absolutely thrived. We moved her to STM mid school year because our daughter would cry for 30 minutes every time we dropped her off at school. Her first day at STM she went right into her classroom with a smile and it stayed that way all year! Amazing teachers, we love the "specials" (music, gym, computer, art, library, Spanish) and as a whole the school has been incredible. Even the pre-schoolers got to participate in the satellite that STM is sending to space next year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 26, 2013

Our child is thriving now that he has left STM. The environment at STM is not friendly and the administration is standoffish.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 13, 2013

I have three children currently enrolled in this school and have been sending my children here for years. The teachers are absolutly terrific, continually going the extra mile for our kids. The school community has embraced the current adminstration's desire to ensure that the technology available to the students is second to none. The school recently renovated their computer lab, installed wifi in the entire school, added technology and numerous books to its library, while still maintaining a strong commitment to art and PE. The school's pre-k and K programs are notoriously good. The school has teacher sponsored after school book clubs in the upper grades and competes annually in the battle of the books. The school has groups competing in an underwater robotics program developed by MIT - SeaPearch - and has partnered with NASA to have an experiment launched as part of an upcoming satelite - CubeSat. The school has an award winning band program open to all students beginning in the fourth grade and about half the students participate. Students at all levels perform well on standardized tests and are often awarded scholarships to attend private high schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 20, 2012

Based on my experience, my kids have grown to embrace and enjoy learning and believe a significant factor is the environment that STM fosters. STM provides a great community and positive environment thanks to the quality of teachers and staff. It is truly a special place for kids to learn from an academic and social perspective.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2012

We have been sending our child to STM for years and we are 100% happy with the school. We give STM high marks on quality of education, quality of teachers and administration, parent involvement, responsiveness, kindness of students, communication, safety and future direction of the school. We have many wonderful options for places to send our child to school. We send our child (and will send our other children) to STM because, year after year, we continue to be thoroughly pleased with the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 17, 2012

Our child has been at STM since pre-K. We are thoroughly pleased with the direction of the school both academically and spiritually. His teachers have shown a true dedication to his education and development. We could send our child to any school we like, however, we chose STM because of the administration and teaching staff. I have never found the staff to be unresponsive, in fact, I feel they do an excellent job keeping parents updated on happenings within the school. Our child will remain at STM through the 8th grade.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 15, 2012

I have to agree with the previous two posts. Our child attended this school from Pre-K through 3rd grade. Some teachers are great, especially the new ones, but the administration stifles parent involvement, is indecisive, and not committed to improving the quality of the education or the experience for the children. The predominant attitude from the administration is "we have a waiting list to attend." The administration is riding on the merits of the previous administration and the blue ribbon rating... the whole attitude of the school changed with the current administration.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 22, 2012

With a few exceptions, teachers are dedicated. The few that aren't will remain, because the principal does not listen to parents when they express real concerns and documented evidence of poor teaching. We have been a long time family here, and are looking for a new school. I agree with the poster below, the focus is on numbers of children enrolled, school expansion, and rigidity when it comes to rules. The current principal lacks leadership, and compassion for parents or for kids. We are sad to leave, but feel there is no alternative.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2011

My youngest child continues to thrive at this terrific school. His outstanding standardized test scores objectively illustrate what a great job the teachers are doing. The students are happy and respectful and graduates do well in high school and college. The parents are friendly and very active. It is a great community!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2011

I'm an alum of the school and currently have my son enrolled at STM. He began here in PreK and loves it. He's had a wonderful experience as have we. The teachers are very professional and approachable. He's come a long way the last few years and truly enjoys going to school. His progress ties directly to the attention he has received from his teachers. We are pleased that he's in such good hands. We clearly made the right decision with St. Thomas More.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2011

I am an alum of the school and received a excellent education. I decided to send my child here from K through 8th grade and recommend this school to others. My son now attends a highly competitive University and majors in International Business. He has commented that the study and note-taking skills learned at the elementary grade level from St. Thomas More teachers helped him in high school and now at University.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 16, 2011

Wonderful school! Updated computer lab with touch screens, caring staff & terrific faculty, many with Master degrees. Students go on to excellent high schools and have received acceptances to Johns Hopkins, Brown, University of Virginia, William & Mary.
—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.

Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

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

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Media arts
  • Graphics
Clubs
  • Drama club
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
Clubs
  • Cooking club
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Kathy Swinehart
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Roman catholic
Associations
  • NCEA

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • STEM
  • Standards-based
  • learning is a cooperative experience inv
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
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
  • School shares bus/van with other schools
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
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Sports

Boys sports
  • CYO Sports
Girls sports
  • CYO Sports

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • Graphics

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Book/reading club
  • Chess club
  • Cooking club
  • Drama club
  • Robotics club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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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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105 North Thomas Street
Arlington, VA 22203
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 528-6781

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