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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Horrible, horrible principal. Now that we are gone and experiencing a well run school, I can't believe we didn't leave earlier.
Good, but could be so much better. Parents are involved, but good teachers are leaving because of low pay and increased class size. The school principal seems to receive her direction from the parish and the diocese, for better or worse. The school wants to expand, but has increased class size without providing additional space. Teaching quality has suffered as a consequence of increased class size and teacher turnover. It seems sometimes that teaching responsibility is shifted to parents through homework that was not adequately covered during class time. On a positive note, the mentoring relationship between the older kids and the younger is outstanding. Our children are happy to go to school. The school would do well to follow its motto: "Strive to be More."
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.
Our child is thriving now that he has left STM. The environment at STM is not friendly and the administration is standoffish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The diversity... we have dozens of ethnic groups from all of the continents. The teachers unconditionally love our children. The administrators are doers... and open to change for growing.
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