This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Ann Elementary School5
Posted March 31, 2015
- a parent
If you are looking for a faith-based school with great academic performance while still creating well rounded (great arts/music offerings, strong PE program, competitive sports teams, interactive technologies) students - St. Ann is, in my opinion, the best option in Arlington. My child is in 4th grade and has thrived in this community and we are happy to take advantage of all the varied opportunities provided. Additionally, St. Ann school is a strong, tight-knit community of parents, teachers, students, the parish and the administration that I feel is a second family for me and my child.
I have 2 children at this wonderful school. My children have become stronger in their faith since coming to this school and often give me kind ideas on how to ask God for help when things are stressful. Several things that set this school apart. -The hands-on science lab kids use from k-8 -Chromebooks in the upper grades -Lots of PE, recess (on a playground) and opportunities to move (for my wiggly boy) -Some of the homework is online so my kids aren't losing worksheets every day! -For my musical kid, there is a choir, an advanced band, a really nice music room, and a variety show (wrote own act) -For my for AAP kid (we left that), chess, lego robotics, STEM activities, family science night -For us, nice parents who are also our neighbors. We looked at a few schools where everyone was kind of scattered and we were getting on 495 for play dates. Lots of people walk to school events, and are friends outside of school. -For all of us, great teachers who really, really understand our needs as a family and can help diverse learners like my kids.
This school has taught my son NOTHING! He is learning material he has learned in the third grade! Many of the teachers are too old to teach and have no passion for it. There is a small class size but they are very racially biased. So the only people they would pay attention to are from a certain race.
St. Ann's is a close-knit, nurturing place. The physical plant is meager, but if that's what you prize in a school, no Catholic school in Arlington will impress you. What impressed us on our first visit as parents of a five-year-old 11 years ago: the kind, well-mannered, well-spoken, thoughtful, funny, and smart 8th graders who opened doors and answered our questions at the open house. With one kid having gone K through 8th there and two more doing the same, we've had our bumps and bruises along the way. But St. Ann's has proven to be a wonderful little Catholic school and community. Eight years of it produces a precious commodity: a 14-year-old you'd be proud to call your own, well-prepared to succeed in the area's best high schools, well-grounded in the virtues, and habitually kind to his or her fellows. Plus, St. Ann's beats St. Agnes like a rug, which is nice.
St. Ann School is a hidden treasure in Arlington, VA. The church and pastor are very supportive of the school. The principal and teachers have made numerous improvements to the school in just the past couple of years in terms of academics (Lab Learner science curriculum, computers, etc.) and enrichment (expanding after school opportunities for arts and music, mentoring program). The class sizes are small and children receive individual attention. The teachers are innovative. The school was also recognized in 2011 as a Department of Education Blue Ribbon School. It is a close knit and welcoming community and the school encourages parental involvement and feedback.
St. Ann is a really excellent school. We looked hard at St Thomas More, St Charles, St Agnes and McKinley when choosing a school but we liked St Ann the best. The academics are equal or superior to any of the others (test scores and 2011 Blue Ribbon Award are an indication of that). The smaller class sizes mean a better student-teacher ratio, plus there is an effort to integrate all the kids preK-8 (e.g., buddy system for events). The teachers are very good and totally dedicated to their students. Parents are very involved in supporting the school and volunteer work, plus you really feel like you have a say as a parent. The graduating kids go to Gonzaga, Visitation, O'Connell, etc. Since the new prinicipal joined a few years ago, there has been a steady influx of the latest educational tools (e.g., Science Lab Learner), too. The kids are really well-behaved, good kids with great study habits and few discipline problems. St Ann isn't as fancy as some other schools in this relatively upscale area, but it is the most solid place to send our kids. I read the one critical review below and I just don't get it. St Ann really is a nurturing learning community with shared values.
St Ann's in now a Blue Ribbon School (2011). The Blue Ribbon program is an extemely stringent process, which honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels. The is how the Dept of Ed identify's and disseminates knowledge about best school leadership and teaching in the U.S. This honor says it all! One of the areas St. Ann was lacking were hot lunches. They now have a hot, healthy lunch program! Great programs, staff and students, love this place! Where else can you find a kindergarten teacher with a PhD?!
We absolutely love this school, and are very happy that we decided upon St Ann's for our children. The academics are strong (we like the computer lab and new science program especially) and we know our kids are getting a great education. The school community is great, and we've made very close friends among the other parents. There is a sense of togetherness among the families (probably because it's a Catholic school, and also because it's small) that you simply don't find at many other schools. The school is fairly small, so the kids get a lot of individual attention. That said, it certainly would be nice if the school was bigger, and I would advise any parent to strongly consider St Ann for their children. We simply love this school.
I really started my child here because of the other reviews. These people had very different experiences than I have had this year. My daughter had attended other Catholic Schools prior to St Ann and this was by far the weakest in terms of academics, social opportunities, and school community. We really know no other families, despite having volunteered for several events and signing up for others. I did meet a few people, but it was very fleeting conversation. As for instruction, I don't think it was very strong overall. There may be a few times when challenge and learning took place, but these were rare. It could be a much better school. I think it has amazing potential. I was just hoping for a nice, close knit school where people really work together. What We found was just skating by.
I absolutely love teaching at St. Ann's School. We are a small school with big results. One parent mentioned to me that their child is almost getting private tutoring with out small class sizes. Check out our web site at http://www.stann.org for more information.