Saint Luke's has been a wonderful experience for my family! We moved to McLean a few years ago and the Saint Luke's community welcomed us with open arms.
Academics are top notch (Blue Ribbon school) and in line with our previous private school experience in another state. My children are working on subjects one level higher than the public schools. Parents are highly successful, intelligent and very involved in their kids and school life. Teachers have been there for years and love the school.
We are so happy with the school and our decision to send our kids there!
I have had four kids go to Saint Luke and the three who have graduated have excelled when they went into high school. They placed into the highest honor classes and skipped freshman English and Math where skipping is available. I disagree that the teachers do not prepare these students. Lower school is loving and nurturing. It is not rigorously academic but we send our kids there for the Catholicism and the community and faith formation. Middle School is incredible and academically rigorous. Our kids leave and get into the best high schools in the DC Metro area.
We were disappointed in St. Luke based on our children's experience with: behavior of some teachers (yelling), lack of fairness (some students given extra help by teachers or were prompted to go back & correct answers on tests but my child couldn't ask a question about the test), poor planning for teacher absences (non-educational movies shown during absent teacher's class time repeatedly because there was no plan in place), & lack of communication/ attentiveness by staff (issues not adequately addressed). Many people who left St. Luke told us their kids were behind when they entered new schools (public and private). We left & our kids who had received As and Bs at St. Luke, were behind at their new schools. We learned from our children that some of the teachers at St. Luke would allow students to finish timed tests after the time ran out. We learned that if many of the kids did poorly on a test, some of the teachers at St. Luke would have the class re-take the test. Our kids had to adjust to new standards & are now thriving at their new schools & we feel they are better served & won't have to catch up in high school. Academics and teacher quality are important to our family.
We have three children at St. Luke's and I have to say the school is simply incredible. The strong sense of community and involvement that others talk about is truly amazing. I remember when switching schools, we were struggling with where to send our oldest. But I have to say, hands-down, this was the right choice. In terms of the prior post, I'm not sure why they think the school has a hard time recruiting and keeping good teachers. I don't see this anymore of a problem then at any other school. One thing that I have enjoyed about St. Luke is that you can go in and meet with the teachers at any time. Ultimately, the choice between public and private is a personal choice. But I can tell you that St. Luke offers a very caring environment with high parent involvement. The academics seem to be on par with other institutions. The mark of success in all of this is that at the end of the day -- our children come home happy and look forward to going to school.
This school seems to have a hard time recruiting and keeping good, skilled teachers. Several good teachers are leaving this year. One teacher would not send our child's work home and we did not know what our child was learning. Our child said they often watched videos in this class and we feel this is lazy teaching. Public schools in the area have more to offer for students of all skill levels. St. Luke is small and does not have the resources that nearby schools have. We are disappointed and are leaving.
Saint Luke's is the type of school that every parent wants their child to attend. Excellent academics in a warm an nurturing environment. They really know the children so the approach is highly individualized. The sense of community among students, parents, faculty and staff is not comparable. I have had my children in FCPS, which are excellent, but Saint Luke's out matches the experience at every level. Then on top of all the comparable points my children are being educated in a beautiful, faith centered environment. I could not imagine a better school.
The big upside for the school is the community aspect. The public schools put enough pressure so that they maintain acceptable academic rigor, but they absolutely focus on the whole child. Every teacher knows every kid...it's nice. It's family. The biggest negative is that they struggle with those outside the norm...both the gifted and those requiring remedial instruction. Pushing the school to provide meaningful enrichment is a constant struggle. Grades 6-8 are the best academically. Although the grade 1 teacher is honestly the best in the land.
The community of parent volunteers and the great teachers who communicate often and know each child individually is what I love about this school. Our children thrive and they leave very well-prepared for high school and beyond. We love Saint Luke - the community, the education, the emphasis on kindness and the spirituality.
My son is in middle school at St. Luke and the teachers are really impressive. I feel that he will be prepared for higher level coursework in the core studies in high school. The new principal has infused the school with a very positive learning environment, the teachers are really happy to teach the kids, the parents are friendly and cooperative.