My son came to St. Mary's for middle school only and we have loved it! The teachers are excellent, the curriculum challenging, and the community of parents and students welcoming and friendly. After attending public school, we welcome the spiritual aspect as well. Father Renniger does a wonderful job of reaching the students during Wednesday mass. We plan for our other children to attend St. Mary's for middle school.
Our family was greatly disappointed with Saint Mary's. As with every school, there are wonderful teachers and ones that need to go. Saint Mary's has both, but more of the latter. The school's principal is also heavily influenced by several families whose monetary contributions run deep into his pockets. Not much happens without their input. One person in the office staff also shares personal family information and seems to lose many applications. For the money, there are much better schools in Richmond.
This is a nice school that could be a lot better. The teachers are subpar as is the principal. There is selective enforcement of the "rules". The families form a wonderful community, however, and this is why we stayed. My children learned a lot in the lower grades (despite some ridiculous projects that could only be done with tons of adult help) by but grade 4 were bored with the curriculum (and overdone religion), tired of teachers who couldn't get it together, and irked by the gossipy office staff.
Excellent school - my sons have attended since 3rd and 1st grade, respectively, and we have had a wonderful experience. Bright peers, involved parents, and highly competent teachers some of whom could be successful university professors have worked to mold our sons into bright young men. I am pleased that they are graduating from this institution.
Our family LOVES St. Mary's! The school has been very supportive for all of our children. We feel like the school is a part of our family. Academically, our children are challenged and supported by the educators. The administration is thoughtful and consistently strives to provide a quality program based on the student's developmental needs and parent feedback. Our children are truly receiving an exceptional experience in a caring community!
I love this school! It's so good compared to my old school-public school. My parents say they are very impressed with the school and that everyone there is so envolved. I reccomend that you send your kids to Saint Mary's! I've had a wonderful experience.
Small Catholic private school. It is very challenging for the students, however it is not very Catholic. If you want a traditional Catholic School, this is not the one!
I am a student at Saint Mary's School, and honestly, I do not like it at all. Some of the teachers change when a certain quiz or test is constantly, and some of the teachers do not even teach the information, they just ask questions. Also some of the kids can be really mean, and it can lower your self-confidence. They make the students backpacks an overload, more than it should be. And they are way too tough on the kids. Yes, it's good to have some discipline, but several extra miles is way too much.
My children transferred to this school from a very 'prestigious' school in the Richmond area; I have found this school to be MUCH more demanding and overall much stronger academically. The overall personality of the school is extremely positive and my children, while their academic performance may not place them at the top of the class (their other school basically placed all the children at the top), have a noticeably increased level of confidence. There are not as many resources as other schools, and there is much more drillwork and an extreme amount of homework - I have found this to be helpful not so much in the academic sense but in the responsibility/ accountability realm - my children have to be responsible for their performance and relative consequences and they have learned more from this than from a school where everything appeared to be 'perfect'. I highly recommend the school
My kids have attended the school for a few years, and we have been very disappointed. The quality of the teachers varies widely--we have had both very good (demanding yet nurturing) and very poor (inexperienced, poor communicators , disorganized, unable to maintain class discipline, etc). Homework for 6-10 year olds can be 1-2 hours per night. All of my kids perform well but I worry that they spend virtually all of their time memorizing facts, not on higher order learning. The school does not share information including school-wide or grade-wide standardized test results on a timely basis so the parents do not know how the school performs overall. It's probably a decent school if your child needs a lot of structure, repetition, and basic drills. But a more creative or imaginative child would probably be bored and frustrated with the amount of rote memorization and busywork, and would do better elsewhere.
Demanding teachers and curriculum - if your child needs his/her hand held excessively, this is probably not the best environment. This is a school for students who are ambitious and who do not regret forgoing play time in favor of homework. Moreover, it is definitely not the educational extension of the country club concept. The results - HS valedictorians, International Baccalaureate, US Dept. of Education award - speak for themselves. I cannot think of a better school for my children, private or public, in the Richmond metropolitan area.
My children (first and third grade) are thriving at this academically-demanding and nurturing school. Their classmates are brilliant (consequently they have lost their first-in-class status held at previous schools) and they are challenged and taught both by the teachers and by their peers. They spend daily two hours or more on homework and they are blossoming intellectually and academically.
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