Sending our daughter to Junior Kindergarten at St. Catherine's has been one of the best decisions we've made. She has matured socially, is more confident and engages more in cooperative play with her friends. This is a huge change from her previous year at preschool. She would sit at the craft table all day long. She was very focused, but didn't socialize much with her friends and wasn't interested in learning academic skills. This year has given her the chance to become a leader, grow, explore, discover and learn, her way, in a safe and nurturing environment. This very special year in JK has allowed her to explore her passions while sneaking in basic math/science/reading skills at the same time. Thanks to incredible teachers and a girl centered environment, she has flourished! She is now reading at a level D and has made a good start toward independent reading. Kindergarten, here she comes! The JK girls will always share a special bond that they carry with them throughout their entire academic life at St. Catherine's. I know it sounds cliche, but I truly believe that this year has been an incredible gift to her in so many ways, and I'm very sad to see it come to an end.
St. Catherine's School has been such a wonderful place to work for the last seven years. As an office staff member, I am able to experience and observe our school on many different levels. From class room visits, professional development opportunities, chapels, working directly with our students and their families, and attending a variety of events, I see the amount of hard work that goes in to creating an incredible school. The parent volunteer opportunities are vast. We have teachers and staff that have stayed here for over forty years which says the world to me. I am constantly amazed at what our students are doing starting in JK. The program is challenging, yet the support that students receive is outstanding. Teachers come early and stay late to help students if they need it. They give individual attention to the girls and their families and work tirelessly to make sure each child is excelling and comfortable. Our entire school, from the Head of School, Board Members, Divisions Directors, Faculty and Staff, is constantly researching and embracing best educational practices through conferences, books, parent and student feedback and more to ensure that we do our best.
Our daughter has been a Lower School student at St. Catherine's for 3 years, and we could not be happier. The school's focus on educating girls, the high caliber of the teachers and staff, and the warm, welcoming community have all made our experience at St. Catherine's a wonderful one. When we moved to Richmond 3 years ago, we looked at many different options - both public and private - and we're thrilled with our choice. Our friends with older daughters at St. Catherine's say great things about the Middle and Upper School experiences as well, so we look forward to many more years at the school.
This is without a question the best investment we have made in our daughters' future. They love learning and each year seem to be more engrossed and interested in their studies. Their exposure to music, art, athletics and community service gives them the advantage of discovering new things about themselves and becoming confident, well-rounded citizens.
My daughter started at St. Catherines with Junior Kindergarten and is now in First Grade. My husband and I have been nothing less then thrilled with her development and progress. The teachers have all taken the time to learn the specific interests of their students and incorporated the specific interests within the lesson plans. I'll admit I was doubting the ability of learning two foreign languages starting in Kindergarten but my daughter is so motivated and interested. She comes home and teaches us! Having a son, I can see first hand how boys and girls learn differently. St. Catherines puts so much thought and research into creating an environment for girls to be their individual best. Currently my daughter is very interested in math and science so the rapidly expanding STEAM initiative and new Science Building is particularly exciting.
My kids have attended public and private in Richmond. At a celebrated public elementary, I found crowded classrooms, behavior issues, and teachers who were forced to 'teach to the test.' Too many students, state requirements, SOLs, etc. left little time for teachers to really know our kids. After 1 year, we made some really tough choices and dramatic lifestyle changes in order to enroll our kids at St. Catherine's & St. Christopher's. I can't begin to describe how happy it has made us. Each child is known and - at the first parent/teacher conference in the Fall, my daughter's teacher talked about my daughter as if she had known her for years, unlike the perfunctory conference at her other school. Kids are exposed to experiences and offerings that aren't possible in public school, including a wide variety of speakers, workshops, field trips, multiple foreign languages, and interactions with students from all divisions. STC gives the time and flexibility for these teachers to know my kids and tailor their teaching to the kids, and drive the learning from what excited the kids - not what the legislators say must be taught. I am incredibly grateful that my daughter is there.
My daughter is in her second year at St. Catherines and is flourishing. We looked at the 3 private schools and we are so glad we selected St. Catherines. We were and still are very impressed with the administration and how present themselves on a daily basis. Our daughter has made many friends and so have my husband and I. I continued to be impressed with the diversity of the students and staff. My second child will be attending next year and we can't wait to watch her grow into a well rounded, self confident member of society.
I am sorry but St. Catherines was not for me. The girls there were disrespectful and completely mean. I of course was not the perfect blonde with a family that made over 1 million dollars a year, so I was not that popular. The teachers were even crazy and quite insane. My sister even had an incident where her friend got pushed into a locker by some of the popular girls, and she was the one that got in trouble, not the popular girls because their parents had payed enough money for her to get ahead in life and not get in trouble. I am sorry but this is true, St. Catherines is a school for girls that just lets girls get ahead in life with money and popularity rather than actually intelligence.
St. Catherine's was the best decision my parents ever made for me. After being on the waiting list for six years, I was extremely resistant to the idea of leaving public school, so they told me if I didn't like it after a year I could leave. After one day at STC there was no turning back! I loved every moment of my four years there and wish I had been able to attend for 13 years. My writing abilities were praised, my math abilities were helped, and my biology teacher made up a song to teach us the human body. I received an invaluable education, had access to passionate teachers and college counselors, played new sports, pursued my love of dance, and made some of the best friends I could ever ask for. STC staff told my class we had the biggest 5-year reunion in over 10 years. St. Catherine's and its traditions will always have a special place in my heart.
We chose St. Catherine's for our daughter after concern over the large class sizes in the Chesterfield Cty. school she attended. It was absolutely the right decision for our daughter and the school is everything we hoped it would be. They are equally focused on a building important academic foundations in math, reading and writing - with appropriate individualized attention - as well on layering on enrichment activities to keep the girls engaged on every level. Great community and great experience!