We have absolutely loved St. Francis. I have a preschooler and a second-grader, and highly recommend the school. The staff are so warm and friendly, and the kids love the principal, teachers and friars. We are a military family and only stationed in the area for a year, but our kids were welcomed immediately and never felt like outsiders. Highly recommend.
My daughter attended St. Francis and has gone on to do very well. The teachers all have advanced degrees and excellent credentials. They really care about the students and are continually implementing advanced learning techniques. The comment about the class size is true, some of the classes are large but in K-5 there are two teachers per classroom which is a student to teacher ratio much better than most schools. The middle school students are split many times. The math classes may be split three ways allowing for individual attention. The classes are active, meaning that an unknowing parent may interpret it as not being controlled. Being a teacher myself, I recognized the group interaction, hands-on learning and allowance for children to actively learn. Never had a problem with bullying, very active anti-bully program. Would highly recommend this highly nurturing environment.
The teachers and principal are amazing and positively responsive, the office staff is incredibly kind and helpful, the policies and procedures have me confident that my children are in the best school we could select for them. I'm impressed with the level of difficulty they are being taught and that it is taught so well that they are excelling at it. The main classrooms are very full but with two teachers with advanced degrees in the classroom they are receiving an excellent education. Also this is only for the main classroom, for such classes as art, computers, science lab, etc., where more assistance and individualized explanation may be needed the class is split in two. One group to art, one group to science lab... In this environment the teacher to child ratio is better than you can find elsewhere in the area. Clubs and activities are suprisingly numerous and are offered to the earliest grade levels. The religious teachings and fathers are joyful. The cafeteria provides many options of wonderful freshly prepared meals everyday. Aftercare is flexible and incredibly inexpensive. Parent involvement is phenominal. I could go on but I'm out of characters...
I have had 4 of my 5 children graduate from St. Francis of Assisi. I can speak from experience that EVERY private school is going to stress fundraising....it is how they keep their doors open! Previously, our children attended Montfort Academy in Fredericksburg and had almost identical class sizes. I take issue with anyone who writes that there is a lack of qualified teachers. Most, if not all of my children's teachers were there throughout all the time my children attended and almost all had advanced degrees or were working towards them. There was always a nurturing and caring environment offered to the children and academic excellence was always sought. Prayer, community, and a wonderful, spiritual presence from the Friars was a daily occurence. I cannot agree with the negative comments on this site. While some teachers were better than others, I always felt our concerns were addressed by the principal and the faculty. I feel blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful school and parish.
As a family who had to move due to parental reassignment, I just wanted to reach back and affirm how well St. Francis set my children up for success. My 8th and 6th graders have been advanced 2 grade levels beyond their new classmates in math. The science classes they had there had MUCH more stringent requirements - so that my children now know practically everything they are being "taught" - even though the school they are in now is pretty advanced for the region. With 4 elementary school children, I can say without a doubt that St. Francis really set my family up well academically and spiritually.
I agree the classrooms are crowded, but with two teachers in each of the elementary grades, the children are well managed. My children have attended public schools, DoD schools, and International Schools. St. Francis has, by far, provided the best education and support for them. I have found nothing but support, compassion, love, and willingness to work for our children from the principal, teachers, and staff. No matter where your children attend school, the more involved you are as a parent, the better off they'll be. The school provides a strong Christian foundation intertwined with a superior academic education. We have been St. Francis parents for 3 years and have children currently spread between Kindergarten and Eighth grade.
My kids have always attended private school however please adhere to what the reviews are. This school is by far the worst school my kids have attended. The Children are unrully, and bully other kids all the time. It seems that most of the kids belong to the teachers at the school therefore if you have a problem with a teachers child you get targeted by their parent or a friend of the teacher when your child gets to her class. The principle is there as a figure head and thats about it. What ever you report she tries to appease you but not fix the problem. The work being done by the upper grades are a joke compared to what the kids are doing in the public school. Overall, i am so dissapointed with this school that i am pulling my kids out . A lot of parents are too.