We've been at the school for two years now and are starting our third year. We love the school, teacher's and community!
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.
I love St. Francis School because my grandchildren love it and are learning to love others and to love God.
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.
I like the feeling that my children are a bit more sheltered at St. Francis than at a public school.
I have found that due to very large class sizes, there is chaos and frequent lack of teacher control in the classroom. This school seems to have too many cliques and bullies among its student population. From my experience, the principal does not enforce discipline. My child needed tutoring to be at the level of his peers in public high school. There is no male presence at St. Francis. From the first day, you are informed of the dollar amount you must spend for the school's PTO. Membership is mandatory. School financing ranks first and foremost in the administration. I do, however, praise the pre-school at St. Francis. It is top-notch.
We transferred to St. Francis last academic year. We have found St. Francis to be a wholly welcoming and wonderfully healing community. Previous posts fail to give pertinent information. While class sizes are larger than traditional, there are 2 fully qualified, full-time teachers in each class through 5th grade. Discipline is not a problem as this means someone is always watching. We are a large family I speak here for our experience in fully of the grade levels. For 6th grade and up, there is 1 teacher for each class, and there is also an assistant who seems to be able to be everywhere at once. As for having no male presence, the many Franciscan friars who are in constant rotation through the school would be very surprised (and a little insulted, I d think) to hear this they are a true representation of Christlike Masculinity in the school.
We have two children at St. Francis School. They started in the PreK-3 program and have been through 3rd and 5th grades, respectively. They will return in the fall to the 4th and 6th grades. My personal experience with parochial schools goes back to my 1st grade through senior year HS. I attended several different schools around the country and I have found St. Francis to be a model community with an inviting and caring attitude toward all students from all backgrounds. The staff are generally excellent, with most holding master's and specialty degrees. With any school there will be occasional less qualified teachers, but the curriculum holds true to the diocesan requirements and those are definitely being met. Our children are ahead of the public school curve and will be comfortably ready to move on to HS in the future.
The class sizes are huge, and bad behavior is tolerated by most teachers. The principal is out of touch with students and parents. The curriculum is generally stringent, and the homework load overwhelming. I feel that I have to make up for instruction the kids don't get in the classroom because of misbehaving students. I am seriously considering a new school for my kids.
The class sizes were large, 35-37 students each year. My children were pulled out and sent to public middle school. Not all teachers are certified. The staff was not very Christian-like. I felt they were more concerned with the financial aspect of the school rather than the education of the student.
Classes are too large. No male presence in the school at all. Middle school teachers are generally not qualified teachers and do not like boys. Lack of order in classrooms and high tolerance for poor behavior.
My daughter has been a student at St. Francis for 7 years. We are a military family and have had a lot of experience with different schools for our 4 children. St Francis is by far the best. The class size is large but is very well managed by the extremely qualified teachers, most of whom have graduate degrees, and their full time aides. St Francis is like a family, my daughter feels like she has a special place at the school. Small enough that the teachers know all the children. There seem to be less discipline problems than at other schools.The staff really cares about all the children. St Francis students are very well prepared for high school and, thanks to a fantastic literature/writing teacher, all write well above average upon graduation. Can't praise it enough.
Our children have attended three elementary schools and this is by far the best. The Principal is a great manager/leader who works well with both the teachers and the parents. The teachers put the student s needs first. Our children feel challenged and loved. Yes, there is a waiting list (it was worth the wait) and it is indicative of the quality of the education delivered. Several of the teachers are overqualified. The class room is larger than we would like but the teachers in grade K-6 do have teacher aides / assistant teachers. Bottom line, this is a great school.
I have had 4 children attend St. Francis from pre-school. The elementary grades are very challenging, but very good. There is a strong emphasis on building personal responsibility, the general education is thorough, and I am pleased with the religious education. Two of my kids went on to high school and were prepared to handle a hig level of academic resposibility. Parental involvement is a must to support their personal growth responsiblity.
I have a child that went to pre-school this year at St. Francis. He absolutely loved going there and the pre-school teachers are wonderful. We aren't going to be going there for Kindergarten, but wanted to give a review based on pre-school. It's a very academic pre-school and my son learned quite a bit during his 2 years in the preschool. (3 year old and 4 year old programs). He's ready for Kindergarten and it's thanks to the program at St. Francis. I went to St. Francis for just one year as a child and I've always said it was the best year of my education. I would have continued if we hadn't moved.
My child attended 1 year. I was disappointed in the school but loved the church. The first day of school you are made aware of what your fundraiser quota is. They have many. The class sizes are huge. There were over 33 in the class my child was in. The teacher was unaware of my childs strengths and weaknesses. I had to point them out. I asked for extra help from the school (tutoring ect)they said they didnt have any resources at that time. I asked for extra work to be sent home so I could help her myself, and it took 1 1/2 weeks to get it and 2 notes. Not worth $345 a month. Bottom line...More concerned with how much money you raise for the school than education.
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