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St. Paul's Academy

Private | PK-12 | 375 students

We are best known for college prep curriculum.

 
 

Living in Bellingham

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $240,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $820.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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24 reviews of this school


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Posted July 14, 2014

Our family has been involved with St. Paul's for 13 consecutive years now and we still love it! We have found paying tuition to be a financial strain, some years more than others, but have continued to make the commitment to stay because we feel it is giving our kids the best educational cornerstone possible. We have told our three kids that we will not be funding their college tuition, and feel that the foundation that they have been given at SPA will give them the ability to study hard in high school, achieve good grades/SAT scores and earn scholarships. We love the small class sizes, the wonderful teachers and staff and the ability to stay in close communication with the people/staff who are teaching our children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 20, 2014

I love this school. My children didn't go to SPA, but I often wonder what it would have been like for them to attend school in such a loving, welcoming environment that fosters individualized education and community service. The students, staff, and parents are all part of a great whole that creates a positive, uplifting experience for those involved. I would wish this kind of schooling for every child.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted May 20, 2014

My older son has absolutely loved SPA! He has had wonderfully engaged teachers which in turn has made him an eager student. The small class sizes are what original attracted us, but the school has offered us more than just that. Classroom/teacher collaborations, guest art teachers, a new strong music program for the intermediate grades, have create a stronger school program. We have had setbacks with a continuous change in leadership, but that seems to have stopped and a strong School Head has emerged and I am sure the rest will start to fall into place.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2014

Our family is in our 7th year with St. Paul's Academy. Our daughter started with 3 Year Old preschool and is now in 4th grade. She is extremely happy at St. Paul's Academy. She loves the small class size and that each person in her grade is a friend. She especially enjoys the specialty programs offered at SPA (Spanish is her favorite) and the experiential field trips. As parents, we appreciate the attention our daughter and all students receive from the teachers and administration. Each student's needs are assessed and addressed and then parents, teachers, and staff work together as a team. The strength of the diversity at St. Paul's Academy is what really sets it apart from other schools in the Bellingham area. The families at the school come from several different ethnic and/or religious backgrounds. Every faith (or non-faith) is welcome and celebrated. In fact, it enriches the lives of the students learning the different customs and traditions of others.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2014

We have had our oldest daughter at Saint Paul's Academy in Bellingham, WA for five years now. We intend to send our young son there as well. I'm not sure I could even imagine a better place to send our daughter. The instruction is excellent, the parental involvement is truly exceptional, the small class size and individual instruction is truly a motivating factor in our re-enrollment each year. The tuition, which is about 1/3 the cost of a comparable school in Seattle or San Francisco, is low enough that this could be a clear reason to relocate to the Columbia neighborhood in Bellingham, WA. Best of all, the student body, staff, and parents create a truly friendly, accessible community that welcomes all different types of parental participation. So many problems in a parent's life are solved when they realize they are sending their children to a safe, well-administrated environment with truly caring teachers and a gentle, well-behaved student body. The fact that the school is located in an urban neighborhood close to our residence that we can walk to has made our educational experience here remarkable.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2014

Our daughter is in her 4th year at St. Paul's and we are extremely happy with the school. We transferred her from a nearby public school district (which is ranked as one of the highest in the area) after becoming dissatisfied from an academic standpoint (the math and chess team trophies in the lobby of St. Paul's said a lot about the importance of academics at the school). The small class sizes are a tremendous "plus" for the school. Our daughter is doing work in math and Spanish that is two grade levels above the standard public school curriculum. In addition, the music, art and literature/writing programs are exceptional. One last important comment: we have been uniformly happy with the faculty - in addition to being excellent teachers, they get much more time to actually teach since small class sizes translate to (1) more one-on-one time with students and (2) few/no discipline issues in the classroom.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 12, 2013

The small class sizes and individualized attention brought us to St. Paul's 4 years ago. We have been so happy with all of their teachers, including; PE, Spanish, and Music. I also appreciate the moral values that are taught in Chapel. The children who attend the school respect each other, and work together nicely. There is no perfect school, but I feel the needs of my children have been met, and the teachers work as a team with the parents to help make that happen. It is a wonderful learning environment for the whole child, not just academically. We look forward to many more years as Knights at SPA!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 19, 2012

I cannot disagree with the previous post strongly enough. I'm not sure of the relationship the person has with the school, but my experience has been that every staff member is professional and does their best to serve the kids at St. Paul's. My children have attended St. Paul's for three years and we have all been very happy there. Yes it's a struggle for us financially, but it's an easy decision - worth every penny!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 13, 2012

My child has attended SPA for the past seven years. Yeah, there has been some issues over the years, but nothing out of the ordinary. I feel my child is getting a superior education, well worth the money spent. I am a former teacher and I feel the school's curriculum is very good. The teachers, administration & staff are wonderful. A great college prep school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 16, 2012

SPA offers a breath of fresh air after spending time in the public system. My child loves to go to school and is being challenged. The teachers are creative, weaving various subjects together, and go out of their way in support of the students. SPA offers a wonderful and supportive learning community in which my child is thriving academically & socially. And, yes, the class sizes are small.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 21, 2011

Curriculum is so-so but perhaps best in this community, small class sizes but agree with previous reviewers; lack of challenge and traditional approach.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 19, 2011

Tried SPA this year. Found the curriculum set to maximize to "state norms", lacking individual attention and creativity. The math curriculum was ineffectual at meeting our children's need for a higher level of math instruction. Curriculum was lacking in both math and sciences. Our daughter experienced early peer issues that we did not feel the teacher was very engaged in facilitating resolution. Traditional education approach; oublic school education at private school prices. Small class size is the only variable different from public. When we opted to exit before the end of the school year, the administration was only concerned with our payments and did not even question our motives to leave.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 9, 2011

This is our 6th year at St. Pauls. It is a good fit for our child and our family. We are going through a transitional period and the parents who are involved are very dedicated to supporting our kids, the mission of the school and our faculty. Without exception, our teachers are incredible! Small class sizes are important to us and we get that at St. Paul's. Any social problems (dare I say bullying?) are dealt with immediately in a constructive manner...it's just not allowed. I agree with the comments below regarding the payment of tuition for a full year even if the school is not a good fit. I think this policy needs revisiting...and I'm sure it could be revisited if people complain about it enough. St. Paul's really makes a point to change things that aren't working...and we, as parents, get to voice our opinion. No school is perfect - St. Pauls is perfect for our family...that's what matters to us.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 3, 2010

I agree with a previous parent's review. Being made to pay for a whole years tuition, when a child is a poor fit for this school, is a true hardship on a family and does not represent true christian values and compassion toward others. The head of the school should discuss this with the parents and help in making a decision best for the individual child. By the way - my child has excelled in Public School since leaving St. Paul.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 17, 2010

I have not been impressed with public school options in Washington State, or the other local private schools, so we enrolled our daughter at St. Paul's--this is now her second year. It is a solid academic program and the most "college prep" of any school in the county. Great teachers so far, parents are so involved it is a little scary. There has been some turmoil at the top dealing with funding of the high school, but the dust seems to have settled on that. I would definitely recommend this school to other parents.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2009

St. Paul's is a great school! For the first time, my child is being challenged academically. Teachers are superior - caring and competent. The principal only hires the best. Class sizes are low and teachers meet the academic needs of students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 13, 2009

Our Daughter started at SPA this year and we love it. She is being challenged academically in new ways and is loving being part of a small dynamic environment. I searched high and low for a school for my child and feel that St Paul's is the perfect place for any student looking for small classes, involved teachers and parents and a strong academic program. I disagree with the previous reviewer's post about similarity to public school - it is head and shoulders above the PS program in Bellingham in my opinion.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2009

I can't emphasize enough that St. Paul's is a school to be extremely cautious of. While some teachers are excellent and deserve high praise, the administration undermines their ability to create a cohesive learning environment. The school fired an excellent teacher mid-year without cause and brought in a replacement a huge disruption to student learning. While the school purports to be a christian school it lacks compassion for families in need and makes no exceptions in their contracts even with many months notice and in cases of extreme financial crisis or when the school is incapable of meeting the needs of students that require extra services. Some teachers have excellent communication while others wait until the last week of school to report serious learning deficiencies in student progress (thus making it impossible to withdraw students that require special services). Their curriculum is nearly identical to that of the public schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 12, 2009

I've just read a comment posted on June 17 related to Saint Paul's Academy from a disgruntled parent. I absolutely disagree! I am extremely satisfied with the small class sizes, and careful attention to each student's needs. My two daughters graduated from middle school at St. Paul's Academy and are now attending high school, at Bellingham High School. Regrettably at this time SPA does not have grade 12 yet. My daughters are doing extremely well in public school, due to the fine education, and attention to detail they gained at SPA.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 27, 2009

St. Paul's is an excellent school. With fewer than 15 students per class, but more than 30 per grade, my children have received lots of individualized attention and instruction, and yet have a large enough group of potential friends. Parents are all highly motivated, which means that kids are well-prepared and there are lots of volunteers. All the teachers my children have had have been outstanding. I have heard of some teachers that were not so good, but it is a lot easier to remove them than it would be with subpar teachers in public schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 77% 60%
Two or more races 14% 6%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 7%
Hispanic 2% 20%
Black 1% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Best in Bellingham - Private Schools (2009)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen

Gifted & talented

Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Summer college prep programs
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Lily Driskill
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Episcopal
Associations
  • NAES
Fax number
  • (360) 734-1882

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Summer college prep programs
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Monitor the playground
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$3000 - $7000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
Community college courses
SAT/ACT prep classes
Summer college prep programs
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

1509 Victor Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Website: Click here
Phone: (360) 733-1750

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