This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Paul's Academy5
Posted December 04, 2014
- a parent
I am a parent of a Kindergartener at St. Paul's and I have been so impressed with the school so far! The teachers are incredible! Not only do both of the kindergarten teachers really understand my son and work daily to help him grow academically, emotionally and socially, they are also very transparent, caring and willing to discuss my concerns and questions at any time. My son comes home daily saying how much he loves school and is so excited about what he has learned. My son had no interest in learning to read before kindergarten and has already begun basic reading after only 3 months... the best part is that his teacher is as excited about it as he and I are! Socially they do a great job of working with the kids to teach them how to resolve disputes and always address situations ASAP, they actually have a weekly class on feelings and how to handle emotionally laden situations. My son has a peanut allergy and they entire school has been so supportive and I really feel like they are all looking out for him. He is so proud to call St. Paul's his school!
St Paul's Academy has been an excellent school for my kids. We have been part of the lower school, the junior high, and the high school. At each grade level we found teachers and administrators who were interested in my children as individuals and who worked to stimulate the most growth and development my children were capable of. Small class sizes are used to great benefit at St Paul's. The school is well supported financially by the families that attend and the larger Whatcom community. The opportunities for sports and extracurricular activities are somewhat different because of the smaller size, but I think my children have had more opportunities to participate (as "average" kids, they aren't sports stars!) than they would have at other schools.
Bellingham is so fortunate to have St. Paul's Academy! I am grateful to be able to send my children (ages 10 and 12) to St. Paul's for many reasons, but most important to me is the unwavering support and guidance they receive from the teachers, administrators, students, and other parents. St. Paul's is a place where my kids are celebrated and supported for their individuality. This atmosphere allows them to think creatively and to explore and express their ideas and thoughts. Because of the small class size the teachers are able to really know my children and to support their learning in a unique and individual way. The teachers recognize their particular strengths and are also able to better guide them in areas of weakness. My oldest, just completed 6th grade. Her teachers were universally full of passion for the subjects they taught and have sparked in her an even greater thirst for knowledge and learning. She participated in Middle School sports (Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field) and was compassionately mentored by 7th and 8th grade teammates (and coaches) in a way that positively impacted her self-confidence and enabled her to grow. We are very grateful!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.