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!
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!
I am not a parent or a student. I do have to deal with this school in a professional manor. All I can say is that they are consistantly rude, self-entitled, judgmental, impatient and all together not professional. I would never send my children to a school that built a professional reputation like that.
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.
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.
Curriculum is so-so but perhaps best in this community, small class sizes but agree with previous reviewers; lack of challenge and traditional approach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
St. Paul's does require parents to pay a full year's tution no matter what the reason for withdrawl of the student. No school is ever perfect for every student or family. By requiring parents to pay no matter the reason, the school applies financial pressure on families to keep their child in a school which is not a good fit for the student. Some penalty for withdrawl prior to year end is common and understandable. Full enforcement is a warning sign to beware of.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have had children enrolled at St Paul's for the last 13 years. My son started with pre-k, and the 'one room church' Building, the option of the small class sizes, full-time kindgarden, and religious element was very appealing, one terefic year led to another, and my son stayed through 5th grade, then moved successfully to public school. My daughter who also started in pre-k will be in 8th grade in St Paul's upper school and is looking forward the England trip, has loved the school, been challenged academically, and continued to grow not only academically but as a responsible member of this community. I am greatful for the the learning opportunity St Pauls has provided for my children
Overall, very disappointed with the quality of teachers, lack of communication in the class, very disorganized school. There are no clear rules or established modes of discipline. The classrooms are very small. Because of this, many student reading groups are in the common areas...very noisy and distracting. Children are piled on top of one another. For example, the school has expanded to middle and high school and those students lunch at the main campus, just outside the younger students classrooms. Very hard to learn when you have teenagers giggling and chatting just out your door. This year, many parents have expressed concern over the principals' negative interaction with students, poor judgment and decision making. True class sizes are smaller than public, but good teachers can manage larger classes and do fine. The teachers here are new and inexperienced and cannot manage a class.
St Paul's is a wonderful, warm school. Our child found the public school a lonely, cold place and St Paul's has been the exact opposite for our family. It is a warm, inviting school with a real sense of community. We are not religious, but it works for us because religion has stayed in the chapel. If we get teacher who begins to teach religion, we will have a problem but so far that hasn't happened.Recent growth has really overcrowded the school and I am hoping to see a plan to deal with that. Overall, I gladly pay my tuition and my children love going to school everyday. It is worth it!
Great school, very challenging academically. My kids love to go to school every day, grades 6 and 2. The classes are extremely small, the kids are nice. Teachers go above and beyond every day. Teaches morals but doesn't force religion down your throat. Parents are very involved. Not too many sports. Reading very strong, and math strong. Writing and hands on science and art -- need more.
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