David Stone, June 20, 2011
Holy Family School is a Christ-centered PK-8th grade private Catholic school. We believe in helping young people develop their personal relationships with God while also obtaining an excellent academic foundation. As our school's new principal I pray that we will model God's love for us amongst one another. I believe in helping young people achieve success. I believe in the professionals and volunteers alike who work hard every day to help Holy Family. Finally, I believe in what the future can hold if we work together, valuing and respecting all members of our school's community. These are my beliefs. All are welcome. Please stop by and say hello, perhaps checking out Holy Family School once again. Together we can achieve the extraordinary. "Our doors---and the possibilities---are open."
While it says 'Submitted by a teacher/staff member' it is actually I, the principal of the school, providing this input. I appreciate folks who have taken the time to provide thier feedback, truly reflecting their own personal experience as one reviewer mentioned. Should anyone choose to read our school's recently completed Self Study report, under 'School News' on our website, I think two things are very evident. First, we have made significant progress the last few years in a number of areas, and second we also recognize and identified continued areas available for growth and improvement. I believe any educator, school, and community as a whole always has room for growth and improvement, certainly including myself and the expecatations I have of those who work at HFS. I realize that not all people will be happy or agreeable with all decisions I make on behalf of the school. Still, I pray that ultimately we will keep the focus on the young people we serve. When I get up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror, the number one question I have for myself is, 'Given the available resources, am I doing all I can to provide a quality Catholic education to students?' Peace.
This is our first year at Holy Family school and we have found the school to be very friendly. We have had a few issues with the Pre-k teacher seemingly not having much control or stability in the class. But as a whole, we really like HFS and it's staff. They have always been welcoming, friendly and helpful. We look forward to continuing on here and feel that our child's educational needs will be well taken care of.
With respect to the most recent review, everyone who attends the school (any school) has their own, unique experience at that school. While it is great that you have had a great experience, others may not but both are entitled to express their views. Berating someone for expressing their experience, though different than yours, defeats the point of this site. Our personal experience at this school has not been ideal either and we will not be returning after also having been at this school for several years. Perhaps, if your child is in a certain grade (maybe K-2) you may have a more positive experience with the administration. But, that is not the experience our family has had. So there you go. There are two families who have not had good experiences at Holy Family School. And, yes, I am a current parent at this school who has had legitimate, negative experiences.
The Jan. 29th parent review below is COMPLETELY WRONG! I find it hard to believe this even truly reflects a parent at our school, or a current parent anyway. We have been at Holy Family for two years and we see the principal involved in practically everything! Specifically to the prior reviewer's point, the princpal talks to parents before school every morning, yes in the upper playground area, AND he says hello to all the K-2 students as they leave to go to class, also saying good morning and chatting with the parents in that area, which I've personally witnessed. On the first day of school he was in the main hallway saying hello to people and then again near the parking lot at the upper playground area greeting students and families. WE are very thankful for our school's principal, having found him very approachable - his door is always open to let people stop by and talk anytime they want. And, during our initial tour yes it's given by the wonderful lady in the office but the principal made a personal point of coming out to say hello, letting us know he was available to answer any questions. One more thing, who does the prior reviewer thinks influences the environment?!
In the few years that we have been at HFS, we have grown to love the teachers. Our experience with the teachers has been great. They are open to parental input and concerns and do their best to create a positive learning environment. The front office is also great at answering our questions, providing tours of the school, etc. However, we have not had the same positive experience with the Principal. When rating the Principal Leadership on this site, it gives examples what what constitutes as strong principal, one of which is "reach out to parents". While the Principal does send out a weekly newsletter and participate in committee and PA meetings, he does not reach out to prospective families by giving tours of the school or even introducing himself. Instead of greeting families at drop offs in the mornings, he stays away over at the playground and simply observes. Even on the first day of school, he did not greet new families and returning students. It's the little things that go a long way, especially in such a small school. When the Principal is not approachable, it certainly sets a tone.
We love this school! Our son attended a parochial preschool and an on-post public school for Kindergarten and 1st grade during our time at FT Leavenworth. In preparing to PCS to WA, we were dismayed to learn that science and social studies are not offered at the public schools. We were already strongly considering switching to a Catholic school and when we toured Holy Family it sealed the deal. Compared to the public school and a couple other private schools, Holy Family stood out as the clear choice. Small classes (which was another HUGE benefit- our son has 8 other children in his grade), a great science lab, and a terrific curriculum set this school apart. The second grade teacher is warm, welcoming, patient, kind, and a great instructor. Our son, who was very nervous about the move, regularly thanks us for sending him to Catholic school and has asked on numerous occasions if he can stay at Holy Family until he finishes 8th grade. Does it get any better than that? We feel very blessed we found Holy Family!
Our child has been at Holy Family for six years. We are so grateful of the decision we made to enroll in this amazing school. The parents, staff and principal work in concert to encourage and ensure a safe and inspiring learning environment. Visit the school! You can practically see and feel the children's confidence and happiness at Holy Family. The classes are small enabling lots of learning and individual attention. I know when my child enters college she will thank us for the education she received at this wonderful school.
I am a former student of Holy Family, and I can honestly say that the teachers are amazing. I've been there through three principals and two completely different sets of teachers, and yet I know that if I hadn't gone to Holy Family, I would be an entirely different person. At Holy Family, I learned how to deal with my emotions in a positive way, and I learned everything I needed to join the honors program at Bellarmine Prep. All the teachers really care about each student individually, and they all do their best to make sure every student understands every concept. This is my way of saying thank you to everyone. Every teacher, every student, every faculty member, and every principal I've had at Holy Family, because together, Holy Family has become an amazing school that I am proud to have been a part of.
This is our second year at HFS and I love bringing my son to school everyday. Little bit of a shift at end of last year scared me in that it looked like we might lose a fantastic Kindergarten teacher but they shifted all around and it looks like my other child will get a chance to learn under her creative and loving direction! I did have experience with the prior principal and must agree with other statements that the environment in the school was very negative and I wasn't nearly as comfortable as we are now. Our family will be with HFS through all the grades. Involved parents. Caring Staff & Faculty. Great school! :)
Amazing science lab, wonderful teachers who are dedicated and caring human beings. Last year the kids made scarfs to donate for the needy. It was a wonderful thing to see the bigger kids helping the preschoolers make scarves for the needy. There are many fun activities throughout the school year. Academics are excellent, the best part is the 14 students per class. Small classes= more personal attention from teacher = better education. Teachers care for their students and they treat them as their own. If a child needs extra help some even tutor them after school. There is NO BULLING in this school and the children are taught to treat everyone with respect and love no matter what you look like or like to do. This by far has been the best school we have sent our children to. It is very supportive of those families who are in the military. Everyone is very nice and friendly. You definitely pay for the best education for your children. Worth every penny! :)
The new principal at HFS is WONDERFUL!! He takes the time to great every one with a smile, he will listen to anyone looking to talk to him, he is always very cordial and polite, he is very involved in everything the school does, he goes to EVERY Parent Association meeting and even to some of the school field trips. He takes time to get to know every student in the school and the most important of all EVERYONE loves him. He has taken a school that was demoralized by the last principal and made it a place that EVERYONE wants to work and learn in. He truly was "God sent" to help the school get back to its high standards. We are very pleased that he is working very hard to make our school the very best in town. If you don't believe me, take the time to come to the school and talk to him for yourself. He is a wonderful human being and a great role model for our children.
Love this school!!! It's a very welcoming community. They have an awesome science lab that all the kids go to every week starting in Kindergarten. The computer lab is really impressive as well. The most impressive though is the test scores the kids achieve on the IOWA tests, which is a national test that lets you see where the kids are compared to other kids across the nation. This little school really excells.
-This is response B to the person that posted on 8/15/11- It s hard to believe that someone that enrolled their own kids in a Catholic school is speaking disdainfully about another one of God s children. It seems like you need some Catholic education in your life, or I can give you an abridged version, if you can t say anything nice, don t say anything at all. My family and I will continue to pray for you and hope you will surround yourself with positive thoughts and energy, rather than bringing other happy people down. I m happy that your negative energy will no longer be associated with the HFS, (and if this is who I think it is: good luck finding a new job and remember the RAT is our friend!) In closing the new principal is great, he s friendly, talks to staff AND students positively and respectfully, and smiles! Lastly, the next time you want to slander my wife s name please do it to her face and not hide behind the internet. God bless.
-This is response A to the person that posted on 8/15/11- The only part of your rant that is correct is the fact that Holy Family is a great school. No one needs to be wary of the current second grade teacher, who is the one of two teachers that has been employed with HFS for several years, and a defining reason why some families chose to come back, even when the previous principal was running the school into the ground with her asinine rules and policies. Please explain to me how the current second grade teacher led a walk out and yet she s still employed with the school, wouldn t she have left with the walk out. It seems that past teachers and families left because of the previous principal and not the current second grade teacher. Correct me if I m wrong but was it the previous principal that allowed the school s student population of over 100 to dwindle to a little over 50 in the span of two years, or was it the current second grade teacher?
This is in response to the person who posted on Aug. 15th about being wary of the second grade teacher. First, there was no walk out that was staged by the teachers. Most of the teachers that left at the end of the 2009-2010 school year were not offered contracts or their postitions were eliminated. The principal at the time made it impossible for others to want to return or gave them an ultimatium that forced them to resign their position. I find it hard to believe that you think that the 2nd grade teacher should give up her friendships just because the teachers and parents have left HFS. Most of the teachers who left were heartsick about leaving and shed many tears about what was happening at the school. I think you should make sure you know the facts before you spread gossip. I have been praying for the school for many years and wish the new principal much success. I hope he can bring it back to what it used to be, a great little school.
Holy Family School is back on the right track! It has historically been a fine Catholic School. The last couple of years the Principal did not do the school any favors. There has been a drastic drop in enrollment, a lot of rumor mongering, in addition to a large turnover in teachers during her years at the helm. She damaged the reputation of the school with her actions. She is gone now and the new Principal seems to be very dedicated, friendly, capable and a quick study. He wants HFS to be the best it can be. So YES, HFS is back on the right track. If I had another child I would send them there in a heartbeat. In response to the 8/15 comment, I keep a close eye on the school. There was no walk-out! The 2nd Grade Teacher has been at HFS for 5 or 6 years and from all I have ever known and heard she has been an excellent, loyal and caring teacher. She has always been a pleasure to deal with. If she wants to maintain a friendship with the past staff of the school where is the harm in that? Children love her and school parents appreciate her!!
This is a great little school. My children graduated from here and got an excellent education.....there is just a few things you need to know. Be wary of the current second grade teacher. She associates with former staff members and parents that staged a walk out 2 years ago in protest to the last principal. They really damaged the reputation of the school to the point that I don't think the school will recover. She continues to associate with these people. To the parents that posted on 6/14/11 and 6/16/11 you are part of the problem too!! No loyalty!! As for the new principal -he hasn't been there long enough to have any point of view about the school.
This is by far the best school in the area. It combines small school charm with successful academics and true love your neighbor kind of values. The science program makes learning fun, my kids love getting to go to lab every week. I can't imagine having them anywhere else. The new principal is kind and willing to listen. From my observations, he has an easy nature and seems very comfortable with kids, parents, and teachers.
We are also a family who left HFS at the end of the year in 2010. I have a challenge for other HFS families, former, present and future....1) Reflect on the readings from today (2 Corinthinas 8:1-9, and Matt 5:43-48 - generosity and radical love), and then 2) call the new principal, Mr. Stone, and speak with him, or stop by and introduce yourself. That's what I did. He is articulate and warm, has a great respect for his teachers, their vocation as Christian educators and the knowledge and experience they bring to their classrooms. The teachers are excited about the new direction and fresh perspective, happy to be heard and respected once again. Although our daughter is excelling academically in her current school,(in no small way because of the dedication of her HFS teachers), I miss the closeness of a shared faith community that defined HFS, the blessing of that extra layer of love and conscience and prayer surrounding us every day. I am excited about the changes, and the new leadership at HFS. I will keep this beautiful little school and the entire staff close in my prayers. Go see for yourself before you make a decision or post a comment. It's only right...
My children attended Holy Family School from Pre-K through 5th grade we decided to leave due to the constant turmoil and clear desire to keep only the wealthy more powerful families. I did not involve myself much in the drama. When my children began schooling in the public school system I was appalled to find that my children were markedly BEHIND in both reading and mathematics. Although leadership was a problem that cannot explain the complete lack of attention to the actual education of the child instead of being focused on getting more children who pay tuition. My kids have specialists to help them succeed and they have grow leaps and bounds since HFS in PUBLIC school in the North Thurston School District.
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.
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.
To start a new list, click OK. Otherwise click Cancel.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Holy Family School on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for Holy Family School, including performance data and recently posted user reviews.