As a parent I question the school's emphasis on rote learning and memorization in their teaching. I see the same tests, topics and materials given day in day out, year after year especially in the upper grades. As a volunteer, I witness and hear many words of complaint about the cheating from those kids who don’t - which is rife and has never been dealt with despite them bravely raising it. Identifying offenders brings about retaliation, which encourages submission. Teachers turn a blind eye - come on – it’s not that hard - change the tests and packets every year and be diligent during testing!! Tried to bring this up many times but it falls on deaf ears.
Grade 5 - 8 teachers are mostly ineffective academically. Can think of only two who really try.
Elementary grades can be quite different. But still tend to quash individualism of expression in work, socially or learning styles.
The homework and most of the project based learning is often the way the children learn in the absence of teaching during the day. Parents and children make up for this lost time by homework. It is a helpful way for parents to know what needs to be learnt and keep an eye on progress, but there is a lot in some subjects that is just left for parents to pick up the slack on. It is mostly rote stuff. Very little application of what they may have learnt during the day. In some years the Math teacher spent the entire class time correcting homework and then gave the new questions for homework as a way for the kids to teach themselves at night. Problem was - no support material to learn content at night. Just the 1999 textbook if you happened to buy your own copy for home. I've heard of flipped based learning, but this isn't it. Parents better be OK at pre-alegebra and algebra.
Depending on the student you either give up and submit and become like all the others and ignore the cheating and bullying of others or you become more determined not to capitulate. The problem with this is you end up going against the principal. He is very aggressive, very patronizing, treats people he doesn't like with no respect and shows and encourages overt favoritism. So I'm not sure this develops anything other than feelings of hopelessness.
Absolutely feel that the school does not develop honesty, integrity or fairness.
Cheating, and teachers turning blind eye to what goes on promotes dishonesty.
Children who identify problems or people who do the wrong things are victimized and bullied into learning that it doesn't pay to be honest. Favoritism is rife and teachers don't chose to believe people they don't favor. Fairness isn't a word I would associate with this school from the top down.
Our child just started here this year and we've got mixed feelings about the school. The community seems very clique-y and not the most open in welcoming new families. We were a bit disillusioned after the school's annual auction as we noticed some ostracizing occurring. We wanted to feel part of a community where our child goes to school but so far that hasn't happened yet. Also, there seems to be a hierarchy there for the folks that volunteer the most are the most favored. or we are just at a disadvantage as we are not stay at home parents and have trouble doing our full time job and volunteering. Regardless - a bit of a let down and we are unsure what's next for our family.
We currently have a kindergartener and a preschooler at St Alphonsus. The teachers are fantastic and the community is very loving and supportive. They have very high academic standards and our kids are thriving at this school.