The parent who wrote the review on Jan. 13, 2011 must be confused. Kindergarten thru eighth grade begins at the same time each morning. Parents do not wait in their cars for 15 minutes. It is true that one day a week, school begins early so that students can attend mass. It's an easy adjustment. I think that it's wonderful that students are immersed in their Catholic faith and have opportunity to go to church as a community. I know of a few families who pulled their children from other Catholic schools and enrolled them at St Mark because the Catholic teaching at the former schools was minimal. It is also true that there is a lot of parent involvement.
I have mixed feelings. There is a lot of parent involvement, the community is active and healthy, class size is small, and religious teachings are covered well. However I do not feel the academic curriculum is very good. My children are younger and I hear things improve in older grades so I suppose it s a matter of faith (ironic) but I can say at the lower grades the curriculum is much weaker than the average public school. Also, the logistics are a bit of a mess, especially if you have a child who is in K as well. The start time is 15 mins later so if you drop off your older child, get ready to sit around in the parking lot every single day for 15 mins. There is a different start/end time 1 day a week for mass and I would think it easy to have mass worked into the normal school hours so there does not have to be a different schedule, which yes, is an even bigger logistical issue if you also have a child in K. My conclusion is if the religious teachings are very important to you and your child needs the small class size, then its a good school to look into but if your focus is academics and you have a complicated life to keep balancing, then I suggest you look elsewhere.
We've been at St. Marks for 6 yrs. and it's been a very positive experience and a time of spiritual growth for our whole family. Parents and staff are committed to helping each child develop to their full potential and willing to go the extra mile to see that students get a well-rounded education of the highest quality. The principal has the greatest respect for the students and a wonderful rapport with her teachers. Our pastor is very involved with the school and takes a leadership role in building community. Everywhere parent volunteers are in abundance. Students have opportunities to participate in church functions, sports, and extracurricular activities as well as community services. We are a small family oriented school where students receive individual attention and are taught traditional Catholic values through the gospel of Jesus Christ and a spirit of cooperation.