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any mother sending her childen or child to a catholic school?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
i teach for the public school system but have choosen to put dd in a working class catholic school. i'm really nervous about it. i mean, does academics take a back seat to religion? are the catholic schools still very punative? what i could tell when i visited was the children are being taught by lay persons. the school also looked old , at least 100 years old. well , it is also in a very old neighborhood in san francisco. dd has a negative view of it. she said her uniform is scratchy and that she does not like it. she is a very free spirit and i'm afraid she won't be able to handle sitting in mass. i put her there so she could be around her socio-economic equals

so can mothers who have put there children in a catholic school please share their experiences?
post #2 of 10
What school is it - the one out in the Sunset? I can't recall the name of that, I used to live in SF. I went to 8 years of Catholic school, my sister has sent her 4 girls, and my son started last year. I don't think there is a blanket description of a Catholic school - each one can be different. But I'm pretty sure they are much more laid back than the old days. I never had a nun teach me, and that was 25-30 yrs ago.
We have been happy with it so far. Academics do not take a back seat to religion, they go to mass once a month, they get free dress at least once a month. We see that more than anything "religious", they are teaching respect and kindness. I always liked wearing a uniform, it gave me a sense of belonging and community with my peers, and I think my son is noticing that, too. If you're definitely going to send her, I'd start talking very positive about it to get your daughter to feel better about it.
Is that the only Catholic school near you? With the building being so old, that could be a concern I guess.
Good luck
post #3 of 10
I agree you can't generalize about all catholic schools any more than you can generalize about all public schools, private schools or homeschooling families. You need to know more about this particular school. I would try to sit in or volunteer in the school, as well as talk to as many other parents as I could.

My brother sends his son to the same catholic school that we went to as children because he lives in a beautiful neighborhood that happens to be in a lousy school district. I've talked with him a lot about the school, and for some inexplicable reason, I'm sent all the school's newsletters and publications.

It seems to me like it is somewhat better than it was when we went there (when it was Dickensian). Children aren't routinely beaten any more. Only the principal is a nun, and the rest are lay teachers. There is now some attempt to give the children gym, art and music, but still next to nothing in the way of science and math. They get an outstanding education in English grammar, handwriting and diction. The physical plant is in very good shape, but lacks much in the way of non-classroom facilities. There is still a heavy emphasis on obedience, discipline and conformity. The children go to mass several times a week. They have an afterschool program that is attractive to some working parents.

I wouldn't send a dog there, let alone a child, but they are happy with it. Again, though, that's one catholic school and may have no bearing on what yours is like.
post #4 of 10
We too have decided to send our ds to kindergarten at the local parish school. It is simply the best school in our neighbourhood. I was raised Catholic (although I am nonpracticing) and went to all different types of schools. 5 of my elementary school years were at small Catholic schools. I had really positive experiences there. The schools were very community oriented, I felt safe and that I belonged. The quality of the instruction was excellent and the teachers were from all walks of life. Many had done a lot of travelling and had taught in other cultures as well. The school we've chosen for ds is in an old building, but so are all the public schools in our neighbourhood. Incidently, my dh is not Catholic at all but he is very keen on the school. We both like the idea of being able to give our children a sort of spiritual structure. If only so that they have a base from which to explore their own beliefs about spirituality later. At this age, its nice to be able to give them concrete answers to the really big questions. I am anxious about the Catholic church's deplorable political stances but I figure we can counteract anything that comes up about those issues through discussion and example. What closed the deal for us was meeting the principal. She was a beautiful person, she's the perfect blend of intelligence and kindness. School doesn't start until after labour day here, so I don't have anything to report yet but I will keep you posted.
post #5 of 10
I just enrolled ds into a Catholic preschool today I looks like a great school, they are accredited and the teachers are noce. It goes from preschool-3 to 2nd grade. We had a very positive exoerience there today touring it. A group of 4 boys (ages 4-5) came up to Justin and asked him his name, he told them and then they all shook hands, it was the cutest thing Then they all went off to play.

I also enrolled my dd into a catholic school, she is entering the 7th grade. Saint Marys is a great school, nothing but praises I hear. She will ahve to wear a uniform but she is OK with it.

not all Catholic schools are strick, at dd school they will have morning prayer but she will not have to go to sunday school, and next year we get a $1300 discount for being a member of my parish, just have to have my pastor sign a letter stating that I am a member.

At ds school there is no dress code, but I plan on entering him into Saint Marys when he gets into the first grade.

I toured two other catholic schools in my area and I did not get the enthusiastic feeling that I got with this one. I just did not like them, I guess they were ok but not for my child.

Good Luck and go with your gut feelings
post #6 of 10
my ds will start preschool at our parish in september. we plan to send both kids to catholic school. their father went to catholic school - k-12 and is all for it ( he's also a public school teacher) . he didn't want them to go to ps and i wanted to homeschool - so this is our compromise. i don't yet have a feel for the school as he hasn't begun. i personally like the idea of uniforms and the teaching of religion. i think the ideas that they teach that i don't agree with will provide us with opportunity for clarification of values and some really good conversation. all of my friends that attended catholic school have very fond memories of it. we'll see...

sah single mom to two
post #7 of 10
Haven't sent my kids to one yet. They don't have the services ds needs (he has autism). And I wasn't all that impressed with the one closest to us. However, I myself went to Catholic schools from K-12.

Even 20 yrs ago, the corporal punishment was on the decline, there was only 1 teacher in my grade school that still spanked. I highly doubt anyone does it now. The focus on religion was mostly confined to religion class. We'd say a prayer at the beginning and end of the day in grade school, and at the beginning of most classes in high school, but then it was on to the subject at hand. Maybe my schools were progressive, but the science education was quite good. We were taught that God created evolution and other scientific processes, but that they did exist, nonetheless.

About the only thing I was unprepared for when I went to college is what a hassle it is to pick out what you are going to wear everyday from nearly unlimited choices. LOL
post #8 of 10
Ooops! Totally wrong thread, sorry.
post #9 of 10
Let's see, I'm a Catholic-school alum, K-6, 1979-1986. There were rumors of a paddle in the principal's office but I could never personally confirm it. The elementary-level teachers were a mix of nun and lay persons. At that time my school had 4-8 which was taught by lay persons (now they only have K-6 total in the school). There were two principals during my time there; one was a nun and one was a lay person.

I remember religion class daily and going to mass a LOT. Seemed like we were always in church.

My school was weak in math and science.
post #10 of 10
The school we're sending ds to has the highest academic scores in the neighbourhood. It actually ranks exactly the same as the most exclusive private schools in the city. So academics don't worry me. I guess my only concerns are the political stuff and the fact that there's not much of a playground. Ds's best friend has 2 mums, we live in a very eclectic neighbourhood, and we are pretty open about discussing our political views with him so I'm hoping that he won't be confused. My own memories of Catholic school don't include any politics at all. As for the playground, the principal states that the kids are much more creative in terms of game playing etc. and I agree with her. I would like to see some green space though, some trees and grass at least. I also considered Waldorf, so this is a big difference! We'll see how it goes! Only 2 weeks till school starts!
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