Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Parochial schools

Word on the street is that the city's parochial schools have been mailing out their letters. Feel free to share your stories.

36 comments:

  1. I work for a Catholic elementary. Most are waiting for more applicants, or possibly, better applicants.

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  2. Which school? We are non catholic but waitlisted many places

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  3. My son was accepted to St. Anne's in the Sunset -- we received the letter a week ago. I'm dropping off the checks to secure his place today. We are not Catholic, but I like the principal. They gave my boy a brief, 15-minute screening in early February and that was it. We didn't do anything special or attend any school events. They did know my son's preschool very well and have accepted many students from there, but I don't know if that was a factor. It was a real relief to get that letter and know our boy has a place somewhere, anywhere.

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  4. We got into St. Monica and St. Brendan's and waitlisted at St. Cecilia

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  5. We were waitlisted at Star of the Sea and NDV and accepted at St. Monica. I am surprised by the # of waitlist letters among friends - guess it was a big year for Catholic schools.

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  6. Does anyone know how much movement to expect on these waitlists? NDV or St Cecilia if you are not Catholic?

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  7. St. Anne's is a very sweet school. But, they'll take almost anyone who walks in. Class size is almost always huge. A great back-up.

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  8. 4:58--

    Did you accept St. Monica or St. Brendan?

    We got in St. Cecilia and waitlisted
    at St. Brendan. We accepted at St. Cecilia. We're not waiting for public- it's what we really want.

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  9. 5:36 pm

    I think it's due to the fact that it is so difficult to get into the elite independent schools. Many people are using parochials as a back-up, safety choice. There are pro's and con's to parochials ..

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  10. 6:59pm here- I meant to say that we're waiting for public schools. It's what we REALLY want. Catholic school is a back up.

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  11. I think there may be some movement on the St Cecilia waitlist as some parents may decide to wait another year before starting K. That is what I've heard from others who have children that are on the younger side. The school may suggest they wait another year and that has freed up spots in the past. What is your criteria for selecting St. Cecilia or St. Brendans? Any pro's and cons for these? We are going to be doing this process next year and wanted to see what opinions and impressions are of these schools

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  12. I think a lot of families like St. Cecilia's and St. Gabriel's because they have two classes per grade. St. Cecilia and St. Brendan's are pretty similar demographically. St. Gabriel's takes more non-Catholics.

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  13. Hi it's 4:58 here. We accepted St. Monica over St. Brendan for a couple of key reasons. First, and foremost, we got the distinct impression (as well as know a small circle from the school) that many (most) of the families had one parent not working. Which, of course, is fine - it's just that we are a family where both parents work. So I didn't want my daughter to be the "left out" kid who is in the after school program. And St. Brendan is only 1/2 day K, so it would be a significant part of her experience....

    Secondly, while we loved St. Brendan campus - they clearly have more $ than St. Monica, I just really really really liked the teachers at St. Monica - got to the K teacher, the third grade teacher, and the 7th science teacher quite well during the process. And what stuck in my mind was the fact that my daughter was going to have great teachers all the way through....

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  14. Has anyone on waiting lists at any of these (St C, NDV, St Brendans) heard any news yet?

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  15. I just heard that there had been no movement after the deadline passed to give NDV a deposit. ie. everyone with an acceptance letter put $ down. Which makes sense in a year like this one with the private and public letters still some weeks away.

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  16. Myself and a couple of other parents
    who were waitlisted at St. Brendan's heard there was "no movement" since
    sending out acceptance letters.

    4:58 & 4:03 (same person) stated they didn't accept St. Brendan BUT chose St. Monica.

    Interesting how the principle at St. Brendan is stating something different. Maybe St. Brendan is waiting a bit longer to accept other families....

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  17. We will be applying to parochial schools this Fall and I feel so naive hearing about all the wait lists. I thought admission would be much easier to parochial schools than private. Is it hard to get into Star of the Sea and NDV?

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  18. We got the "try again next year" letter from NDV. Followed the suggestion of Marlow's Mom from another post and asked the school to let us know how best to prepare our child for the eventual re-examination next year...so far no news.

    I seriously underestimated the appication process. We will try again next year but this time will apply to a handful of schools rather than just one.

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  19. I'd love to know what schools take non-Catholics. I think a great education can be had at catholic schools, but we aren't religious at all. Does it ever happen that agnostics end up happy at a catholic school?

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  20. We aren't Catholic but decided to tour a number of Parochial schools just to increase our options in the fall. I was really impressed by many of the schools. Of the ones we toured Star of the Sea, St. Monica, St. Brigid, Sts. Peter and Paul and NDV all had sizeable non-Catholic populations. Only St. Vincent de Paul seemed to strongly prefer parishoners, then out of parish Catholics etc. It didn't feel like a place for us.

    NDV and Star of the Sea had huge numbers of parents on the tours and the buzz about them both was big. I read about St. Monica on this blog and checked it out. Like the poster above I was impressed with their teaching staff. The K teacher was my favorite of any school I toured public or private. I also really liked the art, music, science and 7th grade teachers. We accepted their offer and are pretty excited to have that option. Before touring these schools I never would have thought I would be saying that being that I was raised agnostic by a couple of hippies from Oregon!

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  21. "I am surprised by the # of waitlist letters among friends - guess it was a big year for Catholic schools."

    Err, why's that a surprise? Lots of unhappy campers last year because of the increase in applications to SFUSD, and the economy in the toilet, so you'd expect some that would be going to the independents to be interested in the cheaper parochial option. Just glad I got my applications in early.

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  22. I was just surprised by the waitlist letters from particular schools - ones that didn't seem to be heavy favorites and in particular one whose principal told me that they hadn't needed to use waitlists in the past, including last year which as you say saw a big increase in demand for K spots.

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  23. We were accepted at St. John's and wait listed at St. Philip. We were hoping to get into St. Philip's. We also applied to public, but are leaning towards catholic school.

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  24. St. John's has a reputation for having a good community. People seem to like the principal.

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  25. Thanks 9:13! Any other insight into St. John's would be appreciated. We toured the school several times...there are some things we love, and some things we're not sure of. Over all we have a good feeling and I can picture my son attending...it's just such are hard decision...one I'm losing sleep over.

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  26. If you feel good about both schools - the curriculum is the same anyhow - then try out some school related events to get a better sense of the school community. We had a similar situation - and in the end it was distance to our house and ease of commute that helped us decide.

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  27. Does anyone's kid go to St.Gabriel? We just got accepted and would like to find out if you like the school.

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  28. March 6: we're not Catholic, two-working parents and very happy at St. Gabriels - got into NDV, St. Annes and St. Gabriels last year and really feel we made the right choice. the academics and extended care program are great.

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  29. My kids don't go to St. Gabriel's but I know a couple families who do and who've been very happy. One transferred from a different Catholic school, and it worked out extremely well. The other started at St. Gabriel's. When it was discovered the younger child had a learning disability they brought in a learning specialist and have been very accomodating. I think they may have to pay extra for hte learning specialist but it is available, which is not the case at every Catholic school.

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  30. Can anyone offer any information on Saints Peter and Paul school or St. Brigid?

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  31. How does one go about evaluating the academics of parochial schools? It sounds like a few of the schools are getting most of the buzz but are they truly better academically than the lesser known parochial schools?

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  32. Like SFUSD, the Archdiocese of San Francisco has its own school board and superintendant of schools. Curriculum is relatively standard throughout the diocese. At least when my kids were in Catholic schools they took the Iowa Basic Test annually starting in second grade. I don't think the averages are public, but you could certainly ask the principal. As with public schools, schools with lower scores may serve a more socioeconomically challenged population. Quite a few Catholic schools qualify for Title 1 funds. The biggest difference among the "buzz" Catholic schools and the less popular would probably be demographics.

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  33. Not sure if anyone is checking this part of the blog anymore since so much has happened but - has anyone heard anything about movement in the NDV waitlist?

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  34. Good question about NDV. The last I checked (on the 16th) there was no movement...

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  35. Any movement at St. Brendan?

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  36. ^^Thanks!!

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