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St. Anthony School - Renton, WA - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook

St. Anthony School

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336 Shattuck Ave. S.
Renton, WA 98055
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(425) 255-0059
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Elementary Schools

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Education & Instruction

Reviews

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Best

Our son goes to St. Anthony, and I have to say it has exceeded my expectations. Even the first day, when my wife and I took a tour, there was a palpable sense of joy in the school...

Worst

My son went here for Kindergarten and part of 1st grade until we moved south. Our family had been going to St. Anthony parish for years and had really found a good home there. I...

Traditional, solid education in a loving environment 11/13/2010

Our son goes to St. Anthony, and I have to say it has exceeded my expectations. Even the first day, when my wife and I took a tour, there was a palpable sense of joy in the school. Leadership sets the tone, and Sister Linda, the principal, is a "servant-leader" who sets an example of true humility that shows her sincere faith in Christ. She works long hours, attends nearly every event, remembers the childrens' names, and is well-loved by the students. The rest of the staff follow suit, making for an environment that mirrors the one we try to create at home. The educators our son has had have provided the right level of academic challenge. His Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Redburn, was voted the Best Teacher in Renton earlier this year. We had Mrs. Racey, and really enjoyed her style. Students are held to a high standard, and each student is met at his or her level of ability. I have never seen negative labels used; in fact one of her mantras is "Kids don't all learn to read at the same pace, but they ALL eventually get there". It is a supportive and redemptive approach, with an expectation to work hard and do your best. Students at St. Anthony are exposed to the right things: servant-leaders who model Jesus Christ, respect for our flag and country, and respect for people of different economic and ethnic backgrounds. Likewise they are appropriately shielded from the wrong things: hostility toward people of faith, government-forced political correctness, mediocre academic expectations, lax discipline, sexual vulgarity, and perverse sex ed classes fueled by political groups. Their building is well-maintained, but not fancy. The staff have learned to do a lot with a little. The beauty is what's inside, and the result are polite, well-rounded, whip-smart, caring kids who are a gift to the local community. I highly recommend St. Anthony to any parent wishing to provide their child with a solid education, with focus on traditional academics and values. more

Excellent Education 5/31/2010

Good: Mr. Douglas Arthur - Principal Respect & Discipline Taught Family Participation. Other: St.Anthony gave our daughter the foundation for her future. She started at St. Anthony in 1991; from there went to Kennedy High School and the St. Martin's University.. more

Alumni Review 2/29/2008

I am going to be as honest as my memory can serve me in order to give parents the opportunity to hear from a former student. I am currently a college freshman and I attended to St. Anthony's School from K-8th grade. I really hope the school has changed since then because for the most part it was one of the worst experiences of my life that really stunted my academic growth and social well being. For one, do NOT send your kid to this school unless you are prepared for them to be indoctrinated with all the most conservative sides of Catholicism. If you are not a catholic or are a moderate Christian, I would at least supplement your child with some sort of outside moral support or religious exposure if you so choose. When I was there it was basically a pre-Vatican environment and very exclusive to non-conservatives. Free thought and questioning the religion was extremely looked down upon. Questions about sexuality that are perfectly normal and typical for any Junior High student were never addressed. We were left to look to MTV for our information, because face it, your kids are not going to feel comfortable asking you those kind of questions. In retrospect, I was lucky to have parents who gave me a lot of self-confidence support because the school environment constantly made me stressed and generally irritated. I heard that there was a massive faculty reform in recent years, and hopefully they got rid of that principle Teale because that guy was the biggest moron I have ever met. The school environment was sexist (girls were always favored) and incredibly severe with punishments. I remember I had to clean the cafeteria for 3 weeks because I said the word "crap" in 5th grade. The grades I received in class were highly political, and "brown nosing" was the only real secure way to get A's. Academically, it was hit or miss from grade to grade. I generally did well but most of my peers did very poorly in classes and most couldn't read at their level. This is just one student's experience at the school, but hopefully I can give my 5 cents with the hope that parents can be warned about what they are getting their kids into. I understand that it has been years since I was there, hopefully things have changed. The school is not as amazing as they say it is. Ask any alumni who graduated between 1999-2004. Hopefully you can save some money by marking yourself as catholic on the tuition slip because you are going to need it for private tutors more

Stong Academics, Service to Others, Committed Families 8/1/2007

We love St. Anthony School! My children have attended this school since 2000 and we have had wonderful experiences, both with the amazing and dedicated teachers and staff, as well as with the committed and involved community of parents and students. We chose St. Anthony school for our children because of the strong academic programs, the commitment to teaching students to be of service to others and because we wanted our children to be able to experience their faith and the gift of God each day in their classrooms. Like another reviewer commented, we sacrifice to pay tuition and send our children to this school, but for the past seven years, we have never had a moment of regret about spending the money to provide this education for our children. If you are considering a Catholic education for your children, St. Anthony is a wonderful school. One of my children had Mrs. Racey for a teacher. We had a wonderful year in her class. I volunteered in her classroom once a week, and I can say that the students learn quickly, she has a consistent and understandable system of discipline and consequences for actions that I really appreciate and that the students understand and appreciate as well. Her reading groups were great! In each group, students were given the opportunity to read aloud and to answer questions. She challenged students to consistently do their best and was encouraging and gave positive feedback. Overall, our experiences have been very good and I give the school "FIVE STARS"! more

Strong Program, Involved Parents, Teachers Who Care 7/23/2007

“Great education, involved parents, caring teachers, committed parishes that make the tuition affordable,” was what I heard about St. Anthony School when I moved to Renton about a year ago. Parents also added, of course, that it’s difficult to snag a space since classes are generally at the limit and satisfaction so high that few places open up. As for the quality of certain teachers, one friend who is a parent of a St. Anthony School lower grade student wrote me in May: “Last year, if it weren’t for Mrs. Frederick’s sincere concern for his well being and healthy development, I’m not sure [my son”] would be where he is today. She is one of the most altruistic people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. … This year he had Mrs. Racey. Wow! The transition from kindergarten to the first grade is enormous. I hope she ends this school year knowing that through her consistency and unfaltering dedication she has helped my son considerably. Bravo to Mrs. Racey! Really, bravo to all his teachers!” While I am (directly) quoting only one parent, I have heard from many. While no one school or teacher will be the “right choice” for every family/student, in my opinion, St. Anthony School is an excellent choice for most. LI, Renton, WA more

Not quite accurate. 5/30/2007

I find it very interesting how the first part of your review states how you "loved" Mrs. McLaughlin and how you had some good times at the school. You end up sounding angry and bitter towards the end. I do feel the need to rebut a few things that you write. 1) Mr. Teale (the former principal) did not leave because of the "entitled" parents making him feel bad. He and his wife sold all of their belongings and moved to Guatamala. Here is what they have to say......Our reasons for taking up the challenge of moving to Guatemala and working for Camino Seguro were so that they could live and work in a third world culture, live a more simple life-style, and be of service to the poor. http://austin-tealepassages.blogspot.com/ 2) I have been a parent at the school for a few years now and have never experienced the "begging for dollars" . St. Anthony is a private school and does not have TAX DOLLARS to make improvements, they depend on volunteers and fundraisers to help make necessary improvements and upgrades. I attend the auction every year and have a fantastic time and never feel pressured to donate. I don't have a lot of money but I can help by donating my time. 3. Your comment about St. Anthony is the perfect school for the "perfect" Catholic Family who wants to social climb is not not only absurd but also offensive to the MANY (including me) families that swallow hard every month when it's time to pay tuition. Sure I could use that mony every month to drive a new car and so forth. But I am happy knowing that my kids are surrounded by other Christian students. We can say GOD in our Pledge of Allegiance. I like that they wear uniforms, it levels the playing field. No one has to worry about other kids are wearing. Here is the schools mission statement....To educate children to be joyous, loving and Christ-Centered people capable of serving others and bettering the world. Doesn't sound too bad to me. I will agree though about Mrs. Racey. My child has experienced first hand what you experienced. And it was a VERY long year for us. Our child was also lableled a slow reader and slow learner and went as far to have our child tested at Mrs. Racey's request because she thought she had a learning dissability. The whole time we knew in our hearts it was the teacher and the anxiety she was causing our child. Sure enough the tests came back better than we expected, finding out our childs IQ is actally quite high. My child has had an awful year, paper after paper with red marks scribbled all over them. A child picks up on those things. Phone calls at home telling us that our child couldn't focus in class??? I think if you are going to call me at home about school they better have written on a wall or something! I say first grade is not her forte. And some kids need more nurturing than others. They are 6 for crying out loud. And yes, the homework in her class has been a bit daunting. We can never make plans Mondays and Tuesdays because there is always a big paper due Wednesday. And at the end of the month a spelling test with 40+ words, did i mention they're 6!! I would love to see the letter she wrote you. I would make sure Sr. Linda had a copy for her file. Anyway, I agree about the teacher. The rest though sounds a little bitter. I think if you had a few more years of great teachers your experience and outlook may not be as negative. It's a great school in my opinion. And probably in many others, or it wouldn't have a waiting list to get in. more

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Must perform perfectly or else! 3/21/2006

My son went here for Kindergarten and part of 1st grade until we moved south. Our family had been going to St. Anthony parish for years and had really found a good home there. I love the parish and it's people - they are wonderfully supportive. However....the school is an entirely different matter. I LOVED Mrs. McLaughlin for his Kg teacher. A very dedicated, sweet professional young woman. She was so bright and encouraging to my son and me. Mr. Teale was a nice principal until he left this year (one has to wonder why, and I heard it was because of the "entitled" parents making him feel badly, which I totally believe!). We had a good time at this school for some of the part; however, there was TONS of pressure for the kids to perform. For kindergarten, my son was expected to perform above grade level, not just be a kid. I felt that there was no freedom for him just to be a kid. Very regimented schedule, short short lunches (10-15 minutes) so they hardly ever ate (young children need more time to eat!). Recess was always segmented into small increments on a blacktop playground. Not much in the way of physical education like 5 year olds need. We were very much encouraged to start him later, despite his evaluated readiness from two other teachers. I found out that this was because they are given so much HOMEWORK in kindergarten and 1st grade that they want the kids held back a year to make it look like they have a higher-achieving school (the kids are older, so they perform better at lower grade levels, it's an educator trick). They want to look good on paper when they are recruiting new students, so they tell parents to have their kids start kindergarten when they are 6 or 7 (and there was an 8 year old as well, in kindergarten!). I said no, much to the chagrin of the school. He was one of the youngest kids there (and he was 5, the right starting age for kindergarten). I felt that my son was unduly pressured because of this. When he got into 1st grade with Mrs. Racey, she was just downright mean to my son. He HATED her and HATED going to school. He was labeled as a "slow reader" and "slow learner" immediately, when he had previously done well in their own kindergarten class. She was mean and belittling to me and to my son, calling me at home to berate me, tell me how poorly he was performing, and asking what my problem was. She blamed me for him being younger than other kids, for slowing others down (including that 8-9 year old). She even called my ex-husband to complain about me (which he even defended me to her!). Mrs. Racey was HORRID. Sometimes, someone who pays attention to you is paying you the wrong kind of it. We left mid-year (thankfully, because I thought for sure that I'd have a kid who would hate learning because of the environment that he was in) to move down to Tacoma. I put him in the local public school. Much to my amazement, my son had a MUCH smaller class size (St. Anthony had 23 kids in his 1st grade, compared to 14 in this public school), and he had 2 teachers. He also got to go to a dedicated reading specialist, since he resisted reading because Mrs. Racey at St. Anthony pretty much made him hate it. He quickly caught up. I can't believe the difference a new school, public accountability, and happy educators make in a child's life. They have more freedom and less "entitled pushy" parents so that they can actually do their jobs and get enjoyment from them. What a concept. This public school doesn't have to focus on impressing fundraisers (begging for dollars) on a day to day basis. They have the money to really focus on the individual child, instead of packing classes and pressuring childen to jump through their bottom-line driven hoops to make more in tuition money like at St. Anthony. While St. Anthony was a good place for the "perfect" Catholic family who wants to social climb and brag about how much they are spending on their kids, those of us who truly want to have our children succeed at their pace with the love and support of good educators (and not based on "keeping up with the Jones'") will look elsewhere. My son has a great grasp on his spirituality too - he didn't need to go to Catholic school to learn how to be a good Christian (going to Catholic school sometimes has the opposite effect). Just because he went to a Catholic school didn't mean that everyone who worked there or attended there had that "WWJD" mentality. Jesus wouldn't have made my kid feel bad about himself like Mrs. Racey did to him. Oh, and the letter she wrote to us after we left has got to be framed one day - it's a perfect example of how cruel and cowardly an old, bitter school marm can be. She blatantly called my son stupid, and of course, she waited until we left the school to write this letter to me. Oh, the choice words I could use here... I wouldn't recommend this school, unless it's the last school that has an opening. more
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