We can’t count the number of people who move into their dream home—their dream neighborhood, even!—but just a few years later, pack up shop and move. The house wasn’t the problem. The community wasn’t either. The problem was the school.
Because what matters more than our kids? And if we live in an area with subpar schools, schools that have a millions kids for every teacher, or rampant bullying, or test scores twenty percent below average—well, that’s enough reason to move. So when you’re shopping for a house, consider your kids. Consider the schools.
We offer a basic guide to Seattle schools on our website, and we can provide much more information in person. But today, we’re featuring one of Seattle’s very best. St. Catherine of Siena Parish School.
It’s a K-8 school in Maple Leaf, and that school alone is reason to live there. It’s a small school, with about 225 students, and it’s a Catholic school, although being Catholic or religious isn’t a requirement. And what makes it so great? A combination of education, parent involvement, and community. It’s so good, in fact, that Darcie sends her son there.
St. Catherine’s is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and it has small class sizes, which means students get personal attention.
“I’ve really felt like the school has enough time and resources to help my child learn the most and feel good about learning,” Darcie said. “It’s a major gift! The teachers are so great, beginning in the Preschool – I’d recommend it to anyone in N. Seattle. I feel like our son’s education is in great hands.”
And this education goes past pure academics. St. Catherine School strives to develop “responsible, ethical leaders who think critically, act justly, communicate effectively, and serve willingly.” It doesn’t just education future scholars; it educates future good people.
St. Catherine School emphasizes parental involvement, to the extent that each family contributes at least 40 volunteer hours each year. The result? Parents who are intimately invested in their children’s education. Darcie herself has volunteered as a room parent in the past, and she currently serves as secretary of the Parent Club.
“It’s a fun way to be involved in the kids’ lives and see how they and their friends interact at school,” Darcie said. “I like volunteering as much as I can – I really like being close to our first-grader and his classmates.”
In a school of 250 kids and a team of involved parents, all focused on providing a great education, you can’t help but end up with an incredible, supportive community.
“Everyone knows and looks out for everybody else’s kids,” Darcie said. “It really gives us a small town in a big city feeling.”
Even outside the classroom, St. Catherine School hosts social events throughout the year, and most families participate. Just to name a few, each year there is a Harvest Fest, a Christmas program, a Gala Auction, and a Pub Night.
St. Catherine School is the best Maple Leaf has to offer. It’s a school that cares. A school that takes education farther than pen and paper and also develops its students’ character. A school that, with the help of supportive parents, gives our kids the best community we could ask for.