What a Crock - St Damian School!
true

Midlothian, IL

#21 Apr 4, 2011
i just went back and read what Damian parent for years said about the principal...I have to disagree with them about the kindergarten and first grade. Kindergarten taught my child a lot, but first grade has been wonderful for my child. Their particular teacher is excellent and has worked very hard with the class, and has some challenges with some children. She always does whatever she has to in order to get the children to learn, whatever it is. That is very impressive to me.

At the time of the posting about the principal, Prosen was principal and it was not announced yet that he was leaving.

I do not know the pastor too well but I do not think that many of the teachers like him and I don't think he cares too much about the well being of the children. He is not called Fr. Money for nothing I guess!

Each school will have it's downfalls but overall I am happy with St. Damian, I better be for the amount of the tuition I am putting out. It has been my experience that the teachers and principal really care about the children and their success.
Alumni

West Chicago, IL

#22 Apr 4, 2011
new to oak forest schools wrote:
I have a young child getting ready to start kindergarten next year and after reading all of these post I'm really concerned about both the private and public school systems. I thought private perhaps would be better that it is considered a blue ribbon school but it doesn't sound to great after reading about fundraising and additional fees that are not presented at the time tuition is due. However, perhaps its like this no matter what town you live in.
As a graduate the Oak Forest public school system from elementary school through high school, I can tell you that I got an excellent and would put my own children in the Oak Forest school system.
Move Along

Saint Louis, MO

#23 Apr 4, 2011
To the last few posters:

This topic was started in Nov 2009 so get on with your lives!
peak 08

United States

#24 Jul 6, 2011
Turtle Shell wrote:
In regards to the original post...
The school makes NO secret of the fundraiser that is Charity Mania. When we had a child in Kindergarten last year, they were very up front about it....and it was even in the welcome pack. There is also much communication while the fundraiser is going on,,,,that if you don't sell all the tickets,,,you will get it attached on to your tuition. Do you not read what they send home?
Not sure where you can go to avoid fundraisers. Even the public schools have them. If you are that unhappy, take your child out!
Also, to the Damian parent for years....the principal you are speaking of is Chad Prosen and he is gone. Might want to update your facts.
I received a statement from smart tution saying that this years tution is 441.40 monthly they said in a parent mailer in may that they were not increasing tution this year.
same one

Midlothian, IL

#25 Jul 6, 2011
I received the same smart tuition statement! That must be the non contributing rate, but I did contribute. The tuition did go up, about $250 for one child if I remember correctly. Smart tuition does not seem to know what is doing on, many mistakes so far this year. I don't know if it's true, but I heard that the pastoral center will be taking over tuition. This makes me very concerned. First, the people that work in that place are not polite or friendly at all, to say the least. More importantly though, this makes me think that the church will be handling the tuition money. I pay tuition to the SCHOOL, not the church. The church gets their CONTRIBUTION. In my opinion, this would be a mistake if it is true. One more way that the church can get a hold of and use the money meant for our children. Where'd the church get the money to replace the area where the stained glass window was?????
peak 08

United States

#26 Jul 6, 2011
same one wrote:
I received the same smart tuition statement! That must be the non contributing rate, but I did contribute. The tuition did go up, about $250 for one child if I remember correctly. Smart tuition does not seem to know what is doing on, many mistakes so far this year. I don't know if it's true, but I heard that the pastoral center will be taking over tuition. This makes me very concerned. First, the people that work in that place are not polite or friendly at all, to say the least. More importantly though, this makes me think that the church will be handling the tuition money. I pay tuition to the SCHOOL, not the church. The church gets their CONTRIBUTION. In my opinion, this would be a mistake if it is true. One more way that the church can get a hold of and use the money meant for our children. Where'd the church get the money to replace the area where the stained glass window was?????
I contributed also. Im going to pay what I usually pay for July 15 tution I hope they dont charge me a late payment fee for not paying that incorrect amount.
same one

Midlothian, IL

#27 Jul 7, 2011
I'm going to do the same thing if I can't get it corrected. I believe the monthly rate for one child is $369. If it's incorrect, the school can correct it in August.
anothermother

Chicago, IL

#28 Sep 3, 2011
More charity mania tickets to sell with more fundraisers to come? On top of a tuition increase? Come on, how much more can we take? Where is the money going? Why don't they update anything at that school? Asbestos is still in the classrooms, too many kids in one classroom, the teachers are too old to know how to teach math and there is no way some of them even know how to use a computer. This is one place you are not getting what you pay for. Guess how many families left this year?
damian mom

Midlothian, IL

#29 Sep 3, 2011
The letter in the family gram said that charity mania is the only mandatory fundraiser. Yes, they may want support for all fundraisers, but we are not obligated to participate in any other than charity mania.

As far as the question of where is the money going? Bring it up to the school board. I believe there is a meeting this month.
What would you like to see updated at the school? Have you visited your child's classroom or computer lab? Each room does have computers in them, that is one ongoing update.

I, as are many parents, are hoping for a lot of positive changes with our new pastor. Please, attend a school board meeting and make your inquiries about where funds go and about teacher credentials. You will not get answers unless you ask the questions. If you're not willing to ask the questions, then that's your fault.
anothermother

Chicago, IL

#30 Sep 3, 2011
Questions have been asked, and never answered. And as far as what we should be seeing? Asbestos and mold removed from the lower classrooms, older teachers offered either educational update classes that they can take and implement or be offered a retirement package so we can hire younger, fresher teachers. Oh wait, we did have an opening in Jr. High and from what I hear, we hired a teacher in her 50's who taught at Damain before, left and then decided to come back. And here's the best part, ask ANY parent of a child she taught in the past and they will ALL tell you what a terrible math teacher she is. The School Board? Do you know that they are a group of hand picked parents that are not struggling to pay their tuition? Yeah, no answers from them that aren't rehearsed.
mom for years

Chicago, IL

#31 Sep 4, 2011
I'm on my last child at Damian and I agree with the previous post, at least the part about the new Jr. High math teacher. She taught one of my other kids and I am not happy that she is back. Just wait and see for yourself. I'm not sure why we would hire her back.......but I have a pretty good idea why we did.
damian mom

Midlothian, IL

#32 Sep 4, 2011
I agree that none of the school brd. members seem to have to struggle, possibly influencing the decisions they make on behalf of all the parents, most that do have to struggle. I do not know the new/old teacher and have not heard anything about her but what you say could be true. The pastor I believe does the hiring or has the final say on it. There are a few teachers that I have heard are not so great. They should offer a parent survey on the teachers. My point was that a lot of parents seem to complain but not many bring their concerns to administration. I agree that answers are rehearsed or could be but atleast they would know that people are questioning things.
Joe Budtz

Mokena, IL

#33 Oct 30, 2012
OF Watch wrote:
The amount you pay in yearly tuition, does not equal the total amount it costs St. Damian's' to educate your child during the year. These fundraisers help offset the costs. Spending $20 is a small price to pay to ensure that a child receives a quality education.
You always have the option of sending your child to public school, where you wouldn't have to be bothers with these fundraisers.
We are considering sending our children to public schools next year.
This kind of fund raising is a form of gambling.
My man

Tinley Park, IL

#34 Oct 31, 2012
Catholic schools are about money, money and more money. Bottom line. If you don't see that, your blind. And they throw a little religion in there.
Damian mom

United States

#35 Nov 17, 2012
Who's bright idea was it to change the fund raiser to a $20.00 raffle ticket? At least in the past we had a better chance to sell the football raffle tickets. Nobody wants to buy a random raffle ticket with only a couple prizes offered. Not only do I have to sell $200.00 worth of tickets, I get a letter reminding me to pay when we still have a couple weeks left to sell. Again, it's people on the school board, with money, making decisions for everyone and it stinks.
Sue

Harvey, IL

#36 Nov 17, 2012
Damian Mom-

Here is an idea...take your complaint to a school board meeting and let your voice be heard. Schools have fundraisers....esp this one. No surprise. If you are upset the football aspect is removed, go complain at a board meeting and quit hiding behind your computer.
agree

Midlothian, IL

#37 Nov 18, 2012
Sue wrote:
Damian Mom-
Here is an idea...take your complaint to a school board meeting and let your voice be heard. Schools have fundraisers....esp this one. No surprise. If you are upset the football aspect is removed, go complain at a board meeting and quit hiding behind your computer.
I agree with you. So many people complain, yet nobody ever goes to the board meetings. Parents are welcome at the meetings and I believe all meetings are on the calendar. However, I do believe that the people on the board and those who choose the fundraisers may not have the same income as many families here do.

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#40 Nov 19, 2012
justcurious wrote:
<quoted text>
Ohhhhhhhh Please!!!!! Lets not kid yourself here. First off your not Paying for "Quality Education" (not implying that St. Damian is a bad school by any means). The reason the tuition is so high is because of the CATHOLIC CHURCH!!!!! Greediest bunch of scumbags in the world!!!! Pay to pray!!!!
Glad you found the time to respond to a post I made 3 years ago! Way to stay current.
Laura Baldwin

Griffith, IN

#41 Nov 20, 2012
Damian mom wrote:
Who's bright idea was it to change the fund raiser to a $20.00 raffle ticket? At least in the past we had a better chance to sell the football raffle tickets. Nobody wants to buy a random raffle ticket with only a couple prizes offered. Not only do I have to sell $200.00 worth of tickets, I get a letter reminding me to pay when we still have a couple weeks left to sell. Again, it's people on the school board, with money, making decisions for everyone and it stinks.
Damian Mom I am sorry you feel the way you do. I am a school board member and I can assure you....it is not easy for my husband and myself to pay for our son's tuition. We do not as you say "have money" but the money we have we choose to spend on sending our child to St. Damian. With that being said, we have 3 childen, although two are now adults, they went through the public schools in Oak Forest, and for 17 years I taught in one of them. And I believe my children had a great education there. Then 2 years ago, our youngest son asked to go to a Catholic school. We were not parishoners of St. Damian, so it wasn't even the first school we chose to look at. But in the end it was the one we chose to enroll our child into. I am for the most part very happy with our decision, and we WORK HARD to able to afford it. I have been on the Board only since the beginning of the school year,( I knew no one single person on the Board when I joined) but in that time I have never once seen a parent attend and ask questions, but I can assure you, speaking for myself I would gladly accept your input and consideration on any ideas you have. Nothing in life is perfect and you are not always going to make everyone happy, but in the end we all have to do what we think is best for our own families. Like myself, you are entitled to your opinions and I respect that, but please do not make blanket statements about others that are just not true. I do not know the financial situations of anyone else on the Board, BUT I do know my situation and I strongly object to you referencing my life when you honestly do not know anything about it. I welcome you attending a meeting or many and voicing your concerns. You will not be ignored.
Midloparent

Midlothian, IL

#42 Dec 8, 2012
As a St Damian parent, I must inform you that our Principle is a married WOMAN, with children int he catholic school system. Father Joe is LOVED by the children and in no way is intimdating! No school is perfect, but I got through GREAT lengths to stand behind the Kindergarten program at St Damian. My children are now in 1 st and 2nd grade and I couldn't be happier with the teachers they have been lucky enough to get. Is all the staff perfect, no...but not all are bad. I scrounge to send my childen there, and I am not even in OF district nor am I catholic.
damian parent for years wrote:
If you are looking for a kindergarten, I do suggest you look at the public schools in Oak Forest. St. Damian is so far behind the curve in education it's not even funny. Our kindergarten & 1st grade is nothing more than a play time babysitting service. This school was wonderful in the past, top notch teachers, an adminstration that cared for our kids, a Pastor that showed concern for the school & parents that wanted to be involved. Unfortunately, with a principal that has no emotional attachment to the school or the kids, everything else is falling by the wayside. We do not demand excellence in the classroom. The pricipal feels that if he does not disclose all "extra" fees, he will rope you in with his claim of "not raising tuition" for the last two years. All the fees & fundraisers bring our tuition up to and above other Catholic Schools. It's just not worth the money anymore. The teachers out & out show disdain for the pricipal & the pastor, there is no respect shown, and that goes both ways. This pricipal is 34 years old, not married, no children, he shows absolutely no empathy or compassion to the kids. He cannot relate, there is nothing in his life that connects him to the students. He is as cold as our pastor. How can a priest walk thru "his" school and not know anything about it? The kids are afraid of him. And yes, I know, most people are a little intimidated by priests, but, he is actually the only one at Damians that the kids are afraid of. He has continued to have every funloving, personable priest transfered. It is a difficult decision to stay at Damians, but at this time my kids are too invested, it would not be wise to change schools at this time. But, if I had to do it over..... I would never have let them attend Damians. Please think twice and give the public schools a chance. They have many wonderful things to offer. St. Damian's enrollment is declining and I wouldn't even bet that it will still be open when your kindergartener is in 8th grade. Save yourself the trouble. Go Public!!

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