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damian family

AOL

#1 Jan 28, 2010
How many have seen the decline in St. Damian School? Why do we not have an administration that cares for our kids? A Pastor that cares for the school? Why are our classes shrinking? It's not just the economy. If the quality was still there, at the school, we would pay the money. People would be more then willing to pay for quality education. Unfortunately, the principal has no attachment to the school, he does not connect with the kids, or for that matter, the parents. He can walk thru that school, pass a parent and never greet them. How do you do that? I guess when you are 34 yrs old and have never been married or have kids, you do not learn to bond with children, you don't have anything in common. You don't greet people when they come in to your school because you do not think of it as your home, you are not invested in the school. Why are our teachers rolling their eyes at him, why do they snicker & laugh when he walks out of a room. There is no respect between the teachers & the pricipal, or the other way around either. He is as withdrawn and cold as the Pastor. Neither one of them are invested in our kids. Enrollment is down this year, and will continue to go down. This school may not be open in a few years. The principal will not care, this is just his stepping stone, he is looking for something to "pad" his resume. He has a part time job with the Archdioscese of Chicago and hopes to move up the "Catholic" ladder. The Pasor won't care if the school closes, he has his parish and has never showed concern for the school. School parents have been trying to have him removed for years. But he is getting the last laugh! He will "out-stay" us all. You let go of a wonderful assistant principal and give half of his duties to your secretary? Come on, why is the secretary making discipline decisions? Why is she walking thru the lunchroom and yelling at kids? Why is she dealing with teacher issues? Or parent issues? Let her answer the phone like she is paid to do. You need to get out of her office, stop hiding behind her, man up and take charge of this school. Try a little empathy, try to see what we are feeling, why we are pulling away. No? Well try asking your secretary, she has a better handle on this school then you do. And tell me, when you go out for your daily cigarette break, who is in charge? Who will lock down our school in an emergency? Who will take care of our children? Even if there isn't an emergency, who is taking care of our kids. Oh, I know, the teachers. Most of them honestly love being there and love our kids, because we know they are not there for the money. The parents are not involved any more, they see the lack of interest from the pricipal, so they display the same lack of interest. The moms in the parking lot stand and complain about the school every day, they bad mouth other parents, teachers and other kids. All these things are going to be the downfall of this, once great, school. All I can say is get out of your secretary's office, stop taking rides to have a cigarette and start working for the school that is paying you!! Or your stepping stone is going to sink!
New Parent

Oak Forest, IL

#2 Jan 29, 2010
I too have noticed the "coldness" of the principal. He doesn't waste a breath on me when I pass him every morning while dropping the kids off. Coming from a new parent to the school, I am not impressed and will be pulling my children out at the end of the school year.
another damian family

Alsip, IL

#3 Jan 29, 2010
I agree that the principal is not a "people person" and could stand to be a little friendlier. I have been at the office serveral times and he has all but once ignored me, not even a "hi, how are you doing?" However, he IS always standing outside dismissing buses and greeting children as they enter the building in the morning. I am glad to see him taking an active part in that way. I am new, so I do not know much of the "gossip" so to say that goes on or anything about the mutual disrespect that was spoken of. I do know that the principal has stated that he is not able to be as involved with the classrooms as he'd like since he has been trying to help families figure out some financial issues. I am glad to know that he has been willing to help families that need it in some way. I do question the sincerity of some things he says and does, and I know that his personality has been the subject of much talk amongst Damian parents and parents of his previous school. What part time position does he hold with the archdiocese? I also unfortunatly do not know too much about the pastor. I hope that what is being said of this pastor is not true. Another area Catholic school is in danger of closing and from what I have heard the pastor is not helping at all and is only concerned with the church. There is a Family and School meeting this Tuesday, 7pm, open to everyone. I suggest if you have any issues that you would like to bring up, come to a meeting. I am sure that others at the meeting share the same feelings and will "stick up" for someone bringing up a concern.
damian family

AOL

#4 Jan 29, 2010
Unfortunately, the Family & School meeting is where these things are NOT discussed. They simply run down a list of things they need volunteers for, that's it! Only about 6 people show up, people gave up on that years ago. And the princiap is there and keeps looking at his watch. He no more wants to be there then anyone else does. Several times people have tried to discuss topics outside of F&S volunteers, that is not what they are there for. The School Board is where people should be going to air their concerns. And trust me, the principal hates meeting the buses in the morning, but he was told to "get out of the office" and meet & greet, by his secretary, I might add. All he is able to handle is greeting the kids. As far as helping families with finacial problems, that is very far from the truth. I know for a fact that when one family told them it was getting hard for them to keep up with tuition and didn't know if they should change schools, he said, "well, you have to do, what you have to do". No talk at all about helping them with any payment arrangements, that family ended up borrowing money from their family to stay in the school. He also called in a parent to talk about their late tuition and had the student in an adjoining office to overhear the conversation. The child had to listen to her parents admit that they couldn't afford the tuition. I think that's wrong, it's not a child's problem. And it's also none of his secretary's business. I'm tired of hearing them discuss the families & their problems. Families are pulling out left & right, every day another family withdraws, and he does not fight to keep them. Whether there are 500 students or 200, he still has a job. And his part time job, is that of advisor with the Archdioscese. He wants to keep his foot in that door so when he is looking to climb that "corporate" ladder, he is well known. He wants no more to do with kids than they do with him. why do you think at his young age he has had so many different jobs, teaching, principal, he doesn't stay anywhere very long, no one wants him that long. It's too bad that they will be closing the pre-school next year. He will also be combining more classes in the upper grades too. So now instead of 3 classes in the upper grades there will only be 2 classes with more students per room. I'm sorry to see it on downward spiral.
finally done

AOL

#5 Jan 29, 2010
My kids are coming out at the end of this year. The public school is able to offer much more, the PTA is an open, fun group and the pricipal is friendly and invested. There is no way I could ever stay at Damians with the way the kids and parents are treated. It's time for a change,and if the school won't change, I will.... I'll change my kids school. No regrets!!
New Parent

Oak Forest, IL

#6 Jan 29, 2010
@ Damian Family... No preschool for next year?? I haven't heard that. I was originally going to enroll one of my children next year (before I decided not to re-enroll).

Such a shame... Do you think this principal has any idea that he is not well-liked? Or better yet, does he even care?!
Ex-Damian parish member

Oak Forest, IL

#7 Jan 30, 2010
Since I cannot afford the enrollment at St. Damian, I chose to "attempt" to put my children in CCD to learn more about the catholic faith. The entire CCD program is a waste of money and my children learned nothing. And to attempt to approach the new CCD director even a bigger joke. But the biggest joke of all is the pastor's attitude towards the CCD program as nothing more than a money feeder for the school and his attitude when members of the parish go elsewhere. Why would anyone want anything to do with St. Damian when there are many other parishes in the area who actually care about the parents and kids.
damian family

AOL

#8 Jan 30, 2010
Hey Ex-Damian, wow, we always thought the Pastor loved the CCD kids, since he doesn't care about the kids that go to school there. He always acts like he can't even believe there are kids in the building, they are nothing more than a money maker to him. And even at that, if the school closed I don't think he would care. I also heard Damian's CCD is the most expensive in the area. And for the new CCD director, I couldn't agree more. She is so cold and "odd". She is just like the school principal, never greets you, can look right thru you.... I wonder if it's something with that age group. There is no respect or appreciation for the things the parents do for the school or church. If you ever read the bulletin at St. Julie's Church in Tinley, you will see more & more Damian families becoming parishioners there. Over 20 families have left the school since the beginning of this year, and you can't tell me it's because of money alone. If the school was worth the cost, people would find a way to pay. To be treated the way we are treated, as nothing more than a cash flow, it's just not worth the headaches. It all starts at the top and trickles down, if the Pastor doesn't care, then the principal doesn't care, then the teachers & the parents. There is nothing worth fighting for anymore. There are several families that will be pulling out at the end of this year too. And to "New Parent", the preschool is closing at the end of this year, they cannot afford the cost of the teacher for only 18 kids. It just doesn't work out. And no, I don't think the principal cares at all, one less worry for him. He is "only one man" as he likes to say, he "can't be everywhere" is his favorite motto. Well, I challenge everyone, walk into school one day, and just ask if he is around. I'll bet you $10.00 he is sitting hiding in his secretary's office! And know this, anything you say to him, is repeated to her & then to the receptionist. Oh, it's a close little bunch, and don't make them mad, they know everything about you and don't care who they share it with. Keep them all happy and the worst you'll get is them talking behind your back! Oh, the joys of catholic school.......
the boys mom

AOL

#9 Jan 30, 2010
Can anyone tell me why the receptionist is so rude? When you walk in she gets up and leaves her desk. She doesn't even greet you. Unless you are one of her favorites, then she carries on a conversation with them while you stand there like an idiot. Once I stood there for so long when the nurse walked out her office she looked surprised that I was still standing there. It's a very strange place.
bad dad

AOL

#10 Jan 31, 2010
You should ask them about all the sick kids from some of the classrooms. There is so much mold that the kids and the teacher had trouble breathing. There are kids that have missed days and days of school because of it. They keep denying it and saying that it's not mold, but anyone that looks at it can see what it is. He's afraid of me and won't even come out of his office when I'm in the bulding.
Wake up

Chicago Heights, IL

#11 Feb 1, 2010
Now that is what I am talkin about. Hit them where it hurts, the wallet. How come I cant be a teacher at St. Damian? I know I dont have credentials or certification as a teacher but heck niether do a few of our teachers.. Get checking and learn the truth!!!!
New Parent wrote:
I too have noticed the "coldness" of the principal. He doesn't waste a breath on me when I pass him every morning while dropping the kids off. Coming from a new parent to the school, I am not impressed and will be pulling my children out at the end of the school year.
another damian family

Alsip, IL

#12 Feb 1, 2010
where do we find out about the "credentials" or lack there of? Is that something that is public record even though it's a catholic school? I inquired about subbing there and the principal acted as though he wouldn't even consider me, told me it was all up to the principal. He made it very clear to me several times that he had all the power. I do have degrees and certificates and I personally found his response to me that day a slap in the face. Also, which classrooms are there concern about being filled with mold? Older or younger classrooms?
damian too

AOL

#13 Feb 1, 2010
WAKE UP, you're right, there are 2 teachers that are not certified and 2 that are obtaining there certifications. And for that reason you will see when you get to HS that our kids score the lowest in those subjects. We do not meet the standard from the public schools. Not to mention only 1 or 2 teacher's aide's have any type of college credits in Education. Most of them were stay at home moms that were recruited for the job. Talk about "pay to play", they only got the jobs because of who they knew. Most of them have absolutely no college credits to their name, YET, if you would like to be a teacher's aide sub, you must have two years college, again, unless you have sub-ed there in the past, then we go with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. And to "ANOTHER", you will never be asked to sub, even if you have college credits, a teachers cert., or a master's degree. If you are not "a chosen one" you will not be asked. They, and I do mean the receptionist makes the call on who sub's and who doesn't, and she already has her friends on the payroll. Yes this does sound bitter, but it's fact. I have a good friend, master's degree, cert, everything, went thru fingerprinting, background check all that was asked. She has never been called, and that was 3 years ago, and to top it off, her daughters class was once sub-ed by an aide and she was told there were not any teachers available to sub that day. See, she is a bit of an outspoken parent, so she is not well liked by the office staff. She asks for things, she questions things, she doesn't stand for doing things half way, and that doesn't go over very well in the office. So unless you're willing to bribe the right people, I'd go apply at the public school. They are always looking for subs. And I heard the mold is in the section that teaches the 1st thru 3rd graders. Just the group of kids that should not be exposed. Go ahead and ask, see the run around you get.
midlo mom

Oak Forest, IL

#14 Feb 2, 2010
I had my son moved to the public school last month from St. Damian. I was very disappointed with the school, curriculm and a few of the moms. They seem to be behind the public school in a few areas, math & reading especially. The teachers are very nice but I felt there was more "keeping busy" going on then actual learning & teaching. If your child is not on the bus, you need to get to the school an hour before dismissal in order to get a spot in the parking lot for pickup. And watch out for the "mom's". There are a few qroups of moms that are very rude and not very welcoming to new parents. I was just too disappointed with the school as a whole. It wasn't what I expected from a small catholic school.
HAPPY Damian Family

Oak Forest, IL

#15 Feb 2, 2010
Wow, what a bitter group. I hope your kids arent still at that school if you are that miserable. Remember everything starts at home. You are quite an example for your kids. I am sure we dont have any idea what REALLY goes on. Everyone there truly cares about that school. For minimum wage they arent there for the money. How about when you and your friends are in the parking lot complaining, why not just stop it. Its real easy to sit behind a computer all high and mighty bashing the place. I sure hope this is your first year there because if not, and its so bad, why did you stay in such a horrible place? I have been at this school and truly love it. No, I am not friends with the people who bash it, I stay away from them. Its all in what you put into it. There are people in that office that work very hard, and how dare you complain about them. You really have no idea, and all you are doing is spewing your hatefullness. Do you start your day by saying, Who can I talk about today? Honestly if you are that miserable, good riddends. We happy families will stick together and continue to make St. Damian the great school it is and will continue to be. Oh by the way, THERE IS A PRESCHOOL NEXT YEAR, MY CHILD IS SIGNED UP. Once again its people like you gossiping about the wrong information that get people all worked up. I have a feeling you are not liked by many thats why you are so miserable. Enjoy the cold parking lot,or you can always come inside whee everyone is happy...oh thats right, you hate it here!!

Since: Jun 09

KY, Chicago, & Midlo

#16 Feb 2, 2010
OK, I was trilled about St Damian after the tour my fmaily took last Sunday. I had toured St Chris as a second choice and there is no comparison.

I understand that everyone is on their best behavior for the open house, but I was still happier with St Damian than I was with St Chris.

Unfortunately if I lived within Oak Forest Public school district, I would send my children to Public schools. Unfortunately I live in Midlo and I will not send my children to Midlo's schools.

I have one child going into 4 year old preschool and one going in to Kindergarden.....if I read the post from above I should be concerned of the "mold" and of the preschool not being available next year....is this completely true? I will call St Damian tomorrow and voice my concerns.

My nephews attending the school for many years and they loved it.

I will be pinching every penny and pulling money from my retirement to pay for this school....now I am worried that I am investing unwisely, at the cost of my children's well-being nonetheless.

I could care less about other mothers liking me or not and the gossip that my ensue. If I have to get there an hour early to get a parking space for the kids to be picked up, then I guess I bring a book to bide my time. What I am concerned about is the stability of the school, the health of my children, and hidden costs of tuitions.
i agree

Alsip, IL

#17 Feb 2, 2010
First, thank you for someone posting something positive. As stated before, it is very easy to be negative. No school,principal, administration, or parent, for that matter, is perfect. Everybody has imperfections and nobody is going to be loved and admired by everyone. My child goes to Damian and is very happy also. The office staff has always been very friendly, even during the hectic morning and dismissal hours. I do believe that the principal could be friendlier and I doubt his sincerity on some things at times, but I'm impressed that he is usually greeting the children and dismissing buses. He also just participated in the school play.
You DO NOT need to get there an hour early to get a parking spot either. That's a bit of an exaggeration. Yes, the earlier you get there, the better choice of spots you get. I have pulled into the lot at 3:06 and still gotten a decent spot, you'll have to walk, but that's not so bad! You do need to get into the lot before 3:08 when they close off the lots to ensure the safe release of the children and it does take about 15 minutes to empty the lot, but there are a lot of cars and they do a good job and I appreciate the fact that there are teachers watching the lot and do not begin releasing cars until all children are in their vehicles.
I agree, some of these negative postings have raised concerns about the stability and health concerns of the school, but we need to find out the FACTS and not rely on gossip. Please, if you find out information, please pass it on. I will say, being new parents this year, we did get somewhat shocked with the cost of the mandatory fundraiser at the start of the year. I can tell you I was there when the principal was addressed about these concerns. Current families were told last school year of the coming fundraiser, but new and prospective parents were not. I do not know if they included that in the packet at open house, but it was $200. With private schools, you expect fundraisers and this is their only mandatory one for the year. It is also lower than other private schools mandatory fundraisers. If you decide on Damian, I suggest getting involved with the school, attend the new family orientation and join the family and school association and attend their meetings. Also, if you have concerns about the stability or health safety of the school, attend a school board meeting. I can tell you that the nurse is wonderful also and very attentive to the care and needs of the children. Good luck!
proud parent of damian

Oak Forest, IL

#18 Feb 2, 2010
I was at the open house on Sunday, and I was really impressed to see what is going on in my kids class rooms. My expierence at St. Damian has been great. I have always been able to go to the teachers and the office with ANY concerns I have had, and I feel that they were more than willing to help me. I really feel bad for the people who feel it necessary to come on here and write about how bad the school is. This is America...if you dont like it, take your kids out and go somewhere else! That "mold"story has been going on for YEARS.I know that it has been checked out, and there was never a problem.I am proud to say that my kids attend a "blue ribbon" school. It is a big financial commitment, but it is one I am willing to make for the great education my children are getting at St. Damian!
Really

Chicago Heights, IL

#19 Feb 2, 2010
Our society has come to this! Hiding on a screen watching "Lost" bashing a school that I and the family like, because we made it that way. If the mold (alleged) exisists I am sure it is a level that wll not harm the children, please get real if people only knew how much mold they have in their own homes they would have to move if they are this anal about school. Mold exisits everywhere, cheese, bread etc. If things bother you that much have a forum. I am sure if you invite people they will come. Peace
Really

Chicago Heights, IL

#20 Feb 2, 2010
Well I was watching "Lost"

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