Here are some testimonials from current and past students’ families. Hopefully they will provide for you a better understanding of the experience of having your child enrolled with us.
“The Principled Academy is such a terrific school- fun, morals, academics, small class sizes, great staff, hard to find anything better, eh? All the parents kept saying that. Thank you (Dr. Durst and Kristina Seher) for running and investing in this school for so many years. Surely you’ve helped shape the lives of hundreds of kids, myself included.”
- Joletta H., Alumni, 1999
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for nurturing such a supportive environment in the preschool. (My child) has been very comfortable there, and I feel that she has grown tremendously in her time with you and the other preschool staff. I know that you and your colleagues will be the main thing she misses about California. You’ve all done a fantastic job.”
- Jeff S., preschool parent
“I’m very happy and very pleased with how the school is organized and how close-knit of a family it is. Children can start from a young age and go all the way through Eighth Grade. They are around the same friends, day in and day out, throughout their whole time at the school. Thus they develop a real good bonding not only with their peers, but with their teachers also. That is the advantage they have over the public schools.
My son loves it. It’s funny because kids from Seventh and Eighth Grades will say ‘Hi how are you’ and I’ll ask do you know who that is and he’ll say ‘No.’ I like the environment in which older kids look out for the younger kids; it teaches them to be responsible and caring. Compared with the public school systems, the students here are not exposed to a lot of negative things. I don’t think there is anything negative about this school. I really enjoy it. ”
- Mr. James H., Parent
“We feel lucky to have found such a wonderful preschool for Maya. Our daughter is happy and thriving, and we know she is safe and nurtured. We value the close relationships we have with Maya’s preschool teachers, in particular with Ms. Annie. We appreciate all of the school events, because they reinforce a sense of community and cultural inclusiveness. We have formed bonds with parents of other students. And, the fact that Dr. Durst took time out of his schedule, to express his appreciation for our involvement at Principled Academy and to ask us for feedback, speaks volumes about the character of this school.” ”
- Carol P., Preschool Parent
“I wanted to thank you for all your help with Kai these past two years. He did so much growing while he attended the Principled Academy. You provided him with a safe haven to be himself. He is now attending Moreau Catholic (High) School. …His history teacher assigns homework in the same way as Dr. Durst…students are required to think about their answers and write complete sentences…even paragraphs…to answer questions that the teacher is asking. …A lot of kids in his history class are having difficulty with this kind of assignment. I so much appreciate Dr. Durst’s teaching style in preparing Kai for these types of assignments.”
- Mrs. Anne C., parent of alumni, Kai, 2004
“My daughter is comfortable at the Principled Academy…She can experience goodness around her. There is no other school setting that can provide that “beautiful garden” where a child can blossom. The teachers are like an extension of the parents, a validation of parents ideals. It is such a precious place. …she is happy.”
- Mrs. Audrey D., parent of alumni, Jina (2002) and Anna (2003)
“As my son was ready for 5th grade, I decided to enroll him at The Principled Academy. Right away, there were changes for the better. Every morning there was Morning Service where they learned about such values as honesty, courtesy, respect and sincerity. Each month I would receive an informational sheet with information about what was being talked about in Morning Service that month. It was inspiring to see that the kids were receiving information that would help them to become better people. Such things as wearing uniforms meant that there weren’t a lot of decisions to make each morning and kids didn’t have to be distracted by the latest “Dinosaur” or “Star Wars” fashion characters. Also, they didn’t have to worry about whether their shoes were better than the next guys. Also, the atmosphere is stricter. Students are expected to respect their teachers and each other. Students are expected to stand and walk in line without poking each other and talking wildly with each other. One aspect of the school that I really like is that the class sizes are small and no child can slide without the teacher noticing and the parent being notified. This has really helped me on a number of occasions help my son to improve his study skills and grades. There is really something special about being at a school where many of the teachers know most of the students. It is a warm family feeling. I have always felt that the teachers are always encouraging and genuinely want the students to succeed. …My son can learn to be a good citizen at the same time as he learns his reading, writing and arithmetic! I highly recommend The Principled Academy.”
- Ms. Nancy A., parent of alumni, Ian (2003)
“…for those of you who have kids in grades 1-7, you have a decision to make every year about where you will send your child. I will say this – the best money you’ll ever spend, is on giving your child a foundation from which they can be anything. Good values and excellence in teaching is the key. The Principled Academy is the framework to accomplish this. As a Catholic, I had friends and some family members wonder about our decision to send our child to a school that was non-Catholic yet parochial. I just chuckled as they were worried that she would be brained-washed. I was so excited about the school I told everybody about it. However, I was saddened when a dear friend decided not to send her child here some six years ago, she felt an education at an “Oakland Hill school” offered a more. Literally, last month she told me the biggest regret she has in her life was not sending her daughter to the Principled Academy. She said she was afraid of her kid being brained-washed by “Jesus Rhetoric,” not realizing that at the ages of 10-14 there were more formidable adversaries, with names like “50 cent, the Ying Yang Twins, MTV, the Internet, etc.”; and to date the latter was winning, as well as the latest AirJordan’s and provocative attire. We know it’s easy not to yield to these temptation – there is no money because we’re paying for tuition; a much wiser investment….
…Between excellences in education, a school based in Judeo-Christian values, family support and great kids your child is not only safe, but will do well, as represented by the graduates today. And here is what you need to know – something that money cannot buy: The staff at this school loves our children and has been here for our children when we couldn’t be. …the best thing we ever did…was to send Amanda (J.) to the Principled Academy.”
- Mrs. Chana J., parent of alumni, Amanda (2005)
(from a speech given at graduation, June 14, 2005)
“We’re the Primas family and our son Tyler has been at The Principled Academy for two years.
Tyler was always happy and bright. Almost from the time he was born, he could give you a smile that extended to the tips of his toes. He caught onto things easily and enjoyed going to school.
When he was in sixth grade, something changed. He was nervous, moody, his self esteem plummeted, and he couldn’t seem to do his school work.
One day we found his wastebasket overflowing with crumpled papers. We started opening these and discovered that they were all the same homework assignment, written over and over again. We knew we had a problem, and took him to UC Berkeley for testing. He went through a thorough evaluation and was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.
We were devastated. There was no trauma, no visible reason to tell us why our son suddenly couldn’t answer material he learned in first grade. The psychologists told us that he would need a modified workload and extra time for tests. Even then, he would sit stewing over his homework and say over and over again, “I’m stupid, I’m stupid. I can’t do this. Why can’t you just let me fail?”
The school he was attending did what they could, but as they modified his workload his symptoms just got worse. We started looking for another school and found The Principled Academy.
We attended an informational night and Tyler was really excited about the school. We decided that we had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so we would give it a try.
The teachers were incredibly supportive. Everyone seemed focused on helping Tyler succeed and everywhere he turned, he was praised for how good his character was, how much effort he put out, and what a joy he was to be around. He started building confidence and with that confidence he went from a modified work schedule to taking on the same workload as his classmates. He still takes a little longer to finish his assignments, but even when he’s been working for hours and I try to stop him, he’ll say, “I’m almost done. I can do this. I want to finish.”
He’s now in eighth grade and he’s excited to go on to high school. Not only that, he’s excited to go on to college! When we went to meet with his teachers to get his first semester report card, we were in for a huge surprise. Tyler had straight A’s. The boy who told us “I can’t, I can’t. I’m stupid.” has turned into the boy who clearly can.”
Dani Primas, parent, (2013)