Our child was new to the school as an out of state freshman. The students, freshman and upper classmen, could not have been nicer. Our son fit right in and liked the school right away. We feel he is challenged in the classroom, being in honors classes. He plays a sport and loves being part of a high school team. There is plenty of peer and faculty support. Are all the teams strong? No. But there is no less enthusiasm by the students. We sent our son to JC for academic and religious reasons and we are happy we did.
I think that for the cost of tuition, John Carroll really isn't worth the money. You can get a far better education at a public school such as Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, etc, as well as more opportunities to excel academically. For a private school with over 600 students the technology is far behind as well as sub par facilities (constant leaks,heat outages). Unless you have your mind set on a catholic education there are far better options. And if your son or daughter is considering a future in athletics other than soccer, this definitely is not the place to go. Save your money I wish I had
We have sent our 3 children to JCCHS- our youngest is currently a freshman- our experience there has been a very positive one- academically strong, with a fairly diverse student body for a private school nested in Homewood and with a moderate access to extra-curricular activities. Our 2 oldest received quite sizable academic scholarships to competitive colleges. The main reason to consider JC as a school for your child is for the chance to get a solid education academically within a strong faith based milieu. There are few schools in the BHM area that are stronger academically- but not too many- and I was certainly impressed by the life lessons our kids were taught there. It is a very good school if your goal is for your kid to graduate a well rounded young man/woman. As for the comments about people being stuck up- I disagree- there are very wealthy kids that attend JC, but I think most of the student body is middle class and salt of the Earth kind of people. As for the cost- a significant part of it you recoup by the use of uniforms (anyone who has a daughter knows this) and in the college scholarship money they'll get if they are serious students (we came out well ahead!).
I have a just-graduated senior, and a second child currently attending JCCHS. One of my children is special needs, so I think my experience is pretty broad. First of all this is a good school, run by good, Christian people who emphasize building the moral side of students. My experience has been that they will do the right thing. The biggest issue I have with the school is the high turnover rate, which tends to bring in too many young, inexperienced teachers. Those teachers can wreck a kid's GPA. They know one way to teach, and lack the confidence to try other approaches than the one they were taught in college. Of course, there are exceptions--but in general I've found this to be the case. JCCHS is a good environment, but don't expect it to be perfect. There is a little bit of everything you'd see in any other high school--the difference being that the administration has more options to deal with it. Academically, I am convinced the graduates are better prepared than many from the public school system. In the class of 2014 there were over $9 million in scholarships offered. My child received a full tuition scholarship and graduated with an advanced degree and high honors.
As a former student I believe I received a very good education at John Carroll however I think I could have received the same education at one of the better public schools in the city. I have three sons and I am not sure I will be sending any of them to JCCHS. Unfortunately, the education here comes with a very snotty attitude and a group of stuck up groups only money can buy you into. Also, I found even the most talented cheerleaders were refused entry unless mommy and daddy had big bucks. Even student counsel was a buy-your-way-onto position that only the spoiled rotten kids won. Do your children and yourselves a favor. Unless your are richer than God they teach about, send your kids to Vestavia, Mountain Brook, or other comparable schools.
My daughter just started her senior year at John Carroll. She said the kids were very stuck up.The first day was half day and a lot of the kids were going to Moes. My daughter goes and not one J.C student ask her to join them to eat, or even talk to her. She sat and ate by herself. She attended school the next 3 days. It was the same situation. She tried to engage in conversation with the students, but they were not receptive. Prior to J.C. she went to a private catholic high school in New England. The tuition is double the cost of J.C. She attended school with many multi-million dollar families and celebrity's kids. Never did anyone treat her the way J.C. Kids did. I'm very disappointed in this Catholic School. This is not the Southern Hosipitiality I grew up with in Alabama.
John Carroll is a stellar school if your child is driven academically. If you have an average student, the school curently is, in my opinion, not worth the tuition. The only benefit of JCCHS in that scenario is the extra religious instruction and faith based activities - but for less than the tuition, you can provide that through your home parish and household activities (and should be anyway if you are Catholic). I disagree with the other poster that the school buildings are subpar. They are average. The athletics are not bad, but they are obviously not the primary focus and, in my opinion, should not be the focus of *any* educational institution. Honestly, those at the school who are too athletics driven are the main problems there. The kids and families who are mainly focused on education and faith are the best, and JCCHS should really do more to build that core by encouraging and supporting and promoting parent/student activities linked to faith and educational success.