I went to Saint James from middle school until graduation. As a military brat, I transferred into Saint James from a local public school where I was bored and bullied. STJ made me excited about school again. Yes, it was very challenging (I was in honors and AP classes) and, yes, I got stressed out, but you know what? Every bit of it paid off. I would not have done so well at college or graduate school if I had not had a firm educational base from Saint James. I am grateful to have learned from teachers with a wide range of non-academic and academic experiences, and I am still in touch with many of them. As some reviews seem focused on cliques and the idea of social exclusion, I would like to point out that I was a nerd and was accepted as a nerd - I did not feel pressure to be anything else, and I had plenty of friends in the art and theater departments who did not fit the traditional mold either. My main issues were with the school's need to continuously fundraise on top of the significant tuition expenses, and the administration's fairly conservative orientation. However, if you want the best college preparation in Montgomery, STJ is the place to go.
I think a few things that no one has addressed in this school review 1. The amount of drug and alcohol use. My child was offered drugs daily in his freshmen year was hazed because he didn't use drugs or alcohol. 2. Support for student athletes. The demand from sports and practice is a huge drain on time and effort and grades will suffer. Access to tutoring is available but practice is long and hard and if grades slump there is little flexibility and you can be kicked out of school for low grades. 3. The school has its cliques like most but these are very exclusive and hard for a new student or one who doesn't fit in the ideal cliques.
As someone who was always at STJ, for ten years, it's great to send your kid for elementary school. Middle school & high school, not so much. 90% of the teachers & coaches are wonderful. I would never go back or send my child there until the adminstration and toxic atmosphere are changed.
To be exact, I'm a former parent, but there was no box for that. My children both graduated from this school and received an incredible education. Now in their 20's they have well-paying professional jobs -- which is what we all want when we pay to send our children to the best private schools. Because money is no true measure of a person, I can happily add that my children -- and their friends who also went here -- are kind, caring individuals and good citizens -- in no small measure due to their education and the character shaping that took place at this school. My children were good students but not the most stellar in the class; still they received ample scholarships when it came time to go to college. In fact, their high school education was so good that freshman English was a breeze, and they tested well enough to receive college credit for other courses. The teachers were loving, professionals who looked after our children with care -- an especially important point when both parents work. I would recommend this school to anyone.
As a Freshman that has attended this school since K4, I should know how this system works. Some say Saint James is the best school in Montgomery, that's only half the truth. Saint James is an excellent school for academics. If you want your child to excel with education, I suggest this school. The education is terrific, outstanding really. They push you hard enough to actually learn something other than just sitting there and daydreaming (for most teachers). However, I strongly believe that education is not everything for school. Feeling like you fit in and having a place to feel accepted is VERY important. This school knows exactly how to make you feel like an outcast. I can look back on every year I've been here, and never once remember NOT getting bullied. When I say I've gotten bullied, I don't mean physically. They know how to do it verbally, even silently, and make you feel worthless. You'd be surprised what this school hides under the "we're the perfect school" facade. Even the kids that are black act white because they don't feel accepted unless they're snobby, white kids. If you plan on putting your child in this school, make sure they are EXACTLY the right "normal".
We are new to Saint James this year with an incoming Freshman and 7th grader. I was worried about coming to a new area and new school but can't be happier with the warm welcome my kids have received. There were so many events at the school before the first day, that my boys were completely comfortable on the first day and already had friends. Thank you to the entire Saint James staff for making this an easy transition.
Saint James School is an amazing school! The academic curriculum is the strongest in the city and is recognized as the strongest by many university faculty members. Saint James offers a wide variety of opportunities to the students through the award winning Arts Program(both visual and performing), outstanding Speech and Debate program, accomplished Athletic Program, unique College Elective Courses for the high school students, Leadership Opportunities, Community Involvement, and much, much more. What sets Saint James apart from the other area schools is the Innovation. Saint James School is constantly embracing the need to grow and change and the students benefit from this! We were the first area school to have a complete 1:1 Middle School iPad program and a complete 1:1 High School MacBook program. My entire family are proud Saint James School graduates!!
Both of my daughters attended St. James from Kindergarten through middle school. For high school, they attended public magnet schools, LAMP and BTW. Switching to public magnets was the best decision we ever made for them! I am glad that they started out at St. James just because it was a nurturing environment for little ones. But, if I had know how terrific the public magnets were in Montgomery, I'd have transferred my daughters after elementary school.
As a member of the class of 2012, I must say that I feel prepared for my future coming out of this school. Truly, a Saint James education, while expensive, is worth the investment. I don't dread going to school; learning here is invigorating. A student's courseload can be tailored to be anywhere from average to Ivy League caliber. Few schools can rival the preparation Saint James gives its students. Attending this school for all of middle and high school has been a remarkable experience, and, while I've had my ups and downs, Saint James has always been there to help me along the way. Send your child here. Challenge them to be their best... and enjoy the results.