We have not been happy at St. Joe's. The curriculum is weak and teachers do not teach the full curriculum year after year. The administrators will not release the school test scores for the community to see (this is a very bad sign). The school is currently hiring eight new teachers: K, 1, 3, 7, 8, Art, Spanish and Principal.
We love Saint Joseph Elementary School! We chose SJES not only for its academic offering, but also because we want our children to experience the sense of community, unity, and responsibility that we believe is emphasized in faith-based schools. Regardless of our students' faith (we have a very diverse group of students and families), SJES reinforces daily the value and importance of being good citizens, being kind to one another, taking responsibility for his or her own actions, and striving for academic excellence. I am very proud of my children and the well-rounded little people they are becoming with the support of the SJES community.
What is positive: - There are some excellent teachers who really care about your kids, unfortunately, not enough. - The parent community is a strong and supportive of each other. Shortcomings: - There is really no resouce staff to speak of. There is one teacher who was not effective while working with my daughter, and doesn't seem to have the training for the various learning challenges that many kids have. There is no counselor on staff. - The school philosophy is that homework comes first and extra-curricular activities are secondary. That is evident in the amount of homework assigned, even in the lower grades. - Yes, there is a computer lab, but all the kids did was play games. There are no computers for the classroom to be used as technology is used in the real world. - The junior high curriculum is in shambles. Last year the 8th gr only finished 5 chapters of math, as compared to other catholic schools finishing up to 13 chapters. - Teachers have yelled at students, made them cry, and the most difficult part is that the principal does not really listen to the parents, to a detriment of the school. We left and my kids love their new school. I wish that we had left sooner.
The school has a good reputation and a beautiful campus, but don't let that fool you when considering elementary school for your child. Archaic teaching methods based on reward and punishment, strict and unkind staff and a serious lack of creativity make for a very poor learning experience.
The principal is dedicated to doing what's best for the students, and the teachers all have credentials with many having masters degrees. My children love the sense of community, and they also enjoy the chess club, the sports, and the music program. The school has made a new commitment to improving technology within the curriculum, and it will give my kids a new set of skills for the real world.
This school has been great for my girls. They love all of their teachers and their academic program is challenging. The parent involvement is great! St. Joseph's Elementary is a nice community that my kids enjoy being a part of where they are learning important values such as respect for themselves and others and importance of family. The school offers extracurricular activities such as sports and music (choir and band) for little or no additional cost. I highly recommend this school. You get a lot without paying a high private school price.
K - 4th grades are very strong. The middle school (6-8th grades) are in a shambles. These grades do still tend to fill up, with 34-36 kids per grade, primarily due to the even poorer quality of the local, public middle school. Hopefully the new principal can get the school's house in order.
St. Joe's offers solid opportunity for K-4 education. Good kids, caring, competent teaching staff. The upper grades have been plagued with staff turnover and suffer from lack of coherent science and math programs. The new principal may be able to solve these problems, but it will take time.
Great community school. Excellent teachers, and strong curriculum. The students are well behaved and respectful of their teachers, peers and parents. I am also impressed with the way the older students help out the younger students.