I have a Kindergartener at St Jerome school and I'm very happy with it. My son is in a class of only 16 children, with a wonderful teacher and teaching assistant. The teachers are very nurturing, communicate extremely well with parents (we all get a daily report on children's behavior), and are doing an excellent job of teaching the children Math, English, Science and critical thinking. They also have PE twice a week. The school genuinely welcomes parental involvement and feels very friendly. The head teacher and office staff are very approachable. The children are encouraged to have friendships across grade levels - with K - 8 'faith families', and our son loves 'his' 8th grader. We are not Catholic, but we feel very welcomed and the religious education mainly centers on morals, how to be a good person etc.. The school is well worth a look at - the Kindergarten day is 8am - 3pm, where the public school is only 8am - 11am and the fees are very reasonable - we worked out it was cheaper for us to go there than to purchase childcare to top up the public school education to a full day.
St. Jerome Catholic School offers challenging academics, top notch faculty/staff and a nurturing and diverse student body. As a long time parent of 1 alumnus and 2 current students, I can attest to St. Jerome's academic excellence, outstanding faculty and supportive parent community. St. Jerome Catholic School teaches students about respect, compassion and discipline for all. Spiritual growth, academic excellence, artistic expression and good sportsmanship are many of the values that are instilled in the student body and faculty. Our faculty consistently prepares our students for the challenges in high school and beyond. St. Jerome graduates distinguish themselves at Academic Awards Night at Salesian High School, St. Mary's High School and El Cerrito High. St. Jerome Catholic School is an outstanding choice for K-8 and I have been extremely satisfied with our experience.
I have two children who have attended St. Jerome since Kindergarten. Both are eager to get to school each day and miss it dearly over the summer and Christmas breaks. I m frequently complimented on my children's' manners and knowledge. They are well-rounded, smart and happy children! St. Jerome kids work hard and play hard every day, but they do it as a team. They are challenged academically and reminded to be kind frequently. Their spirit is contagious!
My kids have been at this St. Jerome School since Kindergarten. They love the school and all their friends. I am impressed by the level of education my children are receiving. The standards in which they are being taught is very high. They are not only learning academically but they are also learning how to deal with each other as respectful, loving individuals. The one-on-one time they receive from the teachers is very important in their development. The homework is balanced and the tests are challenging. The teachers form clubs to help students meet their highest potential. The area in which St. Jerome is located, nestled in a residential communtiy, gives me peace of mind after dropping them off. I know they are safe and that means the world to me.
I love this school. All my kids have gone here, and I am very pleased with their education. The 7th and 8th grade teachers are especially good at preparing the students for high school, and they provide lots of extra academic support, math labs, HSPT prep, etc., that "scaffolds" the work being done in class. I also love love love the family and parent community. It's a strong, supportive, fun and kind community. St. Jerome's is one of the gems of El Cerrito and the surrounding area.
St. Jerome is a great school! We are new to the school, and have been pleased with our decision. We see our child thriving both academically and socially. We like the community feel; the student body, faculty and parents gather on the yard every morning for prayer and announcements, like a family starting out their day. We like that they have morning/after school care. And in this crazy economy, we feel like our child is getting a top notch education at a reasonable price (in comparison to other private schools in the area.) I think it is also worth mentioning that the principal, who is also new this year, is wonderful - caring, supportive, and has done a great job revitalizing the school from what we have heard.
We spent over 12 years at St Jerome's with 2 kids. They had a great start, solid academics, & great life values. Since there is no separate middle school they did not have to "grow up too fast" and learned they are responsible for the younger kids too. (I love the student family projects with kids from every grade put into groups.) With a new principal coming for 2011-2012 and renewed energy amongst the parents, I hope families will see SJ's strengths - a very diverse environment and a safe place for kids. My kids have gone on to great high schools and college. All through SJ, I got compliments from EVERY summer camp my kids went to about how well behaved and helpful they were. SJ fostered that!! And, at the student awards for freshman this past spring at my kid's high school, 5 ninth graders who had gone to SJ were awarded for MULTIPLE achievement awards. Not just for solid academics, but for being the "sparkplug" in the classroom - true contributors. Two of the 5 were transfer students into SJ. Every school has strengths and areas to improve on. SJ knows what it needs to do to move to greatness. Teachers are dedicated & office staff makes families feel very welcome.
St. Jerome is on the rebound and will have a new principal for 2011-12. Spanish, P.E. and music will remain in the program. I have 4 children attending St. Jerome and am very happy with the education and environment. My oldest came from another school and was able to quickly make friends -- the teacher really helped integrate him into the existing social structure. The teachers are caring and are able to connect with children in special ways. Due to drops in enrollment (caused by the economic downturn) the class sizes are quite small and the teachers are able to provide individualized attention and to provide parents with a complete picture of how their children are doing. The cost is very low compared to other private schools and is money well spent. The school is entering a new phase as parents step up and express their needs and desires for the future -- together we will build something enduring for the community. St. Jerome has a proud history and its graduates are accepted into their high schools of choice and speak fondly of their days at St. Jerome's. I am staying put and hope that more families will come and join.
Our daughter has attended St. Jerome Catholic School, kindergarten through second grade. We are very pleased with the caring, friendly atmosphere created by the wonderful teachers and staff. There is a high expectation of positive, constructive, behavior. Our daughter loves to go to school everyday, and is making great progress. We are very happy with our decision to send her there.
My daughter has attended Saint Jerome for seven years, and my son for four. Saint Jerome provides a loving environment that adheres to an ethical standard of conduct that imparts important values to young minds. Their teachers and educational curriculum is top notch. I am very grateful for the wonderful learning environment they have provided my children, and I would strongly recommend Saint Jerome as a wonderful place to send your children.
I was disappointed in St. Jerome School, overall, for the education on my two children. I agree with another reviewer who said that it is very difficult for children to enter this school from another school. It was my experience that the teachers did not help to control the cliques or to try to help students who were not having an easy time assimilating into the existing social structure. The school is so small that it is hard for children to meet a variety of other children to find friends and the teachers do not help. One of my children had a positive social experience and the other had a terrible social experience. The teachers are OK, some very good, others mediocre. At first I respected the principal's strong sense of discipline and tried to support it but in the end I found it to be somewhat random and frustrating.
The principal really makes children feel small and intimidated. Its a really good school its very warm and welcoming, and the teachers are welcoming.
There is a family feel to the school, but the students there don't accept new students from other school well, the students that have been there for a number of years make it difficult for new students. My granddaughter is a year ahead of class in every subject.
the school's acedemic program is its strong part, yet its still not as good as other local private or public schools. I wouldn't select this school for your child.
As the parent of 2 children whom attend St. Jerome our family has found the experience a phenomenal one. The unity and family like atmosphere has been one of the many qualities we have found at St. Jerome. The teachers and the academics are above and beyond the standard. I agree the principal is big on discipline an respect but it is what so many children lack these days I can understand how it may be a little to much for some of todays parents. Her organization and experience is one what gives our school its excellent reputation.
As a parent of a 2nd grader I have found my experience to be the opposite of the other reviewers. We have found that St. J's is a great place. I find the teachers dynamic & interesting. All but two have been there longer then ten years. The additional activities such as Spanish, music & PE are benefits not found in local public schools. The after school sports and clubs are fun and exciting. The parent involvement has created a 'village' community atmosphere between our class. We (parents) are eager and excited to help the teachers & staff. It is not a chore to 'do your hours'. It is a strict environment. At times a little overbearing for my tastes, but I understand that this is good preparation for the world at large. I appreciate the principals and values that are woven into lessons. This is something that lacks in other environments.
Unfortunately, St. Jerome's does not live up to its full potential, due to lack of leadership. The textbooks are outdated, and the curriculum is substandard; which has resulted in countless of teachers, students, and staff leaving. The principal's demeanor, and lack of proactive progressive leadership is problematic for the school as well. Behavior of this nature was counterproductive to obtaining the goals that were desperately needed such as - leadership and education enhancements. Therefore, I do not recommend St. Jerome's to anyone seeking a high quality education, until administrative changes have been carried out.
The lack of leadership and management skills of the principal make this school less than it could be. She is unwilling to allow change to occur, doesn't see the need for growth. Does not have good communication skills and treats the parents like children. This is a private school where people pay money for an education for their children. She seems to not connect the fact that this is a business and needs to be run as such. The teachers are ok, there are a few good ones. There are a few that parents have complained about. The Principal seems to not listen to the customers complaints. Thus, many families have left the school. Classes sizes are down from 35 to 20 in many grades. The shining star of the school is the Kindergarten teacher, she is able to draw the kids in, too bad she is not in charge!
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