I have been very pleased with this school and the experience my two kids are having. It is a safe environment where they can focus on learning. It is a college prep school where they are surrounded by other students that are also college minded and competing for grades. The faculty know all the kids by name and hold them accountable for grades and behavior. It is a close community with good parental involvement. No gangs. No fights. No police needed on campus. If you are serious about your child's future arrange a visit to the campus and see for yourself.
This is by far one of the biggest mistakes our family has ever made. This school is a hot bed for bullying. Many of the kids have horrible attitudes. It does not help that most of the administration is rude. The principal is by far one of the most pompous men that I have ever encountered. Well they say there academics are top notch they are pretty much the same as the classes offered at top fresno & clovis schools. This school is not worth the tuition at all.
SJM is well below average in a number of respects. First, teacher quality. The school has very little money to hire, train and retain quality teachers. Those who excel often leave for higher paying public school jobs. As a result expectations and policies around teaching quality are low and rarely enforced. Second, academic focus. While SJM likely makes one believe that its SAT scores and academics are top notch, they are no better than COMPARABLE public schools in Fresno. The school often touts its religion emphasis which makes sense as a Catholic institution. But this is not an excuse for mediocre academics. High school students need moral development but they also need teachers who can teach and teachers who believe their students can achieve at high levels. Low expectations limit the school's potential on a number of fronts. Finally, cronyism. If you are not plugged into the "elite", also known as a rich family who donates lots of money, then you won'e be taken care of as well. Simply put, the school needs money so they solicit wealthy parents and in return SJM takes "special care" of their students. It's not equitable and probably not Catholic...
SJM provides an excellent learning environment. The teachers whom I've met are engaged and enthusiastic. The school size is particularly appealing, and the academics are rigorous. Students have ample opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. Athletics are top notch.
I am a recent graduate from SJM and I whole-heartedly believe that the school has given me the tools to live a better life. There is room for improvement in certain academic areas of the school (particularly the mathematics and foreign language dept.), but with the resources available-- SJM provides a top-rate education that actually prepares a student for the next step: college. The school is not without its 'bad eggs' of kids who do stupid things, but no school is immaculate. Faculty and students are bonded together in a community of trust. The Catholicity of the school is shown in its policies; the absence of a zero-tolerance policy displays understanding and mercy as circumstances should alter consequences. One of the most central aspects of the school is the expectation that each student will further their education beyond SJM. I thank my parents for making the sacrifice of tuition money.
This is my 2nd year as a parent of an SJM student. The academic quality is first class as well as the sports and extracurricular activities. Facilities are worn but serviceable (please build a new GYM). All in all it beats public school by a mile and well worth the tuition! Character does count at this school, and I believe they do punish bad behavior.