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St. Simon And St. Jude Elementary School

Private | K-8 | 547 students


Living in Huntington Beach

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $430,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $2,070.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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28 reviews of this school

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Posted September 17, 2013

With exception to a few, most of the teachers are tired and just want to kids to "read the book", don't bother them with questions. Their so-called special programs are a joke! After 2 years of Spanish, my child can't speak Spanish (although he can do "word searches" well). After three years of music, they play the recorder (plastic flute) and are great with bells! Really? After 3 years of a so-called music class, my child wants nothing to do with music because all he heard or learned about was Bach, Beethoven and the like - how about learning about different styles of music, jazz, blues, etc? If you call "cutting and pasting" Art, then I guess you will like their Art program. They need to focus more on academics and stop spending so much time and money on "special programs" that are so lame!! If you are a part of the "in crowd" you will have a great time, if not, don't even think of making suggestions. As for the principal, maybe the school should be renamed "Mrs. Smith's Kingdom at SSJ". Don't know anyone more impressed with herself! If you plan on your child attending this school through 8th grade, don't ever ever ever question her or her teachers!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 13, 2013

The bullying that goes on here is atrocious! Every year they go on about how the principal doesn't put up with bullying in any way, shape or form. I pulled both my children out of this school because my oldest was being bullied and she (the principal) refused to do anything about it even though others saw it and he had bruises and torn clothing. Even a parent who saw my child get punched was dismissed. Do NOT put your child in this school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 27, 2012

Read all the reviews....same principal.....same problems from past years....unless your family is a wealthy donor or very involved in PFA or other school programs you won't be heard when you have a problem. Numerous kids who should be discliplined aren't corrected because their parents are connected. If your child is the target of one of these kids....good luck! No one is going to help you. Academics.....good....too much "parent" home again ....If you'll be up late!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 25, 2011

We are new to this school and have found it to be everything we hoped for our daughter. The kids and teachers were very welcoming it made the transition easy (even for a 5th grader). There is always an activity for the kids (and parents) to get involved in. The curriculum is challenging but not too difficult. I like how the kids have mass every week and religion, technology, music and Spanish classes. I'm 100% happy with our decision to send our daughter here.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 17, 2011

SSJ has been a part of our lives for 11years now, with 2 years to go. I've had one child graduate, and one still attending. The level of education is top notch. The curriculum and extra curricular activities are expanding, where many schools are cutting back. The leadership of the school is excellent, and adapts readily to the fluid times that we live in. All of this in the context of a faith filled environment that you would expect from a Catholic School. We are a tight knit community with our children's all around best interest as our main focus.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 16, 2011

Sts. Simon & Jude is the best school in Orange County for educating the complete child. Highly recommended for any parent wanting the best education for their children.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 15, 2011

Wonderful school. My girls have been at Sts. Simon and Jude since the start of their education. They are happy and thriving in their environment. There is never a shortage of parent involvement.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 15, 2011

Two of my sons have graduated from Sts. Simon & Jude and have gone on to be very successful in High School and my oldest earned an academic scholarship to Santa Clara University. Thank you Sts. Simon & Jude for the exceptional preparation you gave my sons.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 15, 2011

SSJ is a great community in which to raise your children. The academics are excellent and the parish is extremely supportive of the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 14, 2011

My child and I have enjoyed our years at SSJ. From the teachers, curriculum,families to the principal support. There are no perfect schools as is there are no perfect parents or students. The Christian values and continued attention to a better enviroment is what keeps me an active parent here. All faculty, staff and the principal are easily accessible. My childs education is a priority for me and SSJ has provided an excellent enviroment for it. I would recomment it highy!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 14, 2011

The school is an amazing school with wonderful supportive teachers, great families and a good mix of sweet children.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 14, 2011

Sts. Simon and Jude is an excellent school with a strong foundation in academics and faith formation. I have two children in their second year and they enjoy the school and have no complaints. I'm glad to know they are receiving an excellent education. I'm surprised to read some of the bitter reviews from parents who feel they didn't receive the utmost in attention from the teachers or administration. I don't think those parents are being fair or honest in their assessment and are merely expressing their own bias based on an interpersonal breakdown or expectation that wasn't met.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 9, 2011

I love SSJ! The academic foundation as well as the Christian environment has been terrific for our boys. I sincerely appreciate the structure and the "life skills" they learn. In addition, the after school sports programs are terrific for the boys. The coaches have been fantastic! Like everything life, the teachers and students are certainly not all perfect. We have had a good experience with communication and responsiveness when we have had issues.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 1, 2011

I can very highly recommend SSJ for anyone who is not only looking for excellence in academic education, but a strong foundation in the development and formation of each child as a whole. SSJ provides a challenging academic curriculum in a supportive environment. In addition to core academic subjects, SSJ offers: Physical Education, Music, Art, Technology and Spanish every week. Learning Support is offered to assist students who struggle, and to enhance the curriculum for students who need to be challenged. There are Teacher Aides in every classroom as well a full time Librarian. There are dedicated staff for daily yard supervision, a Registered Nurse available full-time, and Counselors on site 4 days per week. Obviously, SSJ is dedicated to excellence, but it is the manner in which it is pursued that sets the school apart. The community of students, families, faculty and staff is caring, involved and supportive. As a public school teacher, my husband and I considered many options for our children's education. I am so happy we made the decision to enroll them at SSJ.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 3, 2011

In a time when public schools are struggling due to repeated budget cuts, SSJ is a breath of fresh air. The school is one of the best. As a parent with a young five year old I have been throughly impressed with their TYKE (Two Year Kindergarten Experience) program. My son has been able to have focused educational time that will prepare him for Kindergarten and beyond. He is writing sentances and is reading fluently for his age. I also love the since of community the school offers. I feel as part a family. My son will be with these students for the next 9 years and I couldn't be more pleased. The school is very active and has so much being offered to enrich any childs educational experience. Parents are extrememly involved with thier children as well as the school. I feel proud that my son has the opportunity to have such a fine learning experience.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 2, 2011

An Outstanding faith- filled School! Christan values are a part of everything that happens at this school. The atmosphere on campus is one of caring & respect for others. The students demonstrate a spirit of service through service projects that start at the kindergarten level. The school is WASC accredited and the curriculum is challenging. I like the emphasis on not only standard subjects such as reading & math but also the focus on religion, being an effective communicator, being a good citizen of moral character, & the school wide culture of developing lifelong learners who love to learn. SSJ has an excellent Physical Education program & a fantastic Art Program. The school library hosts Guest Author Days & other special events. The Principal and teaching staff are stellar. On the occasion that I have had a question, I received a prompt, professional, response. It has been my experience that the Principal and the teaching staff are easily accessible and welcome parent feedback and involvement. The Parent Faculty Association provides many opportunities to get involved at the school. Parent Involvement is high so there is a strong sense of community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 26, 2011

What a wonderful school! The community of students, parents and teachers/staff is wonderful. The administration is constantly growing and developing the curriculum. On the rare occasion that we had an issue to address with any of our three children, it was done promptly and professionally, and with the utmost care and attention for the student. The school provides an excellent example of Christian behavior and values. The school is WASC accredited and the students consistently test far higher than average, even among private schools. Even the best schools will have their detractors, however the negative reviews on this site diverge wildly from our experience over the past 7 years. To this parent, the vitriolic "single star" complaints suggest issues that likely have more to do with the critics than the school .
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 23, 2011

I have two kids at SSJ and I can't say enough good things about it. The community is like no other. The teacher are great. They're well educated, loving, supportive and nurturing. The academics are challenging, but appropriate. We have the benefit of wonderful, music, art, PE, computer and Spanish programs. It pains me to hear some of the criticism in these reviews. The people that want to blame the school for their problems are usually the ones that aren't involved. Like another person said, you get what you give. You can't expect the school or teachers to be solely responsible for your child's education. You have to do your part. The unfortunate reality of these comments is that all these former parents and students, at one time benefited from the exceptional sense of community, support and friendship that SSJ has to offer. It's too bad that they have to be so spiteful and angry in the way they recall their experience. I have never second guessed the decision to send my kids to SSJ. I can't imagine a better place for them to not only get an education, but to become responsible, faith filled members of the community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 13, 2010

I cannot recommend the school for Junior High. Teachers are unorganized, do not return phone calls, emails.Even mistakes in grading papers and tests when pointed out are ignored. A few of the Jr High School Teachers are running the school and Principal either chooses to ignore it or doesn't care. Special priveledges given to children of PFA if your not one of them.. Go Pound Sand! Caution: if you rock the boat by pointing this out your child will be singled out. There will be retribution, so be careful..
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 12, 2010

Instead of hiring experienced and qualified teachers they hire kids just graduating college with no experience, but who's families make a generous donation to the church.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 62% 26%
Two or more races 16% 3%
Hispanic 4% 52%
Black 1% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Ms. Crystal Smith
  • Coed
  • Roman Catholic
  • NCEA


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  • Religious
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20400 Magnolia Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Phone: (714) 962-4451


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