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Saint John Of The Cross Catholic School

Private | K-8 | 460 students

 

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Living in Lemon Grove

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $229,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,210.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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20 reviews of this school


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Posted June 27, 2014

I agree that, like all schools, SJC has areas that need improvement; however, things are not as bad as some reviews suggest. The new principal left the school early in the year and I feel that the teachers pulled together immediately to assure continuity. Bullying and teasing occur at every school across the globe and they ARE addressed, though perhaps not to everyone's satisfaction. I know that many teachers talk about respect, honesty, integrity, etc. It is the parents' responsibility to follow through and model at home what is taught in class! Regarding the lock downs: the school is in the middle of a large urban area and NOTHING bad has happened on campus, due in large part to the drills that teachers and kids have had. The school computer server crashed, but in an effort to stay in touch with parents the school started a Facebook and Twitter account. The area that needs improvement is parent involvement. PTG meetings are sadly not well attended, but a new board was installed and things will get better. One example was the end of the year Walkathon. It was wonderful! The board has many new ideas for next year, too.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 27, 2014

My kids started at SJOC in Pre3. They have excelled academically. The administration has had some turn over and the school is in transition. I feel they are making changes for the better. Most of the teachers and staff want what us best for the school. There are several teachers and staff who put in 150% and it shows. My kids really enjoy going to SJOC. As parents we love to be involved as much as we can. The school needs more parental involvement. Every school has areas of improvement. SJOC is no different, however I feel they are taking it in the right direction. I love that they are in social media now. It makes announcements so much easier. I highly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2014

My child attended this school from pre3 through 4th grade. I am pulling her out next year for mulitple reasons. One, there is a lack of structure and communication on the part of the administration. Their school website is down, so communication relies heavily on the teacher and in my case it was NONE. I wouldn't be aware of school events or even half days that required planning ahead of time. The main reason I am pulling my child out is the discrimination and bullying that occurs ont only between children but also families. I thought at first that with such a high hispanic population it would be a good experience and help my daughter learn Spanish. Instead, she is bullied and ridiculed for not speaking Spanish and the parents are no better. i have never experienced cliques like those i saw in this school, even when i was in high school. Teachers and administration do nothing in response to complaints. Teachers vary quite a bit as far as their skill, professionalism, and education. One teacher in particular (Mrs. Stepp) is AMAZING and the only reason i kept my daughter in for another year. Unfortunately she can no longer counteract the other negative aspects.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 8, 2014

I had previously written a review at the beginning of the school year, I came to know the school better, while back then I was happy, I end our stay at SJOC very disappointed, the Principal left for personal reasons, that I respect, but the school was headless, some teachers were in charge, then they appointed one teacher as Principal, what does it say to me? No stability. Then, being a Catholic school I experienced no validation of the faith through their actions in regards to controlling bullying, rivalry between families, and a total lack of interest in many parents to make feel people welcome and integrated, that also happened between classmates. Several lock downs thru the year didn't deter us from giving the school an opportunity, we thought God is with us, nothing bad will happen. But, the social pressure, the lack of compassion, the lack in making accountable kids that bully and provoke others, the administration not being congruent and consistent, just was unbearable. No sense of community here, sorry to say, no sense of compassion. :(
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 30, 2014

Some teachers in teaching are great, or at least the ones I've encountered. The first thing this school needs to work on is getting new staff for the front offices. There isn't any equal customer service. They pick and chose who to talk to nicely, but if they don't know you r don't like you they will talk to you any a very rude way. Second every time the children have a issue, they only punish the one that is defending themselves because they do not listen when a child is being bullied. It's a beautiful school/church, but it's sad that their personal can't even smile at you from time to time, specially front desk folks. That is where everyone starts when trying to get any customer service.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 29, 2014

I feel that overall this school is working towards student success and all the teachers and staff have the best intentions for the students. In my opinion, I also feel that the preschool program is excellent. My daughter had a tough time transitioning, but the teachers helped her to overcome and work through her behavior issues. Now she is another school that is Dual Immersion and offers three languages. I feel that the only area that the school could work on it their customer service. (office staff)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 4, 2013

SJOTC is not a great school. It's teaching is antiquated and has not kept up with current research or instructional practices. We have one child who will excel no matter where she is and our other needs extra support and nurturing. I am glad that they no longer attend and I feel sorry for parents who think that this school is able to support their children socially, emotionally, and academically.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 25, 2013

St. John of the Cross is not a good school. Most of the students speak spanish and a lot come from Tijuana. Their children are allow to bully other students, that don't speak spanish. They constantly pick other students. If you complain about it they do nothing: they don't want to lose the money from the large TJ population of students at the school. The teachers are OK, but with over thirty students per classroom there is less teaching and more homework to make up for the lack of teaching time. IIf you don't mind your kid getting bullied,and teachers without teaching credentials this school may work for you.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 28, 2013

It is a great school. And it is true that the school caters to Tijuana, Mexico families. This should be a plus, having the standard to be attractive to successful people willing to cross the border each day and pay the tuition (remember most earn mexican pesos). 99% of the border crossers are US citizens that do not take a dime from the US system, they pay their tuition from Mexican business, send their kids to school and by 4 pm be back at their home in Tijuana. What the school needs to do is increase the enrollment of English speaking students, preferably San Diego residents and capitalize on the potential of having this kids experience an intense exchange of culture, way of living, knowledge and promote social relations that in the future creates friends and business and cultural relations that can enrich the life and business perspective of the students, it could be a regional school, and give this San Diego and Tijuana residents a broader knowledge of their region and the opportunities ahead of them. Unfortunally the lack of vision to this date has the school in a behind the curtain battle of "we the poor and hardworking vs. You the rich and spoiled kids from mexico".
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 17, 2011

My son, Sergio , enjoys this school ! He went to another school in Chula Vista called High Tech Elementary, but recently got expelled for his behavior. It's ok though, he makes mistakes sometime & so does everybody else. Here, he learns from his mistakes & hardly even makes mistakes at this school at all (but he really misses his friends from High Tech) !
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 17, 2011

Not thrilled with the pre-school there. After one month they have determined my three-year old is "not up to par," which practically gave my wife a nervous breakdown (which of course does wonders for a marriage). How, on God's green earth, can you already label a kid after one month of observation is beyond me. Especially when the kid shows no signs of "below averageness" in my opinion. I guess, according to SJOC, they can determine a kid's future at the ripe old age of 3 years. Thanks SJOC! Nice to know you keep an open mind there and try to help develop kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 12, 2011

I took my child out of SJOC this year. I kept her in 1 more year to see if any improvements would be made after what was supposed to be an "intense" parent/principal/teacher meeting in the beginning of the year. Nothing changed. Unfortunately attitudes of the majority of the students towards those who don't speak Spanish or who aren't from TJ affect the atmosphere of the entire school. English speaking students are the minority & are ostracized on a daily basis (meanly & blatently). Nothing is done to curb this behavior. In an age where adults are required to go to "sensitivity training" one would think more of an effort would be made. I believe close to 15 students have left this year in my child's grade alone (15 out of 60 students is a lot). SJOC has an uphill battle. I'm not willing to sacrifice my child's well being hoping SJOC will catch up. It's a shame that SJOC will be losing so many students due to a shortsighted school administration that refuses to address the same problems that have been hurting SJOC for years. While the "message" SJOC says they portray is a nice thought, how about putting it into everyday practice. Goodbye Crusaders, it's been a long 6 years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 8, 2009

Excellent school with high standards. We are not of hispanic decent however I see a few in here commenting on the subject and how they disapprove of the hispanic population at SJCH, I believe it's a plus. The world was meant to all not to the select few.. Having gone from Saint John's in Chula Vista to SJCH I have seen a huge improvement in my child in many areas. I give SJCH two thumbs up.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 5, 2009

I'm a parent of a child that graduated from SJOC and a child that is still attending. I am sad to say that SJOC has changed for the worse over the past 3-4 years. I would have to agree that it does appear that the school does cater or reach out to families who are from TJ. It has had a negative impact not only in the school make-up (large percentage are from TJ) but also affects the parent involvment. For example, PTG meetings have been canceled repeatedly due to very poor attendance (distance for the TJ parents being their reason for not attending). I think this will be my daughter's last year. Many teachers have left, and I feel that the current academic standards have fallen to cater to the new school make-up. I'll miss the people, but frankly I can be this frustrated for free at public school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 28, 2009

It is a loving environment with high academic standards. They still hold values, morals and manners as a priority. It is a wonderful school with wonderful, knowledgeable, and caring teachers and staff.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 22, 2009

The management at this school needs to stop catering to the parent's bringing their children from Mexico. It is quite obivious when you attend a function at this school that this is the case. One only has to look at the yearly christmas function put on by the parent's of these children for the 'spanish speaking' staff at this school. This is a sure way to teach their children discrimination. Why don't they extend the same invitations to the staff that doesn't speak Spanish? If I wanted my son to continue to go to school with a high percent of non-english speaking population, I would send him to school in a spanish speaking country. Stjc better hope that these Mexican families keep networking and having children so they can keep STJC in business.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 7, 2008

I have been involved in this school for over twelve years. In the early years, the school was not only educational, but it felt like a small community. The school now has a population of 600 students as compared to 220 when I first sent my children here. I have had two children gradute here and was pleased during their time here. I have only one child left, and if it wasn't for it being the last year to attend, I would be going elsewhere. The school is now 75 percent spanish speaking students who look down on those students who do not speak the language. Things will not change until they change the administration. The principal is a great nun, but lacks in administration capability. The school has expanded, but the staff has not. She needs an assistant and needs to be more open to ideas other than hers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 2, 2008

I am very happy with St. John, the Principal is very loving and caring and it shows in her involvement, but she has a certain limited power in some cases . My only cocern is that tuitions were up much much more that I agreed in the contract, and no notce was send to any parent, that is not ethical, and that made me question the school integrety, my children are very happy and done good, but readyng comprehention is not that good. It is a loving enviroment but some policies in adminitration has divided the school, The art program is wonderfull, thanks for the new art teacher, that in it self is making me think in not leaving.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 24, 2008

Overall very happy with the academics and the religion. My only concern is the amount of Spanish that is spoken in the school and many parents don't speak English. In my opinion I don't see a strong support for the school from the families that live over the border I believe they need to be more involved in the school and the church . My son is a little overwhelmed since he only speaks English. Some kids have said to him they won't be around him since he doesn't speak Spanish. We did put him in this school not only for the academics but also so he can learn Spanish but I hope there will be more of a commitment to make sure English is the major language of the school. We will see if there is a change in the coming year if not will have to look elsewhere.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 15, 2007

this school is great! its efficient for my children and i recommend it, thanks st john's keep it up =]
—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.

About these ratings

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
Hispanic 76% 52%
White 14% 26%
Black 2% 6%
Two or more races 1% 3%
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
  • Fr. Peter Navarra
Gender
  • Coed
Affiliation
  • Roman catholic
Associations
  • NCEA

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  • Religious

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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  • Diocese of San Diego
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8175 Lemon Grove Way
Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Phone: (619) 466-8624

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