We have been at St. James for 4 years, and I am saddened to say, are disappointed in the direction the school is going -- academically. With the new head of lower school steering the charge to a more developmental direction, the school is slowly declining. The teachers are wonderful, the leadership is terrible.
My daughter has attended St James' School since Kindergarten and will graduate in 2010. I am very pleased to say that this school is exactly what I expected. It is a loving small environment that is challenging and very academic. As a single mother I have taken full advantage of the FREE after school care and my daughter has taken part in quite of few of the after school classes (additional fee). We have met many loving families. As we all know nothing is perfect but 9 out of 10 times I have been very happy. My child has always felt welcome to meet with any and all the staff members (including the Head of School). Whether she is having a problem with a classmate or writing a letter to the president voicing her concerns, the teachers are there to help.
I am a current parent. St. James is a wonderful school and my child is happy, thriving, and learning a lot. This school develops the whole child (academic, emotional, spiritual). I love the traditional education and how the teachers still incorporate centers. The teachers are first rate! I feel that I'm a part of a wonderful community. The children are diverse in many aspects and so is the faculty/staff. The tuition is reasonable and there is no fee for after school care! If you are looking for a more traditional education in a Christian atmosphere, St. James is your school.
This is a lovely school. My son is very happy here as are we with the community. We are pleased with the efforts the school makes to constantly improve. There's been a specific effort underway to improve fundraising and communications. My son is thriving and we are pleased by how the school addresses the whole child in a nurturing yet academically environment. Please don't be swayed by the earlier negative reviews.
I have two children at St James', and we absolutely love the school. It's academically excellent, and on top of that it lives out its commitment to diversity... more so than any other school of its kind I've seen. The School is a genuine community. It's not easy to always practice the values you preach when faced with the political complexities and parental pressures of running an highly in-demand urban school, but St. James' puts its values front and foremost, and lives by them, all the while maintaining the highest academic standards... which is a terrific example for the children lucky enough to go there. It's worth noting that other schools now study St. James' as an example of successful forward-looking values-based education. I can't recommend it highly enough.
My son has been at Saint James for 3 years. I find the staff warm and welcoming. The door has always been open for me to come and discuss any subject, concern or idea I have had. The New science Lab is the best lab by far in Los Angeles for Elementary school and the science teacher suberb. We have dedicated and innovative teachers that have years of experience. We have won math competitions and exhibit art through out the city. The children are taught the importance of serving those in our community and becoming a confident , well educated and well rounded human being. While no school is perfect, I believe this school has been given a bad rap and I invite prospective parents to come and visit us themselves.
This is a terrific neighbourhood school, it is rich in diversity, and although there have been some hiccups within, so have all schools, even the ones that are double the price! The academics are terrific and the kids are kind well mannered and polite. If you are living in Hancock park and want a school with strong academics but a sweet simplicity, this could be the place for you.
We love St James'. It's academically rigorous, warm, welcoming, and the Head of School and staff are excellent. Our child is very happy, loving each day, and achieving great results. I'm not sure what school the detractors below are describing, but it doesn't sound even a little like the one we know. To each their own. We have found both the school administration and the Board extremely responsive, and could not be happier.
St. James' is a wonderful school. It's teaching staff clearly loves our children and the administration supports them in so many ways. The curriculum seems to be evolving with the times. The administration is clearly leading experienced teachers in the right direction. Three cheers for them. I highly recommend this community of caring professionals. Our child has been very happy.
Even with the tuition doubling in the past five years, St. James' School is an incredible value. How can you put a monetary value on excellence? In a word you can't. Many of the parents complain that the school administration is bloated and unresponsive to the faculty and parent concerns. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any time I have had a concern about my son's education, I get a return phone call or email within minutes. And in many cases even a hug! The administration at St. James' are master communicators in every possible way. Unfortunately, I have had many disagreements with the teaching staff, but under the stellar guidance of the administration, I'm sure these teacher shortcomings will be resolved in time. I cannot recommend St. James' more highly. It's a place of wonder and imagination!
I have sent all three of my children to St. James School. It truly is a magical place. The teachers are good, but it's the leadership at St. James that is what makes this school so special. The administration puts communication with parents and faculty above all else. They return calls and email within minutes and always provide answers and solutions to problems immediately. When I have had problems with individual teachers, the administration was always there to brilliantly smooth things out. Other schools should use St. James' as a model for effective school administration.
I loved having my daughter at this school. We had only one teacher (no longer at the school) who was probably a good fit for some kids, but was a bad fit for our daughter, but I would expect one or two years like that at any school. My daughter graduated from St. James last year and we moved out of the area, so I'm now comparing St. James to the local schools, and I can see that my daughter has many educational advantages that other kids here don't have. I appreciate all the more, the fact that every teacher at St. James responded promptly any time I had a question. I appreciate now the fact that any time I needed to meet directly with a teacher, he or she would make the time to see me. The specialty teachers were particularly impressive.
I am one of the parents that took part in the fund-raising campaign this year, making calls parent-to-parent. I found this to be largely a positive experience and preferable to more traditional methods. Yes, some parents found this a little uncomfortable at first, so did I. But all in all it gave us a chance to talk about the school, why it is so special, and how important it is to keep it that way. Fund-raising plays an ever-increasing role at the school, given that the school essentially subsidizes tuition to maintain the economic diversity it is known for. That was the message put out by parent callers, and parents who understood the message stepped up as best they could, even in these difficult times.
In my experience, it seems that fund raising has become quite aggressive over the past few years. I have received several phone calls and letters soliciting donations. The new lady has asked parents to call other parents in her quest to raise funds and add to the new endowment, which I completely disagree with. I will not be giving to the annual fund this year because I refuse to encourage this type of behavior!
For the live of me, I cannot figure out where all these negative comments about the administration are coming from. The headmaster Stephen Bowers is nothing short of a truly visionary. His leadership is unquestioned among the parents and teachers at the school. The assistant head Angelina Arrington has to be the most dynamic leader and speaker I have ever worked with, often moving me to tears during her frequent chapel addresses. My family and I are truly blessed to be under the guidance of such people who embrace humanity and Christian values and lead by example. I would give this school 10 stars if I could!
This school is amazing. I am so thankful that I chose this school for my son. I had applied to five schools for Kindergarten and was accepted to all of them. I chose this school for it's diversity and academic structure. I had been accepted to a 12 year school and chose St. James. My son is thriving. He is thrilled with his reading, math, computer, and spanish classes. He is involved in after school activities. He is involved in sports outside of school, but there are plenty of options for the elementary aged children within the school as well. Most importantly, my son is well beyond his peers that attend other schools in spelling and reading and math. He loves school and he is a typical 'boy'. The school is extremely diverse in religion, lifestyle and ethnicity. This is the right choice for my family
I also agree on the high price of tuition. It is true that we as parents, keep on getting solicited for donations for the school. I have asked the administration on where our money is being used for. The response that I get is that they are 'improving the school.' As far as I can see, no improvements have been made, at least for the classes that my child is in. I have emailed and called/left messages for a request to see their public financial disclosure statement as a non-profit organization, and they do not respond. Next year, public school for my child.
I had one of my children at this school last year. At first, the employees at the school were very friendly when I was inquiring about the school and during the enrollment process. After my child started attending classes, I had several concerns that I wanted to address to the staff. It took so long for them to finally listen to my concerns. It took a long time because they said that I had to make an appointment to speak to a certain person and the appointments were cancelled several times because of 'staff meetings' that would mysteriously come up at the last moment. Even after the meeting, I felt that they did not care about what I said. My child is no longer at St. James.
The teachers that I my child have are great. They really do a great job. Howerver, the administration is lacking in really caring to support the teachers. This is because I am on the PSF (Parent Support Fellowship). I have personally observed actions where the parents and teachers agree on starting a new program or idea, and the administration does not back it, usually citing that the budget does not allow it.
This is our third year at the school and we couldn't be happier. Our son is thriving and it has been a really good fit for us. The school is more traditional, students wear uniforms, it's religious and is incredibly diverse socially, racially, economically. The diversity is one of top reasons we chose the school. We looked at six private schools and while they all strive for diversity, St. James' was the only school that really delivered. We've had really strong teachers each year and the sense of community in the school is strong. Parent involvement makes it a great school. There are tons of different options for volunteering depending on what you're interests and availability are.
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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.
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