I love this school! It has everything our daughter needs for her elementary school education. The teachers are kind and caring, the curriculum is rigorous and engaging, and the parent community is beyond compare. There are always people out there that find fault, but you'll be hard pressed to find a school that's as warm, nurturing, academically enriching, and well run as St. James'.
Ask any hakwon (only because hakwons are exposed to so many kids attending different schools public and private. I am not endorsing hakwons). St. James while looking bright and pretty is academically weak. Little rigor, hence low ICEE scores, fear under the guise of esteem building replaces grit, and the school is plagued by weird racial tension (they still preach color blindness circa 1986). Though they put on a good show, they are behind in methodology, their focus being money. They see the child as a customer and the customer is always right. As a parent, I want my child to be challenged and guided, not told s/he is right. My advice save your money and send your child to a charter school. It s a good moment for the charter school system; pedagogy, rigor, and differentiation are en vogue.
We have a first grader at St. James. St. James is a wonderful, safe, kind, academically challenging (age, individually appropriate there are plenty of children who are challenged in some way and the school fully supports and aids them to the best of their ability). We looked at several schools in Los Angeles and St. James came out number one on our list for many reasons--check out the awesome science, art, computer labs! It has superb leadership, dedicated teachers, active and supportive parents and delightful children. It truly is "the face of LA" as someone said below. It's very special in that it's an inner city private school so to speak so the student body is truly diverse. I have never seen any bullying. Ever. We love it and feel so lucky to have our child there.
Our daughter has been at St James since Kindergarten and is currently in Third Grade. St James is like an extended family. It is warm, nurturing and academically rigorous. The student population and faculty are also extremely diverse and represent the face of LA. We are a Jewish family and feel totally embraced. The religious aspect of the school is not dogmatic, but teaches a broad humanity which is lived every day. I cannot understand the comment about bullying below as I have found the children at St James to be very kind and caring. The older kids look out for the younger ones and children transferring into later grades are warmly welcomed and fit right in. The Head of School Debbie David is a power house and Angela Arrington the Vice Principal is also dynamic. I highly recommend St James. Our daughter is very happy there.
St James is best school in LA. Let me start by saying my son is a gifted child. He was accepted in Mirman, WNS, John Thomas Dye, and Willow. My wife and I choose St James because of the schools academic rigor, religious/social balance, and real world demographic mix. Based on those three criteria, St James is the only school in LA that checks all the boxes. This is my son s second year at St James and we couldn't be happier. His schoolwork is challenging (as we expected), he is gaining an understanding of religion, and his friends are of all races. Lastly, I have to say the kids at St James are happy. I'm on campus everyday, and all I see are lots of smiling faces. I can t wait till my daughters a little older so she can go to St James too :o)
St. James' is a small school with a BIG problem - bullying. For years administration has ignored this problem, especially if the bullies are the children of the affluent and big financial donors to the school. For obvious reasons administration has stuck their heads in the sand when it comes to this growing problem in the St. James' community, while the bullies are running a muck. I think that the parents of these children know that their kids have a serious social problem, but they also know that the school needs money, their money. In the meantime bullying is a rampant problem and administration does not want to confront the problem or the parents of the problem. Money talks at St. James . The bullying includes both physical and verbal attacks. This is a problem that seriously needs to be addressed and the school needs to take a stand against the bullies no matter who their parents are.
Thank you Saint James. We have a happy well rounded eager learner. The school is an academic school with a warm heart. The parent community is open and inviting and as diverse as they come. We are so happy we found St. James and can only hope that our child's education in the future can compare.
We are very happy at St. James'. It is a great mix of strong academics and the fun classes like art and music and computer lab. We are a non-religious family and are happy that our daughter is getting exposure to a strong moral education in a liberal and inclusive (not dogmatic) environment.
We absolutely love St. James. The staff is so solid and the school itself is quite remarkable. Our daughter is super happy and her friends are all really down to earth normal kids with equally cool parents. We have found St. James to be a jewel of a school in the middle of the city. It has great values, caring teachers and an amazing new head of school, Debbi David. The academics are strong and so are the kids. We love it here.
I have been a parent at St. James' since 2002. I have seen the ups and downs over the years and am thrilled by the energy, direction and vision that the new head of school brings to this community. The teachers are a dedicated, talented and passionate group. The students are taught not only academics (which prepared my eldest daughter for her current school, Marlborough), but the importance of being caring citizens. It is a truly diverse community where friendships cross ethnic, economic and cultural lines. Many of the parents are active volunteers and have become good friends with one another. In sum, St. James' is a vital, alive, institution that is positioned to bring out the very best in your child.
We love St James' My daughter just graduated and in now going to Marlborough. The new Head of school is amazing! She is working hard to know all of the graduation sixth graders. All of the kids love her. I am writing the review because we have gone through change and SJS DOES NOT deserve bad press, it is a wonderful, small, loving and joyful place!
I sent my son to this school in first grade. He was the new kid. In the first week, he came home with a problem in the playground I called the head of the grounds that night to tell him about it. He knew who my son was after only a week. He knew the issue, and had a plan to fix it. Since then, my son has integrated wonderfully into the school, thanks to the efforts of the teachers and staff. I appreciate the individual care he gets and wouldn't send him to another school for love or money.
This school is a gem in Hancock Park, amazing community, wonderful values, and a stellar education, my two kids are so happy here, it's been a wonderful beginning for our whole family.
St. James' is a small, academically rigorous school that emphasizes community, diversity and creative thinking.
I have one child who graduated from St. James and one who is currently enrolled. The school is academically rigourous and yet, the environment is nurturing and loving. Both the teaching staff and the administration are excellent. My children love the school. It is a top notch private school for an incredibly good value.
Our son will graduate from Saint James' next month and we are so grateful for everything he has learned. He is well prepared for middle school academically. He scored very well on the middle school entrance examinations without having to spend his summer and weekends in tutoring, and is moving on to one of the most highly rated schools in the area. He has learned the importance of community and character. The curriculum is traditional but incorporates current research into how the brain learns and I can say for sure that it works. The current Head of School will retire but the administration and faculty overall are solid and we know our younger children will also graduate from Saint James' ready to take on the world.
The current Head of School of St. James has announced his retirement as of the end of next school year. Our family is so grateful for his time at the school. Under his guidance, academic standards have remained high, but he has brought 21st century teaching methods that are based on solid research to the school. More importantly, no one can doubt his commitment to the spiritual values and mission of the school. Compassion, respect, tolerance and service have all been held up by Mr. Bowers as daily guidling principles. The community has been fortunate to have had an educator of his experience, and he will be missed.
We have been sending our oldest child here for the last two years, and have been extremely happy with his progress and all the wonderful teachers and atmosphere. We love the school and can't wait until our next children get in... it is the perfect place that we had hoped to find!
We relocated to Los Angeles almost four years ago from the east coast with our now 7-year-old daughter. After raising two boys, now both college graduates from top universities, we knew what we wanted in a school for our daughter- one that is academically challenging, including the arts, culturally diverse and is a true community that offers spiritual guidance as well. Our search for the right school was extremely challenging in Los Angeles; however we were committed and are so pleased we found St James School!!! SJS meets and often exceeds our expectations! Our daughter is very happy at SJS and so are we! Way to go SJS!
St. James' School is a most remarkable place. The diversity--racial, ethnic and socio-economic--is absolutely real. The academics are first rate. Their graduates matriculate to the finest schools in Los Angeles including Marlborough, Harvard Westlake, Pasadena Poly and more. But St. James' eduates the children in so many other ways. They truly do nurture the mind and the spirit. The religious component is totally appropriate--not too heavy handed. The emphasis is on respect for one another and an appreciation for the many differences that make each person unique. There has not been turnover among the teachers. Instead, the school has added several assistant teachers to helpout in the classrooms. This school is a real gem!
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