This is clearly a dying school. Unfortunately, what is shown at orientation is not real life at Saint James. The facilities are way below par and unsanitary, you would not send your kids to eat and breathe at this school if you knew of the gross hall the food is served at, along with the bugs, unclean kitchen, and unsafe conditions. "Administrative Staff"- not real administrators, they would not survive in a real office or real school setting with real guidelines and expectations. Some don't even seem like they enjoy working there. I have seen the staff roll their eyes at children who walk in the office for help. So sad. The Diocese doesn't support or care for the school so they get no support from them, Saint James is left to survive on its own. The parish next door doesn't care about the school. The principal is a nice lady but is not qualified to be a principal with her lack of innovation, motivation, organization, follow through, leadership, and inspiration as the principal. It is a telling sign when the "administrator" defers to the parents for advice and help on her own job duties. There are some teachers that are amazing and some that I dread having my kid have to endure for a whole school year. The tuition is not bad, however the finances are poorly managed if managed at all. There is ALWAYS no money. There are ALWAYS fundraisers. It is a never ending cycle. It is the responsibility of the principal to fundraise, not expect the parents to keep dishing out of their own pocket for school supplies, event supplies, etc. There are not adequate resources for a child to flourish academically, they can only go so far as the curriculum and talent that Saint James can afford, which isn't much. If your child has talents, needs challenging material, has special needs, or wants to explore something innovative like STEM, they won't be nourished here. There are very little or poorly run extra curricular activities run by parents. The school attempts to do too many events/activities and they are all done poorly. Parents of a private school have expectations, Saint James is not meeting them with the facilities, staff, academics, and extracurricular activities. The good thing is that its Catholic and relatively cheap. If you want to sacrifice your child's education for that, good luck.
Having a student currently enrolled at St. James Catholic School I can't say enough good things about the Principal, Mrs. Lara, the Faculty and the Staff.
Mrs. Lara is definitely student centered/family focused which creates a warm and welcoming environment. It's my experience that she has an excellent grasp of fiscal responsibility and has explained on numerous occasions that the additional fundraising money goes back directly to the students and school.
With emphasis on academics and grounded by religious values my child has flourished at St. James!
Kudos to the entire hard-working Staff for going above and beyond!
My children are more organized, disciplined and have developed great study habits since they started attending this school. The small classroom sizes are great. 15 to 18 kids/grade. It Is far better for the students. This makes it easier for the teacher to deal with each student without being distracted by another. Everyone knowing each other, the staff knows exactly who your student is by name,makes you feel confident that my child won't be"left behind." AND Wednesday mass is the best. I love this school. And will continue to enroll my children here. Thank you Mrs. Lara and the entire staff.
Despite the bad rating I must begin this by saying, I loved the teachers there last year! Unfortunately 7 of the 11 teachers left the school at the end of the year. The teachers there are truly doing their best, their love for the students, families, and their Catholic faith was overwhelming and amazing. However it is clear that they are frustrated by the outlandish demands of the principal. If I could have kept the teachers and gotten rid of the office staff I would have loved to stay at the school.
Parents spend their hard earned money to send their children to this school. However it is easy to see that the financials of this school are severely mismanaged. Parents are constantly asked to make donations (on top of paying tuition) and there always seems to be a fundraiser going on, yet no one knows where the money goes. NONE of the fundraising money goes back into the classrooms, the teachers are required to pay for all supplies out of pocket, the curriculum is obtained by federal title money.
Instead of effectively running the school in a positive way the principal and the two women who work in the office are more concerned with gossiping and trash talking parents/kids/families. The principal will not only discuss confidential information in front of parents, she will even trash talk the parents and students that she doesn't like in front of other students (including her daughter). The Principal also has no problem using foul language (especially F***) in front of the parents and students. She is the most unprofessional principal I have ever met.
A student last year sat on and hit another student in class and nothing was done. The bullying student was not punished because his mother is a member of the state government and suspending him would be a "reward." Instead the family of the student who was beaten up was asked to leave the school.
I first rated this school 4 stars but after a few years attending here I have a very different opinion.The quality of teaching has gone down. To start, they have a receptionist teaching 5th Grade. reason parents are given is that she is enrolled in a teaching program, BUT, she's been enrolled in said programs for years and still not credentialed. ~TK classroom is a tiny room built adjacent to the kitchen. I'm not sure it's legal or safe: it is a fire hazard, hazard of gas leak,infestation of roaches in the kitchen. ~ reason for the low rating is the PRINCIPAL and her husband. ~principal considers parents talking each other gossiping ~Speaking another language on campus is frowned upon ~Her husband is always on campus which Is creepy;either he can't live with out his wife or he is very fond of children. ~for the past two years a school employees child has won the Notre Dame scholarship. Last year the receptionist son (now 5th gr tchr) won the scholarship. This year the principals daughter won it. No diocese employee should be eligible for scholarship. Pros: small community, new field, daycare available, new chrome books for classroom and religious education.