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St. Leo the Great School

Private | PK-8 | 305 students


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Living in San Jose

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $400,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,390.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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31 reviews of this school

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Posted September 18, 2013

What a relief to find a warm & welcoming community like St. Leo's! We grew up in the Midwest with parents for public school teachers, so we really wanted to try to make the public schools here work, but too many horror stories from our neighborhood parents meant it had to be private for us. We visited numerous schools (eight in all), but none compared to St. Leo s. My son just started the Pre-K and in the short amount of time he has been there we have already seen a huge growth in his language development, socialization & overall knowledge. Yes, the uniforms and rules can be a little overwhelming at first, but everything is there for a reason & the staff is so helpful to new parents starting out. Plus, the community of involved parents is second to none- unlike other places where volunteering is a chore you really feel like people WANT to be there. We are so happy we made the decision to go to St. Leo's & look forward to many more years of learning & growing in this exceptional community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 9, 2013

Why is the teacher review full of incomplete sentences? Quality of teaching...learning by example....My experience as a divorced parent that did not chose this school is one of shutting out. Previous teachers were never contacted. Teachers were not co-operative in helping my child get help. (3 D's and an F and "he's doing fine" per the administration and teachers) My child was held back a grade, never before a problem. But the teachers were unaware my child was repeating the grade they were teaching. I have learned to lower my expectations. When I asked for financial aid I was given outdated paperwork, kind of like the school. Has anyone of significance ever graduated from there? Belt checks, rote memorization of prayers without meaning (pretty funny when my child could say the school prayer in Spanish, but only knew the sounds and couldn't differentiate one word from another). Save your money and go public! Just be involved. Don't be a fake!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 11, 2013

St. Leo's is an excellent school because of its diverse community, brilliant education system and understanding staff. This co-ed school not educates it's students but fully engulfs them in an exciting life as a young Catholic. It's diverse community provides excellent preparation for highschool and beyond. Last but not least St. Leo's understanding and compassionate staff is willing to help any struggling student to make a better world.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 9, 2013

This is a great school in our San Jose community! I have had two daughters attend and graduate from St. Leo's who are more than wonderful students academically and socially. I have found the staff and administration staff extremely friendly over the years, helpful, and always make the children priority.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 9, 2013

St Leo the Great School is undergoing a transformation. The "new" principal has been there several years and the school has embraced technology better than most of the other schools we've visited. Gone is the computer lab on the 2nd floor, and now kids have access to their computers in their classroom. Kindergarten has tablets where they learn their small motor skills. Elementary kids all have Google Chrome Books and parents can have access to all their work and grades online from the web. The middle school kids are actually issued laptop bags and take them from class to class. There are 4 main buildings. The Parish. The gym, which was recently remodeled. The main school, which is getting new windows and maybe even AC. The school is a 2 story building with the lower grades downstairs and 4th-8th upstairs. The 4th building is the old convent at the corner of the lot. It is used as a math room (chapel), the science lab (upstairs bedrooms) and the extended after school care and homework club (patio and kitchen). PreK-8th 270 students $7.5k Tuition
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 9, 2013

I had two of my girls go to St Leos for 9 years each. I love the fact that the girls went from year to year with the same group of kids. They were like an extended family. Both girls had their pick of any of the high schools they wanted to attend. If you want a small group, family type education for your child, this is the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 30, 2012

We are happy to be at St Leos! The families were very welcoming. The teachers are wonderful role models. They are unique because they have more male teachers than any of the other schools we looked at (4th grade, 6th grade, science, 2 math, athletic director, IT tech guy and a vice principal who also teaches). Mrs Moody gives a solid Catholic religious footing. The principal Marie Bordeleau isn't a control freak. She hires top notch staff, works hard to support them and is quick to get rid of under performers. She communicates with parents twice a week in her newsletters. The school uses 1:1 Google Chromebooks and has an amazing technology program that has kids using the latest tech tools to pull together their projects. Your kid can login from home and have access to all his classwork. Group collaboration work is the norm. Lindsay Hilliard is the Spanish teacher who also coordinates one of the best after school enrichment programs: chess, writing, theatre, odyssey of the mind, robotics, etc. The kids are very active. On watching how the kids interact they are very kind to one another and polite to parents. The student body is diverse and reflects Silicon Valley.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 16, 2011

I am so proud to be part of the St. Leo Community - it provides an incredible education with high standards and well develop technology program, and holds students to high behavioral expectations. I joined the school community in 2009 and have never regretted it. . . .the students, families and teachers are welcoming, dedicated, talented, and make each other better people. It is so great to see a wide variety of opportunities for the kids - from sports to band, drama, art, creative writing and so much more . . .the school is warm, welcoming, well organized, maintains high standards and prepares the kids for high school. It is just amazing!
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted June 12, 2011

We have been at St. Leo's for 3 years. We came in during the administration change and we have been quite happy with the new administration. The principal is youthful, innovative, and is always thinking of the "big picture" for the school community. She has helped create a wonderful foundation for the school. Some families have had difficulty with some of the changes, as the status quo has been disrupted, but the changes are positive ones. The school has finally started utilizing technology in the way it is meant to be used, which has been so helpful to the children for learning purposes. The new website and communication via web with parents and students is fantastic. The only thing that we struggle with is that the Church itself is a little more on the conservative side than most other Catholic churches in the area.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 7, 2010

We love St Leo the Great! The new administration has created such a wonderful foundation for the school. There have been many changes in the last two years, all for the best. The school has really jumped into the 21st century with the computers in the class rooms, the Environmental education, the Science lab, Spanish twice a week and so much more. Also the communication to parents and students with the website, emails from principal and newsletters to keep us all in the loop. We love the community traditions and overall family feeling. I can't imaging sending my kids any where else, they love it even more that I do.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 8, 2010

My child has been at St Leo for two years. We selected this Catholic school over others in the area because of its leadership and school community. St Leo is a one classroom per grade school which means their is true bonding amoungst the students. Each grade is paired with another for buddies, expanding frienships and faith beyond their classroom. This is one of the only schools with enrichment in the lower grades. From Kindergarden, the students receive Spanish, Computers, Library and PE instruction twice a week, in addition to academics building a well-rounded student. St Leo has s diverse community, it is not 'cookie cutter,' which builds tolerance and understanding if others....perfect for faith formation. This year, the school welcomed a new principal who is awesome! She interacts with the students, building understanding and self esteem in the students, parents and staff. She has implemented change which has been positive.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 10, 2010

Our daughter is in the Pre-K program this year and we have had a wonderful experience. The community is warm and welcoming. The new principal has an endless amount of energy and a 'get it done attitude', while at the same time being inclusive in the decision making process. The school's emphasis is on the social/emotional, intellectual and physical growth and well being of the students. An emphasis on Catholic education and values is taught daily. I couldn't have asked for a better school. My daughter has blossomed in this environment and looks forward to going into Kinder next year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 28, 2010

We could not have asked for a better school then St. Leo the Great! The atmoshpere is such a family community. The people, (teachers, staff, family, etc), are all so kind hearted. We have been very pleased with the academics, the homework level, the religious emphasis, the parent involvement, the teachers and especially the new principal. St. Leo's is truly a GREAT school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 31, 2009

This schools teachers insert to much of their own thought and feeling in to what they teach-i moved to willow glen middle school in 6 grade and even though its public its a much better school
—Submitted by a student

Posted May 24, 2009

St.Leo's is about to undergo some major changes, hopefully for the best. The person's review before is right on the mark. This school used to be a true gem. Those who have been posting all the positive responses are either not involved much with the school or they are in the younger grades/been there fewer than 2 years. The school motto is currently 'lack of respect and no responsibility', especially by the current administration...shame on them for helping and contributing to erode something that was once so good.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 22, 2009

St. Leo is no longer the gem it once was; it is no longer a close community. I'm not sure what happened, but having been a parishioner for 25 years, and a St. Leo school parent for 11 years, I have seen some very distressing changes. The administration has managed to eliminate many wonderful families. We have decided to stay and try to change from within. It is heartening that we will have all new administrative staff; that is only a start. Those families that are happy must have children in grades Pre-K to maybe 3rd. Those of us in upper grades know the quality has gone down. The school must bring back PAC so parents' concerns will be acted upon. We need basics such as a science lab, a REAL computer lab, & Spanish 3 times per week.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 21, 2009

My kids have had a wonderful experience at St. Leo's. I love the diversity and warmth of this community and would choose this experience any day over some 'ivory tower'. They are receiving a great education. I see a couple comments posted critical of the principal/leadership - that has not been a problem at all in my experience. I haven't necessarily agreed with every decision of the current principal, but I don't expect that. What's important to me is that the staff is high-quality and caring, and that decisions are made with the education and welfare of the students as the primary focus, not the whims of individual parents, and that has been my experience here. I do wish there was a more robust music program, but that seems to be hard to find these days. I highly recommend St. Leo's!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 15, 2009

This is my son's first year at St.Leo. Overall, I have to say we are very happy with the academics, the staff, and the overall environment. Before deciding on this school, we visited a number of Catholic schools. We picked St.Leo because it is both ethnically and economically diverse, the teachers enjoy what they do and encourage the parent involvement, and it is not nor did it ever feel over political. I'm not saying our school is perfect, but I am saying it is an academically solid school that encourages and fosters growth and opportunity in every child!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 13, 2008

St. Leo's is much smaller than the other Catholic schools in the area - we like that. The classrooms aren't jammed. The families come from a broad mix of income levels. There isn't a high level of politics/drama amongst the parents - the majority just want to help the school the best they can. Lord knows that any school can have a tough kid show up and make things difficult. That hasn't been our experience. Our class is filled with wonderful kids and families. The upper grades are taught by fantastic teachers. Is our principal perfect? Show me one that is. She does have a lot of heart and cares about the students. But if it's important that your school is run like a corporation, look elsewhere. That's not what we wanted.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 29, 2008

This school is no longer the gem it used to be. The principal is elusive and doesn't have true leadership qualities, the teacher quality varies widely by grade, and the support staff doesn't seem to have a clue in regards to answering simple questions. Complaints, suggestions and comments go unanswered and/or are often ignored. Communication is poor to almost non-existent, and the school website is confusing. Over the years, the quality of the education has dropped substantially despite efforts of soe dedicated parents and staff. Words of advice--look elsewhere for a long term, quality education.
—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 40% 52%
White 36% 26%
Two or more races 18% 3%
Black 3% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 3% 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander 2% 11%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Arts & music

School facilities
  • Art room
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Media arts
  • Graphics

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Ms. Marie Bordeleau
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 4 years old
  • Coed
  • Roman Catholic
  • NCEA


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish


Staff resources available to students
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Transportation options
  • Accessible via public transportation
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of San Jose
School leaders can update this information here.


Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • None
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • Graphics
School leaders can update this information here.

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.



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1051 West San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95126
Website: Click here
Phone: (408) 293-4846


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