We are a new family to the school and we feel like we are having a hard time fitting in and understanding the culture of the school. The Principal seems to rarely smile at the children which does not seem to set a happy tone to the school. I am unsure of the dress code for parents and staff -- many moms come to pick up their kids in very tight fitting clothes and even in their sports bras. The Principal also wears very tight fitting dresses that are much shorter than what we saw at our last school, also a religious school. I am very confused by this "dress code" as we are at a Catholic school, where the idea of modesty comes to mind. Also, I feel very out of place and not accepted by the returning families. I have the impression that "outsiders/newbies" are not as welcome as I would have hoped for. I brought my extended family for morning drop-off time, and there were kids running around wild -- my sister got smacked in the face with a flying backpack! My father-in-law was wondering why the teachers were staying inside and were not out to supervise the children.
What a throwback! Love this school. Just completed ninth year here and still have five years left with my last child. The focus is on building the whole child. The children from this school consistently place highest in their academics vis a vis other schools. The athletic program is fun for the kids. Super happy here.
The person below is right about bullying, but it is worst among the parents who throw their weight around - with each other, the principal and the poor teachers. And it is really sad when they exclude other kids. My friends and I agree that our kids had an awesome year. There was lots of controversy in our class this year, but we want everyone to know that 6th grade is sensational, and we are looking forward to a stupendous junior high!
Unfortunately, the main problem with this school is Bullying. Especially in the mid-level grades. The Principal does not address the bullying with the questionable families- she fears upsetting them since they give the school lots of money. Nice, huh??
Wow, what a great school indeed! The teachers are fabulous and that is the most important thing. They are so dedicated, professional and patient - I don't know how they do it all. If you are looking for a school that is the whole package, this is it. Faith, community, safety, academics, arts, music, foreign language, lab sciences, technology, field trips...nothing is missing. Parents are really involved too, and that is a positive thing. I can't stress enough, from the warm and loving preschool, through the fun and challenging younger grades, to the high achieving upper grades, what a great experience this school will provide your child. I am so happy my children have been here.
Saint James Academy is an excellent school!. My child has thrived here. The academics are above standard, (the school is adding Ipads this year), the teachers care about the children and there is a strong sense of community. Parents are encouraged to be involved with volunteering and are welcome in the classrooms. The children are taught to be kind and to respect one another. The school truly is a gem and we are could not be more proud to send our child here. Definitely check it out!
I have had the opposite experience from some previous posters: I love this school, the teachers and the principal. First grade was fantastic for my child, and we love the teacher. She is great with the kids - loving, patient, kind, firm, and dedicated. She taught them so much! I don't know why anybody would ever leave St. James!
Another Christian value is honestly. How many of last year's graduating class tested into geometry? The year before the school shared with the parents the high school math placement scores. They bragged about the high number of kids that tested into geometry. Last year's class parents could not get an answer out of the principal - because she knew the scores were a reflection on the poor math teaching skills this class had received. Last year's class was taught math for two years by in inept teacher and their math scores reflected it. This inept teacher is still at the school.
Good grief ! The negative comments seem more focused on the personal struggles parents have rather than the quality of education children receive here. Enrollment is down like many private schools in poor economic times. Also, there are some excellent alternatives nearby in the public schools and a competing Catholic school which opened within the past five years. St. James Academy is a traditional, Catholic education for K-8 students. The standards are high and parents are expected to help bring their children along in the Faith, volunteer for the school or parish, and help in fundraising efforts. We're expected to act like ...well, Christians and I am glad the standards are what they are here. It shows in the results. The results are indisputable. SJA graduates go on to high schools like Cathedral Catholic, St Augustine Prep, Our Lady of Peace, Santa Fe Christian, as well as the fine public schools. It is not an exception to hear that SJA graduates attend Notre Dame, Boston College, Villanova, Stanford, Berkeley, Gonzaga, Santa Clara, UCLA, USD,DePaul, USC, among others, SJA Graduates become achievers. Submitted by Brian Brady
I feel badly for parents who may be conned by the glowing reviews. They probably have been written by St. James employees or parent volunteers. In a nutshell, the teachers simply do not care. The cold, unapproachable principal's main concern is money. Parent volunteers are allowed to play favorites. It is true that St. James does rely heavily on parent volunteerism. These parents truly run the show. One parent coach played her own daughter and her daughter's friends heavily while letting other equally skilled girls sit on the bench. Many parents were furious and complained, but the principal did nothing. Another BIG volunteer and PTA member put extremely inappropriate photos on her Facebook regarding her child's class project. The principal was made aware. Again, she took no action. The parent is still a HUGE presence at the school. This, and the poor quality of teachers compelled us to find a new school. Our children BLOOMED in their new school. The teachers actually care about their students. Volunteers are not authority figures. The teams are coached by professionals. The Christmas program is run by teachers. It is such relief it is to be out of such a poorly run school.