For the last five years, we have had children attending St. James (our daughter for 2 years, followed by our son for 3 years). We have LOVED our experience at St. James. The teachers are caring and so talented. They know how to work with each and every child in a kind, loving and supportive way. They make learning fun and they provide a great deal of opportunity for social learning. The facilities are wonderful and the administration is superb. They communicate every effectively with parents (via email, websites, letters in cubbies and through the room parents). We feel very well informed of everything going on at the school. There are many opportunities for parents to be involved in the classroom even for working parents. We have LOVED our experience at St. James.
My child has attended St. James for 2 years. It is a very loving environment and most teachers have been there for many many years. The after school classes are wonderful. We love the science class! My child's teacher does amazing art projects with the students and is so dedicated! She wants to do everything possible to prepare children for Kindergarten.
I'm going to give this three stars simply to be on the safe side: as an emotionally well adjusted, articulate, current Reed College student, my memories of my time at St. James may be clouded by the fifteen years that have passed since I graced its halls. I met my best friend here, had great experiences with the teachers there, wasn't kicked out when I refused to join in activities, and learned the magic of friendship. While its true that I decided to retake kindergarten at the elementary school I transitioned into (social advantages, personal reasons relating to later diagnosed autism), that decision should not reflect that St. James was wonting for anything while I attended.
Our family's experience with this school was very unpleasant. We went to St. James for its accreditation and philosophy. We made the biggest mistake in our life, and our daughter was the victim. When a problem arise the school shuts the door on you. It was an unsafe environment for our 5 year old kid. There were no support from the teachers if a kid needed help. The school pretended that they wanted to work with us, but my daughter was viewed as a "problem" child. The teacher did not provide any helpful feedback to any parents. Please do your research thoroughly with these private schools.
My three year old daughter attended the summer session at St. James and we were really impressed with the administrator and how the school was run. I found the faculty friendly and helpful and very competent. My child felt safe and comfortable and was very excited to see her two wonderful teachers every morning. I found the classroom to be organized and clean as well as the playground. My only complaint was the amount of sugar that my child was given in the form of cookies, pops, pudding and candies. Hopefully that is not the normal practice during the regular school year.
This is our third year at St. James. My older son is now in 1st grade at a private school in Pasadena. He attended the nursery program at St. James and left well prepared for kindergarten at the school he now attends. St. James is a nurturing, developmentally appropriate preschool that really helped my son to grow socially and develop self-confidence. My younger daughter is now in her first year at St. James. We are so happy to be back after a year off due to the ages of our children. The director of the school is a former administrator/principal from the South Pasadena School District and brings such dedication and excellence to what she does. There is a nice selection of after school activities and a fun summer program during the month of July. Classrooms are rather small and parking lot impacted but other than that, the school is excellent!
The kindergarten teacher and assistant teacher are fantastic and very dedicated. The daily activities go beyond anything I've seen and all coordinate with the week's theme or subject. The playground works well for younger and older students. As a newcomer to the school, at first I did not like the park-and-walk-in method of drop off and pick up for my kindergartener, especially with younger kids in tow, but I found that I got to know the other parents better that way and had daily face time with his teachers, which kept me more in the loop. I will be sending my younger children to St. James.