Projects are done 100% IN SCHOOL. Then, the class has a special day where the parents and other classes can come in and view the projects. The kids are SO proud of their projects because they made them all by themselves. I love this!
We came to SJS from a small town nearby with a similar public school - K-8 in the same building. I was looking for a school that would provide a meaningful report card (no more P/M/E grades), encourage older students to be role models, teach cursive handwriting, provide better supervision of students, assign quality homework (no more busywork), "differentiate" aka challenge children who have mastered concepts, and provide a flexible curriculum. I found all of this and more at SJS. My children are thriving in classes of 19 students (and one teacher), where they just "drifted along" in smaller classes of 12 students in our old school (one teacher and a para). SJS starts teaching Spanish in Pre-K, and by the time the students are in middle school, they are speaking and writing at a high school level. All recess and lunch is supervised by two faculty members, who actively engage the kids and create a friendly, supportive, safe environment. Our principal treats everyone the same - no favortism - and is often walking the halls of the school, greeting all the children by name and supporting the teachers. All students from 4th to 8th grade have Chromebooks. Only one standardized test is administered per year - on paper, not the adaptive computer test. I could go on and on - SJS provides a wonderful education and I would recommend this school to anyone!
SJS Brookfield is a hidden gem! This is a wonderful, faith-filled school community. It is a small school, so all the children and teachers know one another. The teachers are extremely qualified, educated, professional, creative, kind and they set good examples for the students. This is not your "old fashioned" Catholic school where the desks are set up in rows and students do worksheets all day. This school is vibrant and the children have fun learning. At SJS, faith, charity and kindness are top priorities. Children participate in various charity projects throughout the year. They receive classes on religion, but perhaps more importantly, faith / religious education is intertwined in everything else they do / study throughout the school day. I am continually impressed by the maturity and comportment of the older SJS students. By the time students reach 7th and 8th grade, it becomes abundantly clear the value of a faith filled, private school education. I would highly recommend SJS. It truly is a hidden gem of a school!
I'm very displeased by this school this year. I do not recommend this school. They have a very strong focus in fundraising, to the point of being obnoxious. We as parents feel obligated and often bullied to have to donate lots of money to the school. The focus are not in the children anymore. As said by another parent before, they don't care about both parents that work, asking for too much extra time from parents. And for the kids themselves who are being asked to do too many extra work and volunteering. Unfortunately this was the worst year with this school and our last.
I submitted a February 2, 2012 post praising the school. I an reiterate that I still feel that the school provides excellent and rigorous academics and appreciate the raising of my children's social awareness through the study of faith. SJS is no doubt a better alternative to public shool, but other private schools might have ironed out these rough spots that seem to persist at SJS. In that respect, SJS seems to be a work in progress. The new principal is very zealous in furthering the interests of the school and advocating for improvements in both physical buiilding, teacher and student resources and finances. He works very hard and is resourceful but is a bit inconsistent and his results can seem arbitrary. Another frustrating aspect, is that there is an underlying, pervasive attitude that is anti-dual working parent families. The school , admin and teachers, seems to not really consider the situation of dual working parent families often such as in scheduling parent-teacher conferences days (only 1 evening over 3 days) and requiring fund raising activities (3 diffferent ones in 1 month's time!). Still sticking with the school for now however...
This was a great school year! Very happy with our child's education, experiences, and teacher. The principal turned the school around... we hope he stays! Some staff are leaving... this is a good thing, but we will miss Mr. Murphy and Ms. Cadmus.
Inconsistent teaching (much deadwood amongst the staff), dismal infrastructure and a poor front office made our time at the school a waste of money. The new Principal is making great strides (after years of failing leadership) and must be commended as he is a very strong leader, but he has much work to do to recover what has been lost and bring St Joe's back to what it was.