I go to school at sjes and it is terrible. They say its a college prep school but that is a lie. There is absolutely no homework in the middle school.
My family and I are new to Florida. Prior to moving here, I checked out the online rating of his appointed public school & it received the highest rating in the area so we were comfortable that his transition would be smooth. When I drove up to his school upon arrival I got a very bad feeling in my stomach, followed up with the first 2 days of school being horrible, so elementary and lacking in programs, we removed him from school on the 3rd day, never to return. I started my search & visited 60+ charter & private schools, crying some days at what I had found.We are not religious people so I feared that I would have to force Christianity upon my 6 year in order to give him a good education. As soon as I drove up to St Joseph's I got a great sense that this is where he needed to be, a bit scared of the religious part in the beginning, but it has been just as they initially promised, important teachings of basic fundamentals of humanity. The education system is the best I have seen hands down, they teach a grade level above & the parents & staff have been extremely welcoming. I am so happy that my son is lucky enough to attend this school. It is all around a great school!
We miss the gentle, supportive leadership of the last head. She listened to every student.
There is a great amount of bullying at this school. The Head of School, nor the staff really deal with the issue.
This is my daughters' fourth year at St. Josephs and I am thrilled at the atmosphere, the student bady, the wonderful teachers, and the administration. It is truly mind, body, spirit education. Thumbs up all the way.
My kids attend this school and have since Pre-K. My wife and I both have advanced academic degrees and we take education seriously. We have watched carefully our children's progress at this school and over the years have also watched carefully the academic performance of St Joe graduates as they move to high school. They do very well. We've also in the last couple years seen kids depart and then return especially in the middle school. Something not noted below is worth mentioning. Religion at Saint Joe's is provided with a light touch. We are not Episcopal and many of the students are not. Religion at the school we've found to be heavily focused on building character. We like that. Also interesting school sports and participation in the arts are mandatory for all students. Very strong head of school in Tami Pleasanton. Strong middle school teachers. High expectations of the kids. Finally. I read the "average students" comment of a year or two ago. Obviously something went awry with that parent's child while at the school. But the comment to me illustrates what you won't find at St. Joes: A parent who inflates their child's abilities and does "school shopping".
Wow. Lots of opinions. My kids have attended St. Joseph's and over time have moved to public schools at various ages. So I've seen both Palm Beach County public schools and St. Joe's. I would just observe a couple things. First, my kids come out of Saint Joe's were extremely well prepared at every level. Our ongoing challenge after St. Joe's was that public schools had trouble keeping our kid's academic motivation high after a couple years. One other thing. Despite the marketing of Palm Beach Public schools programs (gifted/AP), the kids had quite a few weak teachers. But more importantly those teachers never went away (each kid would have them). I must say that St. Joe's has always made changes with under-performing staff. This would be my top tangible reason to recommended. Every kid's different in achievement but St. Joe's has strong curriculum and staff.
This year, we moved our two children from Montessori to a traditional setting at Saint Joseph s (one was in 4th and one in 5th). They have very caring teachers who listen and work with us as much as they are able. I believe schools need to maintain a balance between their tradition and a willingness to constantly evolve to be at their best. I think this school is striving to attain this goal. Every school has room for improvement. My children have been safe, gotten the academic basics, and some good enrichments. I have a Catholic background and find the religious instruction to be a breath of fresh air. We have been very happy with the Episcopal teaching of Christianity.
Saint Joseph's School is fantastic. The teachers go above and beyond their job descriptions. Students are challenged academically, spiritually and physically. They are provided with many opportunities to advance creatively. The campus is safe and students learn in a loving, caring environment.
Best private academic school around, better than anything in gifted programs. Why, graduates move into IB or other advanced programs. This school teaches to the whole child and offers excellent athletic and arts programs. Also foreign language and strong values, spirtual base taught.
My children have been attending St. Joseph's for several years, and we have been 100% satisfied each year. The teachers are keen on their students' learning styles and, based on what I've seen, create lesson plans and activities that encompass all styles. Also, the teachers offer conferences anytime and are quick to respond to e-mails. They really make dropping my children off each day easier knowing that I can e-mail them about anything and receive a response quickly. My children love going to St. Joe's and are happy when I pick them up. Thank you, St. Joseph's!
This is the worst school possible for a gifted child.The principle is not running a christian school with a lovin enviorment but rather a fear base school were kids can't even speak there mind or give ideas.....after seiing what the head of school did to a student this year my children willl not be attending sjs after the 2009 2010 school year...the chaplin is excellent and so is the librarian.they have this crazy sports coach for boys...I am so glad my child will not have to be apart of that after this year
St. Joe's is a very good school for the average to slightly above average student which would make up the majority of students. If your child is at either end of the bell curve, you may not be satisfied. But this could be said for many a private school. Also, you get what you pay for. St. Joe's is a lot less than St. Andrews, Gulfstream or Pine Crest. You can't expect the same level of education or masters prepared teachers when you pay 40% less in tuition. Unity has their own set of problems. It is getting harder for private schools to compete, especially in this economy where most people cannot justify spending $1,500 per month on their child's elementary or middle school tuition.
I have to agree with the bottom line review. Although there are some terrific things about this school, and it does meet most of the needs of average children, I have been continually frustrated by the fact that my children could be elevated way beyond the point where they are now (which doesn t always mean advanced curriculum but rather more in depth curriculum). I m not sure about the curriculum being a year ahead as some of the brighter students need to skip grades just to be a little challenged. There is so much research out there that proves that some of the methods at St. Josephs are outdated (and there truly are not very many collective projects). I would love to see this school rise to the next level and be better than Unity, Gulfstream, Pine Crest, or St. Andrews. I know of several children who struggled a bit when they transferred to Prep schools for high school coming from our school. I see all the good things, but that does not mean we can t be better. The Head of School needs to open her mind a bit and go through the awkward stage of metamorphosis. Then St. Josephs will be awesome and produce students who stand way out from the rest of the cookie cutter schools.
Of course there will be several ways to look at a school, but that doesn't mean someone who sees all sides - including the weaknesses - is closed-minded. Yes, this school needs to take it up a few notches as far as being more innovative in their methods. This would benefit all students. Unfortunately some of the brighter students are leaving or choose other schools. It is a very nice group of families, but let's not put our heads in the sand here. Let's make it great!
Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you would have to be extremely close-minded not to realize what an excellent learning community St. Joe's is. Everyone from the Head of School to the teachers and coaches to the aftercare staff have a genuine love for the students and are always supportive of both the students *and* the parents. The advanced curriculum (one grade level ahead of the standard) ensures that your child will be thoroughly prepared for the challenges of high school and college. My younger school years didn't really provide me with much experience working in groups and it was an adjustment when I reached high school, and especially college, where some classes had *only* group projects. That is not the case at St. Joe's; the educators incorporate group work seamlessly into the classroom encouraging your child to not only work well with their peers but gain leadership skills.
Because there are mixed reviews here, I wanted to give you the bottom line. When parents search for the right school, they must have a clear vision of what they want for their children, not only academically, but culturally. You want a school that can become a community for you on many levels. If you want your child to become the kind of person who does not question authority, and wants to be a passionate supporter of the group tradition, then St. Joe s will be a wonderful school for your family. However, if you feel that your child is one that could be a leader, help pinpoint and solve problems, or enjoys the dialectic process , then St. Joe s will be a place bordering on oppressive for your family. There are a few teachers who really want to nurture future creative thinkers and leaders. However, the head of school is not mindful of the proper way to promote and implement these methods so unfortunately it does not permeate the curriculum. I have to commend their sacred studies program. Father William is an outstanding teacher and leader for the children.
Saint Joseph's School is simply the best school in the area. The teachers are excellent, the curriculum is advanced, the campus is beautiful and safe, and the new Head of School is accomplished, educated, and hands-on. Everyone I talk to about the school loves it!
I'm a parent and I am looking at these reviews. Some background is warranted first, SJS sadly lost its head of school to cancer a few years back. The school endured a couple interim heads of school and finally settling on the current head two years ago. She's widely regarded as excellent and the school is thriving. Regardless, through that process of management change, my kids have had one excellent experience after another. I like the culture. I have no idea about the culture of fear comment below. I also have not found the academically behind comment to be true. To the contrary, all of the kids I know personally have been profoundly well prepared and well advanced for high school.
My two kids have been at Saint Joseph's since pre-kindergarten (now in late elementary and middle). As they've grown we've assessed the merits of public and other privates. But the realization we've come to is that Saint Joe's has an exceedingly strong positive culture. The kids are wrapped in it and they thrive academically. The size of the school is a huge advantage in that regard. As the product of generic public schools ourselves, we've always wanted our kids to be 'from somewhere special'. St. Joe's is certainly that place.
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