We have nothing but great things to say about St. James. Truth be told, we decided on St. James for Pre K mainly because of its location (we recently moved) and we were planning on going somewhere else for K. But after being there for a year, we decided to stay. We have loved everything about St. James. We looked into a lot of the other private schools in the city (Parker, Latin, St. Clements, FXW) so we know what is out there and we are still thrilled with the educational envoriment at St. James. I can't say enough wonderful things about our children's teachers (Miss. Buschle and MIss. Adams) as well as all of the parents we have met . I know there have been comments about kids leaving every year, but every private school as some attrition as families move to the suburbs or transfer children into their public schools. I also can't speak for the older grades, but we are there until our experience proves us otherwise.
As a graduate, I think the school has both its highs and lows. The highs are that its a great school if you want to be in in a small private school environment. I think the school lacks a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for Chicago's elite high schools. They also don't do a good job of preparing students for standardized tests. Some of the teachers care about their students, but some don't. It was even tough to talk to some teachers when you really needed to talk to them. Some teachers showed favoritism to certain students, and those same teachers were racist to minorities at the school. Teachers there would gossip a lot, and they didn't really give their students personal space. Some teachers also purposely were making sure certain kids were always in trouble. I witnessed this often. The school also doesn't properly discipline certain students. Kids were often being harmed physically and mentally that the staff was aware of and didn't do anything about it. Kids were even being forced to join extracurricular activities even if they didn't want to. There also weren't enough, interesting clubs for students to join. The school also didn't support their students.
Only two questions need to be asked: 1. Tell me about the Board of Education... how is the school governed? 2. How many families choose to move their students each spring? That will tell you all you need to know. There is a small hard-core group that offers unquestioning support there, but many many people come and go dissatisfied.
This school wasnt meant for my child. Number one, her 1st and 2nd grade class consisted of 40 children. Number 2, I at first thought that it was just a cute private school, but once my child hit second grade I pulled her out ASAP. The second grade teacher was awful at helping students and didnt even attempt helping. Once my student was in a new school she started off good, but once she got to a specific lesson, she started to do worse. and its all because of that second grade teacher named, Ms. Cornelius. SHe should be fired.
St. James is a sweet little school but there is no consistency year to year in the curriculum. They have trouble retaining students which means the budget isn't stable so so years you may have a language program and an art teacher when other years these programs seem to disappear. My child gets a loving environment every year (which we highly value) but that is the only constant they seem to offer.
My Family and I have had a wonderful and positive experience with St. James. We have always received the love and care of a true family from the community. I'm thankful to have been and continue to be a part of this Christian family.
We have had nothing but great experiences with St. James. With the welcoming community of parents, teachers, and staff it has made our time with them the best we could ask for. The teachers are very caring and they still offer challenging work for the students. The class sizes are small. They offer gym everyday, music, world languages. The extracurricular activities are fun for the kids and all of the events are fun for the kids and the adults. I'm so glad we found St. James.
My family and I have had a great experience at St. James. The community of people are wonderful. We feel the academics have been wonderful for our childlen. They are taught well, loved and respected, which in turns teaches, them the to treat others the same. We enjoy the smaller class size, the teachers, and the assistance which is provdied to us and our kids.
St James puts forth an environment of love, respect, learning, and safety. Each and every teacher, aide, administrator, and employee shows the love of God in everything they do, every day. Whether it is special attention to the student who seeks a challenge, or to the student with which the lesson hasn't quite "clicked", these top-shelf educators give us confident, trustworthy, loving children who will become leaders in the real world. St James is truly an oasis in the city!
Parochial schools cannot offer the same salaries as CPS, and yet St. James still manages to recruit top-notch teachers. To me this says that the teachers are here for the right reasons: to educate and to nurture the whole child. My daughter is entering first grade this fall. Her preschool years and kindergarten experiences were amazing. She is growing academically and because of the small class sizes, her self-confidence is also strong. She loves going to school every day and cannot wait for the new year to begin.
Middle school years can be frightening for both students AND parents! The experienced middle school teachers at St. James are patient and encouraging as we make our way through the pre-teen years! They challenge the students academically, but they also know their students so well that they support without coddling.
Horrible school. The year after we left, the class my son was in went from over 20 kids to 6. So draw your own conclusions on why there was such a mass exodus. I've since heard the previous principal was demoted and maybe there is some hope for the school but with the continual leadership by a megalomaniac disguised as a pastor, I highly doubt it.
I have had two children at this school since 2004. It is an incredible place of learning and community. My oldest is currently in the middle school and I could not be more impressed with the education. They just finished reading The Odyssey! Enrollment is purposefully kept small to facilitate a personalized learning experience. The preschool is sweet, the elementary is wonderful and I'm blown away by the middle school. I can't imagine a better learning environment for my children.
St. James offers an intimate, nurturing environment for children to thrive in. My kids have had many excellent, dedicated teachers at St. James. Here, my kids are not just a number, but are tended to individually. This has been a boon to their learning and self-confidence. This school is a hidden treasure in our city.
I have two kids currently at St. James and I cannot be happier. The school feels like a family. The kids' needs are first and formost...The principal is the most amazing principal I have ever met...was just telling my kids that I have never seen him upset and they concured. The small class size and christian teaching is a big plus. My 4th grader has 10 kids in her class. The staff are just great...I recommend this school to anyone looking for great safe environment for their children. I am sad we will be leaving the school...moving out of state due to new job.
I disagree. My child has been attending St james for about 3 years and my husband and I felt the tension of racially and socioeconomically being pulled since the moment we started. I do mean the students or staff but the parents. They have gone out of their way to treat us as if we do not exist. Apart from that my child is receiving a great education that's why we stay.
I currently have one child at this school. She is now in her 3rd year. St james is a good school...principal and staff are friendly and cooperative on any issues. Qualifications of staff seem to be there and academicially it also seems very good. Lincoln Park private schools can be somewhat pretentious and I do not get this vibe at all at St James.
I have 4 children currently enrolled at St. James. After touring many other schools, most with more impressive technology, I was overwhelmed by the genuine love and care St. James has for their students. This is our second year here, and I love the fact that the school feels like family. The education is impeccable , and my children are happy.
Our two children attended PK through 8. Emphasis on reading, writing and math enabled them to thrive at top-notch selective enrollment high school. Warm, community atmosphere set by principal hard to duplicate. Christian teachings a big plus for us. Excellent early childhood program is well-known -- middle/Jr high often underrated. EVERY child has opportunity to participate in EVERY sport -- ours played them all & loved it. New gym and several classrooms. Enrollment now (2005) closer to 200.
2003-2004 school year is my daughter first school year. She is really enjoying her self. The students are friendly everone knows each other. The ciriculum is awesome. Most importantly the staff cares about the success of the child.
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