« Back to compare
/ / School Profile

Contact this school

1120 Washington Street
Evanston, IL 60202

School website
(847) 475-5678
(847) 475-5683
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Pope John Xxiii School address.
October 11, 2013
It's really hit or miss here...some teachers are good but some are simply mean and out of date. This school had such a good reputation but I think the former principal let things slip for too long with some of these teachers. Ask around before committing. PJ does ask a lot in extra contributions beyond the tuition and some public school have more resources, depending on the needs.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2013
We transferred our child from a well respected public school because she was not learning to read. They just kept having her do the same things over and over and it wasn't working. Instead, she was feeling stupid and frustrated. Moving her to Pope John was the right decision. From third grade to seventh grade her Terra Nova Reading score went up 34 points and she is now in the 8th Stanine for reading. If your child is having trouble with reading and is in the lower elementary grades, this may be the school you are looking for. However, because the reading program is so good in the lower grades, by the time students reach middle school they are reading at a very high level. They are reading upwards of 15 novels a year. Some of the middle school novels are The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (in the same year), Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and many other books they will encounter again in high school or college.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2013
This school is fantastic. It is caring, loving, and rich in its content and instructional delivery. The teachers are wonderful/ My kids transferred in and made multiple gains with test scores and emotional gains.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2013
Academics are not as good this year in the middle school. Several good teachers left and others do busy work or yell and give dimerits. Glad this is our last year.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2013
excellent teachers, strong academics, diverse community, wonderful athletic program. Pope John is the complete package.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2013
I am a former teacher and current parent at Pope John. I taught at PJ for 5 years before having my own children. Now that my son is preschool age, I would not think of sending him anywhere else. I think that it speaks volumes for the school that I saw the ins and outs of the school and am now sending my own child there (I can't say that about other schools where I have taught). The sense of community is amazing. The parents are so welcoming and friendly. The teachers are some of the best that I have ever worked with--and clearly dedicated, if you know how much money a Catholic School teacher makes, you know exactly what I am talking about. The level of respect that the children are taught at a young age is remarkable. Half of this years 8th graders are taking math classes at Evanston High school, which obviously says a lot for the academics. As far as the principal, she was a great principal to work for and I very much agree with her approach to discipline--which is one of the main reasons I want my children at Pope John.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2013
This school is not like it used to be--lots of meanness among kids goes unnoticed by teachers or its seen as a normal thing and ignored. Lots of nice parents, but a plan to focus on the caring part of the student day would help.

- submitted by a parent
July 25, 2012
My child attended this school for one year and was treated very poorly by the other children. Two years later she still cries about how unaccepting they were. The staff never noticed what was going on, or if they did, they did nothing about it. Truly ironic since this school is affiliated with a wonderful parish that preaches tolerance and acceptance. Our experience was a huge disappointment given what we'd heard about the school. It just didn't live up to the hype in so many ways.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2012
Fantastic education. Great teachers especially the middle school and Kindergarden. My son went here and then on to the High School ( ETHS) taking honors and 4 ap courses by jr and sr year. He now has been acceted to 10 Colleges and is going on to Clemson in South Carolina. Have your son or Daughter take the LATIN class and he or she will be prepared for anything at any school they go to! My son was just an average student when he started out here, they got him private math help at no charge, by the time he finished they had him prepared for High School in more ways then just the class room! Now he is so ready for college he can't wait to go. He is an only child too!

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2011
This is a wonderful school with great academics and a close knit, caring community. The school teaches the subject matter, but also how to study, break down complicated material and really learn. Teachers are great about providing clear instruction and working with kids at all levels to engage them. The principal really knows the kids and works hard to make sure the kids have the right amount of challenge or extra help. We have had kids at two other schools on the North Shore (public and private) and this school is, by far, the best.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2011
PJ23: Great school! To the parent who says that if child does not excel, he is not welcome: I have 2 kids at PJ; 1 at the top and 1 at the bottom. I have been blown away by the lengths to which this Catholic school, without the rich resources of the public schools, has gone to support my low-scoring, low-performing child. At every step of the very laborious special-ed process, the principal and every teacher - classroom and support teachers included - have given help, support, advice, accommodation and instruction, and have been very kind and accepting of my low-performing child. The other kids have, too! This is completely unlike our experience in both Chicago & Evanston public schools, which were warehouses compared to PJ. I think the difference here is the level and type of parental involvement. I have been at PJ for years (2 kids several years apart) and seen petulant parents with badly behaving kids have negative experiences, and, happily, take their kids elsewhere. I have seen positively involved parents work well with the staff and their kids, like mine, have prospered. Note: Scores of IEP kids are not counted in the stats so they don't "mess up the school's scores".

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2010
My experience at this school is that children who do not excel are not welcome. It's possible that the school's academic success is in part achieved by pushing out kids who will lower test score averages. The principal is an enormous liability, with her biggest shortcoming being an unwillingness to work with parents in making decisions about their children. If your child isn't an academic superstar, you would have a much less frustrating experience at another school.

- submitted by a parent
September 22, 2010
I have had three children attend PJ. It is an great school with excellent academics. The small classes, the students get phenomenal personal attention. The principal stands and greets the children every day at the door as they start and end each school day. You can't beat this small town atmosphere in our urban environment, and great teachers and scores add to the benefits of this gem in Evanston.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2010
My oldest child has just entered Loyola Academy and his education from Pope John has shown to be one of the best. The only freshman in the sophmore honors Latin class are Pope John Students. The Academic Advisory board stated that of all 200 plus school that feed into Loyola, Pope John students are by far the best prepared.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2010
I am a committed PJ23rd parent and can assure other parents evaluating schools that the quality of education, community, and Catholic formation is top notch. For additional objective sources, take a look at the US Dept. of Ed. website for details on the Blue Ribbon Award which the school earned in 2008. Secondly, check with top area High Schools on which schools produce the students ready to succeed in HS on day one. I know Loyola Academy for example is eager to enroll Pope John graduates as very well prepared students. The kindergarten is newly renovated and the physical plant continues to be rejuvenated by the principal, the supporting churches, parents, and generous supporters. Principal Musiala is very talented, extremely hard working, creative, and gets results all around. The school has thrived under her dedicated service.

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2009
Pope John XXIII is a nationally recongized NCLB Blue Ribbon School. This award for academic excellence comes from the U.S. Department of Education and only 50 private school nationally were so recognized. The teachers are caring and dedicated to the students. Onver 50'% of the teachers have advanced degrees. The students are successful academically with supeior test scores. The honrs and advanced classes challenge the brightest and motivate all the students to try their best.

- submitted by a teacher
October 28, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2008
We are very grateful that our son has attended PJ23. First and foremost, it truly is a caring community, with a great group of families. It has been a very safe and nurturing environment for our son, now in 8th grade. The longtime social studies teacher and the longtime Latin teacher are especially terrific, and have contributed greatly to our son's education. The principal works very hard and genuinely cares about the students. I may not agree with every decision she makes, but I very much respect her. I highly recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 12, 2008
My daughter went to Pope John from preschool to 5th grade. I feel Pope John is a great school. My daughter received a great education. The school supported all the values I teach my child at home. The principal was great at running the school. I think private school principals have it harder than public school principals, a private school principal may have to stop a child's education mid year to enforce tuition payments....that's is not an easy job.

- submitted by a parent
July 09, 2008
I disagree with the comments about a weak principal. Many catholic schools struggle to stay open. PJXXIII is thriving largely due to the efforts of the principal. She is a fine educational leader and is able to attract and retain excellent teachers. The curriculum is solid and there are honors classes and electives in the junior high. A few of the teachers are probably the best my children will EVER have in a lifetime. Further, the principal understands the financial aspects of running a school and utilizing staff to wear different hats and service the students. She is quite creative and adept at placing staff. In all, even though I stand on tippy toes every month to pay tuition, the school is worth it!

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2008
Pope John is a great school with a weak principal. The environment is caring and stimulating. The teachers are great to work with and many are above average, providing a superior education. The principal is unfortunately difficult to communicate with and is not properly supervised by the Pastors who are the School's CEOs. Most recently the principal has lost confidence in the school community over her handling of disciplinary issues.

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2008
This is my daughter's first year attending Pope John. She absolutely loves it. She is excited about learning and adores her teachers. I feel she is appropriately challenged and that that the school really works to foster a warm and caring environment.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2007
I used to attend Pope John and it was a very good community. I had a nice class and most of the teachers were above average. Through my years there I felt that every class I learned a lot, but I never really had a strong math teacher who was able to explain the concepts on what we were learning. I thought that the English/Lit class in the Jr High was a very high point. I learned a lot but still had a good time, since the teacher kept the class pretty amusing. It had its high points and its low points, just like any school. I still wish I was able to attend there, but Pope John was able to prepare me for my move to a new school and a new town.

- submitted by a student
July 30, 2007
We have sent our children to Pope John for many years now. We have been incredibly happy with all aspects of the school. There are going to be issues with any school, with any community; overall, however, we know our children are in a caring community receiving an excellent education.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2007
I worry about some of the teachers at this school. I felt my child wasted a semester with a teacher whom I feel did not challenge the kids. I am glad I made the decision to send her overseas to a very good school.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2007
As part time French teacher at Pope John XXIII School, I witness the high quality education students receive there.The teachers are professional and dedicated, the principal, assistant principal and office personnel are extraordinary and the community is outstanding! Pope John offers a classic education as well as a foundation in religious values and ethics. Students learn to take responsibility for their actions and for their work. There are numerous opportunities for students to explore the arts, through fine arts, dance, song and drama. Students who graduate from Pope John do well in high school.I sincerely believe the school offers a great education and an opportunity for students to learn to live with a diverse community.

- submitted by a teacher
March 04, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2007
Pope John XXIII is the BEST school for our children. The balance of a sound academic curriculum with a core group of teachers who not only teach but offer the direction we are seeking for our children is unmatched. The principal is strong is academics and budgeting (new endowment fund) and average in communication. She is well balanced with the Assistant Principal who is a strong communicator and advocate for the students and faculty. Pope John School does a good job in creating a place where parents can and do actively participate in their child's education. The new Media Center offers a quality place for the students to continue their learning along with improvements in Technology. Pope John is a wonderful and caring community where we look forward to our children being educating for many years to come.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2007
I had two children attend PJXXIII. During that time, we only had one teacher that was really bad. Most of the teachers were outstanding. There were three principals during that span. The first was great, the second was good, and the current was poor. A lot of politics have dictated the school policy and leadership with certain families having a grip on the leadership. I still consider the school to be very good despite the leadership over the last 10 years.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2007
We had children at Pope John for several years, and finally made the decision to leave. This school has a caring, involved parent community and some excellent teachers. However, the principal is not a strong selling point. As someone in a vital position of leadership, she is closed-minded and does not listen to concerned parents. The school codes are enforced inconsistently. Physical education is suboptimal.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a former student
October 18, 2006
Pope John XXIII is a quality Catholic school, with several dedicated teachers. However, it lacks a well-liked principal. In my opinion, she has very little sense as to how students behave and would like to be treated. While I was at the school she treated every student, despite their age, as she would a pre-schooler. The classrooms are average in size and the computers are brand-new. The gym is on the small size, but I never had too much of a problem with it. One very large benefit of the school is it's relationship to St. Nicholas Church, a truly great community. Also, their Latin class (and teacher) is amazing. In fact, Mr. Onofrey is the one of the only reasons why I liked Pope John.

- submitted by a former student
May 31, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2006
I graduated from Pope John two years ago and couldnt be happier with the way Pope John prepared me for high school. The teachers were very strong in just about every subject, especially math and english. I could see that they really wanted each student to understand the material. Another great thing about this school is the way they emphasize your faith. Between masses and religious shows and the wonderful envolvment of the pastors, i believe that i truly recieved a full education of my faith and so much that cannot even be said about my individual growth. One of my favorite things about the school was our great athletic program. With so many different sports to play, it really taught me to balance my school work and fun, an important thing for high school. The parent involvment was so great and is really what makes it all so fun.

- submitted by a former student

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

About this school

Pope John XXIII draws from a rich heritage that dates back to 1886 from St. Mary's and St. Nicholas Schools. Pope John XXIII was consolidated 20 years ago. It is one of the most successful consolidations in the Archdiocese. We have a new multi-media center with over 8,800 books and 20 new laptops for student research. There are also 30 in the computer lab and 4 in each classroom.


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: December 15, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Pope John Xxiii School
1120 Washington Street, Evanston, IL  60202
(847) 475-5678
Last modified Pope John Xxiii School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Pope John Xxiii School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 34 reviews. Top