It's really hit or miss here...some teachers are good but some are simply mean and out of date.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.