Like many folks, we moved to Wilmette for the school system and community. Given the level of taxes and strong public schools, we assumed our school choices were made. But following conversations with many neighbors, we did our due diligence of the various options before our first child started Kindergarten. We found quickly while there are many strong options (an embarrassment of riches), St Joe's REALLY stands out. In addition to a strong focus on academics and whole child development, the school has a deep, grounded and welcoming culture. Everyone is here by choice, and not because their parents attended. The children benefit greatly, as they develop in a nurturing environment, which truly takes into account each kids' individual needs and strengths. Our experience with staff is highly consistent and positive. Similar to the parents, the staff are all there by choice and highly committed to the children and the school overall. While I wouldn't presume that St. Joe's is the right fit for everyone, our experience has been exceptional and I definitely started the process skeptically But am so happy to have found our children's school "home" until high school.
My children currently attend St. Joseph s School. When we were evaluating schools several years ago, I largely left the decision to my wife, which is quite common for families moving up to the suburbs from the city. While I was focused on solid faith-based academics and extra-curricular activities, all of which my wife assured me that St. Joe s possessed, what really sealed the deal for me was the sense of inclusion I felt from the St. Joseph community. In fact, my wife and I joked that I became sold on St. Joseph s after attending a dad s bowling night.
We have been part of the St Joseph community for two years now and are extremely happy! While there are many good schools on the area, St Joe's is excellent and special. The span from preschool to eight grade is wonderful in many ways, it feels like a family, and a common theme is kindness and community. A great example of this is the 'buddy' system, where older kids are buddies up with younger ones. The teachers are also amazing, they obviously love what they do, and that shines through. Children are genuinely cared for and educated in a way that helps them achieve their best. While we were unsure of private school at first (let's face it, we pay steep taxes to live in Wilmette!) -- we will absolutely be staying at St Joseph school throughout eighth grade, we feel lucky to have found it!! The family support is also great, we have no immediate family in the area, and as a parent I feel supported by the entire school community.
We have children in grades 1-6 and are extremely pleased with SJS. We are proud of the academics (curriculum, faculty and great results - our children are all scoring high on standardized tests). Much of our faculty has been around a long time. In addition to core curriculum, we are strong in Spanish, Art and Music which Catholic schools can't always say. In addition, we are getting so much more at SJS: our children are in this loving community where sports and social are all about including everyone. My children love their school so much. My oldest talks about how she wants her children to go to St. Joe's. Also, for a small school, we offer all the social and extracurriculars of a big place because we have an army of parent volunteers who would do anything for St. Joe's. The dedication of our families is like no other. We are all rooting for eachother, and this tough economy has brought out the best in our community. Seeing our families rally for others who have suffered unemployment or other hardship, has made me so proud to be part of the SJS family. The example my children are seeing of how families help and root for eachother is the best education they could possibly get.
We have five children and recently moved our children to a different school after being at the school for over 10 years. St. Joseph's school follows all the basic requirements a school is expected to follow. There are many other schools in the area that go beyond the basics and have a rich learning environment which exceeds St.Joseph's ability. I would encourage you to take a close look at the other schools in the area and evaluate the teachers and school performance. Good luck in finding a school.
We have been a SJS family since our 3 children were each 2. Every year has brought change but we have found a consistent sense of community here. As they say "it takes a village." Our personal experience is that the principal, regardless of background or yrs of experience, has always exhibited a concern for the well-being and education of the whole child. The newest principal introduced a number of best practices designed to help challenge kids as well as assess progress. In our experience, from PS through junior high, the individual teachers care deeply about our kids. Both faculty and staff have been very willing to partner w/us to help us raise our children successfully. Small class sizes have created an environment where each child has gotten a great deal of personal attention academically. In addition our experience with behavioral issues has been very positive w/zero tolerance for actions ranging from infrequent but purposeful mean-spiritedness to the occasional rude remark. We feel the daily reinforcement of making good choices and doing the right thing is as important as learning how to communicate effectively, how to take great notes and how to really study for a test.
While there is a good community at St. Joes, the academics are average or below. We met with the principal and she couldn't even tell us the name of the cirriculum the school uses. She told us she'd have to ask a teacher to give us more details! While I'm not an expert, the principal should be. Marginal education at best.
This is our 8th year at St. Joe's school/parish with our three children. St. Joe's is indeed a special place for many reasons. It truly fosters the "whole" child: mind, body and soul. The principal and teachers are sharp and proactive. The principal has an open door policy for parents, students and teachers. Her drive to ensure that our students are not only succeeding in their current grade, but being prepared for their future is obvious. Academic programs are constantly being reviewed and improved. In addition and equally important, is the christian community at St. Joe's. Our family was faced with a family crisis this past year. My children/family were loved and supported by both the faculty and community. We will be forever grateful for this gem of a school/parish. In a highly competitive and fast paced North Shore, St. Joe's is special place! We look forward to our next 8 years!
My kids have been at St. Joe's from preschool through junior high. The small class sized, dedicated teachers and true community make this a special place. I've been very impressed by the success the graduates have had in high school and college - at places like University of Chicago and Northwestern - and am confident that my children will be well prepared as they move on.
This is our 8th year at St. Joseph School and we couldn't be happier with the atmosphere of learning and caring there. The principal and teachers are committed to the education of the whole child. They strive for academic excellence as well as facilitate the development of values and morals. The principal has brought a fresh perspective to the school with enhanced curriculum development, greater technological focus, and excellent leadership skills. She has an open door policy for parents and kids alike, and is a great problem solver and critical thinker. We feel confident that our children are receiving the best education we can provide for them. It is true that Wilmette Schools are highly rated. They are also huge. Kids seem to grow up faster in the public schools here. We like the fact that St Joe kids stay sheltered for a while longer, yet don't sacrifice academic challenge.
St. Joseph School is a great environment for my kids. My kids have been at the school for more than four years now and they are doing very well. The school and community are growing and the school staff is the best. I feel having the religion in school helps grow the entire child. Also I love the concept of one school for K thru 8th grade, all the kids get to interact and they don't have to change locations three times in 9 years. I would recommend St.Joe's without question.
St. Joseph's is a good school and has a great Church community behind it although it has gone through several changes in the last 1.5 years. There is a new inexperienced principal and several new inexperienced teachers. This is the principals first principal job and you can tell. The schools academics are sliding compared to the other Catholic Schools in the area. The children are suffering. In today s world our kids need to have the opportunity to excel and have the ability to have the best teachers and resources at their fingertips. The Wilmette Public Schools are great and rank highly in the state. St. Joseph's does have a religious education program.
Our family discoved St. Jospph's school by accident and are glad we did. We were looking for a down to earth Catholic community where parents and teachers were very involved in the education and development of the students and a school that had very high academic standards. Families looking to educate the 'whole child' and be part of a supportive, dynamic, and fun Catholic school and parish community will be very happy at St. Joes.
We entered St. Joe's expecting to go to the preschool and move on to the public school for kindergarten. The preschool was so outstanding we took a look at the elementary school. We were extremely impressed by the teachers and the overall community feel. That decision was 5 years ago and we are so pleased that we made this choice.
St. Joseph School is not only a great school, but also a wonderful community of families. The teachers are caring and dynamic. My children are happy to go to school each day to learn new and exciting things, but have also made great friends.
St. Joseph is an excellent school with a curriculum that challenges the students. Small class sizes enable the teachers to differentiate the curriculum, and an added bonus is that my family's morals and ethics are reinforced, not only by the religion curriculum, but by the discipline system which uses positive behavior models and in every aspect of school life. The community is very welcoming and the teachers are very accessible.
The Catholic values which are taught in the classroom are enforced by positive reinforcement in every aspect of school life. Morals and ethics are expected, modeled and rewareded.
St. Joseph School and Preschool program have more than exceeded our expectations. The incredible sense of community made us feel so welcome from day 1. From the teachers and staff to the parents and children who attend the school, everyone is working together to provide an environment with Catholic values and morals that keeps our kids safe, happy and eager to learn.
We are amazed with our experience at St. Joseph School. It truely is a community there that cares for the children and entire families alike. All are welcome and feel welcome there. The education the children receive is a gift. It is highly challenging, but very nurturing for each child as an individual. These children are helped to become lovely, respectful and faithful people. We will for sure stay there through 8th grade. Please consider this school!
This school is led by an excellent and caring principal and equally superb teachers. The two together create an environment well-suited toward educating children. What is most striking about St. Joseph is that it feels like a family. Children are kind, caring, happy, and inclusive. I cannot recall any bullying incidents. Supposedly it has happened, but I have yet to see it. Further, the principal and teachers will listen to parents and try to stop it. Our experience at the local public school was much different. Most teachers were apathetic and the principal was a yes-person who did very little to truly help. Academically, the school is terrific. I am particular when it comes to curricula, but St. Joseph's choices have impressed me. (Yes, curricula does differ from the public schools.) The teachers' dedication has especially impressed me. In summary, if you want a good education, consider St. Joe's.
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