My children have attended St. James since preschool and I have been very pleased with the education they have received. Is St. James the perfect school? Absolutely not- there is no such thing. There are some bad teachers and some mean kids, but the good certainly outweighs the bad. My children have received a good, quality, Catholic education. They have learned respect, self discipline, work ethic, service to others, and everything else that goes along with a Catholic education. That said, the 2015-2016 school year has been a challenge due to an awful interim principal. A new principal will be coming to SJS for the 2016-2017 school year and the future of SJS is extremely bright!
As a military family, we are first and foremost concerned with making sure our children have the best education as possible from move to move. Initially, we thought SJS was fabulous. After we hit 1st grade, my child would come home crying and beg us to move her to another school. Our child was threatened physically by another child (1st grade!), when we addressed it with the principal-we were dismissed! We moved our child immediately to another school in the area. At that new school (public), we learned that our child is so far behind that she needs to stay after school two days a week and possibly summer school to catch up. There is absolutely no accountability at SJS for teachers, and they do not teach the curriculum needed to stay current with their peers. I am extremely angry and disappointed with SJS. I would absolutely NEVER recommend Saint James School to another military family. It seems like you get special treatment if your family is a high donor, and everyone else is ignored. If you are not Catholic, you are required to pay tuition, which is $460/month! Run, don't walk, quickly away from this school!! (March, 2016)
I'm sad to read recent poor reviews. We are a new family to this school and we had heard great reviews coming in. I have not been disappointed! On the first day of school, we were greeted by the new principal this year, several teachers and TWO priests who have made a very clear presence. I have been welcomed to volunteer and enjoy my time in the cafeteria helping with lunches. Unlike other schools my child has attended, parents eating lunch is limited to specific days because the school is on a tight schedule for lunch with seats alloted for students. They feed over 500 students in just under 2 hours! Also, parents aren't invited to attend school Masses, which I had done at other schools but that is because Masses are held in the gymnasium at this time, with plans to build a beautiful new church on the property in the near future. This new school building is beautiful and we have really enjoyed our experience so far.
I hate to even have to give it one star. Extreme waste of money and for sure, one horrible third-grade teacher! Never even met or seen the principal all year long. They hardly ever get a recess and if they do it's in the parking lot on blacktop! Most of the homework that was sent home was never even gone over in classroom half the time I thought I was homeschooling my child even though I paid a ridiculous fee to send my child to the school. They don't allow parents to just come to lunch either. What happened to a friendly open-door policy from the school with nothing to hide!
The previous parent comment (from April 2014) is spot on. Everyone raves about St. James, but in actuality it does not meet the expectation presented. Communication is poor; in it's dissemination, tone and grammar. The administration is out of touch with children and the needs of families. It is surprising the student scores are still high, with of the level of apathy in the administration AND staff. Nepotism appears to be quite common within the school, lending to the difficulty for new family integration. I am wholly disappointed!
As a new person at this school I feel the PR needs improvement. New kids and parents are thrown into a mix with little to no guidance from seasoned members. We never met the Principle for a year. Grade postings are slow making it difficult for assessments. Communication between parent, staff and principal seemed to be disconnected. Many emails go unanswered. Most of the curriculum is high standard. Community service is a requirement of the school, which is needed in all schools.
SJS is an excellent school. The school performs ABOVE the average of area schools (scores listed on website) and is among the top of the schools in the Archdiocese. This school also has an amazing parental group that makes for a school that functions like a community.
My son started SJS in Kindergarten and with the exception of a few days here and there has enjoyed his experience. (he is now in middle school) I believe all the staff (principal, teachers, secretarial, lunch, cleaning, ASC, etc.) genuinely care about the well-being of each child. I also believe they encourage the parents to be active participants and share in each student's catholic education. There are numerous activities for the children (and parents) and the more you are involved, the more you see what SJS has to offer for your child(ren). I have also learned over the years, that you have to personally experience SJS and form your own opinion. :)
Hey , a few comments down, that person who said it was below average, actually it is a wonderful school, it fact i go there. It prepares you for high school and college better than any other middle schools i have seen.