Posted November 22, 2011
Our school is proud to be a family-like community where faith and character formation are the primary objectives, and yet where those goals fuel our academic excellence. The small size of the school allows us to focus on close interaction among teachers and students. Moreover, the beautiful setting of our campus--forty acres of oak trees and rolling hills in the middle of Lafayette--accentuates are emphasis on nature.
I am a parent who has come to love and adore this school community. Its love for Christ and His Church has been the most joyful experience that I have ever witnessed. Throughout the school's history, the community has had some major obstacles, but this past school year has been the most gut wrenching. The family atmosphere has been greatly diminished with the change of administration and what was once an oasis has become an institution much like any other. The close interaction that the former headmaster encouraged between the students and teachers has been discouraged. It is sickening that the students and parents will have to be apprehensive and standoffish to protect their emotions. I pray for almost half of the teachers and faculty members that have either been non-renewed or have left on their own accord this past school year. It has been extremely difficult to see such a loving community go through the most difficult year I've had to experience. I sincerely pray for the teachers and faculty members still present. I pray for the board and the administration and for the new teachers, faculty and families.
I am a parent as well as a teacher. With recent administrative changes this school has become just another school. It's lost what was special about it. and there's not a lot of opportunity for children aside from religious activities. There's no computer labs etc... Bullying is also a big problem and goes unaddressed. It's sickening to pay so much and not get what the school use to offer. Don't be fooled by the trappings. You'd be better off sending your child to another catholic school.
My children just started at the school this year, and I couldn't be more impressed. The formation emphasizes a strong Catholic, classical curriculum with a focus on virtue and character development. The lower school teachers seem to be very compassionate and good at working with the little ones. The upper school teachers, are friendly but very challenging and academically rigorous. I think this will really help my children be prepared for college and beyond.
This is a good school academically. However it struggles administratively and from lack of leadership. They do not applying the same rules to all, often pandering to the wealth. It hasn't yet enforced a "no tolerance" drug policy. Often upper school student are left unattended for extended periods of time. Once I walked through the hall on the way to my son's class and looked into a room to find a 12th grader sleeping on the floor, a group having coffee and one student with a book open. Students were often pulled from class and taken off campus to drum up donors-- many educational hours lost doing the administrations job. We had a several issue with report cards. The report card that were submitted to my child's new school didn't match the original document the school issued me. Grade were off in some subjects by an entire grade. I was told that the school had lost all the grades for that year. The reissued report card was based on the "best recollection of the headmaster." Clearly, maintainence of records is spotty. We no longer send our child here because of what we saw and experienced. We wanted more structure and guidance for our child.
What makes JPG Academy so special is its leadership: both in the classroom and in administration. Young Catholic men teaching in the classroom makes a HUGE difference for my sons. They have been at JPG now for 4 years and they are showing so much character and work ethic. Secondly, JPG is free to make its own decisions about its academic pursuits, which translates into innovative methods of helping students get engaged into their learning. Socratic questioning, seminar classroom setup, and study of the great books are just a few of its offerings that really work. Since I am a teacher myself, I am concerned about whether or not JPG is continuing to improve, so I check on this each year. JPG refuses to be satisfied with the status quo in Catholic schooling. They are making a path of their own, and this scares a lot of parents, but we aren't worried. The proof is in our children getting the best of both worlds: Catholic morals and ethics (in action), alongside challenging academics.
Our family makes a lot of sacrifices so that we can send our children to JPG. Our experience with teachers in each division of the school, and with the leadership of the school, has not only been perfect, but inspiring. We have not seen another school in this region that is so dedicated to helping each child. Our children are always eager to get to school to interact with their friends and with their teachers; it's such a positive, joyful place. The fact that the academics are outstanding makes the situation ideal for us.
I am a dad of three children at the school. I think the Academy is awesome. For me, the spiritual formation is most important. How can you wrong with a place that tries to teach kids Christian morals? They have four or five seminarians already, and have nuns who live on campus. In terms of academics, we couldn't be more pleased. Our kids learn Latin, great history, and enjoy a very advanced math and reading program. And I know from friends that the school has several graduates on TOPS at state schools. JPG IS AWESOME!
I have three children, all in high school, and am very pleased with the school. I find the school to be solid in its teaching of the Faith, and that is the most important factor for me. Academics are second. That being said, I really can't fault the school for its academic program, either. I have had my teens in Catholic schools for most of their lives, and the academics at John Paul the Great are better that what they had before. In fact, one of my children who always struggled academically has shown consistent improvement on standardized test scores since being here. I'm happy and grateful to be part of this school.
First impressions are not always lasting ones. In the beginning we thought we were impressed with he school. Their lack of professionalism, organizational skills, and consistency leave a lot to be desired. It leaves a child with a lack of proper education. Their claim to be a catholic school is only partially correct, what they fail to mention is how political they really are. Two things that should not be mixed is God and politics. Their lack of ability to work with children as well as their lack of knowledge on many importances make this school one you want to run away from. Do your homework before you enroll your child in a school, inquire about their educational history to assure they are qualified to teach and work with children.
If a prospective parent is looking for authentic Catholic education, challenging academics, and a nurturing environment, they should look no further than PJPA. The school is, in fact, accredited by the State, so one of the previous comments must be 'sour grapes.' We love the school, its teachers, its administrators, and its families.
This is school is a Godsend. The teachers, parents, and students truly strive the live life Christ has called us to in this world. The small class size and the classical curriculm are some of its academic pluses. The kids of all ages work well together since they are on a single campus for grades k-12. It is awesome to see the older kids mentoring the younger ones eagerly with postive affirmation not the negative. When comparing this school to our previous one which was single gender I give it an A+ in all areas. This is the school is a model for what Pope Benedict described in his address to educators when he was in the US earlier this year.
This school is awesome. I've got two kids there. 2nd and K. This school upholds and encourages the values that I want my children to develop as they grow. The academics are great as well. This school follows a classical curriculum which exposes children to the great books of Western Civilization and teaches them logic, critical thinking and oratory skills.
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