Stephen Harrison, December 14, 2012
Complexity dominates our world, making life confusing and often difficult, and life isn t getting any easier. Children growing up today need refuges in their lives that provide stability, consistency, predictability, and nurture in addition to places where they can experience the basics of academic excellence, loving and kind social interactions, and the confidence of faith in God. They need environments where they can still exercise their rights to be children for as long as is practical, where the adults in their lives value and celebrate those rights, and where reveling in the wonder and awe of creation as well as actively exploring the world s mysteries constitute normal behavior. At St. John s Parish Day School, we understand these forces in children s lives and their undeniable needs for safety, security, challenge, love, and respect. Our unrelenting commitment to children and preserving their childhood informs all that we do. We provide the spiritual, social, and emotional refuge that our children need while offering the best academic preparation to be found in this region. Knowledge and values for a lifetime.
St John's Parish Day School in Ellicott City, MD is a gem of a school. My daughter is now in fourth grade and has been there for five years now. She has received an outstanding education and the kind of nurturing every child deserves. St John's does an incredible job of integrating subject matter across disciplines, i.e. doing a project in art that relates to what is being done in science class, etc. I am so grateful for the balance they bring to academics, allowing children to engage in creative projects as they tackle the academic side. Can't recommend this school enough. Great class sizes. Genuine respect and cultivation of the WHOLE student -- socially, emotionally, academically and spiritually. Such a great foundation for her life!
St John's Parish Day School has done an excellent job preparing both my children for both their middle school and even high school educations. When my daughter, now a freshman in high school, did exceptionally well on a grammar test her teacher asked where she went to middle school. After hearing the answer, she commented that no one from that middle school had ever done so well on a grammar test in her class. I'm sure it was that fabulous St. John's education that made a difference. My son is in several GT classes now in the public school and he has all As and Bs on his interim report. Thank you St. John's for laying the foundation!!
This is our second year at SJPDS. Our son started in Kindergarten in 2012. We have seen him grow leaps and bounds academically. The teachers do a great job and really get to know each child and their family since the class sizes are small (~15 or less). In first grade, we already see that he is being challenged and continues to grow. We drive 25-30 minutes each way and it's well worth it! We are so fortunate that we have found such a great nurturing and academically challenging environment. We feel confident that SJPDS will help lay a solid foundation in his early academic years.
This is my daughter's first year as a third grader at St. John's Parish Day School. Although we enjoyed our years in public school, I found myself in a very precarious position of having to relocate. I remember visiting the school YEARS before when my daughter was only one years old. I added it to my personal "wish list". When the opportunity came, St. John's was the first school I thought of. Not only were they very thoughtful in the enrollment and assessment procedure, they were kind enough to "hold my hand" all the way through the process. Being a single parent, there are always financial sacrifices that have to be made...this is one. Picking up my child everyday with a huge smile on her face and EXCITED to tell me about all of the new things she is learning MAKES IT ALL WORTH IT. We drive 45 minutes to and from St. John's and she can not wait to start her homework...many times.in the car! The course work is rigorous enough to create an organic sense of curiosity and excitement about the course work, while also being nurturing enough to foster positive self esteem for each child. St. John's Parish Day School has quickly become our extended family. Bri Cooper Parent
St. Johns has been such a blessing to our daughter and our family! We decided to take our daughter, then going into 2nd grade, out of public school for a better, richer environment, and we couldn't be more pleased with the results! We have seen tremendous growth and amazing changes in these past 2 school years, and would give our highest recommendation for this school, its curriculum, its teachers, staff and families. Thank you, St. Johns!
I am so pleased with the experience my children are having at St. John's Day School. This is our family's sixth year at St. John's and it has been a wonderful, nurturing environment for my children. The teachers and staff are committed to the students' social, academic, and emotional well-being. Each child is met and challenged at his or her own level. The administration does an excellent job communicating information to its families and has a welcoming open-door policy to address any questions or concerns you may have. It is a wonderful feeling to drop my children off at school in the morning and know that they are happy, cared for, and challenged.
My daughter will graduate from SJPDS at the end of this school year. The school's high academic standards and supportive environment have ensured that she is very well prepared for middle school. The school fosters strong work ethic, confidence, and respect. We feel very fortunate to have found this school.
This is our first year at SJPDS and overall we are quite pleased. Our daughter commenced the Kindergarten program this September and has been thoroughly enjoying her experience. We have already seen her growth academically and socially. The school is ethnically diverse which was of critical importance to our family. Another positive area is how the school teaches conflict resolution. They encourage all parties to express their frustrations yet recognize how their actions disaffected the overall situation. They then look for solutions in how it can be mitigated in the future. It is great to see the children and the school embracing diplomacy and shared sacrifice. One of the critical things SJP does well is encouraging parents and especially fathers, to be intimately involved. The school encourages families to take an active role in their child and the school. Further, during these events, if a child does not have a loved one to participate, another parent is encouraged to include them in their activities for the day. Thus no child feels left out and letting them see that we are all valued. The teachers and staff have been friendly and professional.
My children are so well taken care of and happy at St. John's. The teachers are kind and have created an amazing curriculum - one that is challenging, full of hands on activities, and extends into special classes like gym, music, art, and science. There is a feeling of comfort and a nurturing atmosphere - important for my pre-schooler as well as my grade school student.
We have one 5th grade graduate and one on the way(3rd grade). My best advice is get a tour and feel the atmosphere. Try to envision your children in the Science Lab,Art Facility and Music room. Imagine the lifetime value of daily chapel with Reverend Jenny. Inquire about the curriculum as well as the acceptance rates and track record of our graduates. Take the time to meet the educators and the specialists. While no school is right for everyone, you will know if St Johns is right for you when you make a personal visit:)
Both my daughters graduated from St. John's parish Day School and are now in HS. They continue to be stellar students which I credit in large part to the strong foundation they received at SJPDS. Recently i was at a fundraiser for Kenya Connect where two of the current 5th graders spoke. They clearly charmed the crowd with their articulate and clever presentation on how they have raised money for Kenya Connect with weekly bake sales (based on a book they read in the summer.) i had several guests at the event mention how impressed they were with the students and what a great school St. J's must be! I am heartened that SJPDs continues to provide a well-rounded and strong program for elementary students and also encourages them to be global citizens.
I cannot say enough about how good this school is. The academics are excellent, the teachers are caring, professional and accessible. It is a caring and nurturing environment with excellent enrichment opportunities. The class sizes allow for the teachers to know your child well and help them grow where they need to. Children are encouraged to explore the spiritual basis for community life and they learn how to get along with each other in a wonderful way. This place truly has a special culture that helps kids learn and grow while also teaching them how much they are loved.
All three of our children attended St. John's Parish Day School. Although each of our children, like most kids, learned differently than their siblings, St. John's was able to provide them all with a solid foundation for future educational experiences. At the same time St. John's also provided a warm and caring environment where my children felt safe and respected. This nurturing environment coupled with academic excellence and the individual attention helped our children to become not just good students but good human beings as well.
I never intended for my daughters to go to private elementary school but after such a wonderful experience in the Early Childhood program i had to keep them there. It is such a wonderful and caring community with excellent academics as well. The work that my daughter is doing in the Lower School far surpasses what you will find in Howard County Public Schools. The teaching is very personalized because of the small class sizes that sometimes no 2 kids get the same homework. The teachers know the children, care about them, push them so they excel and make it a safe and secure learning environment. I have one daughter in the Lower School and one in Early childhood and they don't want to miss school even when they are sick! They are so engaged, comfortable, challenged and happy and as a parent I cannot ask for anything more. It is hard to explain in words what makes SJPDS so special and I wish it went all the way to 8th grade!
My older daughter graduated from St. John's over 5 years ago. Her experience was fantastic! She is confident, respectful, curious and excited to learn. I truly believe this is due to her time at St. John's. My younger daughter attends St. John's and is in 3rd grade. I cannot image her being any place else. She has some learning and visual challenges that have been proactively and professionally managed by the staff and all her classroom teachers. She is a bright child but could easily fall through the cracks if it was not for the attention to individual students at the school. We are so blessed to be members of this wonderful place. St. John's ROCKS!
St. John's Parish Day School is an amazing place for children to grow and learn. I witnessed this first hand this past weekend. We had a fundraiser this past weekend for Kenya Connect, with over 150 people in attendance. A highlight of the evening was when, two 5th graders from St. John's got up and talked about a Bake Sale Competition they ran at school. They donated over $700 to this wonderful cause. The were so poised in front of this large audience and they were so prepared...complete with talking points and a power point presentation. They rocked the house....and it was a full house!!! I got the chills seeing how composed these two young 5th graders were speaking to a room full of adults. They explained how they planned and executed this successful fundraiser. They were organized, well spoken and even brought some humor to their presentation. Beyond the presentation, I was moved by their compassion for people around the globe. Teaching our young children about our Global economy and Global needs is so important...St. John's is certainly doing something AMAZING! I wish it had been in existence when my children were young! Our future looks bright with children from St. John's.
This is my child's 3rd year at SJPDS, and the school continues to provide an environment that is academically challenging, socially/emotionally nurturing, and produces students that are respectful and considerate. Our interactions with teachers and administrative staff have been positive and productive. The school is enhanced by a highly engaged parents who partner well with the school and each other. My 4 out of 5 star rating is high praise that acknowledges room for improvement. We are very happy at SJPDS and plan to stay there through the end of 5th grade (the last grade of their program).
We did not have a great experience with SJPDS, although the school was highly recommended and was said to have excellent teachers. After attending for a few months, I learned that my child's preschool teacher had a reputation and was not considered a great teacher. My child was a slow learner but I didn't see anyone going the extra distance to provide assistance. This school may be ok if the child is an average learner but it is not suitable for children that need extra help or are gifted and talented. Art program is top notch and superb.
To clarify on the review dated 19/7/2012. My son was taught by the incoming grade five teacher as a four year old and she is more than qualified having taught in middle school for several years before she had children. It was only after her children were older that she moved to preschool (per her back to school night introduction). The preschool was fantastic. My husband and I were very pleased with the education our son received and feel that he was well prepared for moving on to Kindergarten. The staff is warm and friendly and aim to foster a love of learning in the young children. Unfortunately I cannot speak for the lower school as we moved at the end of his four year old year.
Prospective families should be aware, this school no longer lives up to its reputation. Over the past few years it has been a revolving door of families, headmasters, faculty and support. Quality teachers are leaving non stop, they have little or no support from admin. The principal is overwhelmed and not qualified for the position. One teacher left even before having a job anywhere else, that really says a lot! Families are leaving and the school never called them to ask why they are leaving or if there is anything they could do to make them stay. They are so eager for new families and enrollment instead of focusing on their current issues and trying to keep their quality families. Apparently families receiving financial aid were given significantly less this year even though there was no change to income. This was a shock and burden to many families. The kindergarten teacher was fired mid year, the replacement is mediocre, the wonderful first grade teacher left, this years fourth and fifth grades are going to be overpopulated, the fifth grade teacher left and was replaced by a preschool teacher?! The school is in a tough transition and needs to reevaluate itself
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