We removed our son from this school after two years of hoping it would get better. It seems to exist in a state of 'magical thinking' on the part of the administration that by stating platitudes 'Work each day to make our school a better place.' that such will somehow come true despite a lack of resources, poor teacher retention, little movement to embrace technology, and a dwindling enrollment.
The physical plant is terrible. Children attend through eighth grade yet there are no locker rooms, showers, playing field, or wooden floored gymnasium. The principal of 25+ years won't update from the 80s and refuses to allow the children to have a web site and doesn't 'see the value' of using one to promote the school. The worst aspects of a parochial education. Stay away.
I am an alumnus of this school and am currently a college student at a large Pennsylvania University. I spent 10 years in the St. Johns education system. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at St. Johns and I will always look back on it with fond memories. The school has a very strong sense of community and helped build a strong religous foundation for its students, without being forceful. Furthermore, i felt the school adequately prepared me for high school. Some of my best friends to this day were made at that school and I would recommend it to anyone.
Recently, I observed, during a library class, second grade students were seated in a circle on the floor, listening to a picture-book biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. with rapt attention. Most of the students expressed an understanding of racism and a deep sense of social justice. While the story was read (and the students shared comments) one student, who was Black, stroked the hair of another, who was White. These girls then held hands. It seems that King's dream may have come to fruition, right there, with the delightfully unselfconscious tenderness of two friends. As far as preparation, the students are ready for rigorous high schools. There is a lot of parent involvement.
I have 4 children currently at this school. It is a real gem. The academic program is particularly strong in grades 4th - 8th. Not only do the kids come out with great writing and verbal skills, but they also get a great science and math education at St. John's. The community is wonderful. It is a relatively small school and there is a lot of interaction among the classes. As a result, all of the kids know each other - from Pre-K right up to 8th grade. It is really like a family. Parents are made to feel very welcome and encouraged to participate and volunteer in many activities. My oldest is in Grade 7 and my youngest is in Grade 1 - I would not consider sending them to another school.
My daughter graduated from St. John's and we found that she was well prepared for high school. One of the strong points, of the curriculum, is that the students leave with excellent writing skills and experience in oral presentation. I would definitely recommend St. John's school.
I tried to enroll my son at this school, but am glad I didn't. Not much diversity . I did not feel welcome, nor was I encouraged to apply as the question I was asked was:' couldn't you find something else closer to your home '. Not much effort was made in contacting me on time for the required entrance exam. I was contacted once at work (not at home) on a wednesday for an exam scheduled for Monday. I was on maternity leave at the time and did not get the message on time. When asked about rescheduling, noone ever followed up with me. How disappointing! I can only imagine what things would have been like for my son had I enrolled him there.
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