St. John School is a gem. It is a small, supportive, Christian, yet fully integrated racially, economically, ethnically. It provides a quality education and is staffed by terrific teachers who are compassionate and caring, as well.
I am sorry to say that, yes, it's true, there is no gym (except for the little kids) and they DO play in street. Granted, it's blocked off and the kids are safe, but it is still playing the street. Yes, it's also true there is no healthy lunch program, however, there is pizza on Wednesdays. Having said all that, I think the new principal is wonderful and is adamant about bringing change (she's made several already), but I cannot waste my time (and money) waiting for the changes to take place. I wish the school luck, but it was not a good fit for our family. Some teachers are warm and caring, some are not. It's also very obvious that the same person wrote the last two reviews (see "This I have witnessed"). If you love the school the great, but don't lie about it.
I can't believe the negative comments I'm reading about St. John School. These people have their own issues to grind and should not blame St. John's for their shortcomings. To say that the teachers are lazy and uncaring is just so untrue. They are very educated, caring and will go the extra step to help their students. This I have witnessed. All students from Gr6 - G8 attend great Parochial schools when they leave St. Johns. Boston Latin, Latin Academy, Boston College High School to name a few. So many alumni come back to thank their teachers for their dedication and guidance in helping them pave the way to a great future!!! It seems to me that these negative parents are more concerned about parent "cliques" and don't pay attention to the real focus of quality education at St. John School! The high schools that our graduates attend frequently write to the principal and teachers thanking them for sending our student to their school! If you have any doubts about St. John School, please call the school office and come in and visit with the principal and tour the school. Truly, you will see all the wonderful things and quality education that St. John's is offering!
I am very saddened by the negative comments that some people have given to St. John School. I believe that these negative comments stem from their own private issues (parents cliques?) and have an axe to grind. They are not focusing on the quality education given to all students at St. John's. To say that the teachers are not compassionate, caring & understanding is so untrue...I find the teachers so well educated and caring, they will always take that extra step to give help to any of their students. This I have witnessed! St. John School is accreditated by the NCEA. Our standardized testing scores prove all the good teaching that is going on at St. John's. Most all students who graduate go on to accreditated parochial high schools, including Boston Latin, Latin Academy, Boston College High School...The principal and teachers receive many letters from principals from those schools thanking St. John's for sending them to their school. So many of our alumni come back to thank their teachers for paving the way to a great future. St. John School is now opening a full day 3 yr old program starting in September. Check out our website...Call the school and come in for a visit.
Wow such nasty stuff being written about a solidly good school. There is a gym, and the kids go to the Nazzaro Center for gym, as do the Eliot students. No child has gym in the street...and as far as movies go, most are documentaries which culminate various genre of literature, i.e. Holocaust, the Renaissance, Black History Month, and many more.I don't find the teachers lazy....in fact hard workers who are underpaid...All in all a good Catholic school!
What about the children who get into Latin School and top Catholic schools, and some on to Harvard, yes, Harvard! St John School provided the basics and more .We always have so many alums coming back and thanking us for all we instilled in them which also goes far beyond academics. It's very easy to criticize a school, but look at the facts- kids here do well in standard testing, exam school testing, and Catholic school high school exams. Too bad all that negativity....it is so poisonous and unfounded. It seems that some have personal axes to grind. If so, one needs to take a deep breath, and somewhere in the depth of their being ,begin to appreciate what a jewel this school is... give it a try!
As a parent who has children enrolled in st. John school I must say what a wonderful school it is. I have read the negative reviews and I believe most of the information is extremely over exaggerated. I know parents who choose to send there kids elsewhere because they have to find something wrong with a school. The children have a gym at the school and do not play in the street. my kids do extremely well here and I feel very safe with my kids being here. the classrooms are not cluttered as with the local public school, (30 kids) so my children are getting the proper attention and learning they need. Many students have been accepted to great high schools such as: Boston Latin, Latin academy, newton country day...etc. I believe you get what you pay for.
This school is by far the worst private elementary school you can find in Boston. The majority teachers are lazy (especially math), and the school is paying more attention to the raffles, fund-raise and "coffee time" for the parents. During the morning drop-off the same group of parents are blocking the entrance/hallway chit-chatting to accumulate traffic. Completely lack in communication with parents and teachers to request for the missing homeworks. But if there is something missing to pay(eg.candy sale) the school always find a fastest way to contact the parents. Some of the teachers puts TV on during the class time instead of other educational activities(eg. reading!). Almost every other week is half day and/or no class for students. Yes, it is an easy "A" school because it is not challenging; 7 grade students are still learning addition and subtraction! There is no cafeteria for healthy school lunch and no gym-students are playing on the streets during the gym class! Afterschool program is like a zoo and no one is there to help with children's homework. Just few blocks away there is Eliot school. Save your money and enroll your child there.
First let me begin by saying not everyone will ever be 100% pleased with the school they choose for their children. There will always be the parent who thinks their child is better than the school and he or she can never be at fault for his or her actions or inactions. The school has stood the test of time for over 100 years. I was a student and I am now the parent of a student. I have no complaints about the education my son is receiving. My son studies hard and works hard in school. I am satisifed with his teachers thus far. They are fair and strict and that's how it should be. Four teachers have each been there well over 25 years and that is a testament to their commitment to educating. The upper grades lose kids to Latin every year. This is a credit to the education the children receive. I did not give my review 5 stars because doing so would indicate perfection and nothing is perfect.
Three children in our household attended St. John, all starting from K1. I believe the school has some great ideals driven by its long-standing headmaster. This is one constant that I've also heard from my friends' children who also attended the school, and who are now well into their twenties. All of our kids loved K1, taught by another long-standing teacher, who is a very traditional, emphathetic person who managed to treat every child individually, and took great interest in creating a positive, confidence-building experience for each new student. Sadly, this is where my positive experience ends. From both personal experience and feedback from other parents, as the children progress, the growing and learning experience sharply declines, especially for children that are more academically or socialy challenged. While there is no egregious favoritism of greater performing students, there is a far less nurturing of those facing challenges. The "inclusion" factor quickly diminishes after K1. If your kid doesn't belong, he/she never will. I have heard this feedback directly from other children. I have since withdrawn the children from St. John, and pray something improves.
We were very disappointed with the quality of teaching here. Overall experience from school is below average. Our son's teacher was not enthusiatic and energetic, as a result our son never got to like her. Lack of communication was a huge obstacle in understanding what went on in the classroom. There were no meetings with parents and regular updates (besides those twice a year) were never provided. In general, communication between the teacher and parents is NOT encouraged. We found class sizes, especially in younger grades, very large. As such, much of valuable time in the classroom was spent putting out fires and dealing with emergencies. Although we acknowldge a strong emphasis on penmanship, there was NO reading time during the first year of school whatsoever. The school does have a library which the yonger children attend once a week, however, a choice of books our son brought from school was disappointing, and the selection for younger readers is quite limited. The school has no gymnasium, as such sports are not introduced. There is a very strong emphasis on religion. This school may work for some but our child didn't thrive here at all.
I must agree with the prior writer's comments. Our kids were actively involved in several extracurricular group activities in addition to the regular school day, so one cannot say we didn't give it our best shot. Parents are not allowed in the school during the day, or afterwards, unless it's for a quick pick-up of our children - that's how much they want parental involvement in education. Over the course of a year there was one 5 minute mid-term review with a teacher, despite requests for more regular and general updates on progress. Only one other child's parents bothered to show up to their time slot. Busy-work dominates, TV is always a part of the day in order to fill the time, and never was reading part of of the day, not the arrangement we signed up for. Better-informed parents who want their child to be actually challenged by their school, and who care to know what's going on with their child at school will run fast.
Currently, my daughter is doing wonderfully in the third grade (straight A's) and I have no complaint about her academics. The material she studies in each subject is progressive and extensive. At this level, students experience learning from different teachers on various subjects which enriches the knowledge beyond the homeroom environment. The school does care about your child's development both academically and socially. External learning continues with periodic field trips to museums, theater and outings throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to help with fundraising but which school doesn't? The school does have limitations concerning a full sized gym and a full lunch program but there are weekly pizza and hot lunch days. There are after school programs like dance, girl scouts, cooking, yoga, computer, science and robotics clubs. This school is very accommodating for parents who work in the downtown financial district in addition to supporting Catholic traditions. It is affordable compared to other private schools in the Boston area. Although it has infrastructure limitations, the school has a historical value regarding its North End location by The Freedom Trail.
I am very disappointed with the quality of teaching in this school. St.John School is lack in fundamental Mathematics for each grade and it is truly waste of money. My child gets bored from the school work because they are not challenging at all. The teachers are lazy and careless about students who's parents aren't involved to the school activity. This school pays more attention to the fundraise/raffles than the student's academic or high quality learning. Agreeing to the previous commentor, majority parents are always chatting/socializing in their own pathetic group. Their after school program doesn't even have enough staff to guide the students with homework in various level. Note: The school doesn't even have hot-food serving cafeteria nor gym for the students!
I completely disagree with the 4 stars given by the other "parents". St. John School lacks in providing its children from K1 to 5th Grade the ESSENTIAL math skills needed for the children to enter middle school. If you want your child to attend Boston Latin then I HIGHLY recommend that you get your child tutored in math starting in the 4th grade. The middle school curriculum is good. The math is much harder and unfortunately as a result the children get frustrated and so does the math teacher who personally told me she does. I attended St. John's as a child from 5th grade to 8th grade and we had a better 5th grade math teacher. One of the other things that I would like to point out is that a good portion of the parents are grouped in their little cliques. Honestly it is soooooo high school.
My children have attended St. John School since kindergarden and they absolutely love it. The school itself is rather small (one class per grade) and the atmosphere very calm and structured. The principal is simply wonderful and the school's teachers are very kind and experienced. The students are really encouraged to be their best in a very positive and nurturing way. As a parent, I have been very pleased with the tried and true traditional curriculum (particularly in mathematics and english) and feel confident that my children are being well educated. Moreover, the tuition is reasonable for familes; making the value-proposition very high. The only drawback it is hard not to get spoiled on all the delightful Italian cafes & pastery shops in the neighborhood !
My daughter is in Kindergarten and is loving it (and her uniform...surprise)! She comes home in a good mood everyday. She brings back a folder everyweek of completed work and loves talking about her academic achievements. She likes the structure and her teacher. Prior to St. John, my daughter was undisciplined at her other school. The love and care she receives now, shows me that my choice of school at St. John's was the best one. Moreover, Sr. Eileen did not judge my daughter at the interview (unlike other private schools), she accepted her with love and saw her acadmic potential.
Our son has attended Saint John School since K1, and (now in Grade 5) he continues to tell us that he loves school. The care and love of his teachers is clearly reflected in the happy faces of students in all grades. The quality of education at Saint John is matched by the dedication of the entire faculty and staff - we think that's a winning combination!
My children have attended Saint John for several years. They would not dream of attending any other school. The school has provided them with an excellent education and a sense of leadership and responsibility. The school provides quality development for children. The school principal is exceptional. She is the heart of Saint John. She has always been there for many and has had a positive influence in my children s life. Saint John has a wonderful school staff. We have been extremely pleased with all of the teachers.
My daughter has just completed first grade; her second year at St. John's. We are extremely satisfied with her progress thus far. This year, her teacher went above and beyond in helping our daughter master reading. The teacher held a special group for those wanting help; on her own time after school. The school is such a close community that everyone feels like and acts like family. There is no competition or isolation. The children are encouraged to treat each other with respect and have compassion for others. The communication between teachers and parents is excellent and there is ample opportunity for parent involvement.
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