It's so disappointing how this school has spiraled downward.
The principle has made several changes that many parents are unhappy with. Parents input is ignored and several teachers have either left or been fired.
Subsequently, parents have pulled their children out of St. Joseph and enrollment reflects this showing a 30% drop in the last two years.
They have lost their Montessori preschool program and total enrollment looks like it will only go downward.
It's difficult to rate this school using a star approach. THIS SCHOOL IS WONDERFUL if you have a "typical child." If your child has any type of hyperactivity disorder and/or attention deficit, BUT DOESN'T QUALIFY FOR AN IEP IN PUBLIC, the school struggles with finding a way to assist. Their way of assisting is telling parents to get medication, despite doctor's recommendations to not medicate. They have a fabulous resource teacher but, unless you have a child who is medicated, the school will fail to use her. The school often refers to their handbook which implies "direct special education cannot be provided", which is understandable. However, a lot of children fall through the cracks and won't get direct special education, but need a teacher/administrator who think out of the box. This is not available at St. Joseph. Unless you are ok with medication, do not go here. The teachers/administrators struggle with boundaries and will suggest medication, which is a battle you may not way. If you believe in medicating, and have no health concerns holding you back, it is a wonderful school with wonderful values.
If you have a child who is struggling in any way. Do Not Send Them Here! They cannot and will not help your child. The other principal was awesome. She is no longer there, however. They don't listen to parent concerns or advice either. For parents who pay, make sure they have the resources and the drive to want to help your child. They need to work on helping more with diversity of children and less who fits a certain mold.
This is the best Catholic school in town. The other Catholic schools use a demerit point system for discipline. This is the same system used in prisons and reform schools for problem children. I consider it a form of emotional child abuse. At St. Joseph, they love their children that attend their school and they would never even consider using such an abusive discipline system. They use the same books as the other Catholic schools and their graduates are as equally prepared for higher education. This school and Greenwood are the two hidden gems of education in the Springfield area.
Our daughter has flourished at St. Joe's. She's getting A's and enjoying close friendships in her small classes. It's the best-kept secret in local education! People love dumping on our school for their own reasons, but we just stay positive and get the last laugh, because our kids are so much the better for getting to spend time in this caring educational community.