Our oldest child completed an advanced track of math & science in middle school here: she took 7 & 8 grade algebra & science and then she (& her classmates) took 9th grade Algebra & Living Environment (Bio) in 8th grade. All the kids who completed this program at SJUS passed the Algebra I and Living Environment Regents exams at the end of their 8 grade year & started high school in 10 grade courses in math & science. How amazing is that? In addition, our child was placed in honors programs for literature & history - all because of the terrific foundation she received at SJUS. In addition to the stellar academic program (it's the only catholic school with a gifted & talented program, BTW) the school recognizes that students have multi-faceted talents, so they incorporate music, art, drama & phys ed into the day. The teachers are highly-educated, engaging, enthusiastic & challenging. My kids use iPads, & computers in their classes. To address the comments about staffing changes: the 1 co-principal has been there since at least 2009, & they recently hired another one, simply because the job is too big for just one person these days. They complient one other nicely.
The school has a rigorous academic program with hard working teachers, but the staff and student body constantly changes, including hiring a new principal. One of the other parents mentioned in their 2009 review, that the school is revamping, which means that there hasn't been any consistency in the last five years. Test scores are at there lowest, which suggests that all the changes have not benefited my child, or the other students.
We have all three of our school-aged kids at St. Joe's and our fourth will join them in a couple of years. St. Joe's boasts a diverse student body and a faculty that not only challenges and inspires the kids on an academic level, but also in matters of spirituality, social justice, and faith formation. Staff development is a strength -- one of the administrators is a retired educator whose strength is curriculum and classroom techniques. There are also several retired career educators from the parish who offer their time and talent to provide critical staff development. There is also a dedicated cadre of parents and family members who help make the school a true community -- not just a place where you send your kids to school. The new school administrators have done and continue to do an amazing job in meeting the challenges that are inevitably a part of Catholic elementary and middle school education -- we are grateful for their efforts and for the work that the teachers and staff are doing.
We are in our second year at St Joseph's and couldn't be happier. Our children are having the same values instilled at school and at home. We came from the public schools and were very glad to find a Catholic school with a diverse population. The changes in programming were being implemented as we started so we've not experienced the problems others have. There has been some teacher turnover but I feel that has been to the benefit of the school. The teachers are dedicated and caring and really take time to know their students. The introduction of extracurricular activities has been exciting and my kids are discovering new things they like and are developing new goals as they grow.
My child has been a student at St. Joe's for three years. This will be the last year at this school. The quality of education at this school is spotty, depending upon the individual teacher. The administration is trying to re-vamp the school but, at this point it seems like it is in a trial and error period. My child's education is to important to wait for the administration to figure out the right way to educate its students. The quality of education has slipped to mediocre at best.