This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. John's Academy1
Posted May 03, 2015
- a parent
From what I hear it used to be a good school which is why my child went there for three years, but I think power and politics has gotten to Principal Weist's head. I hear some of the things he has done to a family in town that complained about him and its so unethical. Even a current board member has slandered this poor family ruthlessly. My child was bullied there (we pulled him out last year and he is now doing great at Washington) and I do know of how the Principal acts outside of the school setting so much of it does not surprise me. Its really a shame what folks are allowed to do when they get that "us against them" mentality. It should be about what is best for the child, it seems as if they certainly fail in this area. I also think that a lot of the positive posts on this site sound a bit too much like PR attempts and advertising campaigns, sure folks that work there can post themselves as "parent" because all of their kids either went there or are still attending but it would be hard to not view those reviews as extremely bias and a bit misleading (unethical).
Our journey with SJA started over ten years ago when my son attended. He was first signed up to attend kindergarten in the public school system. It was very important to us to give him the best education. We start and end our day in prayer. We are not Catholic but we are Christians. One day my son (kindergarten) said," mom, I can't wait to bring my Bible to school." It was that day that I signed him up for SJA. He got to bring his Bible to school. Today, he is an amazing young man who has a strong faith which allows him to witness to others. His faith was harvested at SJA. Some of his best friends today, are from his kindergarten class. It has a strong family connection. Trust in the direction of where God will lead you. It's worth every penny. Forever grateful!
This is in response to the individual who posted on January 30th after "visiting" with her hairdresser. Here is what the school board minutes said exactly. Professional development-Marlys Fix reported that she and Principal Wiest attended a "Learning Forward" event last year. After attending, Marlys and Mark felt SJA was falling behind in terms of professional development and resolved to create new opportunities for sta ff at SJA.Several sta ff members have since been pursuing professional development by meeting as a book study group (Teaching With Your Strengths and What Great Teachers Do Di erently). I guess in my humble opinion it sounds like they have already been addressing Professional Development. It also sounds like they are addressing childcare pay and the playground. This definitely looks like a proactive staff/school board/administration. As with all private schools, they receive absolutely no funding from the state for their programs. So I would have to say they're doing a great job! I also disagree with the comment that it "used to be great." I hear many, many people say it's simply the best elementary school in Jamestown.
We are a "former" part of SJA community. In the last couple years I had been hearing a lot of negative things about SJA that solidified my decision to pull my child from there last year. After hearing a few more negative things about SJA (from my hairdresser) I decided to check this site and the SJA website out. I did notice in their own published School Board Minutes that they indeed state they have issues with professional development, dont pay their childcare providers very well, and that there are playground issues. I also am aware of a community member who's child was "tested" incorrectly at SJA. So from what I am seeing these negative comments may be correct.In addition I am surprised to see such a blatant attempt to market SJA by an apparent rep of the school. To list actual figures like that and "invite" people to come check it out. Is Great Schools now a free marketing site? It is sad to me, the school used to be great but in recent years its become so political in a way.
In addition to academic excellence, I love that SJA puts an emphasis on personal values. SJA incorporates Catholic Christian values into its everyday curriculum. This foundation has remained with my children beyond SJA s doors. I am forever grateful to SJA as my children have grown into great citizens and dynamic leaders from learning to help others, and make a difference in the world around them.
They are falling behind in terms of professional development. They only pay their child-care workers $7.25 per hour. Their playground needs improvement in order to maintain a safe environment and prevent injuries. ND is a wealthy state, save your money, go to a public school. Staff development is updated, workers (who are in charge of your child s well being) are paid accordingly and the playgrounds are safe.
We were very unhappy there. Im not sure of the testing methods because my son was always pegged as having issues but now that we left there are no issues at all. In fact he has tested as advanced. In my opinion they just didnt want to go the extra mile for the benefit of the child.
I have been a parent and volunteer at SJA for over 15 years and couldn't be prouder of the quality, commitment and tremendous outcomes that are emblematic of the school. My kids performed so well in middle school and high school because of both the academic and social standards to which they were held by the faculty and staff of SJA. SJA is a blessing to parents, students and our community.