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St John Neumann Catholic Elementary School

Private | PK-6 | 365 students


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Living in Columbia

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $115,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $860.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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37 reviews of this school

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Posted August 12, 2014

This school is fabulous. Is it the best fit for everyone? No, but what school is! Everyone does what is best for the children. I don't understand the comments about the principal. She is one of the most caring, kind people we have ever experienced in a school. The school is the best that it is because of her. She will listen to all. It is when some parents don't get "their way" that they feel she does not "listen" and is a "dictator." I would not want it any other way. Who else knows what is best for the school. She hires some wonderful teachers and guides them to help each child. The teachers accomodate all children, challenging them to be the best they can be. If you want to experience a school like no other, come here.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 12, 2014

Sometimes, it is better for some unhappy people to move on! My children have been at this school for 7 years and we are VERY happy. The principal is like no other. She is helpful, kind, and always warm and friendly. Under her guidance, the teachers go out of their way to help all of the children. One of mine would be one of the children that has special needs, she has been diagnosed with ADHD. The principal developed a plan based on the recommendations sent from our doctor, and the teachers go out of their way to help her. This school is truly God blessed. We are so happy here and would NEVER consider going to another school. My only regret is that our oldest will be graduating soon. I wish this school would consider going through high school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 6, 2014

The Principal is a dictator. There is nobody's way but her way. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT send your child there if they have any kind of learning disability (ADD,ADHD,etc) because the school is not equipped to help these children "Experience Success." There is no Guidance Counselor or Psychologist on campus. Like a post below mentioned the school caters to the gifted children leaving the children who need help left behind. Don't waste your money. My child will NOT be returning.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 10, 2014

An absolutely outstanding educational environment! My children attended a very highly rated public school for one year before we realized that we needed a different educational setting. The teachers could not teach due to the amount of behavioral disruptions in the classroom. My children came home asking questions about things that no small children should be overhearing from classmates. However, after two minutes in this school, I realized we had found home. The teachers are incredibly dedicated and professional, and they will give each individual child exactly what he or she needs to soar. My children's standardized test scores are now in the top 95th percentile in both math and reading, and it is due to the commitment and dedication of the faculty. They motivate and inspire, they model and guide, they love and care. The educational environment is safe and quiet, and the children's manners are exceptional. The students care for one another because they watch their teachers treat all with respect every day. This school has made such a positive impact on the lives of my children, and I know that they are getting an incredibly strong foundation in academics and faith.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 9, 2014

We are always suspicious of people who post negative comments anonymously and fail to check the facts. The awards given at SJN graduation this year were consistent with the awards, as they have been presented from the beginning. No last minute changes were made to accommodate anyone. What a ridiculous statement! We know this, as we have been involved in the computations since the beginning of this award in the 1990 s. The guidelines set by the government have been updated and followed each year, while students grades have been meticulously checked and rechecked to insure accuracy. The Honors Ceremony at the end of each quarter has a completely different standard, which was set by the faculty and administration. We suspect a terminal case of Sour Grapes here.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted June 9, 2014

Thanks for the advice. Looks like St. Joseph's will be our best choice for our twin sons. Too many common negative comments about the principal which appears it can't be all false. It's disturbing to see the responses posted from the faculty towards parental opinions. Everyone has a right to have their opinion.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 13, 2014

St. John Neumann is wonderful. The teachers are welcoming, knowledgeable and friendly. The library is charming and well stocked. (Plus the librarian knows how to make reading important to every child. She even sets books aside for my son, who previously did not like reading!) My children continue to grow academically and socially. The other children are sweet, and the families that we have gotten to know are great. Parents volunteer at the school and are very involved. However, there are several downsides to this school. I will not send my children to this school for 6th grade. The teachers have a reputation for not being academically challenging. I have consistently heard this complaint throughout the school year. Unfortunately, an even bigger concern is leadership at SJN. The principal and assistant principal seem unconcerned about the needs of the school. I agree with other reviews that the principal micro-manages and is unpleasant to deal with The assistant principal is rarely at the school, except for when she brings her dog to school. Young students get to read to the dog, although my child never was chosen for this privilege which devastating to a 1st grader.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 6, 2014

This school is very frustrating because the principle does not accept ideas from the parents witch is very frustrating and she listens to nobody
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 6, 2014

From the beginning we were very impressed with the teachers. They interacted with the students very well, however, They could have been better had they not been intimidated by the principal. She seems to be a dictator, only looking out for her big sponsors. I do not blame the teachers for their intimidation.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 14, 2014

The school is losing its luster.....parents are not getting involved. Principal is inflexible to new ideas and that is frustrating parents. Seems like students are only doing projects and the students are not being challenged. Very frustrating!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 6, 2013

We have been at SJN for almost 7 years and really are pleased with our investment. By the time the kids reach 5th grade, there is such a strong sense of community among them. I would highly suggest that anyone considering SJN go ahead and get your child into the preschool/kindergarten program so that he/she can bond with the other children before the higher grades. I have never been a proponent of private education but this has been a perfect fit for our son who once had a tendency to be on the shy side. So confident now. The school does have a very strong principal who may be perceived as inflexible but she knows her stuff. The kids have much respect for her.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 10, 2013

I guess my previous post was deleted b/c I used the principal's name so here is a summation of what it said. This school is great in spite of the principal. The teachers and parents are what make this school great. The principal is not willing to explore any new ideas (unless it was the principal s idea). New parents are fooled by the principal s notes, signing every paper, etc. The more you deal with the principal; you realize how this person really works. The principal is a dictator. The teachers and students truly fear the principal. Parental involvement continues to decline due to the frustrations with the principal. A new principal is needed to lead SJN into the future because the principal is out of touch with most of the members of the school. New ideas are what will allow SJN to continue to excel and be a leader in academics.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 1, 2013

Wow! This Principal is the same one that hand writes cards to EVERY student for EVERY holiday and EVERY birthday...prospective students too. This Principal hands out ladybugs during assemblies for showing good character (my 11-year old still treasures hers). This Principal cooks gingerbread boys/girls with preschoolers and then runs with them around the school trying to find the escaped cookies. She knows every child by name and how they are doing in their classes without ever opening a file! You may not agree with all her decisions but she is passionate and committed like no other! It's a tought job! When asked what they love about SJN, my kids remark on the library (huge and has dedicated librarian who gets even the smallest child excited about reading), teachers (feel safe, loved and know they can ask any question), and kids (they are just "nice" and don't speak bad language or are mean). That's exactly what my kids told me in the car this morning. Wow, I guess if a loving, safe, strongly academic environment that teaches structure and encourages self- disipline aren't what you're looking for in a school then, nope, SJN is not right for you. Seriously?
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 26, 2013

We took both of our children out of this school. One has a mild learning difference, but wonderfully behaved. The principal is a true dictator and micro-manager. She has created a tense and oppressive atmosphere overall. FInd another school or find out the hard way.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 28, 2013

Our son has attended SJN for 6 years and we have been pleased. The school does an excellent job at providing a Christian environment (we are not Catholic but a third of the families there are not) and providing values based character building in all grades. Academics are excellent and the differentiated instruction assures that children will be appropriately challenged. Many students qualify for the Duke TIPS Program and/or are picked up by the top public magnet middle schools. Expectations are high of the students but we believe that is a good thing. The school is very structured which we like. There is limited tolerance for negative behavior issues which could potentially affect the learning experience of other children. Class size is kept low in preschool - 4th grade. Upper grade classes are often higher. The prior comments about the elitist attitude/feel of the school dumbfounds me as we picked this school over Hammond and Heathwood because it did NOT have an elitist feel. Diverse students. Participative parents. Award winning principal, board and teachers. Very safe environment. Only complaint my son has is having to wear a uniform. :)
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 11, 2012

I am a sixth grade student at SJN. This is a great school! I have only been here two years, but I have learned more here than in all my other years of elementary school. I love the teachers, the expansive library, and the differentiated instruction that they do here. This school has improved my study habits and my work ethic. I also enjoy the production each grade gets to act in every year. The teachers give the students opportunities to come in after school for extra help if they are confused on a subject. The principal also goes out of her way to recognize students for sports awards, good behavior, and exceptional grades. SJN is an amazing school!

Posted July 25, 2011

This school was horrible for my child. He was constantly put in detention and made to do chores that the janitor should have been doing. I am deeply disappointed by the elitist attitude at this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 6, 2010

Definitely a school where children experience success on a daily basis. I have a child in his 7th year at SJN and one in her 4th year. My children have been challeged since day one at SJN. The teacher involvement is superb. The environment is SAFE, loving, and nurturing. The differentiated instruction is happening in every class. If parents don't see this it's because they aren't involved! As for an elementary can't get any better than this. Nothing can compare!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 17, 2010

We have both of our sons at SJN and it is worth the sacrifices we've made in order to be able to afford to send them there. After considering going to public schools in the area, we quickly realized that no other school in the area comes close to comparing to SJN.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 2, 2009

I think that SJN school is leaving a deep footprint in my child's life. I cannot complain, because the academic level my child has gotten until now, is wonderful. Although sometimes the grade given is not in accordance with the good answers written. I like the values that the teachers have passed onto my child, and the ways most of them have toward the children to help them succeed. I would pay more attention to the artistic programs, especially music and drama skills. It would be nice if the children have the chance to learn how to play an instrument and some acting skills at the school. The other thing is the so strict disciplinary system, which often is too much for the development of the children's identity and the handling of their issues.
—Submitted by a parent

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 77% 53%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 8% 1%
Two or more races 7% 3%
Black 3% 36%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 0%
Hispanic 2% 7%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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  • Library
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  • Diocese of Charleston
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721 Polo Road
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 788-1367


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