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.
We have been at SJN for a total of 8 years with both our sons. Unfortunately we have withdrawn both our boys out of this school for various reasons. First and foremost the principal is a dictator. It's her way or no way. Do not challenge her because it's a waste of your time. The school is NOT accommodating at all to children with learning disabilities such as ADD or ADHD. Trying to get an accommodation plan was like pulling teeth and the principal didn't take any of our suggestions as to what our son needed. Not all children "Experience Success" at SJN. The school caters to the children who are gifted, but leave behind the children who need help. Teachers are leaving because of the principal and her dictatorship;therefore, the quality of the teachers has gone downhill. The afterschool progam is horrible. The aftershool "teachers" provide no help with homework and don't see that homework is getting done. In order for SJN to become a great school several things need to happen: 1) the principal needs to go (2) the school needs a guidance counselor or psychologist, (3) there needs to be a special education teacher hired for those children with learning disabilities. Save your money.
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.
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.
Instead of assuming, as obviously some people do, I asked about the graduation honors. The guidelines are set by the Presidential Academic Awards - the U.S. GOVERNMENT - NOT THE SCHOOL NOR THE PRINCIPAL. I am so tired of this site being used as a site for people to anonymously making comments about a school that I think is wonderful. Ask questions to the right people (like the 6th grade teachers, who handle the awards) instead of always presuming the worst. Obviously, it might be the best for some people who are leaving to leave. We can go back to having the best school in South Carolina, before these "complainers-negative " parents came to our wonderful school.
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.
This school is very frustrating because the principle does not accept ideas from the parents witch is very frustrating and she listens to nobody
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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. :)
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!
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.
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 education....you can't get any better than this. Nothing can compare!
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.
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.
We recently pulled our child from SJN. I am dissapointed to report, our daughter is learning more in her new school than we saw at SJN in three years, and we paid a great deal to have her there. Her writing and math skills have been more challenged and better developed at her new school. I have also found the teachers at this new school to be much more inviting and engaged in the teaching process. I felt SJN had an elitist attitude, we are happy to be in a new environment which fosters individuality and acceptance of a wide range of socioeconomic families.
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