Our family is new to St. John's this year and we couldn't be happier with the school. The teachers, staff and parents have all made our transition into the lower school easy and enjoyable. Academically my children have been challenged with grade appropriate work. They have also been encouraged and supported by their teachers, who have all been very welcoming to my questions and input. Prior to St. John's, my kids attended a well regarded DISD elementary - however we found the school to be too disorganized and the academics to be geared to pass tests instead of educate. My children received mostly A's at public school and have had to step it up at St. John's to maintain an A/B average. St. John's has daily recess time, and twice weekly art, music, PE and Spanish in the lower grades. The time spent in the academic classes is used efficiently. If you live in the East Dalla area and are looking for an excellent education, smaller classes, caring teachers and staff, friendly families and a neighborhood alternative to DISD, St. John's should be at the top of your list.
Having experienced lower school and middle school with a bright child, I would put St. John's up against any school in Dallas - and I went to ESD and St. Alcuin. Not just for education but for developing the whole child. I am also an employee. No school is perfect but this one strives to "be better" each year. Independent schools are required to go through an exhaustive, internal year-long study and outside evaluation by an impartial third-party team of educators. The evaluators had a hard time recommending areas of growth for St. John's. It's a very healthy school.
I see why learning-challenged or lesser academically gifted young people might be in their comfort zone here, surrounded by trees and flowers and teachers who are more encouraged to sooth than to instruct. Many instructors lack certification in their field. If your son or daughter is college bound and you seek a good pre-college education for him or her, avoid St John's.
The education is not worth the money spent. It is a beautiful campus with fabulous amenities inside but the education is lacking. My child was well above grade level. We met with the teacher, head of the lower school, and head of the school to discuss options. They were less than accommodating. We asked that our child be put in a higher grade for specific subjects and were told no. We asked the teacher for extra work. Her answer was initially no because she didn't want the other students to feel bad because they couldn't complete the same work. Eventually, extra work was sent home (but I can do that) she wasn't challenged while in school. We were also told that "in a few years all of the kids would be on a similar level and it wouldn't be an issue."
St. John's Episcopal is an outstanding school! I have had 3 kids go through and all received excellent academics. They were well prepared for their college prep high school and gone on to enroll in honors programs in college. The best part of the school are the values and ethics that they learn. You'll find no other school like it in Dallas!
This is an outstanding school. Education is thorough, teachers are compassionate, moral character is modeled. Very good school. My son excelled in his kindergarten here. Parents are engaged but not over aggressive. Great curriculum, even in the younger years. Love that there is Christian teaching as well.
We live in East Dallas and have a child at St. John's who was previously in a well-regarded North Dallas preschool. We had the option of continuing in the North Dallas path, but after much research decided on St. John's and have been very happy there. Regarding academics, with some research I think you'll find that St. John's compares favorably with many of the North Dallas schools. In our research, we obtained information from admissions folks at Jesuit and Ursuline, met with a private school consultant, and generally picked the brains of parents who are plugged into the private school scene. The consensus was St. John's compares favorably with ESD, Good Shepherd, Parish, St. Monica, St. Rita, etc. We've been very happy there, but I would encourage you to do your own research in that regard and not rely too much on statements from anonymous posters on a website.
St. Johns wants to charge big private school tuition and provide a second tier private school education. Everyone is expected to function at an average level and no accommodations are made for brighter students. Our child came in at a later grade and I agree with the other poster that the community is not very welcoming. Not all children are invited to participate in grade level sports teams and other social activities.
There are way too many kids with learning and behavioral issues that dominate the teacher's time. Young children are also forced to sit in chapel for an hour at a time. We have seem little focus on academics.