The resources available and the reputation of the school are pretty remarkable with respect to positioning the students for getting into college and performing well there. However, the administration seems to control the faculty by fear (there is very high teacher turnover) and concern for the general well-being of the students is subordinate to concern for the school's image. If your student has any of the problems that are typical in high school, do not expect support from the school beyond keeping such problems secret.
When my child went to St. John's (all the way K-12), he was not supported emotionally at all. Some of the teachers and much of the staff were uncaring and rigid. The former principle, "Mr. A", was the worst principal I have EVER come across. Why that man is in education, I will never know. He didn't try to help or connect with the students even a little bit. Because the former principal was so lackluster, I don't have faith that the administration makes good decisions. There are teachers who are absolutely wonderful, the rigid ones were the exceptions. These rigid teachers seem to be completely oblivious to the changes that occur throughout adolescence, and some of them don't even seem to care. St. John's is not focused on your child growing in every area, only academically. They don't focus on emotional intelligence at all. The staff jumps to conclusions and doesn't guide students through normal teenage problems. Social issues get out of control, like bullying. When my son was in elementary school, the teachers found out some kids were "going out" and cancelled the yearly school trip. What kind of message does that send? I should have sent my child to boarding school.
Academically, St. John's is an exceptionally strong school. It prepares its students to be at the top of their classes in college, especially in sciences and writing courses. However, the environment is extremely stressful and not for all types of students. Every single student at this school is exceptionally smart and those who are only slightly above average may feel as thought they are the least intelligent in their class. Another downfall is their lack of a strong Fine Arts program. The athletics are decent, especially for such a small private school. A St. John's student is almost always guaranteed to get in to college, with the great academics and the fabulous college counselors.
I am an alumni of St. John's and I have the priviledge of sharing with you what an unique environment SJS offers its students. The teachers are outsanding, the facilities are top notch, and the academics are at a collegiate level. I was so prepared for college that I was editing senior thesis papers during my freshman year. I also have an incredible group of friends from my class who, seven years later, I still see on a regular basis. Not only are they my friends, but they are a part of my network of business associates as well. My experience was unforgettable and when I have children, there is no question in my mind that I will send them there.