Having my oldest in public school in TX and in UT, I must say that St. Joseph does a superior job. I notice most of the reviews are an attempt to compare things offered in public schools. Yes we have only a few programs for children because we focus on academics and religion. And remarks have been made about 'catering to the affluent of Ogden.' Most are unaware the school gives financial assistance to 30% of its student body! My family included. Parent involvement is widely used to keep costs down. As compared to private schools in other cities our tuition is considerably low. And by Junior High levels our students are scoring on average 2 years above the national average. That's success in my opinon. Yes, the lunch program is not what we'd prefer. But most bring their lunch. The school does not have a full cafeteria.
My Education at St. Joesph's was adequate, but not very fufilling, there are many other children who are very smart but there aren't any accelerated programs. The lunch program served fruit but also deep fried cheese sticks, they took off soup because they were trying to make it healthier, but left cake, nacho's other unhelth food and the main service was from fast food resturaunts. Our religion classes were a part of our schedule but going to mass changed from every other week to once a month and then in our third quarter we missed 3 months. The teachers picked favorites, and other children were treated harsher, it is a small school so you get to know everyone but it was very clique and sometimes it was hard to go. I did have some good teachers there and the sports program was above and beyond for the sports we had.
My intention upon sending my children to this school was to complement our religious beliefs. Though the academics and sports are better than average theres not much of anything else. The catered lunch program stinks. Parent involvement is great for the children but school overly uses it to their advantage in so many ways. Class sizes are pretty small, catholic beliefs instilled, and children are well mannered then in most public schools. I came to the hard realization that although a religious school, money is the number one thing on their mind as with any business.
While this school is a wonderfull oasis in the sea of LDS religion, I believe it is not worth the money. There is absolutely nothing done for gifted/talented students until they reach middle school and even then, choices are minimal. While this school offers excellent athletic program, academic programs are nonexistent. There are no after school clubs, no academic competitions that kids can participate in. Test scores are good, but this school caters to the most affluent residents of Ogden. It is the parents that make this school work. Kids learn by drilling, not by free expression and discussion in the classrooms. While the school has some excellent teachers, most of them are mediocre and some should never be allowed to teach. With a lot of charter schools opening in the area, I believe there are many better choices.
I have been Going to St. Josephs since kindergarden and have found the school has come a long way. In 2000 we raised money and built a new building to elimate the portables that some students used. The music program includes a well stocked music class room were student up to grade 6 play bells, orf instuments,drums and other percussion instuments. For students in grade 4th and above may take free music lessons twice a week. Classes read novels and do book reports on them. Students are required to partipate in Religon Class where Roman Catholic values and biblical studies are taught. Science Fair is required for grades 6,7,and 8.
I have twins now in 8th grade. The academics are excellent and sports teams seem to do well. School accomodates accelerated students as well as challenged students. Is an excellent school for non-Mormon children as all other religions are represented in the student body. Parents must volunteer as part of the tuition.
Positives: A safe, disciplined environment where children are encouraged to act in a Christian, responsible manner. Negatives: Quality of teachers varies from excellent to substandard. Administration generally not interested in parental input on curriculum and other fundamental issues, and usually not responsive to problems pointed out by parents. Don't ever expect an explanation or an apology from administration on anything.