This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Johnsbury Academy5
Posted July 02, 2014
- a student
Good: 1. Has many unique opportunities ie. meeting international students, starting and joining clubs, international trips. 2. Somewhat large campus (campus map available) Bad: 1. Terrible surrounding town. Only things to do are eating at restaurants, go to movies, go bowling, seriously limited shopping, or maybe find interesting event at local art center (Catamount Arts) 2: Dorm students have very little freedom and if caught breaking rules will have little to no freedom.
St. Johnsbury Academy is one of the finest schools in this country. Students learn what it is like to dress for success and interact with international cultures. An old world look towards the highest education possible for all students no "dumming down" the curriculum where scores are more important than individual success. I am a proud alumnus and am proud that my children are and now my grandchildren will be graduating from such a fine school!
Our son attended the Academy for all four years, went on 1 international trip, took 5 AP courses, played different sports all four years (Varsity Letter), and went on to an Ivy League school on a 4 year scholarship. He has since graduated from that school and moved on to even better things. You can draw your own conclusions. Ask yourself, what is more important; what you learn and where you go, or what you wear and who you know?
Although it is only yet a month into the school year, I am waffling over my decision to attend the Academy this year. The school seems like a great place for some, however, not all, as I have found out. The teachers, although seemingly outgoing, merely assign work, versus explaining and describing it as a good teacher was. Evidently, one teacher them self said that, "A good teacher doesn't make things hard, but rather easy. A good teacher makes it easy to learn hard material." Although this is contrary to this website's criteria for a "good school", I believe it to be true. Yet another thing I have found is anyone with a commute longer than a half hour will have extreme difficulty participating in any school-affiliated extracurricular activities while taking an accelerated course load. Most homework assigned could otherwise be completed in class, but class time is spent completing activities unrelated to school. I'm sure that the above review is just a chip of the school and what it has to offer, as my brother adores the school himself, but I cannot say the same. It has enlarged my scholastic experience, but it is not one I can say I have enjoyed.
I visited the Academy when I was in junior high. The atmosphere was an immediate turnoff to me. Most of the teachers had an air of egotistical intimidation, which seemed to create a negative dynamic among the students as well. There is a very tense vibe to the whole place that is actually very spooky, almost like a battlefield. It's a strange place to say the least, and like other people here have said if you're not the life of the party, you might as well not even be there because that's exactly how you'll be treated. I'm a pretty outgoing person and I've always done well in school, but I don't want to be a part of anything that treats shy people like they need to change who they are to be accepted. It's hard enough being a teenager without your high school making you feel like you can't be who you are. Thanks but no thanks, St. J Academy!
I find it funny what the person behind me said. The academy started only one day before that review was made. Though the school does have a strict policy it is very easy to fallow and second chances will be given. I had gotten in trouble and where even though I could have been expelled I wasn't and was given a second chance. I am part of VTLSP which is a leadership club that helps out other students and the state and I do Cross Country and Basketball and may be doing Ultimate in the Spring I have to say that the athletic programs are fantastic. Schooling is great too. When I went to elementary and middle school I felt like I wasn't being challenged enough but once I got here I felt like I had found my place. The teachers are amazing and do their best to help the students understand what is going on. Yes, dress code can be tough at first but very quickly you get used to it and in all honestly I like it better. I'd rather see a girl in dress cloths then one with her stomach hanging out and wearing booty shorts or a guy wearing his jeans down low and a hat on. With the dress code it makes the students look very professional. I am happy to come here and would recommend it to anyone.
i hate it at the academy. the dress code is too strict and they dont punish all students fairly. im in a situation with another student who is just as wrong as i am and im on the verge of being kicked out and that student gets to stay. not that i complain about leaving... like i said, they're too uptight, and there is too many people. i do like that they give a chance for teens of other places a chance to come here but there is just too many people. they need to treat all students equally and punish them equally.
As someone that just graduated as part of the class of 2011, I do have to say that I did enjoy attending the school, mostly because of the student body, the breadth of extracurricular activities, and the challenging aspect of a lot of the classes; this was up until my junior year though. Since my junior year (2009-2010) the administration has turned the tide against the common interest of the student body due to unfair initiatives that have taken place. Before my junior year it seemed as though the administration treated everyone equally, but since then they've shown a major bias towards the interests of athletes and other student leaders, and have also gotten a tighter grasp on everyone's personal lives in and out of the school community. There have been more unfair punishments put down upon certain students than before, and other students haven't received anything for their actions because the administration is aware of their positive stature within the school community. As a student leader myself, I believe this is absolutely shameful and every student should be treated equally regardless of their standing. As one parent said below about not speaking up, those reasons are true.
My 2 daughters graduated from SJA and my son is a junior there. I've always had the highest regard for the student body, the teachers and advisors and the athletics department, which my son is heavily involved with. As with anything else, you get out of it what you put in. It has made the high school experience positive and extraordinary for them.
Under the current leadership, this school has gone down hill. The Dean of Students attempts to exert a Gestapo like control over the students, in all aspects of their personal life both in and out of school. The headmaster is an extremely weak leader, and exhibits little regard for the concerns of parents and students unless they are boarders. The standards of discipline are unfair and dorm students are not held to the same accountability. The guidance department is not particularly helpful, and the special education is poorly run. Many parents, students, and faculty are unhappy with the status quo, but due to administration's gestapo like tactics won't speak out for fear of retaliation.