St. James Catholic School is one of the best academic schools in NOVA. It obtained Blue Ribbon status in 1999, and has maintained it ever since. Recently, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) search ranked St. James #4 in the state. The middle school offers 3 math tracks: pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry, as well as National Junior Honor Society. SJS offers LabLearner, a 100% hands-on supplemental science program for K-8 with a fully equipped in-school lab in its dedicated science room. My daughter was recently accepted into CTY, and we just learned that my son, qualifies to test. CTY will soon be offered on-site at SJS. The class size for both my children was 21 students. In addition to the great teaching and spiritual training, SJS facilities and staff are wonderful. It offers a light filled, spacious art room with two art teachers, a large music center with great acoustics and a wonderful music teacher who goes beyond the call of duty, an up-to-date library, a state-of-the-art computer room, and regulation size gym. SJS recently purchased ipads for students' use. Most important and best of all, my children look forward to school every day!
I have a daughter who went to St. James and it was HORRIBLE! The teachers were strict and she barely learned anything. They do not have any advanced English or math classes, everyone is at the same level. They do not have a foreign language choice, everyone learns Spanish. And the parents and teachers judge people by how much money they have, what they wear, if they live in a bigger house, if they're from the U.S., ect. I thought this was a Catholic school, but its a school for really rich people. I moved my daughter to public school and she is much happier and her grades are better. She I more social and don't discriminate anyone by race or if they are poor.
This school has a great religion program, as expected at a Catholic school and has some great teachers. However, the resources/staff are so limited (one teacher shares an aid with several other classrooms), the classroom size so big for a private school that there is little if any effort to differentiate learning among students or to provide any individualized teaching to advanced learners or students with difficulty learning. Everyone is taught the exact same way regardless of the level of knowledge at the start of the module. In terms of improvement, besides some differentiated learning, the school could benefit from more attention to its art, computer science, and music program. Also, there needs to be more adult supervision at recess because it is basically a free for all and the kids have to fend for themselves against potential bullying and harassment. Overall, the teachers are totally committed and do their best; they just need more support from the administration/pastor and/or congregation in terms of resources and planning time.
I have one child who attends Saint James. The teaches are excellent. They really push the kids to achieve there full potential.
Our son and daughter attend St. James and have had terrific experiences, both academically and socially. The facilities are terrific, the homework assignments are meaningful and challenging but not daunting, and the parents and faculty communicate well together. Our kids love the school, look forward to seeing their classmates each day, and have a great time in the aftercare program each afternoon -- so much so that our son asks us to leave and come back later if we try to pick him up early. It's been a great experience.
I have 3 children at St. James and all have had wonderful experiences. The teachers have been caring and sensitive to our personal issues. They want to help each child do their best whether they need more assistance or more challenge (I have children on both ends of the spectrum). I am very active in the school community and continue to be impressed by the dedication of the faculty, staff and families. I have read the previous posting about behavior management, but I don't believe giving children choice cards and positive feedback for good behavior is a negative. I have friends who have transferred to St James and they have told me that the good behavior in the classrooms is a welcome change from their previous school and has really enhanced their children's learning. It has been a wonderful community for us.
WARNNIG TO ANY PARENT CONSIDERING KINDERGARTEN AT THIS SCHOOL. If you want to pay thousands of dollars to damage your child s self-esteem this is the school for you. This school still practices exclusion and humiliation as part of its routine for behavior management on KINDERGARTNERS. And in their dealings with parents they use bullying and deception to coerce parents into agreement. No kindergarten student s behavior can be so bad that it deserves such a poor response from the school system, which is designed to pull students up rather than tear them down. When I brought all these issues to the principal, St. James was unwilling to move my son to another room. I wrote to all the senior members of the Archdiocese of Arlington and had no response. Sadly it was only after leaving St. James that I found many parents with similar experiences here. Perhaps in our typical Catholic fashion we find it difficult to criticize the Catholic Church or its systems.
Great school -- academics, socially, seasoned teachers, science, enrichment programs, being a community for the parents, teachers and kids together. The leadership is wonderful and the only criticism would be that they are not bragging enough. Our first son there (a bright, chipper, fidgety little 2nd grader) is happy and things are only about to get better!
I totally disagree with the comments posted on Feb. 12th. My children currently attend St. James and the teachers and curriculum have surpassed my expectations. Keep in mind the teachers and staff have to hear all sides of every situation they encounter and make the best decision possible based on the information they have. They certainly address bullying issues and are always looking for ways to improve their teaching, technology and communication. I believe they can teach to all levels of the classroom. My children have needed extra help at times and they received it. They've also needed more challenge and received that too. I love St. James!!!!
We have been so blessed to be a part of St. James School. My children have thrived here, because of the rigorous academics and the love of Christ that permeates the school. The IHM sisters model Mary in all that they do. Children are disciplined with love and faith, using the teachings of Jesus Christ.
St. James School has been a great experience for our family. We had several wonderful schools in our area to choose from, but we decided upon St. James because of the level of education, the community involvement, the morals that are part of every day life, etc. No school is 100% perfect, but I'd say St. James comes very, very close.
Both of my children attended St. James K-8 before going on to Bishop O'Connell High School. They were well prepared for high school, both academically and socially. The teachers and staff at St. James care about all of the students and will work with the parents to resolve any issues.
I am astounded at the reviews from June 2010-Sept 2010- so many HIGH ratings. Did they get paid to write all that. how much teacher turn over in just this past year? All I can say to any parents reading the reviews is BEWARE! What we experienced was quite disturbing. To know that the staff and leadership single out families or a students rather than treat everyone with equal respect (as the below reviewers apparently received)-is disgraceful. Our family thought the school taught Christian values, and that it was "Catholic", not catholic. Te reason most parents are so involved is to gossip and judge other kids and families, I heard plenty. The leadership listens to the gossip from the parents rather than try to stop it, learn the truth, and correct it, They do not act on truth. Very sad to know how the staff and leadership actually behaves. Enjoy!
I have 2 kids enrolled at Saint James and have been very happy with the experience. The teachers are responsive and attentive. My children have thrived academically and personally. The values the school instills in its students is very important to our family. It is truly a great school and community.
Terrific school and community. Generally strong teachers, excellent administration, and highly involved parents in a very positive way. Two of my children went to St. James from kindergarten through eighth grade and are doing very well at an academically challenging high school and my third child is a current student. School is a very supportive compassionate environment with plenty of extra activities to get all the children involved.
We transferred to St. James and thus have the benefit of a direct comparison between St. James and other schools in the area. In short, St. James is superb. The teachers are professional, smart, and care about the kids and the school. The parents are involved -- in a very good way -- in their kids and the school and, most importantly, in building a community for all the families. Yes, it is a Catholic school, but this should not dissuade persons of all faiths from attending. It reflects the best a Catholic school (or any faith-based school) can be, without being judgmental and harsh. The focus is on respect for each other, teachers, parents, faculty, and the community. Teaching a child to care for others and to be aware of the world can make a huge difference in how the child approaches learning -- and life. A great school.
St. James is a wonderful school. I have two children at SJS and we have been at the school for 6 years. The teachers are very bright and engaged, the academics are strong, the principal is fantastic, and the families and parents that we know through the school are also very engaged. Our children are thriving, score exceptionally well on the end of the year standardized tests, and are learning the Christian faith and how to be kind to one another. St. James has been a wonderful experience in shaping our children for the future.
We love this school--Great academics, competitive student body, broad course offering: music, art, computer, science, etc. St. James offers impressive after school programs and day care, which we need. The school has strong administrative team and great teachers. The values taught will shape our children for life.
After a full year I can honestly say "what a great experience St James has been". The Teachers and Aides are fantastic, and the families are wonderful. Everyone is so involved with the child and focused on the children gaining a competitive and broad educational experience. As a family, we love how the christian beliefs are tied to all aspects of the curriculum. The classes are small and the families are so supportive of each other. I would highly recommend this school as a wonderful preparatory school because it truly encompasses the whole child and the experiences necessary to succeed in the future. In addition, while all the local schools are affected by budget cuts, St. James still offers a full and expansive program. St. James offers: Art, Music, Computers, PE and Spanish to all children every year: kindergarten through 8th grade. I believe that is most impressive,.
We have two children at Saint James School and have had a very positive experience with the school and church community. We have found that if there is a need or problem which we are concerned about regarding one of our children, the principal and teachers have been very willing to help. Saint James is academically competitive with the public schools and other private schools, and doing a great job reinforcing/teaching our Catholic faith in the classrooms.
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