Our experience with St, John's was very bad. They make promises they don't keep, the athletic emphasis is not backed up by healthy attitudes on the part of the coaches, and the teachers range from excellent to robotic (more of the latter). On back to school night all the teachers gave the same intro speech VERBATIM. Organized? Yes. Honest? No. They have a minimum standard of performance for the teachers, administrators and students, and if you're willing to settle for it, go ahead any waste your money. But if you live in Maryland the public school system - if used wisely - can provide a much better education.
We left SJC for good. As the others mentioned below the indifference and arrogance of the administration makes us to take the decision to leave when our kid was bullied and nothing was done about it. The drug use after school at the school premises is also a very bad problem but I guess that is similar to the public schools in the area. Teachers are ok, you have the ones that care and the ones that not. This is a preparatory school and my kid counselor didn't even know that my kid was planning to go to college, maybe she though that we were paying that much just for high school diploma. One think I didn't like it was that your kid has a different counselor each year, so really they will never get to know your kid.
My husband is an alum of SJC and we are very happy with the education that 5 of our children have received. Our youngest will attend a year from now. We are especially impressed with the teachers that St. John's is able to retain. To have 2 PHD teachers on the staff who have been there each longer than 25 years is remarkable. In our experience, teachers across the board will meet with students before, after or during lunch to help out a student. You won't find that in a public school. We love the Christian Brothers and the atmosphere they engender. We had 2 students with health issues that the school bent over backward to help out. My higher achieving students were challenged with honors courses and AP courses. My children who graduated from St. John's have done well in their college classes. All my children connected with most of their teachers and my husband and I are very happy about this. One of our children did the ROTC program and learned leadership skills from the fine men who run the program. We are also excited about the new Robotics program for our youngest child. This school has been a great joy for us.
My son went to Catholic School grades 1-12. He graduated from St Johns 4 years ago and just recently completed college and has a fabulous job. St Johns was the perfect fit for him. He was in JROTC which really helped him become more confident and the JROTC instructors were superb! He had many terrific teachers during his 4 years. I found his teachers very responsive to any questions that I had. My son became involved in the club ice hockey team and I was happily surprised to see administration and some teachers attend a few games even though they were off campus. I was surprised at some of the reviews below. My son applied at 6 colleges and was accepted at all of them including Drexel. His guidance counselor really helped him start the search and his English teacher helped him with his essay. When his SAT scores were not what we hoped his counselor suggested the ACT and he blew it away! We never would have thought of it. My son became ill during exams and missed several. One of the administrators came in Sat and Sun to give them to him so he would not fall behind. I love St Johns and really appreciate the great job they did getting my son ready for college and life.
This review is from a non Benilde, non athletic and non ROTC family. The comments below on the lack of communication from the school and administration are exactly what we experience. A student here,we found, will need a very healthy dose of self direction and self confidence going in because that may be all she/he will receive. Two stars for some teachers who were indeed very good and gave personal attention. The music program is good.
My kids went to private school from 1st to-9th grades. They were challenged in classes but were missing sports, drama, band and music. Same kids every year - All the private schools care about was the grades and not making sure the kids learn in many ways. In the end very few graduates from these private schools are going to IVY league colleges considering they only put emphasis on academics. In addition, the DC private schools are full of many rich kids with no economic diversity. SJC offers strong academics if you are on an honors path just as challenging as GDS, Potomac School & Maret but they also have diversity with kids who actually graduate with w/scholarships in sport or ROTC getting into the same schools. The kids are forced to be balanced & challenged on many levels rather than just academics making them more attractive to colleges as well rounded kids. At 16k a year my 2 kids were much happier and had way more at SJC over the private schools and they actually made friends they bonded with who understood the value of money, academic, sports, leadership and structure. Go SJC!!
Teachers for the most part are excellent. They connect very well with the students. Academically rigorous enough for students in the honors class. AD does a great job with providing an opportunity for all students to participate in a sport. Other extracurriulars are lacking because the focus is sports heavy. Administrators are arrogant and deaf to concerns. Do not expect any sort of reasonable engagement with them if you have a concern about academics or a teacher. They would rather deny there is a problem or spend their energy arguing with a parent than solving simple issues. The principal in particular does not seem to know how to manage parent's concerns and is very rude. Drug and alcohol use among the students is a concern as it would be at any high school but the school does not handle it judiciously or wisely.
I Wannna Go Here But I'm Not Catholic So Can I Still Go and Will IT Be k
My child just started and so far the teachers, coaches and staff have spent more time patting themselves on the back for their reputation and achievements than expressing an interest in our student. Academically, our student is mostly repeating work from last year even though grades were mostly A's then. Jury is still out, but it's not an impressive start.............
St John's College High School is both an academically challenging and academically supportive environment. They believe in educating the whole person and therefore encourage all of their students to participate in at least one activity in addition to academia, such as athletics, arts, clubs, etc. The school also has a long tradition of a JROTC program for both boys and girls which teaches them strong leadership and organization skills.
I just graduated from SJC last month and I say that I'm so glad I went here. SJC has really change these last 4 years because of the amazing leadership! We're getting a new cafeteria/library, uniforms, everything. The teachers are great. They actually care about the students and they do help us! I was in the Benilde program, which is a program for learning-disabled students. It helped me a lot and if it wasn't for Benilde and their arrangements, I would flunk math. The class choices are great. As for student life, it has dramatically changed. For the first 2 years, the clubs were nothing. But, during my last 2 years, mostly everyone is involved with something! We also have amazing athletic and performing arts (music/theatre, which I was in both of them) programs! Most of the students here are very friendly. Yes, there are cliques and thankfully, they're welcoming and warm. But again, there are bad ones, obivously (I didn''t experienced any though). I made amazing friends here and I thank SJC. The spirituality program is pretty good though. My only major complaint is sometimes in certain programs of the school, they pick favorites and that isn't fair.
The sense of community is very strong at SJC. As a parent of a transfer student, the teachers, coaches and principle of this school greeted us with open arms. They strive for excellence in all of their students. Any resources needed to help with homework and skill building is provided by the school. This is one place were everyone feels apart of something big!
Our son is in his freshman year at SJC. His teachers are caring and very supportive. They notice when their students are not academically challanged. SJC offers a wide range of courses, including honors and AP. We feel in love with this school the day of Open House. We went to a few others opens houses in the area and when we walked through the doors at SJC, we felt such good energy and we still feel this way. As a 9th grader, it was an balancing act with school, sports and then homework. But he has managed it all with the support of his parents and his teachers.
This is a great school. I have 2 daughters who attend and the academics are top notch. For those that say the school is easy and mediocre am wondering if your children are taking honors and AP classes. The academics here are very challenging if you chose the appropriate course load. The faculty and administration is outstanding. And above all, the people are very welcoming and friendly.
I wrote this review on 3/27/11. I am currently a senior at St. Johns I do not regret choosing St. Johns. The teachers are great they are always willing to work with you if you are struggling with a particular subject. Of course there are also bad teachers but this is true with any other school. I highly recommend a future student to participate in some extracurricular activity be it a sport or a club. Most of my closest friends are from the activities I have participated In. It is also a great way to meet people and develop lifelong friends. St. Johns offers a program for the students who have learning disabilities called the Benilde program. It has taught me study habits and ways to cope with my disability skills that I will use for the rest of my life. St Johns also offers a program for students who excel academically. The only thing negative I have to say about St Johns is the fact that they are too strict. Some rules are just plain pointless for example if I have a free period I cannot hang out in the parking lot or retrieve a book from my car. If I do so I can get a Saturday detention. Other than that the school is great and I highly recommend attending St Johns.
SJCHS is a place where our daughter does well academically, takes her work seriously, loves the school's diversity amd has great teachers. She gets to school early every morning becasue she likes it so much. Her home work is challenging, and students are taught to think of their larger community. This is in contrast to her elementary school experience where she so often lacked enthusiasm , felt repressed by the rules and routines, and had to be dug out of bed to get to school more or less on time. It is a perfect fit for her. She is now a thriving sophomore. We couldn't be happier.
St. John's is a cut above any other school in the area. The teachers tailor their classes to fit the students' needs; there is a program for those with learning disabilities and a program for those who excel academically. Students are encouraged to get involved in clubs and sports. There are many opportunities for spiritual growth. The performing arts program is excellent, and there is a place for anyone who sings, acts, or plays an instrument. It is one of the best in the area, and definitely one of the hidden secrets at the school. However, what sets SJC apart is the JROTC program. It fosters young adults who are eager to lead, and creates students of character. JROTC cadets are expected to maintain good personal appearance and act with integrity, and it really shows. If you send your child to this school, I highly recommend that they join JROTC.
I am a student at SJC and I can't say how much that you bond with the students at this school. I am also in the JROTC program and it is one of the best things at this school. Even though not every single student does it, it is one of the classes that will help you get into a really good college. Some parents think that the JROTC program is forcing kids into the academy's. I am here to tell you that is a lie and it is not true. I am having the best time of my life and receiving the best education that any student could ever receive. At this school and if u are in JROTC u have a choice to go to one of the academy's. The students are not pushed to make a decision.
I cannot say enough about the wonderful experiences my daughter gained at St. Johns. I am shocked to read some of the academic assessments of the school - my daughter is in the St. John s Scholar s Program, a curriculum designed to challenge these dedicated students using tenets of Socratic learning, has had the pleasure of learning from a committed faculty, access to many AP level courses, participated in an acclaimed music program, and has been accepted at a top 5 nationally ranked engineering school - as have a number of her peers. Most important though to me is the Christian Brothers philosophy that emphasizes honor and respect and a commitment to the SJC community, evidenced by the strong alumni support program, and unmatched by other local private schools.
Academically, I have found St. Johns to be average. If my student was more academically motivated, I would not choose SJC. My student has attended public schools in the DC suburbs that are superior. I noticed that topics my student learned in middle school are covered in 9th at SJC. For a so-so student, the slow pace can be a good thing. Additionally, they have a system called PowerSchool wherein, parents and students can get up to the minute status of student's grades for each class; therefore, a parent who checks this system regularly can intervene early if their student is struggling in a subject. No surprises at the end of a quarter. Certain sports program at SJC are known for being good; however, I would agree with other writers that the win at all cost attitude of particular coaches can be to the detriment of the athlete.
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