Just heard their assistant principal moved into a principal position at Oak Hill, WV. BIG LOSS.
Moving from a top-notch school system, I had doubts early on sending my child to any school in Martinsburg. I chose St. Joe's because it was cheaper than neighboring states private education and because of the small class sizes. I had doubts reading some of the reviews on here and hearing rumors about some past experiences. I was quickly surprised and I couldn't have been more happy with what my children experienced last year. The teachers are more than caring, they have excellent academics and they push children to excel. They are also big on security and the safety of children which no parent would argue against. There are plenty of fun activities and shows throughout the year in which all family members can participate or help. The parents are also the best! My kids absolutely love it here, I could not have made a better choice!
There are public schools in the area that are just as good or better. It's smart to check them out first.
Middle of the road. Politics, favoritism, no teacher accountability. Far too many requests for money -- over and above tuition (which keeps going up).
The favoritism is crazy in this school. The teachers act like the middle schoolers are delinquents and should be in jail. You get in trouble for poking someone and get written up for not wearing the right socks or not wearing a belt. The teachers can take your phone and go through it just because you had it out on after care. I have been here for nine years. Thank goodness I'm leaving. The kids and parents have clicks and the parents invite the teachers over just too get their kids ahead. I can go on and on. There is this rule that I call the "eight table rule" only eight people at a lunch table. Are you kidding me? The school claims its like for fire safety. Please, that makes no sense. This school is all about, "oh no bullying" but having this rule separates friends forcing some of them to sit alone. Take it from the students rather then a parent who doesn't even go to the school, It's ridiculous. My friend had their pencil bag stolen twice and no one did anything about it but when another kid had theirs taken the school goes in lock down and has to search everyone's stuff. I can't even go on about the favoritism, I'm almost out of characters but I could make a list a mile long.
My daughter has gone to this school for 5 years. Initially, we were very happy with the academics and other offerings as well as the "family" feeling. However, with the change in the leadership, I feel the school has gone down academically as well as morally. There are some really great teachers, but then there are some really terrible teachers as well. Unfortunately, some of the terrible teachers are "friends" with the leadership and even though they have received complaints, nothing is done. The teacher then takes it out on the student when they find out a parent has complained about them. Additionally, the after school foreign language program no longer exists. I feel like my child has regressed and went from getting straight A's to getting mediocre grades. Moreover, several parents have sat in on the class and witnessed the inffective or completely lack of teaching. Instead the teacher hands out a worksheet and tells them to do it. This isn't teaching. There are always excuses for the poor performance on behalf of the teacher and no accountability by the administration.
My family and I have moved several times and have lived in 5 different states and, as a result, I feel I have some frame of reference for making the following statement: St. Joseph's School is a superb institution. The excellence ranges from the caring, knowledgeable teachers and administration to the wonderful families who attend. If you are lucky enough to be considering this school you will not be disappointed.
I have 3 children who all have attended St. Joseph School since kindergarten. I have been very happy with their education. The Christian environment is very welcoming and accepting. The teachers truly care about the students. I was concerned about them making the transition from small private school to large public high school, but I think their strong foundation (both moral and academic ) gave them a great start. I have had 2 children graduate from St. Joseph School and are now in public high school. They were both very well prepared. My oldest is a junior and takes all honors and AP classes and currently has a 4.7 GPA. My other child just completed their first semester and has all As in honor classes.
St. Joe's school environment is awesome. The loving, caring, exciting, family-like atmosphere has made school a place my children love to attend. The academics are great, but families should remember that St. Joe is a Catholic school, not a magnet school for gifted and talented. Most classes are on par with strong public schools, What you get at St. Joe is a christian environment, with small class sizes and loving, caring faculty. Lots of nice extras, like an after school running club, middle school atheletics, and private piano lessons as part of the school day are just some of the offerings. Love it there!
We could not be any happier with this school! We are not Catholic and that was a concern at first, but we looked past the religious aspect and looked at the bigger picture. The education! We find the school is above West Virginia standards of education. We have also found the teachers dedication to the students to be impressive! They really are there for the kids. We have found the administrative staff always willing to listen to our thoughts and concerns. My only concern is that they only go the 8th grade. I cannot imagine what I will do then? I could not recommend a better school for any parent.
A great school. A little expensive, but worth it. My children are learning and happy to go to school. Excellent writing program.
Overall, it is a decent school. However, I would suggest that all potential parents check out their local public schools first. The public schools are more challenging academically and have more 'extra's to offer. Advanced math, foreign language as a regular course and a more detailed science program would all help St. Joe's to reach a higher standard of academics.
The elementry school teachers are great. The school is clean. But tuition increases, and every week they have a hand out for something new. Book fees for 10 - 15 yr old books? The student/teacher ratio isn't the 12 -1 they promise but 25-1 and 7th grade had 29 students. The lunches are awful and portions to small for growing kids. The same click of parents run everything, no one new can offer an opinion w/out scorn. I was glad my daughter graduated, I couldn;t have done another year.
I use to love the school, but since Sister Regina left the school lacks the same warmth and direction. The class sizes have increases almost as much as the tuition. Our child was sent to this school to receive both a good standard education but a religious one also. All they do now is sit and write scriptures that are timed. The teacher gets 45 min of quiet time. No once will he discuss the scripture. What a waste- There are a few good teachers, but not enough to put up with all of the nonsense.
St Joe's elem was fine, but we have been disappointed w/ the middle school. The bias that exists is unreal. The administration is not effective, The principle is too afraid to say no to parents with money, and the VP is so worn down he yells at everyone. Some of the teachers in the midddle school have been allowed to do things 'thier way' so long that they can't accept suggestions for change to save thier lives. Is it worth the money? Only for grades k-5-
lack of leadership in the middle school is the biggest issue. The Principle is afaid of the parents w/ money and the the VP is so worn down he screams at the kids. The cliques of parents are worse than the kids. The racest comments made were unbelievable for a 'good' Christian school. I'm glad it is my daughters last year. Diversity is definitly not valued at this school.
St. Joseph's is a caring wonderful school with great academics until the middle school years. Although it lacks great teaching in the middle school, the tradeoff is the environment is so much better than in the public middle schools in WV. The sports programs are also nice for the middle school kids. As for the elementary school, a parent couldn't ask for a better program and the teaching far exceeds the local public schools. The tuition is affordable, fundraising is the same as in public, and uniforms are actually cheaper than the fashion show required for the public school system.
This school is amazing! As a Mom to many and several who started out in public school, I can say first hand there is nothing better. Many of the teachers have kids in the school so they have a vested interest in the school being great. It's not just your child it's theirs. The staff is phenomenal. The tuition is no different then any of the other private schools in the area and ll fundraisers are optional and we choice to skip out on most. As far as the 40 hours each family has to cntribute quite frankly I can't imagine having a child in school for a whole year and not giving that nyway. You can get your hours through simple things like going on a field trip with your child. If your simply looking for glofied day care then this is probably not the place. It's very family oriented.
Nothing spectacular here. High tuition, then you get nickeled and dimed to death with fund raisers, tag days( you pay not to wear the school uniform) and other 'fees'. Also there's the school service requirement. You must 'volunteer' 40 hours of your time to the school or pay an additional $500. in tuition. Too bad if both parents have to work. I've never liked the cult-like devotion required to fit in at this school. Quite a few of Martinsburg's upperclass send their children to this school and it seems to me, that both these students and the parents are given preferential treatment there. The class sizes have gotten larger over the past few years and I don't feel my child is getting any individual attention or the education he deserves. - However I think it is still slightly better than the public school system in Berkeley County.
My son has been at St. Joe's for 3 years now. We are so incredibly blessed to have found this school and its wonderful teachers. The level of commitment to these kids by the people that work at St. Joe's is unmatched by any other school. St. JOe's is worth every penny I spend on it.
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