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!
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.