After watching several friends send children through St. Joe's and comparing them to kids going to the local public schools, my decision to send my child to St. Joe's was an easy one. We are just completing preschool and there is such a huge difference from the beginning of the year. It doesn't come close to what other schools are teaching; he is already ahead of most kindergarteners. Very caring teachers, staff and I like that he learns about religion without cramming it down his throat in every lesson like the other religion based schools in this area. Complaining about money? Shame on you! There is no way to put a price on a good education and you GET THAT here at St. Joe's!
When I first met my adopted nephew it was one week before school started. I only had the opportunity to finish 9th grade but I had heard the horror stories about Martinsburg public schools. I took one look at my nephew and decided to send him to St Joseph's School. Being from a foreign country he was a half year behind. But with the help of tutors he has caught up. I cannot say enough good things about the school. I'm mighty proud of my nephew for applying himself. And have decided to pay for him to attend Gorretti in Hagerstown for high school. Five stars for the teachers and staff.
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.