St. John School (120 N 79th St) Comment
It is a solid neighborhood school. Not great, but you get what you pay for and we aren't paying Lakeside level tuition here. It's not worth driving from Shoreline or Capitol Hill to go here, but if you are within walking distance it is a solid choice. You will see a major portion of the school repeating the Catholic schools path their parents did: St. John > Blanchet > Gonzaga, which isn't a bad path but is really just kind of OK (Blanchet is really no better than Ballard High School). The curriculum is a little heavy on the soft stuff (art and music) which, in my opinion, should be relegated to extra-curricular after about grade 5 to free up more classroom time for core academic subjects. Spanish has been a low point up until this year when they changed the schedule to offer it year-round to middle school (how can anyone retain Spanish skills when you only teach it a few weeks out of the year? why bother?) Most teachers are very committed, skilled, and care about the students and their families. There are definitely some under-performing teachers and staff members who perplexingly remain in place year after year, but that's probably true of any school where you are paying less than 15k for tuition at this level. The school also fails to really progress in terms of trying newer techniques enabled by recent advances in technology such as flipping the classroom and classroom response systems. They don't even support students turning in work electronically and teachers often do not know how to operate the technology in their own classroom. The science teacher has a massive fancy telescope a parent gave him which he has not even figured out how to use -- what a wasted opportunity. Again, a decent school but a bit stuck in methods from 15+ years ago. And I will agree with the other reviewer: some of the moms are quite cliquey, judgmental, and obnoxious.
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