REVIEW OF St. Jude's Academy BY parent, Hazel DeFrancesco
- Date of Review
June 02, 2020
JK - Gr. 9
(5) Student Experience
My kids enjoy the small, tight-knit community. Every teacher and faculty member knows them by name and knows who their siblings are in the school. They have made friendships at St. Jude's that will last them a lifetime. The kids enjoy teachers who allow them to express themselves and who listen to their ideas, even if it is different from their own. Encouraging my kids to think for themselves is what I appreciate the most from St. Jude's. The teachers who have really connected with my kids are the ones who look at them not as students, but as human beings that are going to change the world for the better.
(5) School Leadership
In the past, the leadership at the school has been inconsistent. However, the changes made for the 2019/2020 school year have been phenomenal. I feel well connected with what the school has planned and what activities and learnings my children are going to be undertaking. There is now a sense of community and a positive direction that I feel will make this school successful. I am confident that if the school continues with the current leadership in place, the sky's the limit for St. Jude's.
The IB program is definitely what attracted us to St. Jude's Academy. And, now that my children have been completely immersed in the IB world, we know it was the right decision to make. There are some amazing and outstanding teachers at St. Jude's Academy who have constantly demonstrated their passion and knowledge year after year. They have shown compassion, respect, and what hard work really looks like. My children will remember these teachers forever and look back on the lessons they were taught inside and outside of the classroom. They are the guiding light for some of the newer teachers at the school. I always feel like I can go to any teacher or faculty member at any time if I have any concerns.
St. Jude's Academy is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school spanning from JK to Grade 12. This type of education encourages students to develop their learning through inquiry, action, and reflection. What we love about IB is that it encourages the students to be world thinkers and collaborators. It encourages students to see how what we do affects the world around us, not just what is in the classroom. Many of their learnings are done in groups, similar to how they would work in the real world. They have to understand the human dynamic and learn how to communicate with each other. They understand that not everyone works the same way and they have to find ways to use everyone's strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Being able to master these techniques at such a young age ensures my children will be successful in their professional and personal lives.
I think St. Jude's is trying to develop a diverse collection of extracurricular activities. I think we need more options for different types of sports activities, not just for the boys, but for the girl's sports teams. Some competitive and some for recreational play. I think the facilities at St. Jude's can be much improved to allow the students to play in proper fields and have the proper equipment available to them.
My kids enjoy the small community. They love to see their friends and interact with the teachers. The students are all supportive of each other, whether they are doing a school presentation, participating in Arts night or saying their speeches in front of the whole school. There is never a lack of applause or encouragement from the students and teachers. I think the kids feel they can go to their teachers when they are having issues with school or with other students.
(4.5) School Life
Overall, my kids do enjoy going to school. If I have an issue, I always feel like I can go to the teachers or principal and I feel that I am being heard. I can't control what the school does or what decision they ultimately make, but I do feel that I have a voice. I think the best way to see if St. Jude's is right for you and your child, is to have them attend an actual day at the school. They can see other students at the school and see how a typical school day will actually look like.
I think for the most part, parents at St. Jude's do have a common goal for their kids. Which is, to provide them with a quality education that will prepare them for the real world. It is this common goal that makes this school and its community special. There is plenty of opportunity for parents to be involved in different aspects of the school. I think it is up to each parent to decide how much or how little they want to be a part of that. I can walk through the school and one of any number of teachers there will stop me and talk about my child's latest accomplishment or have a funny story to tell me. Whether they were in his/her classroom or not. This makes me feel like I am part of the school.
(3.5) School Location
St. Jude's Academy does not have all the bells and whistles as other schools do. I think they make the best with what they have and at what matters most. I wish the playground had better quality equipment and more parking spaces. Also, there really isn't a spot for the kids to venture to, other than to the ice rink across the parking lot.