School Details

St Joseph Elementary School

90 Pickering Street, Needham, MA 02492
(781) 444-4459
NR

(out of 10)

Private Grades K-5 426 students 15 students/teacher (MA avg is 14)

Test Scores by grade

About this school

St Joseph Elementary School is a private elementary school in Needham. 426 students go to St Joseph Elementary School and identify mostly as White, non-Hispanic; Asian/Pacific Islander; and Asian. The ratio of students to teachers at St Joseph Elementary School is 15:1. Mitchell Elementary School is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 98% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 2% %
Asian 1% %
Black, non-Hispanic 0.7% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0% %
Multiracial 0% %
Hispanic 0% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (5 months ago)

    We know families who left St. J's and we were on the fence. We decided to wait because of the new math/reading programs. The math program has not met our expectations. It's lacking! Also many parents/students complain about short lunch periods (about 15 min) & recess. It's not enough time for kids to eat especially if the kids in the lunch period before them misbehave. If that happens the lunch teacher keeps the kids in the cafeteria until they behave which shortens the time the incoming kids have to eat lunch. The school doesn't appear to have a good way to handle behavior problems. We do lunch duty with teachers who can't handle minor behavior problems & they yell & threaten kids. Rather than disciplining the children who are not behaving they punish all of the students by making them miss recess time that day or the following day. The principal says that putting two fingers together in the air (quiet signal) quickly quiets the students but we never have seen a teacher do this. Kids are losing recess and lunch time for minor behavior problems that could be handled 1 1. We hope the principal gets on top of it. There are many other faith based schools in the area.

  • (7 months ago)

    We are veteran parents at St. Joe's and are pleased to say we are off to one of our best years yet. Already we are seeing improvements in the curriculum and instruction. Our children came home the first day and announced they have "the best teachers EVER!" As for the trash comment made by a prior parent - the Carry In Carry Out policy has been in effect for several years. Its purpose is twofold 1. To encourage the use of environmentally friendly reusable packaging and 2. To communicate to parents what children are actually eating at lunch to assist with portion sizes and menu selection. If you are looking for a faith-centered education that will teach to the whole child St. Joe's is the place for you. Our vibrant community is here to welcome you! Furthermore if you have older children we strongly suggest you look at our middle school Monsignor Haddad. The academic are rigorous the attention to character development top notch and the environment warm and supporting.

  • (7 months ago)

    We moved from out of state and looked at many Catholic schools in MA. We chose this school because of the positive energy you feel when you walk through the door the academic success of the students the numerous after-school clubs and the leadership of the principal. There does seem to be a lot of new teachers - but that is not necessarily a bad thing. From our experience all of the teachers (more senior teachers to new teachers) are very committed and are at St. Joseph because they *want* to be there. Both of our children loved this school from day 1! It was an easy transition for them and we are confident we chose the right Catholic school!

  • (8 months ago)

    We live in Needham therefore are paying taxes for a top rated public school system that we don't attend .because we LOVE St Joe's! I have been overwhelmed by the attention my kids receive from their teachers along with amazing communication any time I have reached out. That new staff? They are focused smart and so friendly to greet in the halls. The principal has made a significant improvements in the curriculum adding greek and latin as well as extending spanish into pre k! This school continues to evolve and grow as some other schools falter. We are looking forward to another great year in September!

  • (8 months ago)

    We tried this school for a year and we are so glad to be leaving. The average tenure of the teachers here is very low. We found our child's teacher to be very inexperienced. When we brought issues to the Principal she was defensive and did not help the situation at all. Her behavior is puzzling. We have many friends at this school so it was a difficult decision leave the school. But our experience was that bad! We have found that many students have left the school since the new Principal came on board.. This school would be average if you do not experience any issues but if you do have an issue then you will really wish you were somewhere else. The school has been touting itself as one of the top ten schools but they will not show anyone the list and the Archdiocese will not even acknowledge "the list". I would not recommend this school...you will be very disappointed if you choose this school..

  • (11 months ago)

    I just saw a previous "1-star" comment that had many incorrect statements. There is no huge exodus from the school. In fact Saint Joe's just made the Top 10 (out of 81) Catholic elementary schools in the Boston area. There are many veteran teachers on hand as well as new teachers who have brought in fresh ideas. There's a strong leadership team in place. Every time I volunteer at the school or attend a First Friday Mass with the entire school filing into the pews quietly and behaving I am amazed at how well the kids respond to the teachers. Clearly the "1-star" reviewer was angry and disappointed with the school for some reason. No school is perfect and no school is perfect for every child. However making broad negative generalizations out of anger is not helpful to anyone. This forum is best served with honest reviews with specific and correct facts to help parents or guardians find the right fit for their children.

  • (11 months ago)

    I am a parent with 2 children at St. Joes and one of my favorite aspects of the school is the community of families who form the heart and soul of the school. This community is comprised of parents who desire a faith-centered Catholic school with competitive academics and St. Joes delivers! Over the past two years the new Principal has strengthened the learning that takes place each day - as evidenced by the school's high standardized test scores. Recently an impressive reading benchmark system was implemented across all grades. The majority of grade teacher teams are comprised of both veteran and new teachers; an ideal configuration that combines the innovative ideas of the younger teachers with the experience of the senior teachers. St Joes has more community events than most schools - they are joyful occasions and well-attended by families. My kids are thriving and so happy here. I strongly encourage you to come walk the halls and let the staff teachers and students impress you!

  • (11 months ago)

    The teachers care tremendously about each child and are dedicated to making sure each student reaches his or her full potential. The school also appreciates the arts with lots of support for art drama and music programs. The school provides a strong language foundation teaching Spanish as well as Latin and Greek roots starting in Kindergarten. We get weekly emails from our teachers on what was taught the past week and what's coming up the following week. Public schools simply don't have the means to offer those things. St. Joseph also made the Top 10 schools within the Boston Archdiocese (out of 81 Catholic elementary schools) this past spring (2014) based on student performance on the Stanford 10 standardized test (comparable to the MCAS in Massachusetts' public schools.) Perhaps the best thing is that you get the feeling of a happy joyful place when you walk through the building. You want your kid to learn but you also him or her to enjoy school too.

  • (11 months ago)

    I would not recommend this school. The teachers are very nice and work hard but they are young and lack experience. There has been a nearly complete turnover in teachers since the new Principal was hired 2 years ago so there are no veteran teachers to help these young teachers. There are also many disciplinary issues in the school to the point that the local police have been involved. This is likely due to the lack of experience of the teachers. Classroom control is and issue in many grades. The administration has not been effective in dealing with discipline issues and this has been frustrating to many parents. The issues are glaring. There was a strong Parental involvement and many of the parents have tried to bring these issues to the Principal and Pastor with no success. This has led to an extraordinary amount of families leaving the school. The class sizes are getting smaller but for all the wrong reasons. We have not been pleased with this school and I caution anyone to do their due diligence before choosing this school for your child.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am a teacher at St. Joseph Elementary School and I am thrilled to be a member of this school community. Our students are excellent young individuals who make coming to school each day a pleasure. Our principal loves children she is very involved with our school and is always available to meet and speak with students parents and faculty. Our faulty are passionate about teaching children academics and how to live the Gospel daily. Our parents are supportive and involved members of our community. God is great and I am happy to be part of a school that has God a focal point of every day.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am a new teacher at St. Joseph Elementary and I have had the best experience I could have asked for this year. Being at a school that truly lives up to our Mission statement providing amazing support for teachers students and families I feel so blessed to be apart of the Saint Joseph community.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am a parent with multiple children attending St Josephs and have such high praise. We were able to be here during the previous principals tenure and agree he was a very charismatic leader. That being said in the past 1 1/2 years since the new principal has taken over the changes have been amazing! Significantly increased and improved communication from teachers a huge focus on academics (while not taking away from from the arts) and additions like a pre k and afterschool program. New teachers? Yes there has been turnover... and we LOVE the new staff...a breath of fresh air adding new energy and life to the school. My children are thriving and that is all the proof I need that we made the best decision to come here and stay here!

  • (1 year ago)

    Vet parent of 11+ yrs. here sad to say I would not send a kid here now. It's not the school it was from 2005-11. The male principal was engaged loved the kids a part of the EXPERIENCE. The current principal is not a Christian woman. She is mean and rules by intimidation. She tells teachers she "rules from the top down." Most of the beloved vets have left b/c of her and the newbies are young green and live in fear of her. Principal announced a 5th grade boy had won student council--kid had waited for years to win--NEXT DAY on the PA she says it was a mistake and the kid didn't win and he crumbled and broke down at his desk. She didn't care. She bullied 3rd grade kids over a new uniform patch she suddenly wants and didn't publicize. She berated them and made them lose gym but allowed 4th graders who had the same infraction to play gym just a half hour earlier. One kid who really needs to belong to something joined the school play. He lands a chorus role (no speaking) & finally feels empowered and a part of something. Turns out the kid can't make the play so principal is not allowing him to be in Drama at all and can't participate and feel part of the group. Run!

  • (1 year ago)

    I am very involved as a parent at St Joes. It a good school that has experienced major changes in the last 2 years. There is a new Principal and most of the teachers are new. The new principal has struggled with discipline issues but this is mostly in the fifth grade. All of the changes have divided the school community but most of the dissenters are leaving or have left. It is not fair to rate the school right now. If you are looking at the school make sure you talk to the Principal ask to see the parent survey results and find out about the work of the 14+ committees who are working to redirect the school.

  • (1 year ago)

    As a veteran teacher at St. Joe's I'm happy to join this conversation and say emphatically come visit us and see for yourself what a wonderfully vibrant and caring school community this is. The faculty runs the gamut from novice to veteran which gives us the advantage of the wisdom of experience coupled with the energy and enthusiasm of the new teachers; the best of both worlds. The children from pre-k to grade 5 are engaged in their work happy and productive. The variety of extra curricular activities offered to the children along with the inclusion of music art library and gym in their daily curriculum affords our students the opportunity to seek out and excel in whatever area or interest intrigues them. We will be having an open house on Sunday January 26. Come and visit with us. Talk to the teachers meet the principal meet other parents. See what our school has to offer your family. You'll be glad you did. On a final note I must caution the reader as I do my students in this age of technology " never use an anonymous website as your only source of reference Anonymity tends to be the playground of malcontents."

  • (1 year ago)

    Our children started at St. Joe's this year and it has been a very positive experience for them. They are really happy and thriving. I am a public school teacher and academically my 3rd grader is far ahead of where the 3rd graders were in my public school. We moved from one of the top school districts in the state to St. Joe's. I taught in that district and our daughters attended school there. As a parent and public school teacher I am very happy we decided to send our children to St. Joe's. The academic and faith based education they are receiving far exceeds the education they were getting. In our opinion the principal is fantastic. She really helped make sure the transition went well for our kids. She is very enthusiastic and a great leader.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am surprised by some of the recent posts listed here given our experience at St. Joe s. Our family only has positive things to say about the school and faculty. The students are challenged and academically prepared for the future and most importantly for us they are receiving an education about strong Catholic values and discipline. We feel very lucky to be a part of the St. Joe s community.

  • (1 year ago)

    As the mother of 2 children in the school I think contrary to some opinions on this board that St. Joe's has improved in the last year and a half. The teachers both veteran and new are hard-working and loving toward the kids and they are committed to bringing out the best in each student. The principal has an open door policy and while changes in leadership style can be challenging my children and their friends are happy and learning. We are particularly pleased that the school's emphasis on the arts has not been lost while the academics have been strengthened. If you're thinking of sending a child here come and visit; I think you'll see a school full of engaged enthusiastic learners.

  • (1 year ago)

    My family just recently joined the Saint Joe's Community and everyone we have met has been very kind and welcoming. If you are looking for smaller class sizes and a staff that cares about your child; this is the place to be. We could not be any happier with our decision to join the school!

  • (1 year ago)

    Completely agree with recent posters. This schol has taken a nose dive. The new administration is running the school like a business. They have forced the experienced teachers to retire or quit and have brought in teachers with no experience at all. The common core is being taught and they had a meeting prior to the school year where that brought in the heavy hitters to sell the changes. Most parents were confused and by now have probably figured out its not working. Parents are pulling kids teachers are fleeing and the parents that are there aren't participating like they used to. This will be our last year at the school.

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Overall score

(based on 28 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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