School Details

St. Francis of Assisi School

525 West Vista Way, Vista, CA 92083
(760) 630-7960

(out of 10)

Private Grades PK-8 230 students 13 student/teacher

Test Scores by grade

About this school

St. Francis of Assisi School is a private middle school in Vista. The principal of St. Francis of Assisi School is Mrs. Elizabeth Joseph and can be contacted at 230 children attend St. Francis of Assisi School and identify primarily as White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Native American or Native Alaskan. The ratio of students to teachers at St. Francis of Assisi School is 13:1. Vista Christian School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Drawing painting
  • Theater drama

Languages Taught

  • Latin
  • Spanish


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Martial arts self defense
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 67% %
Black, non-Hispanic 3% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 2% %
Asian 15% %
Hispanic 14% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (6 months ago)

    I have been with St. Francis for over 30 yrs. as a parent grandparent and staff member. There have been many ups and downs as in any work place and some personality differences. The main thing is the welfare of the children has always come first. We now are getting back to where we were 10-15 years ago when St. Francis was THE place to be. Pastors principals and some teachers have been a reason for the decline but we now have a good principal administrator and a very supportive pastoral staff. Yes. we will lose a few teachers this year however those teachers have been in education for over 35 years each and they would like to retire! It is a family atmosphere and the educators get to know the kids on a more personal level. As with any family there will be disagreements but for the most part things get resolved. If I didn't believe in this school and what it stands for I wouldn't have sent all my children and several grandchildren here.

  • (7 months ago)

    My school is a five star school! We have had an amazing experience at St. Francis. I wouldn't change much at all and the new principal is wonderful and supportive of all.

  • (8 months ago)

    From outward appearances the new administration seems to be getting St. Francis back on track. There are more after school programs being offered and some of the new teacher seem more qualified than teachers in the past. However the deeper issue at this school is the culture of the parents and staff. Something about the culture here is just amiss. Until the new administration is able to recognize and change the culture at this school the conditions here will not improve.

  • (8 months ago)

    Our children both started at St. Francis in the preschool program. We've been enrolled now for five years and remain very active in our children's classrooms as well as on the Parent Teacher Group Board. We love this community of administrators faculty parents and children and appreciate the common goal of helping our children thrive academically socially and spiritually. We are a Catholic family but there are many non-Catholic families at St. Francis who share our goals for academic excellence and I encourage parents of all faiths to consider our school. Our curriculum is broadening with an array of after-school clubs and programs as is our school's technology program. There is also a great camaraderie among parents and administration that makes us feel secure in our choice for our kids' education. We really do love St. Francis school.

  • (11 months ago)

    This is a great school and I highly recommend it. My son started out in preschool and is now in an upper grade. I like the fact that my son can learn in a safe and caring environment All the children get along and because of the smaller classes no child is left behind

  • (11 months ago)

    We haven't had any complaints during the parent drama of the past Few years. Everything that went down with staff and admin has a direct Result of one priest . We Didn't mind the priest the previous principal the principal Before that or the current administrator. Most of the previous complaints Are style issues-not actual educational content. People Get emotional and try to lump it all together. We now have after school clubs Sports homework club a resource teacher extra math help am basically excellent Iowa basic test scores. Aftercare has greatly improved teachers are competent and caring since a few bad eggs have been flushed out. We have been Satisfied w our children's education and just as important social Development . My only gripe is w the office staff. The "keeper of the keys" Takes her job very seriously. If she decides she doesn't like you she will Make you life miserable. One of the complaints of favoritism Stems from the front office . She has her rigid ways if she decides You don't belong in the inner sanctum she will ensure you don't get there. The only bully Problem at this school is in the office.

  • (1 year ago)

    Very excited about the principal Mrs. Joseph. She seems to be just what this school needs. The school made it through 2 years of a unqualified principal and the search team appears to have done an excellent job hiring a person that can bring this school back. I have already seen so many positive changes with the school moral and addition of after school clubs including STEM. Leadership appears to be key!

  • (1 year ago)

    We've decided not to return next year. The teacher/principal turn-over rate is too high and the academics are too low particularly in math. Due to an ever-shrinking enrollment resources seem stretched thin. Books and equipment are out-dated. Also I found the gossip at this school to be intense creating an environment where people just seem to know your business. Maybe the new principal can turn things around but for us enough is enough!

  • (1 year ago)

    The previous poster for March 2013 has misidentified our school in her post. Specifically our school does not have a gymnasium of any sort. All PE classes take place outside. We also have no one on staff that is a swim coach nor do we have a pool/team for such. Our staff members do not meet the descriptions as portrayed by this poster. We invite all families interested in enrolling their child in a quality preschool (2 year olds) through 8th grade program to contact us directly and see what our school has to offer in our Christ centered environment.

  • (1 year ago)

    Have noticed this school has many things that must be changed. Teachers sponsor and recognize the children of adults with a high income or in other words 'rich'. The teachers make most of the students feel targeted for no circumstance. The teachers' goal in most cases is to get students in trouble or accuse them for nonsense (3rd grade). I find very few of these teachers caring and loving towards students. In my personal opinion; I would not recommend this school for any children. The teachers treat specific students better than others. Students that fall below grade level are promoted onto the next grade due to "no space" to hold child back. My child went from an "above grade level" to a "meets" since we moved to the area and had to place our child into a new school. 4th grade Sci program is a joke there is NO testing and kids are given assignments that are NOT clear teacher (a swim coach) makes kids feel bad for asking questions. P.E. instructors is over weigh t eats donuts while teaching allowed to have kids sit in the gym for 40 min with lights off on floor w/ no air conditioning. Lack of supervision on campus during recess & lunch ~ anyone can walk on / off campus.

  • (1 year ago)

    Contrary to the parent post dated 12/9/12 the teachers who left (K 1st 2nd 3rd 6th MS math Spanish and Art) did so because of poor leadership from the new principal. These were professional experienced credentialed teachers most of whom had been with the school for many years. I have spoken with all of them and all left with a heavy heart. The same is true of the families who have left the school. When that many teachers and families leave a school in one year there has to be a reason. In this case the buck stops with the principal.

  • (1 year ago)

    We left St. Francis last year after increasing tuition and fundraising became too much a burden for our family. In three years the tuition went up 15% and the mandatory fundraisers like Scrip also increased. We decided to try the public schools and surprisingly it has been the best decision we ever made! Even though our kids had A s and B s at St. Francis (and scored very well on Iowa tests) they were assessed below grade level in reading comprehension and they all struggled to catch up in math. This was very disappointing considering we had spent tens of thousands on tuition. We are amazed at the resources available at public schools indoor gym theater band multiple playgrounds and athletic fields computers library and so much more. Furthermore the academic standards seem higher All classes are taught every day and classes like Spanish count for high school credit. It is refreshing to finally belong to a school that releases test scores and post where fundraising money is allocated. Asking too many of these questions at St. Francis will label you a trouble-maker as the previous post mentioned...and who wants to pay tuition for that?

  • (1 year ago)

    Reading the variety of reviews of this school is concerning. We took a tour and met with the principal. He appears to be genuine and caring however his lack of ability to answer our simply questions about curriculum direction programs and test scores was alarming. We asked him his background and education. He proudly told us about opening schools in South America and he was working on his extended education. He admitted he currently only holds a bachelor's degree and teaching credential. We asked about an administration credential and he told us "it isn't necessary". Unfortuantley we hold a credential and education a little higher than that. We will not be attending this school.

  • (1 year ago)

    It is funny when people write a review and leave off lots of information just so that they can justify making the school sound bad. The teachers leaving IN ALL CASES had nothing to do with the principal. The new principal is willing to listen to you even if he does not agree. The old principal would put you on her "I will not talk to you" list if you disagreed with her. Those good families that decided to leave many of them liked to stir up trouble for the school and not help our children! Our family has been at the school for 8 years and we are finally happy with the direction it is going under the new principal. The school is looking at each child as an individual and does not expect them to fit into the "Catholic Mold" like what was required under the the old principal. I know it is hard to find a good school for your children and I really feel like this school is doing its best for the children. Instead of talking about all the "angry birds" that left you need to see all the quality teachers that the school has. Trust me some of the teachers that left we are better off without!!!!!

  • (1 year ago)

    Too many teachers and good families left. The common factor was the leadership from the principal. Previous posts about his lack of experience are accurate. In addition he has been very confrontational with parents and students. He demonstrates his lack of leadership qualities daily. It's too bad this was a very good school not that long ago

  • (2 years ago)

    I was disappointed that the kindergarten first third and sixth grade teachers quit last year and after learning that the principal lacks a Masters Degree in School Administration (he holds a single subject Art Credential) we made the decision to leave Saint Francis in favor of a school that places higher academic standards on their school administrators.

  • (2 years ago)

    St. Francis has been through it's ups and downs over the years but I can honestly say my children have received an excellent education and they go to school with quality children and involved families. I love the fact that my children are learning about their faith and are able to live that faith daily with their friends at school. It is so refreshing to have a new principal. It was time for fresh ideas and innovative approaches to running a school. I like the fact that the principal goes into the classrooms and observes the teachers to make sure their teaching techniques are solid. That did not happen with the previous principal. I look forward to the changes that are coming and to see the school continue to grow and be innovative in it's approach to teaching and learning.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am amazed at how people can review a school by their perception of one individual's actions. If your expectations are that administrators make or break a school based on their presence alone and accusations of negligence in timely responses then perhaps the poster should find the the principal of their dreams and send their child to THAT school. That being said St. Francis School continues to produce a great education in our children. National test scores shows that our classes excel in academics. The school has a full time resource teacher for those who struggle. Spanish is included as part of the curriculum. We have an active parent base that supports the school's needs. The school has SmartBoards in every classroom and I hear iPads are on the way. The P.E. program is great. Children learn in a safe and loving environment from preschool through 8th grade. I have never had a phone call email or meeting request denied. And if I did I would certainly confront the problem not degrade an organization anonymously. You're hurting your own school in a public forum when your best form of action should be to address your concerns directly with the administrator or even the pastor.

  • (2 years ago)

    The new principal at St. Francis is a very nice man and he really seems to care about the kids. This being said nice does not necessarily mean you are good at your job. Any formally trained principal will tell you that one of the first things you are taught during your training is that you are the first one to arrive on campus and the last to leave. You should be visible available and easy to reach or at least have the decency to return emails and phone calls from parents. This principal arrives to school as school is starting... 7 45 am (sometimes after) on a daily basis. He arrives with no apologies just excuses. Not only is he not available for parents before school he is also having difficulty responding to emails and phone call on a regular basis. The message you send when you choose not to respond to a parent's concerns is that of disrespect. And we are paying for this...something to think about.

  • (3 years ago)

    It is incredible how some people use the internet and e-mail as a platform to complain. Perhaps the parent who wrote such a hot tempered post below would have considered the facts it would have never been posted. We send our children to a Catholic school for a variety of reasons. Catholic values is one of them. Apparently there are some who feel the church and school should do what they want rather than what is the policy of our diocese. Personally if I were that unhappy with the way things are I would leave. Anyone who looks at the community of St. Francis will realize how wonderful it is in its entirety.

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Overall score

(based on 35 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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