Bishop John Carroll School is located in Oklahoma City, OK. It is a private school that serves 189 students in grades PK,K-8. Bishop John Carroll School is coed (school has male and female students) and is Roman Catholic in orientation. The school belongs to the National Catholic Educational Association.
Bishop John Carroll School
Lisa McConnell: First of all this is not an unbiased review of Bishop John Carroll School. My daughter has attended BJCS for the past 7 years, since kindergarten, so I have definite opinions about this school. If you are considering a school for your child, I encourage you to read my entire review and excuse my obvious partiality.
BJCS IS AN AMAZING SCHOOL BJCS is a very small and intimate Catholic school; the classes have approximately 20-25 children. The academics are incredible. They are first-class, and only getting better; new science lab, new library, and lots of improvements. They were ranked first in the latest listing of schools in OKC. They just finished first in the City-wide Science Fair. This is an amazing achievement considering that they competed with much larger private schools with substantially larger budgets (many have been befriended by large corporations and extremely wealthy people).
VALUES, ATMOSPHERE In my opinion, BJCS's greatest strength is the positive attitude that is placed as a priority. The primary focus of this school is on behavior: academics, being thoughtful, caring and accepting. The atmosphere is welcoming and open. There is a down-to-earth attitude that is pervasive and seen by the staff, administrators, teachers, parents, and children. All families and children are treated equally; there is no preferential treatment. We have some of the oldest families in OKC, some very wealthy, and it is a non-issue. No one cares what car the family owns or doesn't own, where someone lives, what they wear. Background, ethnicity, financial situation are non-issues. No one cares, including the students. Differences are accepted and embraced. The focus is on behavior and academics.
DIVERSITY IS EMBRACED The population of BJCS is very diverse, with a variety of backgrounds, demographic, and socio-cultural factors: Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Hispanic, African-American, wealthy, middle class, single parents, traditional families, Catholic, and non-Catholic. No matter the background, what is consistent is the high level of parental involvement, and their focus on their children's education.
• Every year, the Vietnamese community has a huge and elaborate celebration at the church and the school to celebrate Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Involvement is optional but many of the students participate. They wear the traditional clothes, eat traditional food, dance the traditional dances. Our daughter loves the celebration; she and her friends have participated every year. It makes the school unique and special.
• BJCS is a Catholic school, with religious education and a weekly mass. We are Presbyterian but everyone has made us feel welcome and comfortable. Our daughter doesn't participate in the communion at mass but she has never felt judged by this difference. Everyone knows she's not Catholic and she is accepted as different. Her classmates have been naturally curious about how our religion is different than Catholicism. The teachers have done a great job of leading conversations in and outside of class, about different religions and beliefs, both within and outside of Christianity. This has led to a greater understanding of other beliefs, as well as their own.
POSITIVE BEHAVIOR BJCS has a different atmosphere that feels like a throwback to a simpler time. Because the school and classes are so small, it forces the students to interact with everyone. The result is that it feels more like a family; students are close-knit and lack the worldliness of some peers. Being thoughtful is valued. Negative behavior isn’t cool.
As an example: Last May, we had a sleep-over for my daughter's 11th birthday party. All 10 girls in her class were invited and all came to the party. Several friends, with daughters at other schools, had horror stories about parties at other schools. They all suggested that I take away the girl's phones at the beginning of the party because they would spend all night on them: calling boys; harassing girls not invited; not being involved in the activities; sneaking out; egging and teepeeing houses. That kind of behavior just doesn't happen with our kids. First of all, all 10 girls were invited, and all 10 girls came to the party. All of the girls had phones but they rarely are on them. Two friends from church came to the party and, at the beginning they were on their phones constantly. The BJCS girls kept talking to them and involving them in the activities. Within an hour, the phones went away and the girls were a blast. The girls in the class are to the age that they are starting to like boys and have crushes, but that's all. They aren't having sex, drinking or doing drugs. They are somewhat naïve, but that isn’t a bad thing. They are in 6th grade. They are still kids and they act like good kids.
BEST DECISION My daughter is in the 6th grade and has thrived. Sending her to Bishop John Carroll School was one of the best decisions we ever made. Their influence has had a tremendous impact on her character. She is academically strong in all subjects, writes well, is able to discuss difficult subjects clearly and rationally; and she get along well with people from all walks of life. She is becoming a dynamic and confidant leader. Most important, she is a caring and thoughtful person. I will be eternally grateful to their influence in helping mold her into such a person.
by a Parent
on Jan 20, 2012
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