Juan Diego Catholic High School
Draper, UT 84020
About This School
In 2010, Juan Diego Catholic High School had 14 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The Utah average is 23 students per full-time equivalent teacher.
Student Ethnicity (2010)
Students Per Teacher (2010)
Juan Diego Catholic High School Reviews
We have been part the Juan Diego community for a long time. All of our children have attended this school. Overall the academics at Juan Diego are marginal. Our children took AP and honor classes and the quality of their education was average. Our children had to do a lot of self-learning and we had to essentially "home school" for a few years. They just do not pay the teachers enough and expect them to manage class sizes of 28+. Being a 3A school our children had an opportunity to get involved in sports, debate, and the arts. The debate program is excellent thanks to the debate leader and team. However, we were very disappointed in the overall leadership of the school. There are no checks / balances with family members running the school. We thought the faculty did the best they could given the administration they had to work with. Our children had an overall positive experience, but in hindsight, we could have saved $40K per child and sent them to a public high school where the academics are the same if not better. My children have graduated and all say they wished they would have gone to public school instead. Do your homework before making a serious commitment.
My rating for JD vs. public school might be higher than 2 stars, but I have much higher expectations for a school that costs as much as it does. My rating is JD vs. Judge, the other Catholic option in Salt Lake. I have had one son graduate from JD and another complete his first 2 years of high school at JD. We have now transferred to Judge. I completely agree with the review below about the 'crumbling academic atmosphere' at JD. We thought our kids would receive a very good college preparatory education at JD--similar to what Judge offers. I can tell you that in our experience the 2 schools don't even compare in terms of education. Despite our oldest son earning a >3.5 GPA each year, his test scores dropped dramatically from freshman year to senior year. We were extremely disappointed when college testing time came around. Like the other reviewer, I agree that the writing skills taught are sub-par. I was also extremely disappointed in the math program. Our middle son is struggling to catch up with his peers at Judge. Yes, I am a disgruntled former parent because our family has made extraordinary sacrifices to educate our kids in the Catholic school system. We feel like we were duped.
I have visited Juan Diego High School on numerous occasions to do volunteer work... I have to say, growing up Catholic, I always wanted to go to a Catholic school, and what a relief it would have been to be among those of my own religion! However, in the many times that I have volunteered my time, as well as others I was accompanied by, I was seriously disappointed!
Do parents nor teachers teach these kids manners, or courtesy? We had our hands FULL, and only ONE time did anyone ever open a door! Keeping in mind this is a high school, but I have visited other high schools, doing the same volunteer work, and even my own kids' high school, and had the door opened or held open for me. I would think that more prominent (or smarter, if there on scholarships) would be taught manners, and the boys CHIVALRY (No it's not dead)! I have found my experience very disappointing.
I am not Catholic and not rich, it worried me when I walked into Juan Diego. Personally I loved attending Juan Diego. I was never excluded for my religion. I also thought that I was walking into a snooty, rich private school. Fact is, yes you have the "elite", rich students, but you also have kids that are there on financial aid/ scholarship. You are going to find that at any high school, there is no perfect high school. Yes, maybe the football team gets treated with a little extra respect, but they prove themselves every time out on the field. They are a great bunch of guys. The teachers really care about you and are willing to help you when you need it. Juan Diego often gets a bad rap because we are a newer school and very successful. People try to say that we are all about sports and not about academics. We are all students first at JD. Our coaches seriously enforce the rules of no playing if unitil you get your grades up.
In conclusion, my experience at JD has been great. It has given me many opportunities and I am proud to say that I go to JD. No matter where you go, there will always be drama. ITS HIGH SCHOOL, the most dramatic period of life, there is no avoiding it. I think it is a fantastic school and worth considering.
While the previous commentator illuminates many of the social problems seemingly specific to Juan Diego Catholic High School, I want to suggest that such ignominious behavior is bound to occur in a Catholic School located on Mormon turf. The overarching Mormon presence within the greater Salt Lake area forces Catholics and other minority religions to consolidate their own identities as part of a struggle to merely maintain those identities. Therefore, the tensions within the schools population is merely a microcosm of the larger religious and social tensions that result from cleavages within the larger surrounding community. A more powerful critique lies in exposing the institution for what it is (or is not): a place to
educate students!. juan Diego claims to educate its students within two realms: the spiritual and the academic. Although its job, as a religious school, includes developing the spirituality of its students, the mission to religiously educate places its actually academic effectiveness under erasure! That is to say, the administrators (namely the owners and principals) do a very good job at concealing a crumbling academic atmosphere, a hive of bumbling inexperienced teachers, by peddling a spiritually wholesome atmosphere to unwary parents! As the recipient of the school's most impressive awards, I find myself quite well-qualified to speak to the failure of this school's education system. There is no reason why I should have had to learn to write essays in college. If this school was doing its job, every student would graduate with at least some writing experience! I literally wrote one graded essay in my entire education career at Juan Diego. I found myself at an extreme disadvantage when I went to college because I had to learn how to write while all of my peers had significant writing experience in high school. The humiliation that accompanied the many C papers I wrote clearly reflects the academic humiliation Juan Diego would face if its academic programs are juxtaposed with the academics of other schools that seek to prepare students to college.
I went to Juan Diego for all four years of high school, and I can't even begin to tell you how miserable it was. Not only is there virtually no diversity (religious or ethnic), any student who is not Catholic is often excluded. I am saying this AS a Catholic student, and not as a member of any minority. Also, if your student does not play a varsity sport, he will severely struggle to make friends and will often be ignored, even if he has no trouble fitting in with teenagers outside of school. Although there is little physical bullying, there is prevalent verbal abuse aimed toward students who have trouble fitting in. I often see the foreign exchange students huddling in groups nervously because no one includes them, even though most of them are incredible students and the kindest at the school, and several have come to me literally crying at how cruel the American students are. The "unified student body" that the Colosimos rave about is virtually nonexistent, unless of course you are a star athlete or a spoiled rich child. I only know a handful of kind, intelligent, nonjudgmental and well-adjusted students at Juan Diego--and I am stunned that they made it through their four years at JD with their incredible personalities intact.
For my first three years, although I was miserable socially at school, I had excellent teachers. Several had doctorates and all were very educated, inspiring, and engaging. However, last year over half of the teachers resigned in a very hushed decrease in pay, and many of them are now teaching at public high schools and middle schools because they are getting higher salaries. Aside from a couple of excellent teachers I had my last year, the new replacements were all jokes...all were very young and had been thrown into teaching (or lack thereof) the most advanced courses in the school with absolutely no credentials.
Finally, the school is a rip-off financially. The tuition is insane and most students pay less for college. And the tuition doesn't even begin to cover it--expect to spend hundreds of dollars on poor-quality uniforms each year, and several thousand dollars to pay for textbooks and enrollment in any concurrent or advanced placement class...if JD offers it. Also, never expect any funding for clubs or art departments--the lab fees for all of the art classes are extremely high because they don't get any funding, the drama department didn't get a penny for their last production and was virtually begging for money from parents, and none of the clubs/organizations I was a part of received a penny from the school to cover field trips or fees. Oh, but if you're on the football team, expect to stay in 5 star hotels while you travel for games, all expenses covered. And expect the administration to cancel school and buy out TRAX for your semi-final and final games.
In conclusion, unless your student is a white, Catholic, rich, college-bound athlete, this is NOT the school for you. It was the worst four years of my life. Don't even waste your money on this joke of a school.