We have enjoyed Baldwin for the past two years and look forward to another great year in 2014-2015. Our teachers have been kind, effective, hard-working, and very responsive. My children have had many opportunities to participate beyond just classroom learning. Breakfast Book Club, Math Olympiads, Intramural Sports, Online Newspaper, Debate, 3D Printer Class...to name just a few ;-). Most of these extra curricular activities are run by parent volunteers, for whom I am very grateful. I am proud of our school and devote myself to be a part of the Baldwin community.
We just finished our first year (K) at John Baldwin. We moved to Danville based upon the standardized testing reviews within the district. After my first year, I believe that this is due to the financial well-being of parents and their willingness to pay for tutors, outside courses, and drive their students to success. I have been INCREDIBLY disappointed in the administration; the teacher that we were assigned was average. The school is incredibly disorganized. Frankly, I do not know where the school ends and the PTA begins. The community is very "clickish" and while we do not have any issue integrating, it is a very similar mentality to high school, which I left 20 years ago. We witnessed the PTA influence children's placement in classrooms, the fundraising is out of control; particularly because they cannot fund full-time kindergarten or first grade; these are both half-day programs. The students having Macbooks and Ipads vs. reasonably priced Acer or Dell computers is the priority - not more teachers. If you lived in the community, the school is certainly acceptable. I would not move to this community based upon the schools; I would instead find a school with logical priorities.
The administration at JB is lacking. The staff seems disorganized and absent. The communication is irregular, often last minute, and lacking. I am not impressed with this school. We had a scare this year with graffiti and a very specific threat w/in the school district. There was similar copy-cat behavior on our campus and the principle urged the parents to ignore it and send their kids to school promising that there is a robust system in place to ensure our children's safety. Any adult can walk onto campus as kids play on the playground. It is fenced with a waist high fence that provides nothing more than a nuisance if one were inclined to walk on the grass. I have been to the campus about 4-6 times over the entire school year. Two times I stopped in the office to see if I needed to "check-in" and was told it was unnecessary each time (once before the incident, once after). The office did not know who I was and they went ahead and allowed me to roam campus as I pleased - no one has ever stopped to questions me. My opinion is that the administration will provide lip-service on safety as they have never once enforced anything.
I have hesitated to post a review until I have had sufficient time to really make an informed post. My children have been a part of this school community for a number of years now and I am constantly amazed by the community of parents, the commitment and dedication of our teaching staff, and the quality of our leadership. Our Cougar Education Fund does an outstanding job raising needed funds for our art, science and technology departments. Our PTA has built a community unlike anything I have seen elsewhere. Our office staff is professional and responsible for the safety and wellbeing of our children. Our principal is always available to assist parents, children and teachers where necessary and leads our school with a clear vision. Every school, whether private or public, has room for improvement, of course, but in my experience with two very different children I have found the right fit. I am honored to be a part of this community and always feel to welcome to volunteer where I can. Test scores are important and a good starting point when researching various schools but it wasn't the only criteria for me. The classroom dynamics I have witnessed and teachers are outstanding
The office staff and principal aren't very welcoming and don't add to a community feeling. The PTA is like a big clique. Teachers are a hit or miss. It would be nice if the teachers could recognize individual needs of students and not make everyone in the class proceed at the same pace. Nice location, needs more security.
I have two children at John Baldwin and I have found the teachers in multiple grades to be excellent. There has been investment in computers as well as the arts so that the kids are getting a well rounded education.
Teachers are excellent.... However, I wish there was better communication between Principle and parents. Recently the front gates at the school have been locked and kids now have to walk around to the other gate to get through to there classrooms. I really wish the Principle would send out an email to parents letting us know in advance when things like this suddenly change and give us an explanation why. It would be nice to be able to tell our children why they now have to go around.
The teaching staff is the best! They are excellent teachers who really make a difference in giving children the best education possible.
Poor communication to parents. I shouldn't be notified via postal mail my child is in the office for being involved in name calling or being hit. Parents should be attempted to be contacted right away especially when a disciplinary action is taken. Quite disappointed in the district as a whole.
We took our children out of this school after only a month. There is little or no ease of communication between the teachers and parents. We were given a strong impression that parents are expected to contribute financially or as committee volunteers, but I felt dismissed on several occasions when trying to communicate with the teachers. I was specifically told to wait until PT conferences (still several weeks away). We were not allowed to meet the teachers before the first day of school (this made a lot of us - children and parents alike - extremely uncomfortable). The school s website does not list email addresses. The teachers are not accessible either at drop-off or pick-up, and seem to have zero desire for any input or communication from parents. Even after having sent written notes to them, the Principal called me instead, and it took her three days. My daughter is afraid of the office manager, who struck us as cold and somewhat arrogant. Besides all that, my daughter s IEP (transferred from her previous school) was ignored, as were my son s requests for more challenging work. My son came home angry on a daily basis, and said he hated school. Policies about picking up behind the school changed very suddenly, and everyone seemed to be very confused about what the rules were. All in all, it was a surprisingly negative experience.
JB is an wonderful school. We recently moved out to this community and it would be best thing we would have done in our life. It's been just a month, since the school started, but the teacher is so friendly and communicative that we have a feeling that we are here for years. Teachers have been well trained to handle kids of different levels simultaneously and extend help to bring their best from the students without letting them down. Great school to go!
My comment has to do with the 'climate' of this school. We transferred here from another school in the district. We don't find the warmth and sense of community we felt in our other school. The front office staff is efficient, but cold and not very friendly. Even my daughter said 'they're not very nice in the office. They talk in mean tones to the kids.' I've experienced the same and I'm a parent. There are way too many rules here and things move slower because of it. There isn't great communication between principal/staff and parents from our experience.
We recently moved to Danville (John Baldwin) from a great school district in Boulder, Colorado and have been extremely impressed with the caliber of teachers at John Baldwin.
I have three children in this school and we all love it not only the school but the Neighborhood is great.
Baldwin had a great band and music program last year, but no more. It remains to be seen if the art and music programs will come back next year, after the rebuilding is finished.
I have been extremely pleased with this top-ranking elementary school. The staff is top notch, and the cohesive parent involvment guarentees that no child is left behind. Budget cut-backs in California have forced many of the 'extra-cirricular' programs in many Ca elementary schools to be shut down, but this school still offers many, including: music, art, science, FAME, computer lab, etc. I would highly reccomend this scholl to any and all who are considering.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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