To paraphrase Anne Lamott, "Every good and decent person I know was miserable in junior high." Not at Jordan. The community works hard to support each child, to find and celebrate strength in diversity. The teachers range from pretty good to phenomenal. My two children had a fine experience, and the school administration and teachers have been increasingly communicative and responsive in recent years.
Student experiences at this school are very mixed, as one very experienced 5th grade teacher told me at our local PA elementary. 50% love it and do really well and the other 50% do less well. My son came here and hated it, he left after the first year as the large somewhat souless environment left him cold, there were random acts of bullying particularly amongst the boys and he felt the school was just 'mean'. My daughter has come here this year and loves it. She has fantastic teachers, a lovely group of friends and the Jaguar Pathway they have just started really helps make the 6th graders feel welcome. So in my experience as a parent it is the luck of the draw at this school, some lovely kids, great teachers and sports opportunities so just cross your fingers and hope for the best!
I'm also a student at Jordan. The problem is everything is so sports oriented. I don't really prefer sports, I mean I like doing them but not everyday afterschool. Because of that, coupled with the fact that I do ballet, gets me teased about my interest in the arts and it took a bunch of seating changes and one breakdown for this problem to be less blatantly obvious. There are many wonderful programs at Jordan to prevent bullying but unfortunately, while teachers and school staff are able to make changes in school enviroment, bullies are just as capable as changing tactics. My friends in drama are complaining that there isn't enough funding, and the choir is stuck in a room behind the cafeteria and they are sometimes mocked. While academics are really amazing, its everything else, like the 14 pound each textbooks we have to carry home at the beginning of the year and if you don't do sports, you're a loser that is really awful
i am a student at Jordan Middle School, and if you actually have tried all middle schools in Palo Alto, our school has the most spirit, no questions about that. We have the most mixed cultural middle school. The homework are never "busy" work, the teachers are very reasonable, the councilers and princibles are so warm and welcoming! I just love this school!
I am a student at Jordan Middle School, and compared to other junior high schools, this is probably one of the best. Almost all of the teachers are caring and are great at teaching. They all seem to enjoy their job. Also, during many classes we have the chance to use numerous textbooks, computers, and iPads. The school seems to lack nothing. The newest principal has great leadership qualities and he really gets involved with the students. The only problem is that the students are under a huge amount of pressure to succeed, with Jordan being one of the richest and best middle schools in the country.
There are only a few good teachers. Families and Administration want to be positive so no one challenges the poor teaching. I love the community, but regret that I sent my children to the PA schools. Also the school facilities and classrooms are very run down. Many family don't care abou the appearance, but I think it is a reflection of the lack of respect and willingness to have a top tier education environment for the children. Maybe they just do not know what a modern school should look like and they accept things as they are. The district needs more families to challenge the status quo!!!
As with all schools, there are good teachers and not so good ones but the good outweigh the bad. More attention to writing skills would be preferable. Two Vice Principals, Christina Regalia, and Christine Wang are fantastic - professional and competent. Principal Milliken is new but seems good and seems to care. Other office staff I have encountered are friendly and competent. The female crossing guard in front of the school is also fantastic and really cares about the students. Like all PAUSD schools, Jordan has a small quantity of students who are bused from East Palo Alto. Sometimes there are behavioral problems but staff seem to deal with it appropriately. People should remember that this is a public school, not a private school.
We went to JMS the past 3 yrs. As first time parents sometimes we learn after the experience. We love PA, but the school system has not lived up to it's reputation. We really had mixed challenges at JMS. While it was rocky at times...my child matured so much. I think the 'end product' may have been the same whether JMS or private. Having said that...I would have at least considered private . JMS: Dedicated, nice teachers, most are coasting...they really need to retire many teachers at JMS. Weak teaching, Very mediocre, but smart kids. The principal, Mr. Milliken looks the role, but lacks warmth and skills to interact with preteens. The Vice Principal, Ms. Wang in 2008 is fantastic with kids, parents and resoluting issues. Go with your gut, don't think it will be better at JMS...it does not get better. With your guidance your child will be fine.
My son went to JMS, Special Day Classroom, and he was blessed with the most thoughtful guidance from the Special Ed Teacher there, Mrs. Daryl Richard. As a parent, I enjoyed being part of her team and enjoyed excellent communication with them. They were open to coordinating the classwork at school with the program my son is enrolled in at SCORE! My son was able to participate in periodic school concerts and plays. We did feel that Special Ed was a low priority with both the School District and School Administration, as reflected in the classrooms and eqipment made available. That is why we were particularly grateful for the effort made by the Special Ed Teacher and her team of aids to organize class activities and attempt to mainstream able students. On the whole, our experience at JMS was positive and beneficial.
Jordan has significant problems. Teachers range from excellent to disasters-no consistency. No ability to control disruptive students in the classroom.
Mostly great teachers, math teachers vary widely, parent to teacher communication varies widely, some are wonderful, some don't communicate at all, great parent group with good participation
Parent involvement is excellent. Parents volunteer in the classroom (particularly in 6th grade classrooms), in the library, as noon time angels and of course as PTA members. The offering of electives is excellent - music, art, computers, industrial technology, Spanish, Japanese and French are just some of the offerings. Teachers have open channels of communication with parents and are easy to reach by email and some by phone.
Very organized and well structured curriculum, very competitive atmosphere and excellent for students that are academically inclined. Teachers are accessible and respond well to questions, concerns, and suggestions. Parents are connected and very involved in student achievement and school functions. We are very satisfied with the quality of teaching and management.
I have put four kids through Jordan middle school and I have to say that the quality of education is equal to that of a private school. The subject matter they study is significantly advanced over what my friends kids are working on in other school districts. The best thing about Jordan is that they really make sure your child is academically prepared for the rigorous program at Palo Alto High School.
Jordan is an amazing school. It is very welcoming, the academics are wonderful, and students excell above their expectations. Jordan really prepares its students for Palo Alto High School, which is one of the best, and hardest, schools around. My daughter completed Jordan and then Paly, and got into Stanford!
It's a very large school and your children run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle. In 6th grade, this is offset by the 2-teacher teaching teams. In 7th and 8th grades, the problem is more noticeable. Having said this, our son had a disproportionate number of very good teachers who cared about the kids. The principal, as far as we've been concerned, is a non-entity. Unless your child has discipline issues that land him/her at the principal's door, you might never even encounter the principal in 3 years at the school.
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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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