My Special Needs son went here and I saw a huge difference in how he learned how to finally communicate with us, by speech and social interactions. I am so glad we picked this school for him. The staff was awesome and the programs they have really helped him. Also, the integration with regular classes really helped him. All the kids and staff really supported him in the " normal" classes! AWESOME SCHOOL!
James Dukes is an outstanding school. Specials needs children are intergrated with other on an ongoing basis. Parent involvement is at a high level. Testing scores are important as well as the delvelopment of each child.
I hand picked James Dukes Elem. for my children after a terrible experience in a different district. I could not be more pleased with our JDE experience. Comments critical of the emphasis on mandated testing should be directed toward our politicians. Not the schools. If teachers were allowed to spend more time teaching core subjects instead of state testing preparation chances are there would been no need for so much homework! Overall, the current Principal (Swartz) and staff do an outstanding job. The PTA and a number of dedicated parent volunteers put this school over the top.
I have had a very positive experience with my daughter at James Dukes. The staff is excellent and very committed to the students learning. The only down fall is the age range of parents. They tend to have started having children in their late 30's and 40's and try to run the school instead of letting the principle do it. I have noticed that the parents are judgmental of younger parents (those in 20's and early 30's). However, the education that my child has received far outways any of the negatives.
We love this school! Our son has special needs and has been given an enormous amount of support from all of the teachers. I am grateful that this school has invested in resources to support children who are faced with challenges beyond their own control. Over all this is one of the best schools we have ever had our children enrolled in.
James Dukes is an excellent school with a very good culture on campus. Parents are very involved in the classroom and in activities and the teaching and administration are very kid and parent friendly. On the downside, there is an overemphasis on State Test prep. Too much time is spent on test taking skills that could be spent learning. Additionally the GATE Program is virtually non-existent. Resources are instead directed at lower achieving students and the overall classroom experience for all students. Overall I give James Dukes a B+ as a school and a possible A if they can focus more attention on kids with high IQs that aren't necessarily also high achievers.
My daughters attended k-6. The teachers were excellent, with few exceptions. I had to move my daughter from one class because of teacher problems. I found the teachers in 5th & 6th exceptional, though their 5th grade teacher has now moved on to a principle position. Overall the education my children received was good and they have tested at the advanced level each testing year. Students are friendly and the campus is safe. No gangs or drugs or anything that a parent might worry about. I found that emphasis on testing was a bit much for my liking, but that does not mean that the value of the education is lacking. We were extremely involved parents and knew everyone at the school and it was welcomed by everyone on campus; so if you have the time your children will benefit from the additional support you give the school.
The teachers do a great job and the campus is nice. However, this is not a school for parents who are unable to volunteer. I have found the principal to be very judgmental and not open to suggestions.
My 5 year old son has just started JD one month ago as a kindergartner. We moved from another state and missed the start of the school year due to our move to Ramona. We are very pleased with the accommodations everyone has made at the school as well as the district to make our son's transition as smooth as possible. My son (Robbie)loves the school and I do too! Robbie's teacher Ms.Reeves is a new addition to the JD staff. She is simply wonderful. The cream of the crop! The Principal is also very involved and a great asset to the school as well. My husband and I are very pleased with all of the staff. The staff is made up of great people who are genuinely concerned with each and every child's well being. Thank you for being so good to us Nicole Belet
My daughter attended this school from K to 4th grade. Grade K was great. I volunteered regularly throughout the years and made a lot of new friends volunteering at this school. However after 1st grade the amount of homework given to our 6 yr old was overwhelming. Most parents/volunteers were also overwhelmed trying to keep up on the amount of homework while working full time jobs. Parents were expected to teach their children the basics instead of the teachers and many families moved from the area. As she went from K to 4th grade we begain to notice that there was not enough staff to keep our child safe during lunch and on the playground 2nd grade - 4th grade. Discipline was lax. Getting help for our child feel on deaf ears. We finally moved our child to another school and she is now exceeding academically and socially.
Great academics, great teachers for the most part. Some teachers are older and ready to retire. Many involved stay at home parents
My daughter attended James Dukes k-3, although I was very involved; knew the principal by first name, volunteered at the social events, etc... my daughter fell behind in reading and it was a fight to get her resources. I really liked the smallness of the school, the teachers were very nice, I am not thrilled about the time it took to get some help.
My family loves this school! All of the teachers are wonderful. Parents in general are highly involved. There are many programs for students before and after school such as running club, choir, chess club, mad scienc, garden club, peacebuilders etc. and after school tutoring by teachers at grades 3-6.
JD offers many extracurricular activities along with a beautiful well groomed campus. Some teachers are very supportive and accessable to parents. The Principal greets students most mornings and participates in campus activities.
James Dukes is a good school. Its test scores exceed all of the nearby schools. The everyday curriculum does suffer as a result of the focus on testing. The higher achieving (GATE) students have no real program, probably due to funding cuts. The teachers are caring; however, the upper grade class sizes are large and it is easy for students to be lost in a class. The playgrounds are pleasant with new equipment, provided by the PTA and locacl community, and lots of area to run.
James Dukes is the best public elementary school in the district and has the standardized test scores to prove it.
James Dukes definitely benefits from a bedroom community which views itself more like a small town. The parents are very involved and I have felt that the teachers are excellent. Mr. Gary Tiegs was the principal and was outstanding. He took another assignment in the district this year, so I rated the category 'principal leadership' as an 'I don't know'. The small town atmosphere and the parental commitment make for a school that will only get better with time.
This school benefits from the San Diego Country Estates neighborhood demographics and lifestyle: traditional two-parent families with highly educated and involved parents who volunteer at the school. This is a stable, peaceful, semi-rural neighborhood largely free of big city problems and rarely found in modern day California. My son's first grade teacher is wonderful; she even came by the house with a get well card for my son when he was sick.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
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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