This school is wonderful. I feel they allow their teachers to actually teach (I know, such a strange concept). Our son excelled there. He had wonderful, caring teachers. If you are so lucky to have Mr Dillion, Mr Croman or Mrs Bebinger, take it!
At this point I have two kids that go to this school, I have been more than thrilled with how most things are handled. One of my kids is in a regular mainstream class while my other child is in Special Education. The special ed program and teachers are fantastic! Great communication and use of resources. The principal is supportive and involved and knows her students. I love the challenges my kids are faced with academically, they are so attainable without being too hard nor too easy. Friendly, academic atmosphere for kids to grow in.
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.