Watch out! JFK's top test scores are just barely better than our default school's scores, and our default school is smaller. So I didn't want to transfer. Even my wife was cautious. Our younger kid starts next year, and so we checked and double-checked with RUSD to insure that our younger kid would be transferred in with no problems. Then, right at the beginning of this year, we directly checked with JFK's Principal, who said the sibling transfer would be no problem, and even that she thought JFK now was our home school. Despite our precautions, the transfer of our younger child now is being blocked. RUSD is barring all transfers to JFK, including siblings. It's a 180 degree turn from past practices and what we were told. We never would have come to this school, which is fine, if RUSD and JFK had not misled us that we would be able to transfer our younger child. Now our two young children go to two different schools that begin at the same time! RUSD's response is "move both kids to another school," in total disregarding of continuity for our older child. RUSD makes the DMV look good.
Like anywhere, there are good things and not so good things about this school. They DO spend the whole year focusing on the big test at the end of the year that gives the school it's grade. Whoever said there is no pressure on the kids is mistaken. It's crazy pressure. Also, they don't get anything fun out of school. They get an art class once a month. Other then that, the school is good. Most of the teachers are really good. High test scores means that most of the kids do well here. Since elementary school decides weather or not kids will like school for the rest of the time they are in it, I'm hesitant to say this is a great school. It's hard for a child to enjoy learning when they are not able to have fun while learning. It's just kind of sad. We had one teacher who was amazing and made school fun. My daughter loves school because of this one teacher she had years ago.
My kid's coming from the GATE program at a different, well-rated school here in Riverside, and he has some catching up to do. His teacher's very strict and demanding. She took a lot of time to explain where he is in his progress and how we can assist him to succeed. Elite doesn't really capture their attitude here. They consider themselves to be the best, and they want to reach a standard. There's none of the fabled slothful public school teachers here. Instead, they give the parents and the kids all they can handle, and a little more besides. Well, that's how they got to be rated 10 out of 10 on the API tests. It's not a take-it-easy school at all, and even the parents feel theheat. The evidence shows that the intense attitude at JFK does produce a good education.
All 3 of my children have attended JFK for the last 5 years. It is sad that more people don't take the time to write positive experiences. The school is kind and compassionate from the top down. We even had a change in vice principals and it only got better. Ms. Betts is one on the ball woman who truly has a heart for her profession. The teachers here care beyond all belief. The increase in class sizes at the beginning of the year due to new enrollment which lead to oversized classrooms were accomadated with adding more teachers and classrooms. All 3 of my children have less than 25 in their classes. Yes they pride themselves on test scores but children are never pressured in anyway. Teachers even bring in treats and make it fun. The principal had a huge popscicle party to thank the kids for trying their best. That is the key they are encouraged to do their best. We have a very active PTA with tons of great activities. Parent participation is encouraged in the classroom and at all events. You can't go wrong at this school. It truly a blessing to my children and me as a parent. Thank you JFK
I am sad to read the older review that says one of the great things about Kennedy elementary school is the low teacher to student ratio. My child started kindergarten THIS school year (2010-2011) and his tiny kindergarten classroom was overcrowded with 31 students and one teacher. No employed aide, no team teacher... nothing. Also the kindergarten was so overcrowded that the "overflow" were put into the regular smaller size classrooms that do not have bathrooms and does not exit into the kindergarten play yard. My child missed out on getting to be in the enriching environment "REAL" kindergarten classes are supposed to be. As for education, the school prides itself on high test scores. I am a parent who cares more about the well rounded education than the school's report card. Emphasis on testing means my kindergartener started to learn how to "bubble" in the very first week of school. Sick. Kindergarteners should be learning experientially, not forced to be tested so that all joy and curiosity are strangled out of them. My child still likes the class, and likes the teacher, but it could just be SO MUCH BETTER if the teachers could be creative and not test driven.
This school is great my child has been in this school since kinder and I've been impressed with the progress that she's made over the years.
We moved from Orange county and my son started first grade in this shool so far its been great! way better than the school in orange city. The teacher are very strict and have high standarts. Kids just love this school! AND the best is that there is ONLY 21 students per classroom! This school encourage parents to help our kids with his homework since its not only about the school but also about the parent involvement which is great in this school.
My son started third grade and my daughter started kindergarten in 09. We moved from North Carolina. I do not know if it is California, Riverside, or this school, but the schools back east were far more superior! The school is newer and clean but that does not make it a good school. I see a lot of worksheets and not a well rounded curriculum. There are a lot of students and quite a few discipline problems on the playgrounds. I was really expecting great things from this school. Too bad! I love California weather. Is there anyone who can recommend a good private school?
My daughter started kindergarten 09 and this school was awesome. We had looked at private schools and decided to go with Public and I am 100% positive a private school could not have done anything better. Her teacher, Mrs. Melton was over the top great. The academics were amazing. Everyone in her class spoke English as their first language. There was a lot of homework but it was well organized. I volunteered in the class and I can tell you that the academics were the focus in the class. Yes, they had a nice time learning and the teacher was loving but they were not playing house or doing games all the time or arts and crafts like when I was in Kindergarten. I was amazed how much my daughter learned this year. The school is clean, the front staff was great, the security was good. 5 stars all the way
I have been impressed with the learning that has taken place at Kennedy... that is, until this year. With the new P1 district mandate on Language Arts, varied instruction has been stripped away from our teachers. Direct instruction, from solely Houghton Mifflin, has replaced our teacher's ability to apply known success strategies and limit their creativity. This mandate has been ordered for all RUSD schools so that each school is on the same page (literally) on a daily basis. It is targeted to the Basic/Below Basic child, therefore, leaving our Proficient/Advanced students with a repetitive, non-stimulating education. Small group instruction has been eliminated and deviation from the H.M. curriculum is forbidden. Our students may be able 'test' well, but will be lacking on true learning.
My children have gone here since the school opened and I feel our children are getting a preparatory school education for a public school price. 6th grade has a fantastic program called 'Mega Skills' that focuses on the whole student (Leadership, Persistence, etc). As well, a large technology grant has prepared kids for the computer world we live in. My 4th grader has developed into a fantastic writer due to lots of encouragement and persistence on the part of his caring teachers. Our 1st grader has been given the green light to read more challenging books than the cirriculum provides for. I can honestly say I have not had one, single teacher that wasn't over-the-top in their caring, compassion and drive to help my kids succeed. Yes, there is a definite drive for test scores, but the funding received due to those fantastic achievements enrich the children's experiences.
I think this school is more focused on state test results and how well the school is rated than the students and what's best for them.
We came to JFK late in the year from a private school so I don't have a long history with the school. However, I am very pleased with the Kindergarten program (learning much more than the previous school)and I am very impressed that my daughter's 4th grade teacher within the 1st week evaluated my daughter and felt 'the bar could be raised' - I had tried to get the previous school to give her more challenging assignments because she was often bored in class. Even though it is a larger school (their previous school was very small 1(20 students total), they seem to care for the individual student.
This has been a great school. My daughter's teacher is a sweet and caring person who challanges her to do her best. There aren't as many extracurricular activities as I would like, but they are on their way. Parents are encouraged to be involved with school
I have two children attending Kennedy and two on the way. I am a part of the PTA and see the enormous amount of work that parents and teachers put into this school. There is a constant drive for better here. My children were poor and indifferent readers before, now they tear through books (about one per day) and want to talk to us about what they have read and what they are learning. The school has an art program for 3rd and 4th graders that my daughter loved so much, she didn't want to be sick because of a special art project at school. Kennedy school really educates the whole child.
I have two children attending Kennedy elementary. I have been very pleased with the quality of the education and the profesional staff of the school. Especially when I compare the school to the 'top' private school in the area, which my kids also attended. The curriculum is very balanced and rigorous in most areas. The teachers are very open to giving my children challenging work, even if it means going beyond their regular curriculum and getting them something above grade level. The principal seems to have a very good relationship with her staff, and everyone has gone out of their way to make sure any concerns I've had are addressed promtly. I would like to see more extracurricular activities, such as science club, chess club, etc. available, but they are on their way. This year they started a great art program and Odyssey of the mind competition for GATE 2nd graders.
I am very impressed with the professionalism at JFK. The teachers take their jobs seriously and make sure that all instructional time is being used to benefit the students. Teachers and administrators care about all students being successful.
I saw that the teachers really do care about the children's welfare by being cautious of who is coming to pick up your child and send very challenging homework to develop their academic skills!
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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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