Many of the teachers are rude and yell at the students while not being held to high accountability standards by the principal or district. Most of the teachers reward students daily with large amouts of candy. There is no playground for the kids. The PTA and all extracurriculars are ran by a small closed off, controlling, self-preclaimed elitist group of moms who do not allow any outside help or assistance. The curriculum is all geared towards tests with only Math and English all day. Do not expect any art, science, or other subjects to be taught, especially since many teachers will not go out of their way to do any extras in regards to basic job performance. The school is great based on awesome parent volunteers and room parents who put forth their own funds and time to make the school top notch in reviews. And, the well-off surrounding community ensures students perform at their best. This school, if anything, takes away from excellence and robs students of the joys of learning.
I think JFK is the best school in Riverside. It is exemplary in testing and scores. My grandson loves going to school and never complains. He enjoys Math and Spelling and is beginning to enjoy reading. His Teacher, Ms Perez whom he had this past year really made an impact on his learning. He has come a long way in his learning.
To the previous post below me. If I am not mistaken and from what I read, it seems like to me that this parent has a inner city transfer. The students that live in the school coverage area should be priority! I live in the area and our home school is JFK and our children here should and are priority! If you want to give JFK one star...than guess what? TAKE YOUR SON OUT OF JFK!!!
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.
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.