The quality of the academic programs is fairly decent, all things considered. You don't have to go out of your way to find challenging programs.
I am a mother of a former ninth grader from Kennedy. I was not pleased in the educational program. The work was not challenging, minimal projects, and very little homework. Some of the teachers were very helpful but then there were some that were nonchalant. There have been many days I was visiting the campus and saw students walking the grounds when they were supposed to be in class but no one was making them go to class. The trauncy problem is ridiculous. How can a student have 20-30 trauncies or absences before a parent is notified? I think there need to be some changes at the administrative and staff level at Kennedy. If this is done then maybe the students will have a change in their attitude about school and their education.
Turnover of older teachers to younger teachers has been in effect over the last 2-3 years. The young teachers seem to be involved in promoting school spirit at the school. Students for the most part are unmotivated and don't seem to care.
I believe that the school has potential if the administration will hold teachers accountable for better teaching; strictly enforce dress codes and school conduct to include appropriate language; accept parental assistance when offered (I have volunteered several times to assist teachers, administrators and in special programs, but have yet to hear a word); and divide funding more evenly among programs and academic departments. The size of the school also hinders education.
If you are a student enrolled in the 'college prep', a student will get a fairly decent education. Teaching is more traditional in that you will find most teachers at the front of the room lecturing/discussing lessons with students. There is limited opportunities for students to see relevancy in what they are learning. I have heard students say that they wish it was more like their middle schools with fun and challenging projects--not projects my parents did. However, the school has had a recent influx of new teachers which will hopefully bring some innovative teaching to this campus. If I were a parent of color, I would probably look for another school to send my child. I am not as convinced that he would receive equal opportunities. The music and art program seems above average. The school has consistently excelled in basketball.
I am the parent of two students at Kennedy HS. My oldest child child graduated in 2003 and my youngest graduates in 2005. As a parent, I observed a big and negative change at JFK this year. The school eliminated their best school counselor and college advisor last year. Mr. Hancock helped me and my family uncover thousands of dollars in scholarships and provided personalized attention for my children. He is gone now and I worry what financial opportunities and assistance will be provided to my younger child. Mr. Hancock took the time to write letters of recommendations and even helped fill out SAT, financial aid and scholarship packets. This is a service that needs to return to Kennedy. If Kennedy wants to be a great school, you need great people.
I am a parent of two students and an exchange student. I have taught there for 11 years and I live in the area. We always have room for improvement.
Kennedy is a school that is not that bad, but by the first year there you no how to get your way through it easily. With teachers who are more worried about cheating than teaching, Kennedy has either really good teachers or really bad teachers. Most times you get more from your coach than your teachers. And what is worst is that the coaches don't get any attention for it because they did not go to the playoffs. If you are a football player or basketball player you are lucky because you will get the funds and the support. All other sports get nothing. You work very hard to be the best, but people don't care at kennedy. And that is just sports. Now Kennedy is starting a new education program. More then half of the students don't know what it is. While you will have good times and you will learn stuff, it is hard to not have bad times too.
Kennedy is a school striving to be successful, but with lack of dedication from teachers, it is a failure. The school needs better teachers and facilities to function in the 20th century. A total of 10 computers in a library serving 2,700 something kids is barely sufficient. The Spanish program is very strong. The Physical Education department is very well off, however, just like every department at Kennedy could use some better facilties. Many of the teachers have discouraged students and led them to be undevoted to school. The honors classes are challenging, but the on level classes are a joke. Students show up at class when they like, not usually reporting for a full week ever in a row. The work is not challenging enough, so the students take this to their advantage. A student coming into Kennedy freshman year from a different state was learning information over again from 7th grade. That shows the lack of challenge of challenging work.
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