This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
John F. Kennedy High School3
Posted March 13, 2014
- a parent
I have a sophomore in the PACE program, which we had heard is comparable to McClatchy's HISP program. After having a son start this school year as a freshman in HISP, I am sorely disappointed in the PACE program. Molecular biology at Kennedy is taught--if you can call it that--by a woman who should have retired years ago. Her class has no rhyme or reason, and my child never knew what to study for. Geometry has an equally inept teacher who asks for food, tissues and printer paper for extra credit...really?! Oh, and kids who brought valentines in for each other received extra credit as well. It is so maddening but we feel obligated to participate to keep our child competitive. My child at Kennedy got into HISP as well, and we thought PACE was the better program and now seeing the HISP program in action, we are extremely regretful but feel our child should ride it out. On a positive note, we love the principal at Kennedy, he is always responsive and in touch with the community--we haven't heard a thing from the administration at McClatchy unless the school is on lockdown--which has happened twice already. Oh, if only the best of both schools could be combined....
I'm a parent of two kids who have been in the JFK High School PACE program. I have been underwhelmed with the English, Science, and counseling at this school, but the social science classes have been good, and the music and Japanese classes have been great. Not the friendliest campus, but if your kids can find their niche (like marching band), then they'll be fine.
I would probably not recommend this highschool based on the fact that you're literally in prison. By saying that, I mean you literally have no freedom what so ever, instructors are really bad and kids behave inappropriately. This is coming from my own experience, coming from a small middle school and being denied into PACE for no explainable reason. I had the thought of trying to change my life and get a long with better than average people through the PACE program. What I soon discovered as a freshmen I got in trouble in class for things I didn't do. I can sit there, kids throw food at each other, it lands near someone desk, soon it piles up, and the person close the the desk(me) get in trouble. You have no say in the situation. I've also had too many teachers that will teach a little, if the class get's loud they stop teaching because hey, it's every students fault if your class is loud. Not to mention some teachers are so bad, they can't be fired because they've worked there for over 10 years. I have more stories, i just have a character limit I'm on right now. The principal is great, he understands some teachers have problems. He will help you, if you approach him personally.
My son graduated in 2012. He was in the PACE program, which did a good job of helping him stay on track for college. He's currently attending a high ranking university on the east coast. Kennedy is an urban school, drawing its diverse student body from a wide variety socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. You have a few students headed for Princeton and a few students headed for prison, with most of them headed somewhere in between. This was a great environment for a taste of "real world" diversity. I would recommend the PACE program. With budget cuts, however, it's incumbent upon parents to fund-raise. So if you aren't willing to chip in to make sure that your students get the resources they need, then twice about coming here.
This school has been throughly disappointing. I transferred here from Florida. My old high school was in a good area and was almost like a mini college. You felt more like an adult there than at Kennedy. At Kennedy, you can find some teachers who will stay on task. A majority spend their time talking about personal problems or advice on life. I understand they think they are helping; however, I'd rather be learning about French than how to make a living. I have parents to teach me about life. I also find they try to go on and on about things that have NOTHING to do with the class subject. And if you try to write they yell at you if you tune out their stupid rambling. I'm sorry to those who don't agree. Because this school posses many different programs but for those who actually want to learn...good luck. Because a majority of these teachers don't care if you graduate. They are more concerned on blaming you for being inadequete or to tell you that you simply aren't good enough to pass their class.
While the PACE program may be a good program, it does nothing to reach out to struggling underprivileged children who could really use the program to their advantage. I am a graduate of the PACE program, and many teachers are unhappy about the fact that PACE takes the 'cream of the crop' from Kennedy and then seeks more funding from the school. Many PACE students are those from privileged backgrounds that are essentially separated from the general population of the school. Gangs are becoming a bigger problem than the school realizes, and more often incidents are being under reported, since they usually occur outside of the school rather than on campus. The school is filled with lackluster teacher, even within the PACE program. The school lacks substantial leadership that tries to hide the schools problems rather than actually solve them
My grndddaghter came from Tucson to live with me in November of her Freshman year(she is now a Junior). She has been happy there and seems to be learning a lot. I am happy with the scholastics as well as the activies offered.
I echo my sentiments that the biggest problem now for Kennedy is ridding it of its lingering bad reputation. My daughter and I have been pleased overall, perhaps primarily due to the PACE program. I was involved with the hiring of the principal and although there were problems with that (which was not his fault but rather the way the district handled things), he has done a fine job. I say that as I haven't heard anything positive or negative and sometimes no news is good news, if you know what I mean. I would recommend the PACE program and school to all local community families. I sure am happy with the 1-mile commute. Sorry to all of you who felt you needed to pay all that $ to send your kids to private schools and now you have to also pay high gas prices to get them there. Come back.