I have two beautiful daughters at JFS and they love the school. My oldest daughter graduated from JFS 5 years ago and the youngest daughter is graduating from 6th grade next week. Let's be honest, no school is perfect but JFS provides excellent students; the results of scores speaks a lot. You will have good teachers and bad teachers but overall, JFS provides excellent education and great attitudes to the young children. I moved to this area 11 years ago so my children can have good influence and great education and I am so grateful that made that decision.
I am a parent with my kid going to this school. His bullying started on day one and and the teacher has done nothing to stop it. The teacher expressed concern that my child was inattentive in the class on day one and wanted to put the child under behavioral review program a month later. The child is not disruptive in any manner has done well in his periodic assessments. I am a doctor and do not find any thing wrong with the child other then normal 20 minute attention spans and regular kid behavior. We have even taken the child to a board certified psychiatrist with a fellowship in child psychiatry and the doctor made it clear that she cannot diagnose my child with ADHD. The teacher still insists on putting the child under review rather then working with the child to make the class room interesting. It appears any child who does not fit the box will be put in for review to get a ADHD diagnosis. I believe the motto of the school is have bunch of robots and if a child does not confirm they will do their best to slap a ADHD label and probably drug the child. I regret the decision of moving him to this school.
The school's motto seems to be to fit the child into the box and if they do not fit they wash their hands of the child by putting them in behavior review programs. Where is honesty and integrity in trying to have a child forcibly branded with ADHD label when doctors disagree.
JFS is a wonderful school - I have 2 children attending since KG and we could not be happier. The teachers are wonderful and care about the kids. The facility is new and clean. The new principal, Mrs. McClintock is much more approachable and involved. I wish there was more after school enrichment provided through school, especially established programs such as Math Olympiad which are currently parent-run. My boys enjoy their time at school and have made wonderful friends.
My two children attended JFS under three different principals. Overall we had good experience at JFS for all these years. I would have given 5 starts if they did not have the disputes between the district and the teacher union. In 2013, because of this it was evident the level of school/teachers' efforts dropped significantly in every aspect. I know this is a district wise problem, but students (and parents) should not be penalized.
James Franklin Smith Elementary School continues to improve its test scores so it's puzzling to hear that the teachers are doing less work or somehow letting the students down. The contract issue is a district-wide issue and will be resolved once the district makes a good faith offer to the teachers. Happy teachers= happy students. Teachers earn every penny they get, and in my opinion are underpaid!
My second child is about to start JFS tomorrow as a kindergartner. I look back to the 4 years my daughter has gone to the school and I am glad we chose JFS. 1. The PTA is very involved. 2. The teachers go the extra mile. 3. The new principal is very approachable. Generally a really good school. I wish the PTA would take a more active role in disseminating information about the after school offerings but I wouldn't hold that against them.