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.
My child has been going to JFS for the past two years. It has been a wonderful experience for us. Outstanding staff, very active PTA, overall a fantastic place. Facilities (computers, reading material, art etc) are very good. PTA is very active. We sent our child to a private school earlier and are very happy to have moved her to JFS.
Both of my children attended JF Smith School from Kindergarten thru 6th grade. I remember Will Ector, who was a wonderful principal but only there to get the then new school up and running (he is now a district leader). The current principal Mr. Hodgins is kind and wise and a fantastic school leader. He is involved with his staff and the students; he is ever present, whether at dismissal time DAILY or at school special events. His attention to detail and strong vision of quality for JF Smith has kept it a bright spot on the somewhat dismal array of educational facilities. Every time I listen to other parents lamenting over their child's school I am deeply grateful that we found JF Smith. Of course the other factors in the success of JF Smith are the great teachers and very involved and supportive PTA.