The teachers here at JICMS care for their students and their education. They truely want the best for them and their future. Teachers are always willing to help during and after school. Sometimes it comes down to the students willingness to achieve excellence from themselves.
My children and I love James Irwin. I am very pleased with the level of education they are receiving. They are challenged in all their subjects and homework is of high importance but not overwhelming. Never have they came home with something they did not understand. Their dress code they follow is modest and respectful for all students and teachers. Communication between the students, teachers, and parents is always welcome. I am made aware of tests and assignments my student has before hand which is a helpful tool I can use to remind them that their studies are important to me as their parent. JICMS is a school of choice and if you want the best for your child this is a excellent choice.
We love the school!! Yes, it's a great challenging school and has homework. What Charter School doesn't? Parents are told was is expected of their child at the beginning of the school year. James Irwin is a Charter School. Parents who have their children here have placed them here voluntarily and can remove them if they are not happy! The teachers and administration are always available if we have any concerns. The receptionist always has a smile on her face when you enter the office and is eager to help. We plan to keep our child here till she graduates High School.
This school is SO negative. The "character emphasis" is NOT done in a positive way. There is NO personal encouragement done in this school and the turnover rate of the staff is ALARMING. The only good thing they had at this school was the band teacher - and even he left. Oh, and if bullying occurs - they will deny it and try to blame the victim. The car line is a DISASTER and three of the last four secretaries have been SO RUDE to the kids and they talk to them in a way that our kids would get in trouble for if they used that body language. My child also told me that the gym teacher was angry at a student last year and that the teacher started yelling and slamming his fist on the wall? Great way to role model! JICMS has way more negatives than they will ever have positives but unfortunately - it's our only choice so we will have to brave through it but now I understand why there are so many kids that don't return in the 7th grade.
I have been sending my 3 children to James Irwin for years now. Am I happy? Not really because of tooo much homework they have to turn in even in summer. The carline is ALWAYS a challenge for a busy working mom like me. As for character that the school is focused on, I am satisfied. My children are respectful as they have been, and they are more disciplined now more than ever. I give it a 3 because of the facility and staff... huge turn around of students and some good teachers have left . They need to repair the restrooms- they are old and disgusting. School needs to fund school buses. Over all this is not a bad school at all. Good but not great.
Honestly, all three levels of the JICS system are struggling and they are compromising their standards of excellence. I see the students pushing the limits of wannabe thugs, gangstas and basically girls gone wild but no serious consequences. I heard the excuses of "But we're in District 2...we deal with poor families" and "A lot of our parents can't even speak English", which has translated into " we can't expect much from these kids" in recent years. I believe the schools are afraid to take hard lines on behavior, cliques, and bullying. The only reason we're staying at JICS is the middle school administration. I have faith in Mrs. Varnum - I DO NOT know her personally but I feel she knows what is exactly going on and what needs to happen. Now, will she be allowed to lead and make changes? We'll see.
I agree with the last parent review. Teachers hand out weekend homework (even homework over the SUMMER!!) and the bathrooms near the Jags Cafe are awfully disgusting. I would say this school is okay and it's not the best or worst. It definately does have its pros though, like the Leadership program for 7th and 8th graders and the Character classes for the 6th graders. The dress code is pretty strict, but I do understand that it is to ensure that students are wearing James Irwin appropriate uniform or attire. Other than that, i give this school a 3-star rating.
Our family has been very happy with JIMS. Our daughter was not being challenged in public school. Our primary reason to move her to Irwin was the rigorous curriculum. We also like the emphasis on character. We are very happy with her caring, committed teachers, who make themselves available to discuss any questions or issues we may have. The expectations for behavior, academics, uniforms, etc are clearly communicated. In my experience, everyone is held to the same standard and treated with respect. This school does have a strict code of behavior and high expectations for every student. It also gives them the tools to excel. Do your research to determine if this school is a good match for your family. Read the student manual, visit the school, and ask questions. I have found the administration to be very approachable, helpful, and working for continuous improvement.
James Irwin is an excellent school that has high standards both academically and behaviorally. The teachers are caring and have made my son a better student in a short amount of time. I like that the school really focuses on teaching leadership and making the students responsible. If you are looking for a school that allows your child to be creative in their own way, this is not the place for you. They have a certain way of doing things, but it seems successful to me. Electives are limited for middle school, but I can't say enough about their academics.