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.
This school is awful! The teachers treat students horribly, all of the students misbehave, and the teachers don't know how to teach the classes well. Students are honestly treated like tools to obtain high test scores. It's like the teachers only care about the test scores and not each individual child! Whatever you do, don't let your child attend James Irwin Middle School!
I am a James Irwin parent. I am thankful for the education my girls have received from James Irwin. I feel sad that it appears parents have had some trouble (as I am sure the school can not please all of us) yet we do not get to hear the other side of the story. People are sharing some negative comments but I do not see it said that they went to the school and gave them a chance to explain or solve some of the issues being shared. I have had two middle school students and know that sometimes what is said by our student may not be all of what happened. I hope, in the future, instead of using this as a venting tool, we can first remember to seek first to understand, then to be understood.
My daughter was a student in the middle and high schools. She was always very happy with both schools, as were my husband and I. She went on to college and was more than prepared. All 3 schools have a student handbook available before fall classes begin. I believe if you and your student review it before committing you'll be ready to follow dress code and know what's expected academically and behaviorally. No surprises. If you don't want your student to learn to be a responsible adult and behave with integrity, find a traditional public school.