Posted April 25, 2011
I would love to be able to talk with this parent in person. We WANT parents to have their questions answered because we believe "every good question deserves a GOOD answer." If parents are concerned about a lesson their child found confusing, they can contact the teacher of their child's class as a first step. If their questions are still not answered, parents can go to lead teachers or either the assistant principal or the principal. It's always best to start with the most direct communication: when I was teaching, I always appreciated being able to address parents' questions first - we could save so much time and effort that way. But if questions are still there, then a parent can take it to the next level until they are satisfied. The parents are amazed at how carefully designed and refined the whole teaching process is, from curricula to teacher training and coaching, to adding extra structure for struggling students. As for JICES teachers using scripted lessons, we do use a number of Direct Instruction curricula (Science Research Associates publisher), which do have very specific lesson plans that are scripted in order to avoid confusing "side trails" and extra wording that doesn't always help. These highly researched lessons have had numerous studies showing how students can "learn more in less time" and accelerate their success. However, teachers should never leave a student confused. A number of other curricula we use is not scripted, but teachers are trained to use Explicit Teaching methods in these subjects as well. Again, I would love to talk with this parent - please make an appointment or come by the office. As for students with language challenges: yes, we do have a number of students whose home language is not English. In fact we have a number of different home languages other than English represented in our student population. We have opened up some tutoring for all students who struggle with language challenges, whether they "qualify" as an English Language Learner or not. Parents can contact the classroom teacher for more information. Hope to see you so we can explore your questions! EB, Principal
This is an exceptional school. Recently my Kindergartner recited a portion of the Gettysburg Address in a school-wide assembly. My son's progress this year has been amazing, and he is excelling at this school. He is nearing the 2nd grade level in both reading and math. There is very little downtime at this school -- kids stay on task because of the direct-instruction method and high standards enforced by the teachers. I also love the open-door policy. I drop in at any time I please to help out in the classroom, or to just sit and observe. I don't even have to let the teachers know I am coming. At the Landsharks Running Club meets, which are community-wide events, our students are the ones to sing the National Anthem before the running begins. This school is big on American history and values and character. I could not ask for a better school or for more dedicated teachers. Thanks to the wonderful staff at James Irwin.
I am so happy that I listened to my friend and enrolled my daughter in this excellent school. From the CEO all the way to the people who keep up the appearance of our school, they show that they care for our children and our school. When you walk down the halls you hear learning in progress. You don't hear children screaming and teachers pleading with them to calm down and be quiet. I love that I have the opportunity to sit in on classes in session and volunteer everyday. I get a chance to see education in progress. At other "neighborhood" schools, you might actually feel like they don't want you to sit in on classes. I feel like we all are Blessed and lucky to have our children in this school system. I say system because they don't have to worry about going to a "new" school because the schools are connected. You can actually walk from the elementary to the middle and from the middle walk across the break area to the high school. Our children are safe and well cared for while in school. They are greeted in the morning when they walk through the main doors and again when they enter their classrooms. My daughter brings home a math "book" rather than a math "sheet". Thank you all.
We love the school! The entire staff is very friendly and they greet the students when entering the school. Every morning the principal is waving to and greeting the students and parents as they enter the parking lot. The principal is also involved in everything that goes on at the school. Students are placed in groups for reading and Math with other peers of their level. My child has learned more in 9 weeks than the whole year in their previous Charter school last year!.
We love this school. The strong character first program is brilliant. They are not pumping out kids that can rattle off numbers but teaching, training, and guiding students to be strong, smart, confident citizens for the world. Two teachers per class is so helpful to the students. They are easy to talk to and so loving to all the students. Its rare these days to see students rushing to hug their teachers but I've seen it day after day from the kindergarteners to the 5th graders.
LOVE this school and am thankful that all my children are enrolled. If you want a school that embraces our Western heritage and tradition then you will enjoy this school. If you just compare the TCAP scores to the district and state results you will see that JICES is in the mid-90% while the others are about 75% proficient. There are rules and guidelines, uniforms and pride in appearance so if that is not for you then this school would not be for you. Personally, I welcome these things as life lessons for my children. The classes are small and there is individual attention. For example, my son was below average in math and he received intensive instruction until he caught up. There is a second math class after school called "double dose" and that sort of boost helped him catch up. Now, 4 months later, he is in advanced math. I also like that they are an all-cursive school. I can't say enough in this small space about how much I love JICES. I recommend that you take the tour (sign up at the front office) and see for yourself.
I am very happy to have all my children at JICS. I believe the teachers really do care!
I thought sending my child to JICES was the best choice but let's just say I was completely wrong. I want my child to have a great learning environment. I feel as if the children are treated like robots. The sad part is that the teachers are the same way. They have to teach in a dictating form that well it's hard for children to flow unless they are exceptional. I would love to say that my kid is a perfect students but let's face the fact my kid isn't. They will struggle and sometimes the environment is the one thing that needs to be change. I wish this school would reevaluate how they do things. I have had the opportunity out to observe all three schools and let's just say that the things they stress at the elementary school aren't a priority in the at the others. Our kids struggle for excellence but why isn't it followed through???? I will be moving my child next year into a school that will care for him rather than be concern with appearance and scores.
My son attends this school and I love it. This school is rigorous, and very structured. This school is for serious students and parents who want their kids to learn with little distractions. They are strict here, and this school is not for everyone. My son is a high achiever, and is excelling here. He reads at a first grade level, and is also in a first grade level math class, but he is in Kindergarten. He works hard, his teacher does too. The school is not the prettiest (although the interior isn't bad), there is no library, and no computers because the school focuses on other things like Art, PE, Music, and academics. This school receives the least funding of any district 2 school, but still does well. The school does not provide a bus system, because it is a charter school and the district is not obligated to. This school is a Choice School. You must apply in November of the year prior to attendance. They teach direct instruction, and have an open door policy. The front office administration is so helpful and courteous. If you are looking to challenge your child, look no further.
My students attended here for several years. However, this year I have moved them to another HSD2 school and am very glad I did. I work in education and have watched the test scores and achievement data - this school does not grow kids. If a student comes in advanced, they stay advanced. If a kid comes in unsatisfactory, they stay unsatisfactory. Truly great schools are able to take low achieving students and provide them with interventions and supports to move forward WITHOUT the "gift of time" or retaining them. I do not blame the teachers, I simply think they do not have the resources and skills to grow students, their answer instead is to offer tutoring (by unlicensed teachers) or having students repeat grades. My children now have 30-45 minutes of homework (rather than 2+ hours), are enjoying school, and are already showing academic gains.
I am so grateful knowing that my children go to James Irwin Elementary School. The core knowledge they're teaching is remarkable.
I just read a few one star comments. Sad because these parents are blaming the school for teaching their children or child the best way possible. Come on parents. It is our responsibility to follow up what our children had learned in school. Don't be mad for sitting down with your student guiding them while doing their homework. Instead, be thankful that everyday we have at least two hours to spend quality time - and that is learning, with our children. JAMES IRWIN IS ON TOP 100 SCHOOLS IN COLORADO. We have almost 950 Elementary School here in our state and being on top 100 is an honor. Why??? Hey, it is the QUALITY OF TEACHING JAMES IRWIN IS GIVING OUR CHILDREN. I agree, if learning and be the best is not your goal for your kids just go ahead pull them out from JICES because I am pretty sure lots of kids are still on the wait list whose parents are very eager to join the JICES Family. TO JICES - GREAT JOB YOU GUYS.
Our grandchildren attend James Irwin Elementary. We live in Georgia, visit often (6 times last year) and attend school programs and have sat-in during class. So impressive, the teachers know how to hold the children's attention. They learn to chant important facts and historical events, which helps them recall during a test. Great teachers who must perform their duties, NO UNIONS.
James Irwin is phenomenal! If your goal is to raise a child of character, discipline and determination to succeed, what a great partner to help you get them there! If providing a private school level education is important to you (though this one is of no cost) then you will not find a better school in Colorado Springs-I am sure of it. My son started here in Kindergarten of this year, and the amount he's learned up til now (it is May 2013) is MIND BOGGLING! And the best part is HE LOVES IT!! The communication flows freely between his teacher and I...they truly take the time to be sure that you and them are partnered in your child's education. I could go on and on, but there are only so many characters allowed-LOL. I also have a daughter who began in J.I. in 6th grade and is now a sophomore,. The middle and high schools are as top notch as the elementary. Without a doubt...James Irwin has been one of the best decisions I've ever made for my family.
I am so proud of the 4th Graders! You have done an amazing job with teaching them music and specifically the Recorder. My Daughter has enjoyed this so much! She especially loved the challenge that you put out for them to earn the different colored karate belts! This was such a neat program! The poetry and periodic table memorization was Awesome! Thanks to All the 4th Grade Teachers! They were all amazing!
I have to step up here. As a parent of a long-term student at JICES, I am appalled at the attitudes of the REVIEWS here. You must understand JICES is a school of choice and it is a school focused on academics. If your son has the talent and skill to be a great football player, James Irwin is not for him. If your daughter wants be a singer and dancer, James Irwin is not for her. So what? Please understand JICES offering tutoring, a chance to retake a year is a blessing to your child; it's a sink or swim world, there a few "do-overs" in the real world. Would you rather have a chance to move your child to a different school more tailored to your child's needs or lump the F's and have a frustrated child? I'd rather have a happy child and a decent GPA. In all our years at JICES the ONLY disappointment I have is the deterioration of the attitudes of the PARENTS of this school. Honestly, any parent who claims they didn't know the standards and expectations of JICES is not being truthful and posting such is nothing short of petty and vindictive.
I have 2 kids that both started there in Kindergarten. At first I was really excited for a quality education, but later learned this was not the case. First of all, I am not bitter towards the school but simply want to state very realistic facts. The school teaches in dictation style in which the teachers cite information to the students and they cite it back. One day I popped into class and sat in the back. During the citation process I seen kids raise their hands to ask questions but were told not now. If it wasn t bad enough to have to remember things cited to you, they can t ask questions that may slow the class down. I later asked my son if that happened all the time and was told yes. I asked him when he is permitted to ask questions and he told me during independent work time but that he usually forgets Not good. Starting about 2nd grade my kids were coming home with almost 2 hours of homework every night. The school leaves most of the teaching up to the parents at home. If you have time to home school your kids, then this set up will work great for you. If not, then they will fall behind and it will be the child and parents fault, not their processes.
My daughter kept bringing home her report card with mostly A s and B s. I was then pulled into a conference and told my daughter was struggling in class and they needed her to do tutoring. I was confused about how she needed tutoring with A s and B s. I was told her A s and B s were in material below her grade level. My response to the teacher was to then move her to grade level if she s finding the current material so easy. They refused and said that she was behind 20 lessons from the next work group and there was no opportunity to make up those lessons. I then asked what good would tutoring do if they weren t spending the time working on the next set of lessons. The teacher referred me to their lead teacher for discussion someone who doesn t teach or interact with my daughter, but could probably think of a better answer to my real questions. I had to then pay a teacher $40 a week to tutor my daughter , with no changes, and they still held her back and put her through summer tutoring ($60 a week), which didn t get her any higher work group the following year repeating the same grade. Seems like they are the one missing the mark, not my daughter. - Very sad over waisted time here
I work for the school, although I am not a teacher. It saddens me to see some of the negative comments here, as I believe they truly are not justified. In fact, I notice some of the language used in each of the negative entries is the same, and so it leads me to believe it is only one person here that has an issue. I understand the James Irwin Charter Schools may not be for every child (what school is?), but the school does deserve every kudo it gets from the State, the other rating organizations, and even the parents here on this forum. I understand that some parents would find the school "too hard," "too strict," "demands too much of parents." I understand that some parents have a hard time watching their students have to work at school. But it does not mean it's a bad school. The expectations of student academics and behavior are much higher than traditional schools, but thanks to the incredibly wise and talented teachers, this is an expectations that most kids gladly meet because they see the success it brings and enjoy it. You can't argue with the outcomes: children who are successful students and well-prepared to succeed in future schooling.
James Irwin is a wonderful school that has provided the best academic teaching, positive learning environment, and most well-rounded curriculum for my two children. Both of my children have been at JICES for since Kindergarten and are now in 4th and 2nd grade. The school has a high emphasis on Core Knowledge, patriotism, and character. Not only have my children been motivated to exceed learning expectations, but they have also been put to the test to grow their character, as well. I would recommend James Irwin to anyone who is looking for a "top notch" school in the Springs area.
My son is in second grade at James Irwin and has attended since K. I have been very impressed with the teaching staff, who genuinely care about him as a person, not just his academic success. I love that the school provides flexible grouping for reading and math, which has allowed my child the opportunity to speed up where he is able to or slow down on concepts he struggles with. He loves his teachers and strives to please. With the assistance of a timer and incentives at home, the daily homework assignments have not been extreme (as was cited in previous posts). I was welcomed into the classroom as a parent and was delighted to observe administration staff also observing day to day operations.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
To start a new list, click OK. Otherwise click Cancel.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of James Irwin Charter Elementary School on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for James Irwin Charter Elementary School, including performance data and recently posted user reviews.