This is an amazing school for a self starting student. Don't plan on dumping you kid off at an alternative school and expect them to graduate. Sure, they will last in the system but they'll get little or nothing from their education if YOU and YOUR child are not involved!
We visited 10 schools, from tradition, HGT to Montessori, before deciding on the Open School. The school was actually recommended to us by an educational psychologist. I am very happy with our decision! Our son qualified for HGT programs but we found that the learner centered, inquiry based approach and experiential education at JCOS suited his learning, social, and intellectual needs more than other programs. We loved that the teachers loop and they KNOW their students and their needs really, really well. Multi-aged classrooms and leveled grouping have challenged him, he has friends across grade levels, and the experiential elements have him asking us if he gets to go to school. It is not unusual for him to come home talking about opposing forces, flight, and rocket launching. The students are given the skills to problem solve and those skills are used across all subjects. The students problem solve openly with each other as well and it refreshing to see this kind of school community. We also love that the school is diverse. I would love to see more parental involvement. Perhaps this will change. Otherwise...awesome, unique, perfect fit for our inquisitive, bright kid!
JCOS allowed my daughter who has learning challenges to be the best she can be.
As a recent graduate, I can attest to the immeasurable power that the Open School has to change lives and encourage students to learn and achieve. Moving beyond standardization and quantitative methods of assessment, a personal approach is utilized in order to give students positive adult and community interactions that help them realize how to utilize resources and appreciate learning for the sake of learning itself. Now that I am attending college, I have noticed that it is much easier for me to engage in discussions than some of my peers, and also that my ability to think critically was honed before I set foot on campus. I could not be a stronger advocate for the Open School and I recommend it for any student who is self-directed, passionate and intrinsically motivated.
JCOS takes a different approach to learning that honor students, parents, and the community while encouraging involvement in the world, helping to shape it with your own special gifts and talents.
This school is Fantasic for curious, eager, self-directd students who have basic skills. My son went from 5 years in a Gifted and Talented program to JCOS and has blossomed. He and a group of students built a robot from scratch and took it to California to compete in BattleBots. He been on a trip to Florida where students worked on the animal habitats at a wildlife park and then swam with manatee. The staff are wonderful caring people but they will not force kids to do work therefore this is not a school for kids who don't have a work ethic. It is very easy to skate and not get much accomplished. There are an amazing array of opportunities at JCOS but there is definetly an opportunity to fail if students aren't mature enough to handle this type of environment. Great school for the right student but not for everyone.
I was at Open my entire life, until last year I moved to Arizona to live with my dad. Now I'm a junior at Show Low High School. I took huge advantage of open school, and used it for the wrong reasons... It was a huge mistake, and I'm paying for it by not having any transcripts from my freshman year. Open is life changing... it changed my life. You will learn things you couldn't even imanage of learning. It wasn't for me... because I've come to discover that I am not a very self-directed person. Just please, don't look at JCOS as a joke. Because it isn't. It's an incredible, indescribable school.
I was once a former student (Grades 2-8.) I enjoyed my time here during my first 4 years here, but once I went into Middle School which is for some reason now called 'Pre-Walkabout,' I felt like I was very out of date with my education. To begin with, the lack of teacher controlled learning meant that there was less of lecturing periods, which meant for me, less learning. Some of the students were extremely disrespectful, and the discipline made me think that the administrators were listless most of the time. The students there are required to take trips, even if they like them or not in order to 'graduate' from the school. Classes are so easy to pass, you just need to write a half sheet of paper, and you're done.
I am currently enrolled at Jefferson County Open School. I love it! The lack of teacher controlled learning is exactly what many kids need to open up with their self directedness, passions, and creativity. I personally could not stand being at a regular school, it is so controlled and very, very limited. But when i came to the open school i explored my passions, and i know that i will be much better off when i am an adult then i ever would be attending a regular school. Please don't bash the school just because it was not the fit for you or your children. Because i love it and would not rather be anywhere else.
JCOS is one of the finest schools in the nation. Our young peole are helped to discover learning as a life long passion. Teachers --- or Advisors --- as they are called, support, challenge and direct our kids to ever greater knowledge. My daughter, who has attended JCOS since kindergarten dual enrolled in a traditional school for two classes - her first ever experience in tradition school. Each class was an honors class and she finished the semester with a 3.79. JCOS prepares kids to know how to learn; they are taught to be self-directed in their learning and are open and respectful to others in their community environment.
Would be nice if someone dealt with the problem kids. Great concept. Losing something in the practice of it though.
I graduated fom this school and just wanted to share that I loved it. I got to do more things during my high school career than most people do in their whole life. I traveled, I learned, and I most important of all I discovered who I want to be. This school is not for everyone though. You have to be self driven, have a passion for learning, and want to succeed. Not everyone is like that. If you are not self driven you will not thrive at jcos. The teachers are amazing and will teach you so much, but they are not there to hold your hand and push you along, it's not day care.
my children are new this year to Jefferson, and so far their experience has not been good. I have never been so unwelcomed to a school before. I am currently looking for another school for my children to attend. I do not think children or parents should be spoken to in the manner that we have in these last few days of the new school year. I would hate to see what the rest of the year has instore for my children if they remain at this school.
I have been going JCOS for around 10 years now and I have been through the whole program (Elementary, Middle School, and High School). What I love about the high school is that if I interested in something I have the option to explore it through a passage. There are 6 passages (Logical, practical, creativity, adventure, career, global awareness) that are required in addition to your regular classes in order to graduate. Each passage is suppose to improve you intellectually, and personally. You get to choose the topic for each passage, but it has to fit your character, and several other people (students, and teachers) have to approve the passage. I recommend this school to any student who loves to learn and believes that learning can not be confined to a grade.
This school is a fantastic alternative to traditional schools. I have 3 children currently enrolled. Two of my children struggle with ADHD and traditional school was more like torture than education. Classes are propelled by students here and amazingly kids push themselves much harder than any teacher ever would. JCOS does not have 'extracurricular activities' because it is experential learning. Like any school issues arrise such as drugs but here they are dealt with and discussed with the students. Teachers are involved everyday with my kids and even call in the summer to say Happy Birthday. Wow.... My daughter is gifted and was floating through traditional school here she is challenged to not only meet her goals but to exceed them and to appreciate her weaknesses too. She has already finished several college courses and is only a sophmore. This school is for kids who want to learn not drop outs!
This school was not a good fit for me at all. The classes are incredibly easy and the discipline is horrible. I do not like the fact that that the school is extremely undiverse and has drug issues. For some students who are struggling or have been expelled it is a good fit. If you have a low tolerence for easy classes, drugs, discipline, no after school activities don't send your student here.
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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.
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