A.T. Jones closed down on July 17, 2012 due to financial mismanagement. Parents were notified on July 19, just 3 weeks before the first day of school.
I am so very pleased with the education my daughter has received at A.T. Jones Academy. Not only is she able to read and write, spell, add and subtract, she applies science concepts to her everyday life. She informed me when I made a "physical change" (her words) to a piece of paper by crumpling it up. She also noted "cause and effect" when by playing ball in the house it accidently broke her toy. She also tells me about the author's purpose (text to world, text to text or text to self) as she encounters it. I am blown away by the wealth of knowledge she has accumulated in just 1 year at A.T. Jones. She is only in Kindergarten!! Not only does she know it, she knows when to apply it. It is forward-thinking of the school to introduce these concepts to the scholars so by the time FCAT comes around, all these concepts will be second nature. All the lab directors (teachers) I have interacted with at the school have been wonderful! Choosing A.T. Jones Academy for my daughter's education was clearly the best decision I could have made!!
I happened upon AT Jones Academy while researching options for my incoming kindergartener and opted to give the new charter the benefit of the doubt based on the teaching and technology I witnessed while touring the campus despite some negative press. I have no regrets. There were growing pains & issues that could've been handled differently at the beginning of the year, however I feel those issues were handled in a professional manner and as a result, I'm quite pleased with the progress my kindergartner has been making and of the Principal/Staff's ability to answer questions and concerns in a timely manner. When compared to other district elementary schools, where else will you find gourmet catered lunches, iPads, iMacs & Smart Boards in every class room, as well as 30 min of P.E. , Technology and Mandarin instruction? The biggest draw for me besides the technology is the school's willingness to encourage a child to excel and allowing grade lines to be crossed as needed to allow that to happen. I'm extremely happy with AT Jones Academy and look forward to both of my children attending.
My children have been going to this school since last year and it is wonderful. The principal is truly vested in these kids education. Good use of technology, all the teachers are very easy to access. It is a great small school feel where everybody know your name!
The school is losing teachers and shuffling children from those classes into other classes. One teacher left and was replaced by a para-professional without a teaching degree. When she stopped coming to work they broke up that class and sent kids to other teachers. The principal does not appreciate questions. Her response to my questions about the teachers leaving was, "why are you questioning me now?" I'm very concerned about the education of the children being shuffled around, the lack of curriculum. The children are "taught" Mandarin and cannot speak a word of it. Go elsewhere.
Dedicated, visionary principal with exceptional leadership. Strong academic focus with nice extras like lessons in Chinese language, basic finance, and chess. Strong focus on use of tech - iPads, PCs, smart boards, etc. Lots of opportunities for creative art projects. Web sites for homework, videos of activities, and insight into lessons. Responsive and invested teachers.
My daughter is in Kindergarten & enjoys school. I wasn't sure if this school could achieve a focus on reading, writing, foreign language/culture & other subjects (even creative). But, it certainly does! It's not for everyone. Students wear uniforms, parents are expected to be involved, volunteer hours required, discipline issues are not allowed, no early release. It's a strict, but caring environment. Students are taught to respect one another, & their world. I have had many interactions with the principal in the past year, & she has been responsive & honest every time. (even when it makes her job difficult or is not what people want to hear) Its a new school, that's had some growing pains. But, decisions are made with parent input, & the mission is different than most. Every week students are recognized for outstanding work, some kids present what they learned & everyone receives an update from the principal. The teachers we've had always welcome parents in class to volunteer or participate in "fun" events. Lastly, I love that my D eats lunch with only her grade level, has P E daily, & their tech-enabled car line is efficient for pick up! My other children will attend this school.
My oldest daughter has been going to A T Jones since it open and she has made great friends and has learned more than she did in regular public school. It is a private like setting school without the high cost. The teachers there are wonderful and you get to know them on a personal level. I totally recommend this school.
I think my kid learns a lot more than a regular public school. Beside the basic Math, Science and English, she enjoys to have Chinese, P.E., and technology lessons there everyday. I noticed she even sings in the shower in Chinese sometimes, lol
There are a lot of positives about the school. Our daughter was very happy at the school, and she learned much more then she would have at a public school. There are some communication issues, the school is new and the office is understaffed, but I think that the school has the potential to be great this year.
Excellent curriculum, teachers and staff! Since this was a first year charter school and did not have the "dinosaur" mentality of other public schools that just "follow the rules", it's not surprising that the principal and staff had to make regular adjustments that worked best for this environment - it amazes me at just how well they did in such a short time. We really enjoyed the weekly school assemblies in the gym where children are recognized for their accomplishments and are able to share what they've learned via presentations, and where the principal shares information on the curriculum, school programs, and administrative updates of what's going on with the school, and where parents are encouraged to attend. Parents are actually required to be involved to remain in good standing for re-enrollment of their children. Also, there are no half days at this school, in fact the school day is longer adding an elective, after school type class as part of the daily schedule. This is a choice based public school with high expectations and standards, so they do require a lot more than a traditional public school and as such it may not be for everyone.
The proof is in the pudding. Sure this school has bells and whistles (Mandarin Chinese, IPADs in classrooms, etc) but it lacks in teaching the foundations. If you want your kids to learn Chinese, send them to a better school and rent DVDs from the library. The principal IS like a politician. Lot's of arbitrary rule changing, double talk, half-truths, etc. The only reason I give it a 2 rating is because I personally like many of the teachers. I am saddened that so many parents have been duped. And speaking of parents, this is by FAR the iciest and least community-like bunch of parents I have ever met. Good luck feeling welcomed. We came in halfway through the school year with not so much as a "welcome" or even a packet of information about dismissal/class schedule, etc!! Additionally, emails between parents and teachers automatically go to the principal so lazy teachers just lie via email to make themselves look good. The school just plain sucks. There is really no way around it.
This school is like a train running off the track. It started out with high ideals and friendly faces, which faded quickly as the year progressed. For the positive, the academics, for the most part with most teachers, are great. A job in politics might be better suited for the principal, as you can't believe anything that comes out of her office. She is running the staff into the ground. The principal is a complete control freak and the entire school suffers under her rule. I'd be surprised if many of the teachers return. Some of the staff must of been scrapped off the bottom of the barrel because it's a wonder what they are even doing working with kids. I had high hopes for this place but instead have been left with disappointment.
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