I am currently attending JFK high school and have been for the last three years, a chunk of students who don't care about school and don't try at all bring down the test scores and the general reputation of the school, but if you are a hard working student who is motivated the staff will support, work with and encourage you. You will get as much as you put in, if you actively become a part of the school through AP/IB/Honors classes, sports teams, after-school clubs and other extracurricular activities you will prosper here. Overall I have had a great experience at my years at Kennedy and don't regret coming to the school in the least, I met some really amazing teachers and friends who have shaped my future and will continue to inspire me through my life.
Extreme lack of diversity, no help from parents of many students in the community, a negligent security team(like really, not worth keeping at all(not all, but a few)), and a administration who for the love of God will not push a math, science, and engineering heavy curriculum( no ap comp sci, no principals of engineering, etc).
But, Kennedy does have many programs for those pursuing art degrees, Those pursuing careers in medical field, and those pursuing degrees/careers related to social science.......
I truly believe you can do extremely well at Kennedy if want to. And along the way teachers will see that motivation and respect you for it.
Find a group where you're always learning and always contributing. Each friend of yours should be smarter than you in some way.
Or be a loner, read a ton and challenge yourself both inside and outside of school(best choice).
My advice for student interested in math/hard sciences/engineering: take as many ap/ib math classes as possible, take Mr.argyros' engineering class(extremely important), and take Ib Chem and physics....concurrently, You should be taking Classes at Montgomery college, Umd, or online(programming( I recommend Java and C) thermodynamics, math(repeats or higher level), etc). Or, you should be reading and rereading A TON. Also, you should be actively looking for employment opportunities and internships in the field you're pursuing.
P.s the only languages you should be trying to learn right now are computer languages.
John F Kennedy has horrible reputation. I transferred to this school this year and I love it. The school has a comforting atmosphere, I get along with almost everybody. The rumors are FALSE, There aren't many druggies or bullies. The school is small so everybody knows each other. Please do not judge this school as bad as the rumors say. If you spend a day here, you'll fall in the JFK titan spirit!
John F. Kennedy is a great school by a former student and current student (Me and my sister, who is a kennedy alumni). Kennedy has programs that force you to push your boundaries. For an example LTI (Leadership Training Institute) and IB (International Baccalaureate) these programs allow students to have the tools to become successful. Nonetheless the most important part in a child's education is parents involvement. When its lacking the teachers play an active supportive role to those students that seem motivated and focused. Like any other schools there are cliques. As a former student at a primarily while school I can honestly say there is more mobility and less bullying. The key to a great high school experience is a mix of extracurricular activities, great program involvement, and a good parent/teacher involvement this could found at kennedy. But everyone has to work hard to succeed in life. Alumni's from '06 have graduated from Princeton, Harvard and this includes 2 medical doctors. It sadden me to read that the school is full of drugs because this is a reflection of the parents not the school its self. If parent involvement is greater then the school would be different.
As a former student of Kennedy (class of 2011) , I do have to say that a large number of students are subpar academically, and that there is a serious lack of motivation from students as a whole. This is evident in Kennedy's test scores when compared to the rest of the county's. There were a lot of wannabe-thug types, but you really become dismissive of them when you settle into your own niche. That being said, I had a great time at Kennedy when I was there. My teachers pushed me to do well academically, and I got accepted into the college of my choice. I felt well prepared when I got to college, and have had no problems keeping up academically with peers from other, more prestigious schools in the county. Kennedy's ECs were also fun, and often headed by motivated faculty interested in helping students. Yes, I'm sure some teachers were ineffective, and the administration seemed weak and downright ineffective sometimes (in handling fights, etc), but if you are bright, motivated, and looking for college preparation, Kennedy is a solid place to be. Don't regret it at all.
I graduated in the class of 2008 and while I excelled at Kenendy I certinaly wasn't pushed to go above and beyond academically. I did find though that if I put in the work the teachers were supportive. I found a place in the student goverment, LTI and College Institue. These programs all made my time amazing, but if you don't get invovled in things it can be a lot harder.
I was a little concerned with my first daughter coming to Kennedy and we turned down the LTI program and chose Blair because of test scores and the reputations of the schools. That daughter had good friends in the Kennedy LTI program and they had an incredible experience. So when my next daughter had a chance to attend Leadership Training Institute (LTI) at Kennedy we accepted. We could not be happier. She has grown immensely and benefited from strong teacher and staff commitment and oversight. In particular, the LTI program is a great program. This past year, a new principal was brought in to replace someone who moved out of town. We know Dr. Minus from a former church and love his enthusiasm and his sincere passion and commitment to youth. We recommend this school and think they will continue to make strides to improve.