My child has been attending King Open since 2013 and we have had a tremendously positive experience. This amazing school is a hidden gem with an engaged parent community. The school has dedicated teachers and a community spirit that fully embraces the social justice mission of the school. Principal Williams is an engaged and dedicated school leader with an open door policy for parents. I have met with him on several occasions and he is refreshingly open to feedback and welcomes new ideas and change in order to benefit students. My child is an advanced learner who has been supported in the classroom so that he is academically challenged. In February 2016 the school will move to the Longfellow School site on Broadway (Inman Sq area) which is an adorable brick schoolhouse building in a cute neighborhood. In 3 years we move back to the Cambridge St site to a brand new state of the art school designed by William Rawn Associates (who designed the main library). This site will have two separate schools- King Open in one building and Cambridge Street Upper School in another.
Starting in kindergarten, students have the opportunity to be recognized as individuals as each week is dedicated to one student's family. This begins the basis for close relationships and understanding of diversity and difference. This extends in upper grades as students continue to explore their communities and then broader issues of social justice.
The GreatSchools rating of 4 out of 10 is probably a reflection of, as other posters have mentioned, low standardized test scores in part due to families that boycot the MCAS. My kids graduated from King Open in the past few years, but the 12 years we spent there had an enormous impact on all of our lives. The faculty is amazing, the curriculum is rich, and the community is diverse. King Open taught all of us -- including (especially?) me -- so much about school, learning, and being a member of a community. My kids still speak adoringly of the school and the lessons they learned there have stayed with them. I can't say enough good things about this school.
KO is a excellent school. Parents are involved in activities and classrooms, the teachers are great. When Cambridge consolidated KO with Harrington school and moved its location 2 years ago, many families met the news with trepidation. Yet the school's core appeal has been sustained, thanks to the remarkable efforts of the faculty. The school,which organizes its curriculum around a theme of social justice, has scores which don't reflect the academic excellence of the curriculum.
King Open is an excellent school. Parent involvement is high and encouraged at all grade levels, as is its focus on social justice. It is very good academically, in spite of its somewhat low test scores. Many K-O parents oppose this kind of testing and have boycotted the tests, which has skewed the results. In spite of budget cuts, the school provides good extracurriculars, which are bolstered by an very active neighborhood program. It's teachers are simply wonderful.