King Open is a school with dedicated and engaged teachers, and this review is in no way meant to take away from the effort that they put in. That said, the school has a principal, Darrell Williams, who cannot anticipate problems or address them, does not listen to the concerns of parents, and who has an improbably low bar for educational and behavioral standards. Principal Williams has failed to address ongoing disciplinary overreaches on the part of his staff that include a child being put into a locker as punishment, children being physically forced to run, do pushups and sit-ups as punishment, and a systemic approach to collective punishment that results in children who are behaving well being punished regardless because of the behavior of their peers. In addition, he has overseen a catastrophic failure in the management of the current 5th grade which has resulted in six children transferring out of a class where his limited and ill-conceived efforts to support the class entirely failed. During his tenure the academic performance of King Open has gone down. If you can possibly avoid it, do not send your kids to this school while Principal Williams is the head master.
Is a wonderful school. A very large immigrant population that is being served well. They could use newer books, facilities and repair work. The school is crumbling. They also have a very good skills assessment program for kids with learning difficulties. Great community involvement. Wonderful After School Programs.
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.