For a handful of families, it was not a good fit. Social adjustment and behavior took significantly from academics. Tiresome. Several core subjects seem taught for a developing level and getting students ready to learn. For the several leaving, it did not empower them at the A and B grades levels and depths they had prior to 5th grade. Put these girls at a disadvantage already according to teachers at new schools who say they will work to bring them up to speed.
LAJ is worst mistake I ever made letting my daughter to attend school there.she was a happy and confidence child but two semesters there has made my daughter she has trust issues with teacher's.God forbid your child has a IEP it probably won't see day light.
The philosophy of this school is theoretically perfect, but it is very poorly executed and practically impossible to implement. Our daughter attended for 2 years and greatly benefited from the English-Social Studies programming. However, her STEM needs were at a higher level than the school could handle and she suffered academically during those 2 years. Classroom management is poor and inconsistent as the teachers are overwhelmed by a few student's behavior. The principal is smart but she struggles to deal with the high level challenges. The idea of female focused school is powerful, but our media makes it impossible to shield the girls from the sexualized messaging to our youth. The school attempts to discuss these messages, but they seem imprinted on the too many girls before they have entered. The issue that really pushed us away was the disregard for parents. The administration made changes to curriculum and school calendar without input from the parents. The parents were expected to volunteer and do duties as requested without input.
I am an LJA alumni and am proud to be one. At LJA my teachers were the hardest workers I've ever met. They fostered me and helped me find my own opinions. I know I am a better learner and human being having gone to LJA. I was beyond prepared for high school with the ability to write compelling arguments, understanding healthy relationships, and unafraid to excel in my math and science classes. Laura Jeffrey gave me oppurtunites I wouldn't have had elsewhere. I am so thankful I went to LJA and I couldn't imagine myself going anywhere else.
I have not ever, not even once, regretted my decision to go to LJA. I'm currently in 10th grade, was part of the the first class to complete all 4 years, and have seen LJA go through many changes and overcome many challenges. It will continue evolving and improving, but it will also always stay a part of me. At LJA, I didn't just learn the school material, I learned HOW to learn. I learned to investigate, to think critically, to be curious. LJA taught me not to be afraid to challenge myself or to ask questions if I don't understand something. LJA creates a supportive and encouraging learning environment. I also gained a lot from the focus on STEM fields and am planning on becoming an engineer. LJA prepared me not only for high school, but for a life of learning, exploring, and growing; it taught me a lot about responsibility, confidence, and about respecting myself and others. Beyond all of that, I felt a strong sense of community that is hard to find elsewhere, and I developed deep and lasting friendships. I have grown a lot because of my years at LJA, and can't imagine imagine who I would be without them.
LJA taught me to push myself. I learned to go out and investigate and work through problems to find out why things happen. This is very helpful in high school. LJA sparked my interest in STEM, I used to hate it, but after LJA I love science and engineering and math. Math classed at LJA helped me understand why equations work, how numbers relate, and how the math is relevant to me. Math was fun and engaging, so I learned well. In high school math I have been prepared and motivated. LJA humanity classes sparked my interest in knowing the whole story. Learning writing and history together gave me contexts where I could write about things that were relevant and think about how words matter. The critical focus gave me tools to learn things not covered in high school. Learning to write in social studies let me to explore different ways of conveying my opinions about issues. LJA brought me out of my shell and gave me the confidence to speak up in class, and I learned importance of sharing opinions so now I do. I felt supported by all the teachers. LJA also taught me a lot about being responsible so now I respect others opinions, and find my own. LJA gave me a wonderful community.
Laura Jeffrey Academy is an incredibly unique school, but I didn't realize just how special my experience as a middle schooler there was until I started my first year as a high school student. As I started to meet people who had not been to LJA, I began to realize that LJA had exposed me to a kind of learning that was different from what many of my high school peers had experienced at their middle schools. LJA helped me to develop my critical thinking skills in an environment where it was okay for me--a girl--to speak out about my opinions in class, which has ultimately made me a better student. At LJA I also felt like every teacher cared about each individual student and wanted them to succeed, and it was easy to see that the teachers were passionate about the subjects they were teaching. Overall, I am very happy to have been a part of LJA. I think it provided me with a unique middle school education in a supportive environment. LJA will no doubt have a lasting impact on me as a student, as a scholar, and ultimately as a person.
Laura Jeffrey Academy is the perfect way for middle school girls to prepare for High School. In class, we work at very high standards that are both very achievable and challenging. Every student has the choice to work at either mild, medium, or spicy levels. The goal through this is for the medium and spicy kids to go up to spicy by the end of the year. It is challenging for students, but they have grown a lot by the time they are at spicy. So far this year I have read challenging classic texts such as Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, and am now at the start of 1984. I personally (an eighth grader at LJA) had a great experience , and I have learned a lot through the program.
I love LJA so much! I am now in 8th grade, but I started at LJA in 5th. Starting 5th grade I never spoke up and never loved school. Now in 8th grade I love coming to school. Every morning I come in and I know I will learn something new and exiting! I love being apart of the large community at LJA. I love knowing I have so many teachers and students I can turn to if I need help. All girls and uniform make life so much easier. This school has made me the strong, confident, smart, happy, young woman I am today I also have to mention that LJA is really cool. Every year we have Halloween dances, talent shows, field trips, party and much more. Whither it is a random dance party or a silly teacher, every day at LJA is fun and exiting. Lastly I would like to say how thankful I am to be going to this school. I have learned so much about myself as a student and a person. Now I feel ready for anything high school might throw at me. LJA has finally made school fun for me and I know it will always stay that way because of the memories and experiences I have at LJA. I am thankful for my time here and hope other girls get to have the same experiences I get to have.
I am the mother of a 2013 LJA graduate. My daughter loved LJA each of the 4 years she attended, her sever dyslexia. We chose LJA solely because the case loads of the LJA special ed. teachers are about half as large as those of Sp. ed. teachers at the larger public schools. I am a teacher at Central High School in St. Paul, so I am aware of the problems that can arise from heavy sp. ed. case loads. At LJA, my daughter was given plenty of attention and her accommodations were worked in to her daily routine. After 4 years, many other students at LJA were not aware that my daughter had a disability. She was given more than enough opportunity and encouragement to thrive at LJA. Nothing was "dumbed down" for her. The absence of male classmates encouraged her to discover her identity without unnecessary social distraction. My daughter is taking all regular ed. classes at Sibley high school this year. As of the end of first semester, she carries a 3.67 gpa, which puts her on the honor roll. She has LJA teachers to thank for helping her to develop her confidence and her organizational skills. I am thankful that LJA was there for my daughter.
LJA is a fantastic school for 5th-8th grade girls. I constantly find myself thinking "I wish a school like this had been around when I was in middle school." The student-to-staff ratio is fantastic; the staff generally know most of the students in the building by name and are able to form meaningful mentor-type relationships with them. Students are challenged to stretch themselves and are constantly given new goals to meet, and the class assignments are interesting and creative. I am so glad to be a part of the LJA community and others should be, too!
Laura Jeffrey Academy has staff the care for the whole student; academically, emotionally, culturally, and socially. The staff are willing and always go the extra mile to support the students, giving up their personal time to help a student improve and feel motivated to learn and achieve.
We have our girls in this school for its dedication to educating the whole person in a positive learning environment. Great attention is paid to nurturing future leaders who can think critically and ask questions. We have seen our daughter's confidence grow both academically and socially. I do wish a foreign language was offered during the school day. There are opportunities after school for language, however it is only once per week and it is on a pay for service basis.
We are a amazing charter school for girls in grades 5 through 8. Our mission is to provide a girl-focused educational experience where students learn through rigorous study, by asking questions, solving problems, and participating in the community. The class sizes are small, the student body is diverse and students are engaged in all aspects of their learning; including developing a social contract for themselves. Special education services are also very individualized and students needing these services receive high quality services in the classroom. All staff emphasize building relationships and individualizing the learning process to best meet the need of the individual student. Students have opportunities to participate in clubs and sports after school as well as tutoring services for those that struggle in the classroom. The staff are not only high quality, but have a passion to address issues of race, class and gender issues in our society and teach our students how to eliminate these inequities both at school in in our world at large. Laura Jeffrey Academy is a high quality learning environment where students can grow tremendously.
Laura Jeffrey Academy has been a great school for my daughter. She is currently in 6th grade and I've noticed so much growth in her over the past year and a half. She is much more confident and willing to share her thoughts and opinions about a wide range of topics. The school has fostered a very positive attitude amongst the student body and the girls really support and encourage each other in everything they do. I know I picked the right school for my child because for the first time in her life she actually enjoys going!
LJA is a wonderful school that encourages girls to ask questions and make choices. My daughter has a place that cares for her social, emotional, and physical well being as well as her intellectual growth. LJA also gives her a safe place to take the risks involved with asking questions and making choices, even if she sometimes doesn't have the answers or makes poor choices. This is a school that encourages her to find her voice and speak up, instead of encouraging her to sit back and keep quiet. It's a school that helps her get back on her feet after making a mistake and shows her that she doesn't have to be perfect. LJA realizes that growing up is messy and is willing to work with all the girls wherever they are to become even better. If you are looking for a school where things are black-and-white and controlled, where the adults are "in charge" at all times and the punishment is swift and certain....then LJA probably isn't the school for you. But that's not the school we want for our daughter...so I'm glad that LJA gives us such a wonderful choice.
My school is awesome! We have a 5-8 grade 1 period art class, a 5-8 grade 1 period Wellence (Gym is 3 days a week and Health is 2 days a week), a 5-6 grade 1 period Choir, a 7-8 grade 1 period Choir, a 5-8 grade 1 period Band, a 5-6 grade 1 period Orchestra, a 7-8 grade 1 period Orchestra, a 5-8 grade 1 period Orchestra, a 5 grade 2 period Math, a 6 grade 2 period Math, an 8 grade 2 period Math, a 7 grade 2 period Math, a 1 hour 9-10 grade Geometry class for 8 graders, a 5-6 grade 2 period Science class, a 7-8 grade 2 period Science and Engineering, a 5-6 grade 2 period LASS class, and a 7-8 grade 2 period LASS class. Also, you get tought important skills like how persevere, rember which day is health, gym, art, or music, how to stay organized with your school work, and take notes Also you have no chance to fail. If you don't get good grades then you will get extra help so you can get good grades. There in a uniform, but I like to not call it a uniform, because it is more like a dress code, but with cool and fun LJA shirts. It doesn't matter if you love Harry Potter, Digimon, or One Direction you become friends with almost everyone, even STAFF!
In the spirit of LJA s motto Asking Questions, Making Choices please come check out the school and talk to lots of children and families before making a good educational choice for your child. We would love for you to tour the school and see the LJA vision in practice; set up a shadow experience for your child so she can experience LJA. As a parent you can become a reading buddy or tutor, chaperone a field trip, or plan and implement LJA s Annual Farmers Market; just a few ways to be involved in the LJA community and participate in your child s education. Check out LJA s classroom pages at www.laurajeffreyacademy.org and see what LJA scholars are learning.
My experience with this school is mixed. I found the director to be passionate and smart, but inexperienced and ill equipped to handle the issues that are challenging this struggling system. As other reviewers have stated, it does look good on paper. It's a great vision, as with most charters. The people are passionate but the systems are unstable and it's not living up to the vision. Most of the teachers are passionate and skilled but overworked and unsupported. It seemed to have an internally toxic feel to me.
On paper LJA looks great - reality is another story. We had to remove our daughter after she was heavily bullied at LJA in 2010. It sounds like nothing much has changed. The teachers are very, young and inexperienced. Bulling is rampant and often the victim is blamed. When two girls standing behind her in music bullied our daughter I asked for them to be moved away from her. The teacher's response was that she couldn't because they were all altos. Our daughter basically lost two whole years of instruction. She was so tramatized by being regularly told she should kill herself and the near constant offers/threats of killing her that she wasn't able to get back to regular instruction for two years! There is high turnover in teachers and staff as well. If your middle school girl is an independent learner with skin so thick that taunts of "I'm going to kill you," won't bother her, she may be able to thrive here. I strongly recommend kids with IEPs avoid LJA.
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