Let me first say, I love Helena. Great little city and some truly wonderful people. Unfortunately, this is not a good school. Having experienced schools and districts across the country, I am familiar with good educators and ones who are there collecting a paycheck. The principal at this school is the latter - not someone who seems to have much experience educating children or herself. And likely is at this school because she would not succeed with greater responsibility or in a larger market. Her attitude is very 1950s "children are to be seen and not heard." As a parent of a gifted child, I've found the best teachers and administrators encourage children to think for themselves, and are comfortable with children expressing themselves as individuals. This school and its principal seemed unfamiliar with the concept of critical thinking, instead becoming defensive at a child who questions. And sadly unfamiliar with the basics of conflict resolution, allowing playground spats amongst children to rise to the level of trips to the principal. My suggestion would be more education for the principal and more familiarity with modern schools and their administration best practices.
We love this school and decided to relinquish our coveted montessori spot to stay at Jefferson. The teachers have all been very responsive both in person and responding to e-mail. My kids feel very involved and a part of the school community, which is important to me. The new math program is excellent and I love how passionate the teachers are about it. One of my children has special needs and when I requested an IEP evaluation everyone from the principal to the school psychiatrist were prompt, kind, and excellent. The parents I know who aren't happy at Jefferson tend to have a combative "it's your fault not my child" attitude, and I think the principal doesn't handle those parents very well, even if the child has special needs.
We moved here this year and have had a great experience with being involved in the school and the teachers. Teachers and principal are very responsive to e-mail communication and very personable. It's way more traditional than the montessori we were at in another state, but so far the teachers encourage the children to learn and be creative while still being very open to all types of learning styles.
wow i am not sure where some of these people come from but we LOVE Jefferson School. I love the activitys they do with the children, they have to most wonderful music teacher who always puts on great programs and the Principal is awesome. I will be so sad the day all 6 of my children move on in grade. The staff and teachers are excellent and we have never had a problem with this school. But then again there are only 2 types of people who write reveiw those who LOVE something and those who had one bad experience, so they just want to bad mouth something. Let me guess you are only bad mouthing Jefferson because your spoiled little kid didnt get their way
I'm surprised at the negative reviews given to this school. We loved how well it has worked for our son...so much in fact that when moving we chose to stay in the same school. The music teacher mentioned is still there and is excellent. The teachers are responsive and communicative. I found the prinicipal to be likewise. Every person will have a different experience but ours has been great.
A very unfriendly and unwelcoming environment for elementary education. I know of no other school that actually discourages parental involvement and volunteerism. Some of the teachers are good, but the principal is manipulative and bossy, and reacts to questions from parents as a personal affront. If you have a perfectly normal child with no learning or social differences whatsoever, he or she will probably do fine here. But if your child is dyslexic or on the spectrum or has ANYthing that marks her as different, forget it. I suspect that the test scores of students here are only superficially high b/c the principal has scared away so many of the 'different' kids.
Terrible school. My younger brother attended this school, as well as myself, for a number of years. My brother suffered from ADHD, and because he was 'disruptive', he was not allowed to attend regular classes with his fellow students, but had to sit in the office all day and do his work there. The only good teachers I had were Mr. Wirak, and the music teacher, Mrs. Berg, although I don't know if they are still teaching there. Jefferson was a dismal experience for both my brother and I.