There used to be a more detailed list of homework my children had to complete. Now it is rather nebulous, with a menu of options. Although research says this is better, I'm skeptical because it gives my children too much wiggle room.
I have mixed feelings b/c we've had some great teachers, however the school needs more $$. My child has been here for 4 yrs. We have a high tax rate compared to other NH towns however we still never seem to have enough money in the school budget. Classroom sizes are frequently large. For 2 yrs we've been stuck w/ a teacher who yells frequently. There is a counselor but she's overwhelmed w/ the problem children. The support center gives immediate attention to the problem children (who can be violent), but the gifted children only meet with the gifted group 1 day/wk for 3 hrs. They need a full-time child psychologist (position cut 10 yrs ago w/ budget cuts) & they need a way to pay more attention to the kids who WANT to learn. The principal is very involved, but I feel she's doesn't have enough time & not enough budget $$ to hire help. The Parents Group tries to do a lot; there were 6-8 ppl who showed up to meetings but 2-3 of us who did the brunt of the work & I got burnt out. Several lazy ppl just show up to meetings, do nothing to help, made those of us who worked our tails off look bad, yet they had a "voice" in the group. I will never volunteer w/ that group again.
Our child is going into his 5th year at JGS and it has been a very positive experience for him and us. His teachers have been very caring. When he walks through the halls, teachers he hasn't had in class know his name and say hi to him. Friendly, welcoming community. Office staff and principal are excellent. Parents group is also very active and plans fun free events for families - like family dance, spring carnival, etc. Each year JGS has "Dress up in Words Day" -- kids dress up as a vocabulary word and parade around the school. The principal dressed up as "Encircle," with hat and costume. She wore a poster inviting the kids to follow her as she "encircled" the outside of the school building.
The teachers in this school seem to genuinely care about their students. Unfortunately the Principal isn't as involved. She is more of a public figure head and in unaware of most of the going ons in the school.
Thank goodness for this wonderful school! The office staff is wonderful and if you can get in with the right teacher, this school is a wonderful experience for the children. They have gone above and beyond for my children and I feel like my children are truely loved here.