I am a Senior graduating this year, and I must say that James Caldwell provides a solid education from top to bottom. Certainly comparable to any private school in the area in terms of academics. Sure there are some not so great teachers, but they are in the clear minority. And I would go as far as to say that all of the teachers look out for the kids- I have never had a "disinterested" teacher. The administration effectively runs most aspects of the school, although enforcement of things like the dress code, etc could be better. Like I said- teachers are always looking to help you- they aren't out to get the students. The guidance department has been shaken up over the four years I have been here, and there is room for improvement, but I have never had any real issue- all of my college stuff was taken care of in a timely manner. And although sports (mainly football) are considered "important," the athletics program is not overwhelming, and to be honest, even the teachers who double as coaches get pretty pissed when students either miss class or claim that sports got in the way of school work.
This school offers excellent public school education as well as great athletics. I graduated in 2012 and am now attending Northeastern University on scholarship from the Army for ROTC. I took 4 AP classes, was President of the school's band for two years, and received varsity letters in three sports (cross country, winter track, and tennis). I had great success at JCHS. My only regret about my time at JCHS was that I didn't play football. The school's football program is outstanding and really seemed to develop individuals on and off the field. The community rallies around the football team too, and it would have been great to be a part of that.
I have four children,three are graduates of JCHS, who where student/athlete. (Notice- Student is first!) Some reviews are negative about the school because we have a great sports program. What few think about, athlete work twice as hard. They need to maintain their grades, along with the sports requirements of practice, and games. My oldest son was an AP student, went to a Division1 college/ full scholarship for sports. He is now on Wall Street. My other son had ADHD went thru the whole C/WC School's system classified, he too received a scholarship Division1 school in sports, now a financial advisor. My third child was a student athlete, went to College, joined the Military as an officer. Among their friends all where 'student/athletes' now Doctors, Attorneys, very successful business men and women. JCHS is an excellent school, your child has all the resources here that are available at any 'local' schools that you want to compare them to. Our fourth child is not in the school yet, but I am looking forward to every moment once he will be attending!
This school's rankings have declined a great deal between the time I moved into town and the time my oldest entered High School. The Board is obsessed with sports to the detriment of academics. Honors programs for the HS as well as middle school are a joke compared to neighboring districts because the budget heavily favors sports.
I'm going to be a sr this year and trust me there is really not much goin on. Guidance has given me false information, most teachers dont step a foot out of their way to help. Its all about sports - sports are more important than academics, arts, or music combined. Bad game last night? Take the day off. Bad concert last night? See you bright and early.