As a parent of several children (grades 2-9) with a range of learning abilities, I have seen JD pre-Common Core & post CC. I liked it before. I feel we are pressured to meet CC standards as well as the high performance standards set by the school district. This creates a rather unfriendly, fast-paced academic environment with little to no hands-on learning. For the advanced students, this might be a great change. But, for many students, it creates a challenging, stressful learning environ. However, JD seems to do their best with the new standards, and give more opportunities for student assistance than other districts. They even support parents concerns about CC. NO district is perfect. Some teachers & staff are better than others. BUT, the overall atmosphere is very pro-student, pro-learning, pro-opportunity for all. A small district lends itself to a more personal interaction between staff, students, and parents. Our elementary school PTG fosters strong relations among the school's community. As another reviewer pointed out, there is ONE middle school and ONE high school..creating a closer knit community. The superintendent even comes to EVERY school concert & most functions. Language, music/arts, sports, volunteering, and a plethora of extra-curricular activities await students at JD...something for everyone. Very happy to be a part of this district.
I hesitate to point out only a few teachers as so many care deeply about their work. But, these teachers work with students in very challenging situations and go above & beyond to help their students succeed: Mike Melfi, Susan Howes, and Michelle Aquino. Just exceptional teachers. Thank you!
The *average* teacher puts forth a lot of effort to help their students succeed. This is, no doubt, due to JD performance pressures as well as those expected by NYS. I could understand how the teachers might be burnt out after a few years!
No doubt, JD has a certain academic reputation to maintain. Along with the Common Core standards, it has resulted in a *tremendous* amount of work both IN and OUT of the classroom. It is too overwhelming, but I think CC shoulders most of the blame here.
Failures are embraced as learning opportunities with much (MUCH) encouragement from staff to keep trying. Also, "modified sports" (gr 7/8) are very inclusive, unlike other districts. This allows any student to try a sport (s)he might not have played before, and the coaches are always positive.
My school is a great school with an amazing curriculum and has a great staff. There are many academic opportunities as well as the learning of many cultures,art, and music. This school is dedicated to being a community where everyone is welcomed.
Moving out of a larger populated school into this one, I am very pleased for my now 7th and 8th grader that started in January. They start languages in 6th grade! One of my children takes Chinese. There are upper level classes such as advanced art, honors language and honors math. The school strives on being a "community" type of school. Many people know and care about each other. The school population is about 240 per class grade which is incredible! My children were able to adapt very quickly and staff were very helpful with that transition. The principals all know my children as well as most of the teachers, whereas the old school they did not (900 per class grade). Everyone is accepted and it is not a snobby school where a neighboring school district has that rep. Academics are diverse and important. Sports are available but not above all importance like some districts. The whole child is celebrated for all sorts: music, art, sports, language etc, I really recommend this school district for all the reasons above. Many people move into this area because of the schools. 3 elementary, ONE middle and ONE high school. I can only say good things.