Whether or not you get a good teacher at this school is very hit or miss. We have had one that was so-so, one that was good and one that was absolutely fantastic. The leadership in this building is abysmal. The principal seems incapable of making decisions and when she does they are usually bad ones. Class sizes are up to about 29-30 students per class and will be even higher next year. All that being said, this school has an incredible parent volunteer base that provides opportunities for the students that would not otherwise be available, like: Junior Great Books, Passport Club and Art Literacy. Also, because many of the students at this school come from Intel and Nike families, many, many of these students are high achievers and come from families where academics are very important.
I went to Jacob Wismer the first year that it opened. It started off great, with a responsible principal and nice kids. Everyone was very involved and it really felt like a community. The environment was very nice. However, the principal changed after a while, and lots of staff left as the years went by... many of the teachers kept getting pregnant. The hiring of teachers is very biased; they keep on hiring young females who pick favorites. The school has lots of money but wastes it on technology; they get the newest computers like every single year. I went to visit a couple years later when I was in high school and it was a wreck.
Jacob Wismer is incredibly underwhelming. There is absolutely no leadership in this school. If you have a shy, studious child, he or she will be overrun by the bullies/obnoxious children. Wismer promotes 'group punishment', so again, if you have quiet children, as we do, they will lose their recess time because regularly thanks to the misbehaved children in the bunch. Militaristic style with no consistency. If you have young children, and considering a move to Beaverton, look at Bethany, Terra Linda, or Cedar Mill. The only positive I can think of is the tremendous parent involvement.
I went to this school from kindergarten to fifth grade, graduated to Stoller Middle School, and am now in Westview High School. From kindergarten to third grade, we had a very kind, helpful and wonderful principal, but from then on we had new principals every year that didn't really contribute to the school. There's a ton of diversity at this school. I remember that everyone was kind and friendly to everyone, and that we were always excited to welcome new students and even new teachers. The teachers were always helpful and prepared us well for middle school. This school is an amazing experience for all kids.
In 2010, 23 fifth graders were qualified to gifted and talented middle school program. Most parents in JW pick up their own responsibility in educating their kids. They also expect a lot from the school, but a lot of them were disappointed. Despite a lot of drills and quizzes, there is a lack of intention to enhance the intellectual ability of the students (which is also common in most schools nationally.). Some parents are so keen on making their children to be advance, they will find their ways to make sure their kids are well prepared before any sorts of test in school. As a result, the school has very impressive test scores. I find the school is just like any public school in the U.S. Well, it is a green school. I am more impressed by the dedication of the parents to make the school different.
My son attended this school for 3.5 years. Overall it is a pretty good school for average children. My son was highly advanced in math and reading and learned nothing in school on these topics for 3 full years. He was extremely bored and went from loving school to dreading school. Parent involvement was very high, but also very necessary with class sizes in the upper 20s. If any teacher wanted to accommodate advanced or remedial learning, parent help was necessary. We were very pleased with a lot of the parent run programs, including the geography and art programs. We feel the school has such high test scores because the parents take such an interest in their child's education, not because of high quality teaching. After 3.5 years we were finally frustrated enough to move our child to a different school. He now LOVES school and is learning in every subject.
We moved to the Jacob Wismer 1 year ago from a small alternative school, so my standards are a little high. That being said, I think JW is a decent school for its large size. The facilities are nice, well organized and safe. There are a lot of Intel families and so there are quite a few intelligent, involved parents. There are also quite a few Asian and Indian families, so if you are looking for a community, you will find it here. But your student's experience will depend largely on the teacher (s)he gets... especially if there are special needs (504, IEP, TAG) to be met. Make sure you have a good match! The kids spend their entire day with the same teacher (except 1 hour of 'specials') and the same 25 kids... even at lunch. And the entire class + teacher loop for 2 grades.
We moved near Jacob Wismer in large part due to the reputation of the school and area. We've been so pleased with our decision! Our daughter (Kindergarten) is absolutely thriving, loves her teacher, loves the school and is enjoying learning - what more can you ask in the early stages??!!
Excellent School. Teachers and Administrators really care. They go the extra mile. Someone from the JW staff is always working late. The last school we were at was a ghost town at 4:00 pm. I live nearby and see that the principals are often leaving past 7:00pm. If (when) there is a problem, they are very quick, caring, yet firm. The children feel safe and it is a great environment to learn.
Jacob Wismer is a good school for average or below-average students, but parents who want to serve the needs of higher achieving students should look outside the Beaverton School District. BSD and JW administrators are only concerned with the state test scores. There are a lot of students at this school, and rules are necessary. Rules about who you can sit with at lunch and overly conservative playground rules take any sense of choice away from the kids. There are many excellent teachers -- but there are others who should not be teaching. There is a lot of parent involvement, but it is usually centered upon what parents can do for their own children. It is very hard to get folks to volunteer for activities and programs that benefit more than just individual students. Don't be fooled by the hype!
Jacob wismer is a great school. It has great teachers. The students are well behaved. This year it had new special technology class and it also has a lot of after school programs.
A clean and safe school. However, if you have a really gifted kid, this may not be the best place. The school primarily focuses on helping the academically weaker kids to pass state tests.
Many caring, dedicated teachers. Wonderful facility with new equipment, technology, books and lots quality enrichment activities including artists-in-residence program, educational assemblies and authors visits. Ethnically diverse. High level of parent involvement and volunteer opportunities. Amazingly organized and run like a ship to keep all 775 students safe and on-task. A great place and I feel lucky to have my kids attend one of the top schools in the Beaverton School District.
Jacob Wismer is a great public school in terms of a warm, caring environment and dedicated teachers, a decent extra-curricular program. But now they are running out of space and are teaching a class in a portable on the field, which was small to begin with. The cafeteria is so crowded, lunch begins at 10:30 am! They do a good job with average or under-achieving kids but my gifted, overactive child is bored in class... but that could be because her particular teacher isn't the greatest at channeling bright kids' into challenging enough work.
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