My son attended this school last year and we moved this year and to our surprise he did not do well at the test for his grade level in other state. JW always told they taught at a higher grade level and to my surprise they did not!!!
I believe this school is rated so high based on the students that attend, not on the administration. This area is very affluent and therefore the majority of the students are over-achievers. If all of these students were suddenly transplanted to a lower-rated school, that school's test scores would sky rocket and all of a sudden that school would be a 10/10. The principal at this school has made many questionable decisions when dealing with students and some teachers seem very nervous to say or do anything to assert themselves towards the principle - I prefer a school where the principal looks to the staff for input, not a dictatorship. Teachers are really great though - they all seem to care about the kids which is nice, however, if you're looking for advanced education, you won't find it here. We are looking at other alternatives that are truly more well rounded and not just based so heavily on test scores - because, as I said before, the majority of the kids here would test just as well no matter what school they attend.
I have 3 children who have attended (two still attending) Jacob Wismer. I think it would be hard to find a school as great as this one. The teachers are great. I can say that because we have had 11 of them between my 3 children. They are progressive, energetic, kind, communicative, and we have not had a bad experience yet. The building is nice with a huge library at the heart and center. We have found the other children high achieving academically & well mannered. If I had to point out a negative, it would be that after school clubs & activities are not that impressive & that the class sizes are large (27 in 1st grade this year, 31 in 4th.) Also, the students are so high achieving that my average kids feel like they are not as smart as everyone else at times. The school has a very high population of Asian students. So much that my caucasian children are a minority. This is a unique experience for my kids to be having & I am hopeful that it is making them more open & accepting of other cultures.Lots of parents volunteer & the teachers seem to welcome the help. I have found the other parents to be very nice and definitely highly educated. All in all, great school.
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.