We are very happy with the school and our daughter's experiences there. The teachers are dedicated and caring and able to provide individualized attention and instruction to all of their students. The kids are kind to each other and the facility is top-notch. We especially like the wide array of choices for after-school clubs, organized by the PTA. Robotics, yoga, cooking, running, acting, and chess are just a few of the offerings.
Our first grade daughter has about 10 minutes of homework a night, and we use it as a way to wind down after playing and dinner. There is no excessive pressure to complete the homework, so if she has a busy week and is keeping up in class, it is ok if she doesn't complete all homework.
We were looking for a place where our 6th grader would be challenged academically and recognized as an individual. JH has met both expectations. Great teachers and personal attention in a small, supportive environment.
I've raised my review, mostly because of my kid's first grade teacher. I know that this is the age where character comes out (the "Age of Reason"), but I feel so blessed that she has a good guide in her teacher as she navigates her newfound character traits.
I have been so impressed with the teachers. Granted, they have the advantage of an amazing ratio, but our teacher started a book club for the first grade readers at the highest level and still keeps the class chugging along. Yes, it's hilarious that my first grader is in a book club, and says things like "I've got to finish my chapter for book club." I'm hoping that the teacher doesn't serve Malbec, like at other Alexandria book clubs!
We sent our daughter to JH for kindergarten. She is now a first grader. Our child is reading us chapter books written for kids entering the third grade. She describes plant life cycles based on the school garden (and eating lettuce from said garden's bumper crop!). She understands the root concept of fractions, decimal places, and basic math functions. She loves school.
Just as important, the school loves her - from the new building which says "you matter enough for investment" to teachers who are making test scores climb while still making school fun. The flexible common learning areas are fantastic, and she's looking forward to picking up an instrument in second grade - we are one of the few schools that starts a music program that early - because we can.
We are looking forward to the smaller middle school in a few years and putting our second into Kindergarten at JH. When the eldest hits middle school, always a tough time, it will be with her elementary school friends and in a smaller setting. And she'll be taking her little sib to school with her.
Jefferson-Houston does have a bad reputation, but my wife and I found that reputation is a lagging indicator for progress. If you've already made up your mind, a review like this won't change it. But if you're open, visit the school. You might find that the reputation is about five years behind.
J-H has an enthusiastic community of students, teachers, administrators, staff, and parents. It also has fantastic facilities: a new building and K-8 means elementary students have resources not available elsewhere. Test scores are improving as investment in the school has turned the corner. I encourage everyone to visit the school and be impressed by the level of learning taking place.