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.
My daughter is a twice exceptional child - extremely gifted, but also with special needs. The teachers and staff have been very sensitive to her needs and issues and work with us to ensure her needs are met. The smaller school and class sizes (for middle school) as opposed to what she'd have at Hammond make a very big and positive difference for her. We greatly appreciate the levels of communication and willingness to work with families to ensure a positive education experience for the children.
When we compared homework loads between our daughter and kindergartners (kindergartners!) from other schools, we were pleased to see that our teacher wasn't a drill and kill teacher. A full day of Kindergarten is plenty for a 5-6 year old. And we haven't missed it.
This school has changed principals often. The new building has not changed the staff. They only offer Spanish and middle school students have to go to GW for after school activities. Spend time at this school in the classrooms and meet with the current principal before making a decision to send your child here.
Jefferson Huston middle school is a great school am very happy Faculty and staff focus on developing students are learning independence and take personal responsibility for their assignments. I believe this makes the students prepared for High school. Jefferson Huston is the best best school from 0ld Town Virginia JF keep up the wonderful work.