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PK-5
Public district
Alexandria, VA
Students enrolled: 902
Before care: No
 

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5651 Rayburn Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311

School website
(703) 824-6970
(703) 379-4853
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Map of John Adams Elementary School address.
Teacher effectiveness: Very effective
July 10, 2015
The teachers are constantly striving to learn new ways to reach out to the students.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Just right
July 10, 2015
The homework at John Adams Elementary scool is appropriate for my child's grade, age and class

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Strongly agree
July 10, 2015
The teachers and staff at John Adams show respect to students and instill respect with their actions.

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Strongly agree
July 10, 2015
John Adams has helped my child understand right from wrong and had instilled lifelong values of fairness and honesty through communication and an amazing staff.

- submitted by a parent

July 10, 2015
My biggest concern in preparation for sending my children off to kindergarten was if they would be in the best hands possible-- would the school staff, administration and teachers be enthusiastic about teaching? The reviews on great schools and other online resources had me tentative about this decision but as I learned more about John Adams through visits, conversations with the teacher and principals, as well as parents of current students, the decision was easier than I had prepared myself for. Our son is enrolled in the dual-language program and spends over half his day in Spanish and consistently sings and speaks Spanish at the dinner table (speaks more than us and he is 5!). The new principal, Jill, moved across the country to take the reins at JA and she is determined to make the school the perfect learning environment for the kids who attend from all over the world. We couldn't be happier.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Very effective
July 10, 2015
The teachers implement rigorous curriculums and as a parent have kept me well informed of my children's progress and what they are learning week to week. I've been particularly impressed with the arts program and the dual language teachers who are implementing the single classroom Spanish-English model. Our kindergarten teacher this year had very high expectations, kept the 19 kids in the classroom well engaged, and provided the parents with weekly newsletters on the key subjects that week. The kids by no means had it easy but advanced five levels over the course of a single year in reading-- in two languages. Despite the large size, the school is orderly and the children well behaved. You can hear a pin drop in 1000 kid assemblies. If you are looking for a lax school where the kids roam the halls and the children are given free range this school isn't for you.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Just right
July 10, 2015
My kids have daily homework in both Spanish and English and are expected to use various learning apps when they complete their assignments.

- submitted by a parent
Develops grit: Strongly agree
July 10, 2015
Absolutely. The kids are held to high standards and many of learning in a second language. These kids define grit.

- submitted by a parent
Develops empathy: Strongly agree
July 10, 2015
The school is preparing children to excel in a multicultural and racially diverse world via its embrace of the racially diverse and culturally rich community where all are welcome. The children, especially those in Dual Language, will have a leg up on what it takes to excel in an increasingly global community.

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Strongly agree
July 10, 2015
The children at the school are very well behaved and inclusive. The big kids are very kinds to the little kids and the teachers and administration to the extra mile to make this large school feel small. Parents are also welcomed via monthly PTA events and principal coffee hours.

- submitted by a parent
Develops empathy: Strongly disagree
June 21, 2015
Many times my child would come home upset. Complaining on what had happened between her and her teacher. In one instance they had to go outside and she requested to get her sweater from the classroom, the teacher responded with a no, that she just had to deal with it. That is not a form of respect and children are children. They are not perfect and they learn from us. Their teachers, parents, community members, we are the role models and we must not treat them in such a way.

- submitted by a parent

June 21, 2015
This school can use a lot of improvement. It lacked academic challenges for my child. She did not appreciate her teacher and many times felt lack of encouragement, enthusiasm, and creativity. She does not feel happy here and does not wish to attend this school again. The after school program, Campana, needs a a lot of help. Many times I have witnessed them yelling and screaming at the children as if they are a menace , disgrace, and other such things. They should not be yelled at in such a way it is a disappointment to parents to see such treatment to the children. I highly recommend until this school has new management and/or this school improves in quality to not enroll your child into this school. Please search elsewhere if possible.

- submitted by a parent

September 28, 2014
Our son has blossomed at John Adams. We began in the dual language program last year and have found a school full of energized parents, teachers and administrators. Established members of the school mentioned that turnover problems had soured their experience with the school in the past, but this hasn't seemed to be an issue for the last several years. We're very happy with John Adams, and plan to stay involved to make the school even better in the future.

- submitted by a parent

September 28, 2014
John Adams is a school on the rise, as is the surrounding neighborhood. We moved to Dowden Terrace in 2010 with a 1 and a half year old and another baby on the way and knew we would soon have to be considering schools-- public, private, parochial- so many choices. My wife and I, both products of public schools, certainly leaned toward John Adams, despite some of the ratings and reviews found here and elsewhere on the internet. Ultimately we did our research and now have our son enrolled in the dual-language program and he/we know we made the right decision, as did many of our neighbors and friends from the neighborhood. The fact of the matter is that the quality of a public school is only as strong as the will of the parents to send their children to that particular school. Every parent that chooses private over public for the reason "if only that school had better scores" is pushing that public further down the charts. More and more parents, as it seems to me, are beginning to make the choice of public education for their elementary students in the West End of Alexandria and we will all be better off for it.

- submitted by a parent

September 27, 2014
This school, located in the Dowden Terrace neighborhood of Alexandria, is the best kept secret in the City of Alexandria. I couldn't be more impressed by the school-- from the small class sizes--19 in kindergarten with two teachers--to the highly regarded new Principal Jill Lee to the standing-room-only PTA meetings and principal coffee hours. This school goes above and beyond to embrace its highly diverse student body and their families--and the result is a highly involved and highly demanding school community. The dual language program has a rigorous curriculum that is only getting stronger, informed by its own coordinator and a PhD from GW who has enriched the program. My child spends 70 percent of the day in Spanish and I am amazed by just how quickly she is learning the curriculum.

- submitted by a parent

January 16, 2014
This school is getting worse every year. The school used to have Honors Assembly program which encourage the students. That is no more there. We want the school to participate in the National Spelling Bee program and they do not have a clue. We need a big change.

- submitted by a parent

July 04, 2012
We've had a hit or miss experience at John Adams. One child was in a classroom with some involved parents and great teachers who gave her challenging work even before she was formally classified as gifted later in the year. My other child had teachers who meant well but weren't able to focus on teaching to students of high ability, no involved parents, and students he didn't click with. The school focuses on serving a challenging population--the majority of students are low-income with parents with limited educational backgrounds, including many recent immigrants. The better students don't get much attention, and have a tendency to get overlooked in classes geared towards getting struggling students to meet SOL proficiency standards. The Spanish immersion program--which gets little institutional support--seems to be the escape valve for the brightest students and most involved parents. There is a small group of involved parents who make heroic efforts to support the school via PTA, scouts, etc., but my sense is that many families at the school are either struggling just to put food on the table or so new to the country as to be unfamiliar with these sorts of activities.

- submitted by a parent

March 28, 2012
My daughter is in first grade, and this is her second year at John Adams. I have nothing but good things to say about the school and everyone I've dealt with, from the classroom teachers we've had to the nurse, social worker, and special area teachers. Despite it being a large school I always see the school personnel calling students by their names which shows that they are committed to the kids and the school. Parents complain about the Spanish Immersion program consistently, but I took the time to learn about it ahead of time to make the right decision for my child, which turned out to be a regular ed classroom. I am an educator, have been for 14 years, and as it is in EVERY school, you as a parent have to advocate for your child. It does start at home! If you send your child to school ill prepared, you will struggle right along with your child. Parents need to stop blaming the school and everyone else and take a look at what "product" they are sending out in the world.

- submitted by a parent

August 28, 2008
My son has Asperger's Syndrome and is getting exactly what he needs in his K-1 classroom at John Adams. We have seen tremendous improvement in his speech, writing, and social skills. We love his teachers.

- submitted by a parent

October 17, 2005
My advise to parents with a learning disabled child is to run! this is not the school, nor the school district for you. When the ignorant state 'it starts at home...', It is the uneducated statement of someone who does not have a child with a learning disability. We know what we have to go through. The no child left behind act is a joke in the alexandria city school system.

- submitted by a parent

March 08, 2005
Despite John Adams did not meet the no child left behind requirements does not mean its not a good school. Education begins at home. It's up to the parents to make sure their child is getting the education that they need. I feel the teachers can only do so much and then the parents need to step up to the plate and take responsibility in making sure their child is getting the education they need. I have a son you attends John Adams Dual Language Program and I am very pleased with program and the teachers he has had for the two years he has been in the program.

- submitted by a parent

February 20, 2005
Despite what testing scores would indicate, John Adams is actually a very good school. I have two daughters in the Spanish Immersion program which is really wonderful. Thanks to the great teachers at John Adams, this school gives a good education. More extracurricular activities would be a bonus (there are few), but being a suburban area, there are many rec departments around that can supplement.

- submitted by a parent

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About this school

We are a large, diverse Title I school serving students in grades preschool through fifth. We are a school with a Dual Language program. For the past four years we have worked with the Kennedy Center to produce our own operas and productions through the CETA program..

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Last modified: July 16, 2015

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John Adams Elementary School
5651 Rayburn Ave, Alexandria, VA  22311
(703) 824-6970
Last modified John Adams Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 4 out of 10 based on academic quality.
John Adams Elementary School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 38 reviews. Top