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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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