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GreatSchools Rating

John Adams Elementary School

Public | PK-5 | 902 students

Our school is best known for its dual language and CETA programs

 
Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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11 reviews of this school


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Posted Sunday, September 28, 2014

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


Posted Sunday, 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


Posted Sunday, 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


Posted Saturday, 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


Posted 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


Posted July 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 8, 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


Posted 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


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 72% in 2013.

100 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
70%

2010

 
 
75%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 87% in 2012.

112 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
72%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
83%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

96 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
47%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
89%
Science

The state average for Science was 84% in 2013.

76 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
73%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
73%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 70% in 2013.

100 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
62%

2012

 
 
81%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
82%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 84% in 2012.

2012

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 75% in 2013.

104 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
79%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 73% in 2013.

84 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
64%

2012

 
 
72%

2011

 
 
87%

2010

 
 
86%
English: Writing

The state average for English: Writing was 71% in 2013.

65 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
72%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
76%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 89% in 2012.

2012

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

78 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
53%

2012

 
 
41%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
74%
Science

The state average for Science was 76% in 2013.

85 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
59%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
78%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

All Students68%
Female students66%
Male students70%
Black students78%
Asian students100%
Hispanic56%
Multiracialn/a
White students57%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged57%
Not economically disadvantaged83%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities68%
Limited English proficient students61%
Proficient in English73%

Math

All Students59%
Female students62%
Male students57%
Black students68%
Asian students60%
Hispanic47%
Multiracialn/a
White students65%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged47%
Not economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities61%
Limited English proficient students32%
Proficient in English76%

Science

All Students82%
Female students82%
Male students81%
Black students72%
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanic90%
Multiracialn/a
White students82%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged82%
Not economically disadvantaged82%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities84%
Limited English proficient students86%
Proficient in English81%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. Data is not reported when there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

All Students62%
Female students69%
Male students56%
Black students57%
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanic55%
Multiracialn/a
White students73%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged55%
Not economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities61%
Limited English proficient students58%
Proficient in English67%

Math

All Students71%
Female students79%
Male students64%
Black students73%
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanic59%
Multiracialn/a
White students80%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged68%
Not economically disadvantaged77%
Students with disabilities45%
Students without disabilities74%
Limited English proficient students66%
Proficient in English79%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. Data is not reported when there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

All Students64%
Female students57%
Male students71%
Black students80%
Asian students64%
Hispanic48%
Multiracialn/a
White students67%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged61%
Not economically disadvantaged74%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities61%
Limited English proficient students53%
Proficient in English77%

English: Writing

All Students63%
Female students56%
Male students72%
Black students58%
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanic52%
Multiracialn/a
White students69%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged55%
Not economically disadvantaged81%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities62%
Limited English proficient students56%
Proficient in English68%

Math

All Students53%
Female students50%
Male students55%
Black students72%
Asian students60%
Hispanic34%
Multiracialn/a
White students64%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged53%
Not economically disadvantaged52%
Students with disabilities60%
Students without disabilities51%
Limited English proficient students40%
Proficient in English70%

Science

All Students65%
Female students56%
Male students73%
Black students80%
Asian students91%
Hispanic44%
Multiracialn/a
White students67%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged58%
Not economically disadvantaged80%
Students with disabilities50%
Students without disabilities67%
Limited English proficient students52%
Proficient in English79%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. Data is not reported when there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

  • In 2009-2010, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2007-2008, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".

About the tests


Virginia school accreditation ratings reflect student achievement on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other assessments in English, history/social science, math and science. The 2009-2010 ratings are based on passing rates on tests taken during the 2008-2009 school year or on overall achievement during the three most recent years. Schools are identified as either Fully Accredited, Accredited with Warning, Conditionally Accredited or Accreditation Denied.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Speech and language therapist(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
School psychologist
Reading specialist(s)
Nurse(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Math specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Computer specialist(s)
Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Amharic
Arabic languages
American sign language
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Cognitive disability
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
  • Hearing impairments
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Other health impairments
  • Significant developmental delay
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Visual impairments
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Opera
  • Orchestra

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • Spanish
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many languages and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program school-wide for at least 25% of our population
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • Amharic
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • Amharic
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 2:35 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 6:00 a.m.
School Leader's name
  • Lakisha Covert
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 4 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (703) 379-4853

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Dual Language
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • Spanish
Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Cognitive disability
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
  • Hearing impairments
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Other health impairments
  • Significant developmental delay
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Visual impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many languages and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program school-wide for at least 25% of our population
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • Amharic
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • Amharic
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Accessible via public transportation
  • Buses/vans for students only
  • Transportation provided for special education students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • after schools programs
Girls sports
  • after school programs

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • None
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Opera
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
More from 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..
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


10 out of 10students were accepted for the 2013-2014 school year.


Students accepted for the 2013-2014 school year
902
Applications received for the 2013-2014 school year
902

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Francis C. Hammond Middle School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5651 Rayburn Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 824-6970

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