Love one of the administrators. The receptionist is friendly. Love LOVE the diversity. That was very important us. That said, most of the families are low income with little education. Most of the office staff is unprofessional. The dual language program is probably the best they have to offer. Most of the teachers in the K-2 dual program have been great with the exception of one. We drive in every day because the bus driver told our son to shut up. parking is a mess.
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.
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.