The teachers at Jamestown are amazing. They go above and beyond and the quality is beyond my expectations. We carefully selected Jamestown when we were buying our home and are so glad we did. There could be more focus on science since the kids are really hungry for more science, though the curriculum is otherwise impressive.
I went to Jamestown for 6 years and it was overall a good experience. The teachers were nice, though prone to changing every few years, so I doubt very many of the teachers I had are still there. I remember Responsive Classroom in a negative light, mostly because I felt patronized by many of the activities we had to do, mostly the morning meeting, and the "we are one in the center" reappropriated Christian hymn we had to sing about love and friendship. I don't know if they still do that. I hope they don't, because I feel like I get dumber just thinking about it. The other problem was the insane clique culture. Bullying happened all the time, and the counselor was awful about addressing it. No matter how many times we talked about what Kelso the frog would say if he was being bullied, it happened, and there were maybe three kids in my grade who weren't seriously bullied at one point by promotion. Despite these things, though, Jamestown did an excellent job preparing me for middle and later high school. My Jamestown friendships are still my strongest, and I've noticed that kids I went to Jamestown with seem to do better in school than Taylor or Tuckahoe kids.
I have a 1st grader at Jamestown and have been very impressed by faculty, leadership and PTA at Jamestown. The school itself has a great feel to it. The halls are always decorated with the kids art work, projects and up and coming events. The education includes, Art, Spanish, P.E. and music; all taught by teachers trained in these areas, so separate from their normal teacher. Jamestown is a technology focused school and has two impressive computer labs, in-class I-pads, and smart boards. Their is also an outdoor learning classroom that teachers use to plant gardens with the kids and teach lessons outside when weather is accommodating. I am very impressed by the teachers that my child had/has and I know my child LOVES going to school. The only two negatives about the school I have are not controlled by the actual school which is lack of diversity and there is only one recess.
Jamestown is a very very good school. Of course there can always be improvements such as more focus on math and science; however, the teachers, administration and parents are excellent. Of course there are some kids who misbehave, but the vast majority are nice and work hard in school. The teachers are all very nice and work hard. The communication with parents is good. The administration is very easy to contact. I think generally there could be even more opportunities for extra academic enrichment and more focus on math and science. Overall great school.
I love this school! I was a teacher at Jamestown for 4 years. I left Jamestown to be a stay at home mom. I would happily return to this school. I felt compelled to write because so often only naysayers post to sites like these. First, Responsive Classroom is a fantastic model for building the community. I was at this school prior to implementing Responsive Classroom and have seen it work wonders in the classroom and in the school community. The idea for Responsive Classroom came from a teacher and was supported by the staff. Second, the current principal is top notch. She was always reasonable with me. The principal helped me improve my craft by challenging my thoughts and ideas and for that I am grateful. With regards to the parents at the school, they are smart, active in the community, and want what is best for their children. As a teacher, this is a dream come true. The teachers at this school care about the work they do. They collaborate with one another to enhance instruction. They work before and after school. Finally, teachers show up at extracurricular activities to show support for their students. This is what community is all about.This is why I love Jamestown.
My son has attended several schools, because we are a military family. This is the worst school experience he (and we, his parents) have ever had. We moved him to a private Catholic school after a very bad year of bullying in Mrs. Hansen's class. My son was repeatedly hit and kicked and verbally abused by two boys in his class. They made sure the teachers did not see them. Mrs. Hansen's response was, "did you ask them to stop?" And that's as far as she ever went. We spoke with the parents of the boys, his teacher, the school counselor, and although the adults said they were concerned, and spoke to the boys responsible for the bullying, speaking to them did not change anything, and we decided to get our son out of that toxic environment. The school has a slogan that states: "Jamestown CARES"--Our experience was that the teachers and administrators do not really care to get involved in protecting kids against bullying.
I have three children at Jamestown, and the experience is...variable. When the homeroom teacher is good, then it is generally a fine, if not spectacular, environment. There is definitely more talk of "excellence" that actually behaving in a way that indicates an openness to continual improvement (which would possibly lead to actual "excellence" rather than smug institutional self-satisfaction.) The vibe is alarmingly bureaucratic for a neighborhood school for young children. Jamestown has a reputation for being a far better school than it has been, in our experience. I wish it would change.
The current principal is absolutely horrible; she is the reason I taught for one year and then decided to move to another school. Her conduct is extremely unprofessional. She values parental satisfaction above all else, even if it is immoral. She forced me to change a student's grade from a D to an A in order to placate the child's parent. She yelled at me when the scores on a standardized math test did not please her. She will side with an 8-year-old child and not consider the expertise of one of her own highly certified teachers. The responsive classroom model is meaningless and encourages no actual consequences for inappropriate behavior. It's all politics at this school, and education is just an afterthought.
We have had kids at Jamestown for the last 6 years. It's been a great learning experience for my children. The teachers are very qualified, the environment is safe and supportive, and most importantly my kids are learning!! Some will say the parents are too involved and difficult. There are some, but that does not represent the general parent population. The current principal is a great communicator and always has an open door. Something I appreciate.
We were so disappointed with Jamestown. My child attended kindergarten and first grade at this school and picked up awful language. My child did not like going to school at all. There was little control in the classroom. I volunteered in the classroom and heard a girl say "shut your pie hole" three times loudly and the teacher never even blinked an eye. When we went to the administration with a learning delay, asking for recommendations for tutors, they had no recommendations. I needed to do all the research myself. Now that my child is at another school, it's made a world of difference. There is now a love of learning...something we never experienced at Jamestown.
I have 2 children at Jamestown and I have found the administration to be very responsive to parent requests/concerns. The PTA is a great group of parents, all of whom are committed to providing the best possible opportunities and educational resources for our students. It seems like there are a number of new teachers in certain grades, but other grades remain relatively stable from year to year.
We moved to Jamestown from MacArthur Elementary in Alexandria. MacArthur itself was an excellent school, but it can't really compre to Jamestown in terms of resources, expectations for excellence, and communications from the administration. The Jamestown attitude in general was refreshing and the community was welcoming.
Jamestown is a wonderful school with a very high parental involvement. Most of the teachers are great and very involved. Our children are happy and love their school. If we ever had any issues the administration responded to our concerns. Yes, there have been changes with turnover but it happens everywhere! Overall, it is still a great school that has many good things to offer.
My children have just entered Jamestown and I have found the atmosphere to be one of excellence. The teachers are great, and my children are making friends easily. The parent involvement is high and supportive. The curriculum, enrichment programs, and use of technology is outstanding. Overall, we are finding Jamestown to be an excellent school.
We have two children at Jamestown and have found the parents and the administration very supportive. Both of our kids have had some academic challenges, but in both instances we felt that we got the support from the school and the Assistant Principal needed to address and overcome them. Because I do not know the facts of the individual situation(s) that led to the 5 negative reviews below submitted May 9 & 10, 2010 (although I suspect that they all have a common origin) I cannot speak to their accuracy. However, most of the parents with whom I have spoken have a good deal of respect for the Principal. I urge anyone considering these evaluations to look at the results of the results of the parent, teacher and student surveys conducted district-wide in 2010 (available at http://www.apsva.us/154010829233400/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=65976) and compare the results at Jamestown to those of the other well-regarded North Arlington schools.
Completely agree with the review saying Jamestown's reputation is better than the reality. My children have been at this school for many years and my youngest child is definitely not receiving the same high-level education my oldest did. There are some very good teachers but unfortunately their number is dwindling as the principal has been driving them away by catering to the demands of a few affluent, powerful parents instead of supporting her staff. The responsive classroom program was begun this year to try to help with the rampant bullying but it seems to little effect. Creativity in teaching seems to be discouraged (way too many worksheets!) but that may be because there is less time available to teach the core subjects as extra art & PE classes were added when the Spanish program was begun a couple of years ago. The school is safe & parent involvement is high.
This school has a better reputation than the reality. The affluent neighborhood surrounding the school provides a steady supply of high performing students with all the advantages of that type of background. This is perhaps the basis of the high scores. The school is almost completely devoid of diversity in the student body. There is not an efffective program in place to prevent bullying and there is a culture of clubiness and 'mean girls'. The school discourages direct back and forth communication between parent and teachers. And while always smiling the Principal is more about positive statements than actual action. There is a 'check is in the mail' attitude about follow up. Teachers are uncomfortable to speak freely. There is a lot of turnover at this school. While characterized as the regular natural turnover it seems awfully high. Many teachers are very good but many are also on the move.
The environment in this school is not great for teachers. There is a lot of interference from the Administration. while there are parents who are pushy there is also a huge supplly of parents ready to help. The litigation is the nature of the neighborhood but part of it is brought on by the stonewall you meet in the front office. We have often been told things that simply aren't accurate. We have witnessed teachers being talked too disrespectfully by the Administration. The concern about lawsuits casues many silly coping measures to be taken that include some 'stories' being told. There was a lot of comraderie between the teachers at our old schooll. At this school they seem nervous. No one will cross the Administration. Speaking out is not welcome. Certain teachers seem to be favored over others. If I had a choice of where to teach it would not be here.
Parents complain about the turnover of teachers at Jamestown and it is not because of the principal, it is because of the parents. Most of the parents are respectful and supportive of teachers, but a few are rude and condescending. Lawsuits and the threat of them are not uncommon at Jamestown. All I can say is, stay away if you are a teacher!
For the most part the staff is excellent, with the exception of 1-2 teachers. The curriculum is top notch except could use a boost in mathematics. Parent involvement is excellent and positive. Great group of kids. Leadership at the principle level is lacking. i.e. smiles a lot but is a weak leader with average follow through on issues.
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