This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Jamestown Elementary School5
Posted June 10, 2014
- a parent
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.