ATS is a wonderful school that emphasizes a very structured and positive learning environment for the students. The staff and teachers are excellent, very dedicated, hard working and committed to the community. The turnover rate among staff and teachers seems to be very low and there is a great sense of community and loyalty to the institution among the families. When we were told that our daughter had a spot in the kindergarten class, we thought we won the jackpot. Now our son is in kindergarten at ATS and our daughter is in 2nd grade-we still feel like we won jackpot.
I just graduated and I miss this school. Along with being great it has a lot of fun activities you can get involved in. You are a lot of time in one classroom but you have awesome teachers with you! I like it because there is an assembly every Friday where you learn about other cultures or find out news about upcoming events. They also have a GREAT music department. Every 4th and 5th grader has to be in the chorus and participates in band or chorus. I love the concerts!
ATS is a wonderful school. It took us about two years to get in from the lottery wait list, but it was worth the wait. Excellent visual art and music programs. We have been very pleased.
Drew Model School. Love montesorry program in this school. My child is so happy and I can see her improvement.
ATS is a great school, but it isn't for everyone. And that is what makes it so special. The unifying force at ATS is not only the principal, awesome though she is. It is instead the fact that every student at ATS has parents who choose to send their child to ATS and who believe that education and involvement are important. In terms of skin color and ethnic origin ATS is quite diverse, but the emphasis on learning that comes from every home is not diverse at all; we all believe in it or we wouldn't send our kids here. So if you don't believe that academic achievement is important, ATS is not for you. If you don't believe that character and respect are important, ATS is not for you. And if you re hoping that anyone will, or should, have a soft spot for your low-achieving "darling" at ATS, think again. It's not that kind of school. This is a school where smart kids, even REALLY smart kids, can achieve and not be held back by constant focus on the lowest common denominator. ATS is a stunning achievement, basically a high-performing private school in the public system. If your child is up to the task - and they don't have to be brilliant, just motivated - there is no better school.
Excellent focus on academics, good character and bring part of the community. Strong academics and parental involvement.
My son started school (Pre-K and K) at an exclusive, very expensive private school in Bethesda, Maryland. We were extremely pleased with the school, but because of the expense began looking at public schools. We live in the Jamestown school district, but were only marginally impressed with the school during the tour. We toured ATS and were very excited. My son got in to ATS from the lottery. The principal, Holly Hawthorne, is phenomenal. It is obvious that her vision of the school extends to her selection of the faculty and their teaching of the students. We are confident that our son is getting as good, if not better, education at ATS than the private school he previously attended. ATS puts a lot of emphasis on core values and academic performance. Although it is a structured and formal environment (dress code and strict behavior), it is executed with spirit and enthusiasm.
Our 2 daughters currently attend ATS. We absolutely love it. The previous comment about lack of diversity at ATS is preposterous. Last year, our younger daughter's kindergarten class was one of the most exceptionally diverse classrooms I have ever seen. There were children from all over the world - there were children of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, African (Ugandan), Hispanic, and Indian descent. It was incredible. I love how parents of kids at Barrett say how 'diverse' their school is because it is over 50% hispanic. Is that really diverse?
Not any better than any other Arlington school. My child went to another APS school then transfered to ATS, should have kept her where she was. Very overreated. A bit too much for our family
My son completed 5th grad this June at ATS. He transferred after Kindergarten. He had transferred from the Spanish immersion program at Claremont. While I regret ATS does not offer a consistent second language cirriculum, I believe, for my son, ATS was the better choice. He responded well the the structure and the wonderfully positive atmosphere that the staff creates everyday at ATS. The principal has done and continues to do an excellent job leading her school community in every sense. I also want address a criticism that is posted in earlier remarks on this board about the preceived lack of diversity. I believe for the 2008-09 school year ATS mirrored Arlington at large with about a 40% non-white population. I highly recommend this school.
We are greatful that our now fifth grade son has attended ATS. He has had excellent teachers throughout. He has benefitted from the school's high expectations for academic performance and for behavior/character. ATS fosters a positive environment where children learn kindness and respect for one another as well as toward their teachers. When we attend school assemblies or visit the classroom we are amazed at how the students listen with respect and support their peers, and it is not because of strictness, but because of the positive culture of ATS. ATS encourages creativity. Our son is never going to be famous for art or singing, yet he has received the utmost respect and encouragement for his efforts. There are many opportunities for parent involvement. The school's success is very much a result of the principal's vision, dedication, and talent as an administrator.
If academica is what you are looking for then look no further. This ia a good cross section of arlington kids who just happen to have parents that really care. If you want positive peer pressure that should make your child want to go to school ATS is for your family. The window to apply is narrow--watch out! my daughter enjoyed the science fair since 3rd grade every year- some elementary schools do not have any at any grade. Her desire to play the clairnet was helped because everyone else in also imvolved We wish that all Arlington schools could perform as well. This is a treasure that needs to stay that way.
My child went to ATS before. Then she transferred to our neighborhood school because we were told by a friend that our neighborhood school is very good in quality. We were wrong. What our friend told us is totally misleading. ATS is superior and unparalleled in quality in Arlington. It is impossible to compare every facet between ATS and our neighborhood school. Just take my words, and you will never regret. I would give it a 5 star in every respect except for 4.5 for parent involvement.
Overrated-- no better than any other Arlington School. In fact, creativity is not encouraged as they are more interested in test scores.
Our daughter was accepted to K level in ATS when we lived in South Arlington. When we moved to North Arlington during her 1st grade session, our neighborhood school became Jamestown. I went to the neighborhood school and compared all factors to ATS. ATS is simply remarkable. The force of the school and the reason for its success is Ms. Hawthorne - the principal - an unparalleled force in teaching and administration. The teachers are motivated and instill a deep sense of tradition into the children. My daughter cannot say enough about the school and is so proud to be a student there in ATS. Indeed, everything from the gym to the art room to the computer lab instills pride in the parents of students. The hallways are wide and warm with every inch of space taken by student artwork and projects.
We have had two children go through ATS and we love it. The first one got in at 3rd grade with the lottery and the second has been in since kindergarten. This is a school that enjoys high parental involvement, high standards and a solid education. We found that it served our daughter well when she went to middle school to have had the benefits of the tougher standards at ATS. We are very grateful to have had this experience.
We actually live in the Jamestown school distict, also an impressive school. Our son went through the lottery system and he was accepted to ATS three years ago. ATS is an exceptional school with high standards and expectations of its staff, parents and students. That's why it earned national recognition as a 'Blue Ribbon' Award winner from the Department of Education. It's a wonderful school and test scores are usually the highest in Arlington County and often ranks in the top five in the state. The lottery is worth trying.
ATS has a set program and your child has to fit into it in order to succeed. The approach is very rigid, and indeed, children are not allowed to be children. Their curriculum is no better than any other Arlington public school, despite the hype about the school. There is little diversity in the student population. I see no benefit to sending your child here as opposed to any other county public school. Forget the lottery!
Having had two children attend ATS, I would rank it high in its dedication to the children's learning and fairly low on allowing children to be children. The homework starts heavy in K and is relentless throughout. Most teachers areEexcellent, a few are awful. The principal is tough and at times unreasonable, but she does run a tight ship.
Arlington Traditional was a great building block for my career in middle and high school!
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