We moved here in 2006, paid too much for a house so my children could attend one of the best public schools in the area. It started out great with my daughter, who is now in middle school. However, JBW has become extremely overcrowded. My elementary school children hate school. Especially the Chinese class that is mandatory. My kids and other kids get so stressed out by this class they cry and don't want to attend school on Chinese day.
Currently JBW is at 120% capacity and there is talk of building more homes and town homes in the immediate future. This is completely unacceptable. Our county should not approve anymore homes until a school is built to alleviate JBW and Betty Weaver. Where is all of our tax money going? Chesterfield has a lot of explaining to do.
If you have a child that has special needs, don't move to this area. The assistant principal, who is in charge of the special education program, is disrespectful to parents and not helpful at all. From the occupational therapist you will only hear the word "no". They violate parents and children's rights. We moved to another area in Chesterfield and my son is doing great in his new school. If you have a typical child, I guess this school is acceptable. The teachers are great and the PTA is very active.
I have 2 kids there (1st & 3rd grade), and it's their second year in this school. They have learnt so much and they love going to school. I'm really grateful for their teachers and the new Principal (Mrs. Cousins). They are really amazing. Great communication, very dedicated to their student and really great support. I highly recommend this school. The staff at the reception should be more friendly and a smiling face will be very much appreciated.
This is my son's first year at Watkins, and we chose this area specifically so he could attend. Several months in, I cannot say enough good things about this school. It may be overcrowded, but we've seen no negative effects from it. My son told me tonight, on a Friday night, he wished he could go to school on the weekends because he loves his teacher and class so much. And he wasn't kidding! His work is challenging and engaging, and his teacher differentiates her instruction in every subject. The PTA provides wonderful activities, and supports the school well. We are now looking for a house to buy in this district so he can stay at Watkins throughout elementary school.
We moved specifically into this district so our girls would go to Watkins/Midlo/Midlo, and we were not disappointed. My older daughter began in '03-'04 & graduated Watkins in '09. My younger daughter followed 4 years behind & stayed thru 3rd grade when we moved out of state. They both LOVED that school. My younger daughter is now in 6th grade & while she likes her new school, she still misses Watkins. Both girls were well ahead when we moved to AZ, but they were both taught such disciplined learning habits that they didn't become bored or discouraged, but adapted and excelled. Dr. Scott leads by example & takes care of any issues with fairness & dispatch. The teachers (w/a few RARE exceptions) are enthusiastic & care about their students. Those of you with negative comments must remember 2 things: 1) This is a PUBLIC school & teachers/admin are limited to how much they can do based on laws & budgets, 2) Children do not learn in vacuum; you can't send your child to school & expect miracles, you must participate & carry over the lessons at home. Work in partnership with the teachers & school and your child will get more out of it. (And yes, before you ask, I did wotk full-time.)
J.B. Watkins is among the best elementary schools in Chesterfield County. The PTA and staff work together to provide a well-rounded education that includes Mandarin Chinese, Children's Design and Engineering, Performing and Visual Arts that exceed ALL expectations, as well as learner-focused core instruction. The school enrollment is high, but so are the standards and expectations. Watkins is indeed a jewel in the county's crown.