We have senior and sophomore sons at James River, both on college-bound tracks. We have found the teachers to be exceptional, striving within the constraints of SOLs and other regulations to provide creative, up-to-date and engaging educational opportunities. Our older son has a mental health condition that impacts his schoolwork and teachers have worked with him individually to help him learn. Our younger son is a self-starter and appreciates the organizational rigor of the curriculum and the just right mix of discipline and freedom afforded (the hour-long lunch for all especially). Both sons have played sports at JR and the coaches have been simply wonderful, committed and skilled. All that said, there are significant challenges. The guidance counselor has been entirely unhelpful in dealing with our older son's challenges, many of the students are from nearby high income households and behave like entitled snobs, and there is not much ethnic diversity. Like all Chesterfield high schools, classes start at 7:20 am, way too early for high school kids, in my book.
This could be a great school, if your child is mainstream and learns "by the book" However, if your child has ADD or/and LD, they are very stingy with assistance. My daughter has ADD and math LD documented by professional psychologist. We were not granted an IEP, just the 504. The 504 makes the student accountable, which is great in theory but highly uncomfortable to the student. The IEP makes the SCHOOL accountable. And it appears, resources are saved for people who know how to work the system or bring in lawyers. On a positive note, my daughter did well in classes that were not math based. But she felt oppressed and judged and therefore did not embrace many opportunities or activities at James River. Very disappointed. She is very talented and I know will do great things in life, but no thanks to James River High School
Coming to work here does not feel like work. The air here is full of friendliness and acceptance. Our school has something for everyone. Whether you are an academic, an athlete, a gamer, etc -- there is an organization waiting for you to join. In response to an earlier rating, there IS an organization that helps transfer students of all grades integrate into our school and that group is the Peer Facilitators. This group gives tours to new students, throws lunch parties for new students, and helps them become acquainted with the students and faculty. James River High is a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and is highly recommended.
This is our first year here, and it's my daughters senior year. We moved to the area one week before the school started and the counselor's and staff worked very hard and fast to get her honors and ap classes scheduled and really made her schedule work. They have also helped us in many ways already, being a single mom that has been so important. She likes her teachers so far. She just can't get her honors diploma due to not having room for the spanish III class. NC has different requirements. But again, the staff has been excellent with helping us! Love it here so far....!
We moved here last year from out of state and my son is a Junior this year. The school doesn't have any programs for integrating kids coming into the High School (past their freshman year). He found it very hard to make friends and break into social circles. However, we've been very pleased with the Principal, teachers and all the programs the school has to offer. They're sure to find something that interests them.
My daughter is a Freshman at James River and is having a very good experience so far. The principal is Wonderful. She is very challenged and the teachers offer lots of extra help during lunch and after school when it is needed. The number of choices of electives is incredible.
My son is only a freshman, but so far we are very pleased. The staff actually has a positive attitude and wants the students to make the most of their time there. The principal is a gem. The school is run like a sensible business.
I attended James River from 2005-2008. I had spent my freshman year in a different state, and I was amazed at all the courses available. The science department is excellent, especially the forensic chemistry class and vertebrate anatomy. The English department prepares students extremely well. The school itself is beautiful and well maintained. I loved my entire time there.