Our 4th child is still at JBD. The older 3 also attended JBD. We love this school! There are mostly all strong and very talented teachers! The administration is strong and the guidance has always been very helpful to my children. I would never send my children to another school - not even ODC, the gifted and talented school. My children have enjoyed every day at this school. It's a very family centered school with a very strong PTA. The extra programs and the enrichment that the PTA provides are amazing!
We are in our third year here, and can not imagine wanting to have our children anywhere else! The teachers are engaging and caring, and the Administration is active, organized, and involved. The PTA is very involved, has provided a huge variety of programs and events, and is full of parents from all walks of life who seem to come together to accomplish so much for their children. Already this school year, they have implemented a brand new after-school fitness program with record attendance, plus an after-school science program with the best recorded attendance in Va Beach. We even received a printed brochure at Open House with the full school calendar and all PTA events and meetings! Our kids love to learn at this school - that makes us happy!
We had such an awesome Kindergarten year! Our daughter wrote in a journal everyday, did science experiments, learned how to count change and thought her teacher walked on water. We weren't too involved in the school (hubs was deployed) and are just starting to get involved this year. The teacher has been welcoming. They also have a lot of afterschool programs from science to tennis to Spanish for the older kids. We came from private schools and JBD has breadth of programs and quality of instruction of many of the privates. Now, it is a big school, so you won't have your hand held and it moves at a fast pace, but with a ridiculously high SOL passing rate (like 97 or 99%) they are doing something right! My complaints would be that I wish there were a stronger art and music program and the school facility is showing its age. This is one of the best!
I can not believe this school is rated a 10. My daughter came with an IEP and the vice principle was extremely clueless about children with disabilities and rude. She pretty much told us my daughter would be reevaluated to prove she had a disability even though it was diagnosed by experts in another state. She took away all of her services. My daughter was also bullied in her class and her teacher was totally unaware. I am so happy we moved to another school in va beach that is 100 percent better. Do not look at this school as a 10 because it is not.
In terms of teachers and staff, I can NOT rave about how wonderful they are!!!! But the PTA, which run the school, is another story. If I could rate them separately, I would give the school a 5 and the PTA a -3, based solely on how they treat people. Most of them have an elitist attitude and seem to judge people by their wallet and not by what they have to offer, which makes it difficulty to want to be a part of the school. I am currently in the process of looking at other options for my daughter, which sucks because we have only been here for a year and a half, and her teachers have been wonderful. They PTA really needs to reevaluate their people skills! I can't believe they are allowed to get away with being so rude.
I can't emphasize enough how disappointed I was in this school. We moved to a new house specifically so our children could attend this school. During orientation, the principal was cold and unfriendly. The staff had the attitude of "you're lucky your kids can go here". My son was entering kindergarten and had to be tested. While waiting in the hall, other children were cussing and fighting and no one on staff came to address the commotion. After my son was tested, the staff person (who never even introduced herself to me), said, "your son is below level and needs to attend full day kindergarten". I had no idea what that even meant and since she said it in front of my son, he cried as soon as we left the school thinking he did something wrong. Needless to say, my family and I were done with the attitude at this school. We sent our kids to a private school where they have thrived.
In my opinion, John B. Dey is the best elementary school in Virginia Beach due to the administration, teachers, and incredibly active PTA. Whether you child is gifted or struggling, you will be especially pleased with the proactive administration and specialty teachers which give your child very important individual attention. We have been very happy and have 2 children in the gifted cluster program.