James River Elementary School is an amazing school that gives kids a really hands up in the world. It believes in not only education but culture and character. My daughter loves this school and as a parent, so do I.
We are a proud Dolphin family who feel blessed to belong to the JR community of learners. Only on our first year, we feel the entire school staff knows us so well. Pedagogy and methods are truly IB. We do not notice any of the negaive feedback noted in other reviews. Our kids respond well to their teachers and come home daily excited to share their learning. They are encouraged to be critical learners who are engaged and have a voice. The best perk of living in Williamsburg - James City.
We were new to JRE last year and absolutely fell in love with the school! The teachers are wondeful, the administration is warm, friendly and helpful. The parents are 200% more involved than the previous school my child went to. We LOVE the IB program. It just teaches our children how to be so well-rounded, internationally focused and excellent citizens and community members. The IB program is such a great way to teach...we were definitely impressed. We also love the uniforms. It really levels the playing field and provides for a nice learning atmosphere with few distractions. This is 1 famiy that HIGHLY RECOMMENDS JRE!!!
The school of the Haves and the Haves Nots...and not much in the middle. Not ideal socially. The teachers are great however, the school nurse and the other staff members but there needs to be improved communication with the higher staff in command. I worked here and was a parent as well...we moved and were happy to go. Sorry!
We love JRE. We transferred from the "top" school in the area, where one of my children's teachers was completely unresponsive, cold and totally uncaring and where the "popular" administration was selective in what they enforced and what was addressed. The principal at JRE is caring, talented and manages situations effectively and productively. Both of my children have wonderful teachers, each with different strengths and both highly experienced. The IB program is great and creates better citizens (not just emotionless test takers). Having transferred from the "fancy" school, I appreciate the uniforms and the lack of material distraction. The Spanish program is unique among the public schools in the area, and the Spanish instructor is the most involved, personable, invested person I've met. The school takes a lot of criticism based on its location, but having experienced less than enthusiastic security at the other local elementary, I feel much more secure at JRE, and have seen examples all year of dedication to preserving the security of the school The campus isn't as fancy as the 2 new schools, but it is a great and loving learning environment.
I think the uniform code gives them the sophistication that they desire but once you are in the school you will see it is all a show. The staff talks to the kids in really harsh tones especially in the lunch room when things should be more relaxed. I have had my son go into ABC for things that no one saw happen. They are just dealing with the aftermath of situations. There is simply not enough eyes on the kids. They do not have the kids best interest in mind as recess is being taken away from them. The teachers higher than K do not communicate to the parents about what the plan for the week is. I had hope with the extra things James River offers it would be a much better school. I am very disappointed.