We moved to Adams Morgan in Aug. 2008. Our designated boundary school produced low standardized test scores, and appeared to be surrounded by drug and gang activity. We enrolled in a DCPS lottery and were lucky to be selected to attend Eaton. We loved Eaton. The principal, who left in 2011, was like a second grandmother to my son, who excelled in the classroom. He had multiracial playdates with friends unlike any I had as a child. Due to the number of local parents who sent their children to private school, Eaton s student body was comprised many children not from affluent Cleveland Park. However, once the economy tanked in 2009, more local parents started applying to Eaton. Some officials seemed visibly tense when my second out-of-boundary child began attending Eaton in 2011. Dale Mann was hired as principal in 2011, based, ostensibly, on the recommendations of a search committee comprised (to my knowledge) of only Cleveland Park residents. Mann soon announced that he would expel out-of-boundary children who were tardy more than ten times. I felt a greater sense of ownership in Eaton before some local residents decided we didn t matter and hijacked it.
John Eaton is a world heritage school. This means they have a grant to incorporate international culture into their curriculum. They are building a globally minded student body early on, by intergrtaing world cultures into the learning experience. With Americans being in general terms being so insular, this global mindset is essential for allowing our children to grow into cultural sensitive, and competitive in global economy we live in. John Eaton also boasts a diverse economic and ethnic population with dozens of languages spoken. Additionally Mandarin is offered to all the students starting in pre-K. Teachers and staff are caring and the principal Mr. Mann is very engaged and responsive. Additionally, John Eaton has very active parent involment that is constantly putting on events and creating a community. I feel so lucky that my son Gabriel is able to go to such an amazing public school and would recommend it to everyone.
The best part of this school is the principle! his interaction with the kids is above and beyond. He sets high standards for the teachers. The staff not only teach education but they work on manners and your character. I am VERY sad my daughter will no longer be attending Eaton and I and for every grateful for what you have taught her and the experience you provided her.
I agree with many of the comments, but the fact is that Eaton could be a much stronger school academically. It lags significantly behind its peer schools (Janney, Mann, Lafayette Murch) not only in test scores, but in enrichment opportunities. I think that diversity is quite important, but the most emphasis should be placed on academic quality. At times there has been an undercurrent among some parents that Eaton is "good enough" and concern that it not become too attractive to the surrounding neighborhood (where privates still draw a number of students), lest population from outside the school's neighborhood be reduced. (This of course, is not valid, since all existing students and families are grandfathered, no matter whether in-boundary enrollments fluctuates short term.) Finally, Easton needs to get serious about school modernization. While the school site is too small to grow the school, the physical plant is in need of serious modernization. One, small all-purpose room serves all school needs. For some reason, Eaton keeps falling behind in the school modernization queue, and for whatever reason neither parents nor the school administration wants to make waves.
I relocated with my two children from the west coast. I was on edge thinking how my son will react to a new school and setting. It was the best for my son. I dont know why I didnt do it sooner.:-) We were welcomed with open arms by the principal and the staff. My sons teacher is the best!
We moved from CT and had 30 days to find a school for my kindergartener. DCPS was very helpful explaining what schools had foreign language programs, etc. We chose Eaton b/c of the Chinese program and the brilliant diversity of the student body. My son is now in first grade and we are so satisfied on so many levels. The teachers, Principal, and Vice-Principal are insightful, dedicated and creative, everyone is accepting and there is positive energy every day. My son is now a happy first grade student and is getting a wonderful foundation that he will carry through life.
Eaton has a new principal as of Fall 2011 and he is doing things well so far, having replaced the principal spoken so highly of in previous reviews. We feel really lucky to have gotten into Eaton. The racial diversity of the student body is very balanced and this is rare in DC for any school. A large number of out-of-boundary children means that it enrolls children from all over the city--so it's diverse in that way too. The architectural floor plan places 4-6 classrooms off of each common area, so even though it has 400+ children, every area of the school feels intimate. Perhaps as a result, it feels much more like a private school: the kids seem to feel ownership and connection to the place. The current climate among teachers is collaborative, which is a great indicator of both morale and professionalism. Our son came from a tiny Montessori and we were worried he might feel overwhelmed and put off by the institutional aspects of DCPS. This has not been the case; he loves going to school there. He is too young and has not been there long enough to assess academics, but I believe a healthy school culture is key to a school's success and Eaton has surpassed our expectations.
My son went to John Eaton thiry years ago and the comments are the still the same. The only thing that has changed are the new staff members. He received a foundation that was better than the Catholic school that his brother had attended. I am still proud of John Eaton. If they follow their students, they will find that almost a hundred percent of them are successful.
I'm sure things have changed over the years, but I am a graduate of Eaton ('93) and I believe that I was offered the best public education DC has to offer. Awesome teachers and just a great place to learn.
I think Eaton comes out top in many categories. A principal who is always there, greets parents and students by name,helps to serve breakfast. The school oozes ,.diversity diversity diversity,great HSA and parental involvement,great afterschool program and just wonderful teachers and support staff all around. go Eaton!