Our experience with two kids here has not been great. Because immersion is only half the day and students change classes, the teachers are overwhelmed with their student load of up to 54 kids. I am not sure why any experienced teacher would want this job on the English side. There does not seem to be special training for new immersion teachers. Instruction in reading and writing (in English much less the L2) has been weak. Some teachers are very strong, others struggle. Some students learn the language pretty well. Others do not. Oh, and nearly every child I know here has tutoring outside of school either for needed enrichment or needed remediation. I used to be a fan of immersion education, but as it is executed in Seattle, I don't think it's worth what is lost. It is ironic that this school is so sought after. Believe me, it's not worth buying an overpriced house to send your kid here.
JSIS is a warm and welcoming community with very involved parents. The teachers are highly committed and wonderful. The immersion program is a highlight. The new principal is energetic and highly engaged. Overall, we feel quite lucky to be in this school.
I continue to be disappointed with the administration of this school. The school just implemented a new policy which requires parents to sign in when they go to see a teacher before classes. Overall, a good idea, something they should have been doing for years. Of course, I've found that they administration is never proactive, just reactive. Today I arrived with my son and we went to see his teacher before class. I was unaware of the policy and walked as we always did down the hall. I would have expected something like, "Excuse me..." or "We have a new sign in policy.." but what I got was a "HEY! YOU! STOP! HEY! HEY!" I felt like I was being barked at by a chained dog. One could say that they are just really concerned about safety, but considering the fact they lost my son after school three times last year and never called me, I just don't see that they care about anything than ticking of check-boxes and sticking to simple rules. I am really losing any confidence in this school, and if it were not for the fact that our other child went to a really great school, I would have completely given up on Seattle public schools.
I am sorry to say I am somehow disappointed with our experience at JSIS. While some teachers are outstanding some others are not, but I understand that is a fact of life. The principal Miss Alvarez does not seem to be available, it is the vice principal that usually meets with parents when we have concerns. As PTSA board member I am well informed of the school "going ons" but do not believe there is a strong sense of community like other people think. Regarding the language immersion aspect of the program, I can say it is wonderful to see children learn math and science in a foreign language but this DOES NOT make the fluent speakers. I recently realized (from speaking with my child's classmates during a playdate) that none of them spoke their foreign language at a level I would expect from students being immersed" for the last 5 plus years (my child is in 5th grade, and a native speaker). I came to the realization the program does not teach any grammar or sentence structure, so kids always speak in the third person. Finally, the "international school" label is misleading. There are just a handful of "heritage speakers" attending the school. Diversity is slim.
My daughter attended this school for three years. Simply put, their program did not work for her. I had to pull her out of this school. She needed more phonics. Also the classroom sizes have grown to big at this school - around 31 per class. And the teachers always seem overwhelmed.
Amazing immersion program with highly dedicated teachers and strong support from the parents in a very tight knit community make this a first-rate school.
I find that principle to be unavailable and close minded. I don't feel that parents are given the respect of deserved. While the school does have a good reputation, I hope the management can become less focused on himself and more focused on the people.
John Stanford is struggling a bit under the new student assignment plan to accommodate all the students in the neighborhood. There were close to 90 Kindergarteners last year and 100 KIndergarteners this year. The school will rapidly be struggling with serious capacity issues if the district doesn't make some adjustments soon. The school offers a great program with a strong teaching staff and excellent, supportive principal. The high quality exacerbates the crowding issues as parents move into the area to gain access. The parent community is friendly and strong, but the diversity of the student body is rapidly dropping as the English Language Learners are being moved out to accommodate the neighborhood kids.
Outstanding education team - highly communicative - direct and competent. This is a caring community of professionals who put children and their learning first. Love this school
JSIS is a language immersion school that offers either Spanish or Japanese Immersion. Students complete 5th grade being fairly fluent in their chosen language. They have an international outlook on the world and are accepting of all cultures. It is an amazing place to be!
I am a parent of two at JSIS. Although the language immersion program is positive, I am not sure it is such a great idea anymore. I think I am going to look for a more back to basics elementary. There is something lacking in the focus here.
This is our sixth year with JSIS, all in the Spanish immersion program. Our students were the 'guinea pigs' for a new program, which I am happy to say has finally seemed to have worked out the kinks. With a newly revitalized music program and other programs designed to encouragement community involvement and worldwide awareness, JSIS has grown into one of the finest schools in Seattle, public or otherwise. Parent involvement is fairly high, and the school has done much to build a community among the students. Teachers and other staff are becoming more comfortable with technology (such as communicating via email), and this makes things easier.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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