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 “We moved here from Philadelphia when my son was to start kindergarten, and we knew no one. Leeds was very welcoming to him, and to our family. The teachers and co-teachers were very helpful; they met with us before the school year started, and asked my son to bring in something personal of his so they could get to know him before the school year started. Then, they organized a playdate with him and another incoming kindergartener so he would know at least one child. He started at Leeds feeling connected to the teachers, familiar with the classroom, and with at least one friend – all thanks to the teachers there.”

 

Hannah Ray

Mother of two, Leeds

 

 

“All my son’s teachers have been really good fits for him so far, but his second grade teacher at Leeds really got him energized about school. She took time to get to really get to know each child, what they are interested in, and how they each learn. She was willing to give them the freedom in the day to let them learn in the best ways for them.”
 

Netania Shaprio

Mother of two, Leeds and JFK

 

 

“My husband and I decided to move our children from a private school to a local public school when they were entering 5th, 3rd, and kindergarten. It was one of the best decisions we have made for our children. Every day, our children are exposed to children from different backgrounds, children with different styles of learning, and children that have personal or physical challenges. For us, we value the side of education that teaches our kids, through first hand experience, how to learn while sometimes surrounded by real life challenges.  We believe that this education is just as important for our children as the ABCs and 123s.”

 

Keegan Pyle

Mother of three, Leeds and JFK

 

 

 

“Leeds teachers prepared my children well for entering Kindergarten. The school set up several playdates for them with other incoming Kindergarteners, and the kids got to meet the teacher, and visit their classroom before school started. The teachers are very warm, and the parent community is strong. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer in the classroom, if you wish, but there’s also room for independence for the children.”

 

Clover Lewis

Mother of three, Leeds

 

 

“I have been very impressed and pleased by how normalized diversity is at Jackson Street School.  My kids don’t think twice about including a kid with special needs. The race piece, the socioeconomic piece, these are things that we talk about a lot in my family. We have dinner table conversations about ways that we are privileged, and where we fit in society and how other people are treated or mistreated because of where they are. I feel like their experience at Jackson Street creates a two-way street with that conversation, that those values are not just conveyed, but that they exist in action. It’s one of the only communities that I have been a part of where the talk of diversity and multiculturalism and mutual respect is not just an in theory conversation or rhetoric but it’s actually played out.”

 

Jenny Bender

Mother of three, Jackson Street

 

 

“When our family moved to the Pioneer Valley seven years ago, we wanted our son to attend public school so he could feel part of his local community and engage with a diverse group of peers. After doing some research—both online and in person—we chose Northampton because we saw how citizens support the schools, and how the trajectory from the elementary grades to high school is marked by student achievement. Our son started out in sixth grade at JFK Middle School, which turned out to be a perfect entry point, as everyone there was newly arrived from their neighborhood elementary schools. More than being a mere way station for edgy pre-teens, JFK helped prepare our son for the upper grades. Teachers and administrators there were artful, supportive and inspired about working with middle schoolers. And they were in close touch with teachers at the high school about the curriculum and individual students. By the time he entered Northampton High School, our son was ready to enjoy being ‘treated like a grownup’—with choices and responsibilities.”

 

Barbara Solow

Parent of NHS Student

 

 

“Ms. Bachman, a 3rd grade teacher at Leeds Elementary, was a gem of a teacher for both kids, My younger child really did not like reading when he entered 3rd grade; his motivation was near bottom, Ms. Bachman made things fun and challenging, so that he wanted to read every day of the year (and do math even on weekends)! Not only does Ms. Bachman keep things interesting, changing up what she does each year ( we saw this because we had 2 kids go through her class, 2 years apart), but she also motivates!”

 

Amy Seldin

Mother of two, Leeds, and JFK

 

 

“I have two wonderful kids that are currently students of Northampton Public Schools. I am pleased to say that the Northampton Public Schools have given me and my children the best education we could ever ask for.

 

My family and I were very lucky to leave an uneducated poor village life behind to start a new, fresh, wonderful life in America. In January 1990, we finally arrived in Northampton. As soon as we unpacked, my parents asked our translator to quickly find a school for me. Bridge Street was my first school. I would never think in a billion years that I would get the education I needed without paying. It was amazing.

Due to speaking Vietnamese and Khmer all my life back at home, I had no English skills. I had to start from the beginning like a 1st grader even though I was in 5th grade. I attended a little over a year of Bridge Street School, a year of Jackson Street School, JFK Middle School and Northampton High School. The schools I attended were fabulous! The teachers there were so kind and so patient with me. I could not thank them enough for helping me get this far.”

 

Hongvang T.

Mother of two

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