This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Gilbert Classical Academy High School3
Posted August 14, 2014
- a student
I am a student at this school and I would describe the school as not as good as they advertise it to be. I am a good student and wanted to get a head start when starting college so I enrolled in this school. Most teachers are decent but some teachers are terrible. For example one of my teachers corrects homework while we are teaching notes which sometimes leads to us not finishing our notes and having to do homework we haven't been taught. Everything about this school is above average but not any better than a decent public school. What sets this school apart is the fact that student are given lots of homework and the student's there are exceptionally smart. Many parents put smart kids in this school because it is a "good school". Also tons of kids who can't deal with the homework leave after 8th grade to go to another school. This smart kids left inflate GCA's test grades. You could easily get an education similar to GCA's by giving your children tons of extra work. If you are thinking about this school I think you should look somewhere else.
Good luck with this school, basically every student cheats on the 3 hours of homework they get. Additionally as of this year, the students are forced to eat inside the cafeteria so as to limit the amount of trash left outside. If your kids go here, they will be treated like kindergartners who have to be monitored constantly, they will all be crammed into a room, even if the maximum occupancy of the room is reached. The students are told that they are "exceeding" in all subjects, however ,when you compare the AP test scores of all the other schools in the valley, i'ts easy to see that they aren't any better than the neighboring high schools. This review doesn't even really matter because the school will probably be closed by the end of the 2015-2016 school year, if not earlier. I took my child out of this school because its is just ridiculously over rated. If you plan on putting your child in this school, I'm begging you to reconsider.
Our hopes for a "classical" school were dashed. We expected Latin education, the Socratic method used through much of the instruction, history taught four years in high school, and rhetoric. Unfortunately, you don't have the opportunity for Latin in high school. Latin 1, 2 are only offered in junior high. History is not taught in 9th gr. Socratic method was scarcely used. Group projects were overused. The school appears to be high performing, but it's not due to the material they present or how they teach. Instead, the school benefits by being full of students who would normally excel at any high school.Students who endure the ridiculous amount of unnecessary homework succeed. It's normal for students to spend all day in school and all evening doing homework.There's a false assumption: many assignments plus many hours of homework equals success. This school model is not conducive to long term retention of the information learned, nor is it "classical". The administration was not open to feedback. Most disturbing is the "Springboard" English program. The student's literary experience no longer includes reading complete novels, just segments of books. This is not classical education
I'd rather take a few honors and ap classes and live a great life outside of school where I can pursue my passions than go to a school where shoving as much academics down a students throat as possible is more important than providing a quality education. As a current student going here I know what it's like. If you're an in the box thinker passionate about academics, you'll love this school. If you are a creative type more into the humanities who's an out of the box thinker. Look elsewhere . Not to mention the school will have to deal with overpopulation and limited space next year
We moved our son from a private school to GCA because they falsely advertise use of the Socratic teaching method and emphasis on mastery learning. Having a masters in education and 2 decades of being a leader in the computer industry - I was appalled at both the lack of instruction, poor leadership examples, and practices that contradict what students will need to be prepared for the real-world. Why? Students are not taught but forced to memorize and regurgitate to obtain higher test scores. For example, there were only 2 occasions we tried to speak to our son's teacher to get extra assistance. Both were escalated to the Principal within seconds when we questioned teaching principles around mastery learning theories and that they were not using the Socratic method. We were chastised for coming on campus, our questions never answered, and son was pushed off on another student for help. We were bullied by the Principal when our son was given a 0 because he and a lab partner had the similar answers on a lab they did together. The school worries more about test scores then if the students are actually learning and does not provide good examples in conduct for our children.
Our family has sent two children to the Gilbert Classical Academy. My son and daughter both started there in the seventh grade. My son just graduated with the first class that completed all six years at the school. This class of kids set the standards and now the school ranks 28th in the nation according to US News and World Report. My son was actively recruited by many colleges and was accepted to a nationally ranked private liberal arts college in New York, where he will attend in the Fall. He is able to attend because of the academic scholarship that will cover 94% of the $250,000.00 cost of a four year degree. The GCA prepared him for this. I am so pleased. My daughter will begin her junior year in the Fall and is as successful in maintaining high academic success at this AP/Honors curriculum school. As a parent, I could not have made a better choice for the two of them.
My son is a junior and started here in 7th grade. He has flourished and gained so much confidence by attending GCA. The academics are demanding period! You re ready for any university setting when you graduate GCA. Along the way, you are treated as valuable person by teachers and your fellow students. No serious mischief takes place here or you re out. My three older children went to Gilbert High and did very well...two got scholarships, but this is a much better overall experience hands down.
You'll probably note that the last review was dated in 2009. Much has changed about GCA and unfortunately, not all for the better. My child is currently a sophomore and we're beginning to consider leaving the school. The most significant change is in leadership. The original principle has left and skill set of the new administration is not as visionary or flexible. In a small school the loss of a few talented instructors can greatly affect the quality of education for many making it very difficult to recover. Unfortunately the school has not rebounded from a key loss in the math department. Academically there are now holes in the program which cannot be overlooked much longer. It's still a great small school option for kids who may be challenged in a larger program. There are several talented instructors who make GCA a solid option but attending this school also means losing a significant part of the high school experience. In addition the facility is no where near the standard of most Gilbert schools with a recent admission to asbestos in the plant. Great potential under the right leadership and District commitment.