The following is my opinion only, and my experience and perceptions. Several parents we know agree that some teachers here are WAY too strict, unfair, and some feel their students have even been bullied by teachers. I know of one incident where the teacher alleged something against a student (with no proof, just a suspicion) and then staff (including young, ignorant, green headmaster) interrogated the child, making the child feel they were lying/dishonest. Due to this implied dishonesty, the child broke into tears with their parents at home afterward. Parents (understandably) were absolutely fuming. Curriculum and workload is ridiculous. Homework can take hours. Teachers will tell you kids should only spend 20 mins max doing a subject, but even I, following along with my child find any one subject can take 1-2 hrs. My child and other parent's (that we know) children, are constantly stressed out about this. Grading is overly harsh. Music class grading? Beware!! Student reviews involve the parent/s being barraged by criticism from a full panel of teachers at once--process seems designed to intimidate, don't know any parent that likes it. Students/parents can't ask teacher for missed work if sick (the audacity! They can't be bothered for such things!), students are forced to rely on calling/reaching(if lucky) other students for this. My child has heard racist comments from other students at recess. Tutoring? What a joke--child is expected to get tutoring from a teacher in a given subject in 20 minutes (all that's left after time unloading to locker, locating teacher), with other students there, all clamoring for the teacher's ear, and sometimes having to follow a teacher around who's walking around, patrolling outside. ALL of these things refute their claimed desire to be "compassionate" etc. like all their marketing material touts. Uniforms far too rigid, this will cost you a fortune, books $100 and up. Constantly begging for donations. And I, of extremely modest means, donate the full amount, but it's well known that most of the well-heeled (but incredibly cheap) parents living in the tony neighborhood surrounding the school do not.
School is good...the corporation running the school is terrible. The corporate board of directors has passed a policy that targets and discriminates against transgender students. For more info, go here: greatheartstranspolicy.com
The school does not care about student safety. The school's main focus is money. I am disappointed to say that the parents are constantly asked for donations. Whenever there is an issue, no one wants to help and administration acts like we are bothering them. Great Hearts corporate is even worse than Glendale Prep. Great Hearts is money driven and is constantly sending out clever marketing propaganda pretending to be like a "private school". This is not true. My kids have attended expensive private schools all their lives, and GH is NOT equivalent to private school education. The curriculum is not as challenging as everyone thinks. GH corporate is very clever at its extensive marketing campaign. GH creates long waiting lists, which helps the school with additional locations. The additional locations line the pockets of the corporate executives.
Dictators...no care for students...stay clear you will regret this. Best kids in the world get detention best grades do not matter -40% of grades are participation-kids fake interest to pass. Creating a group of kids who learn to be less than authentic.
My child has attended Great Hearts schools the past few years for both middle school and high school. Curriculum is exceptional and the rigorous courses will prepare many students for state schools and highly selective univ. I appreciate GP’s attempt to provide an environment of excellence. The teachers are passionate about their subject matter and very well educated in their respective fields of study – history, music, math, etc.
Unfortunately, my expectation of the teachers to be just as apt in the discipline of “teaching” has fallen far short of being met. The strong emphasis on verbal participation in every course is especially challenging for a student that isn’t an auditory learner. Just as class discussion is over emphasized, visual and tactual teaching methods are far under-represented. My child struggles with auditory learning so the GP classroom experience ranges from boring to miserable. Only if GP would find a way to deliver a classical education using modern teaching techniques! The classics were first innovative before they became classics.
Many teachers can take good students and produce positive results. But one true beauty of teaching is the ability to help an average, or perhaps even a struggling but motivated student, reach a higher level of learning. GP doesn’t appear to have this latter goal in mind. The faculty seems to “teach” to those students who can already teach themselves via 3hrs of homework nightly (aka "GP is not for everyone"). With so many advances in educational practicum it is hard to believe that GP is so far behind in practice. This includes no technology infused into the high school curriculum. Also, the admin is too far removed from sports programs. Our experience with one "coach" was extremely disappointing- blatant disregard for GP values. We've done a lot of supplementing to make up for these deficiencies - private tutor, camps, club sports. If your child can’t keep up with very advanced curriculum - you'll have to use Kumon or private tutors since GP teachers just repeat the same methods in tutoring that don't work in class. If your child belongs to the substantive % of students that don’t learn best from auditory instruction, consider carefully as it may be difficult to find success at this school. I support school choice initiatives and charter school education, but GP leaves me ‘Waiting for Superman’ (doc ref).