Good Earth My son is in kindergarten and he has regressed since attending this school. The teacher is overwhelmed and needs a full time aide. The students are all crammed inside a small living room size space. When I observed, there was nothing but unstructured chaos. I rarely get samples of his writing or art. He used to be able to write entire alphabet, read sight words, and phonetically say his letter sounds. Since he's attended this school he has not been practicing these kindergarten readiness activities and I'm disappointed and do not think he is ready for first grade. Even though the staff is overwhelmed they are still kind teachers.
Good for younger children, Bad for any child in 3rd grade and beyond... I believe that the learning was stunted , and now after changing schools my child is struggling and may be held back a year.. do not keep your child in this school longer that 3rd grade
Great little hippy school. I love it. Everyone is nice and has the children in mind. They have make a lunch where the kids get to cook. Lots of fund raisers... I feel bad not doing those but I m not one for selling or participating.
GEM is a very special school with a loving and caring staff. Their concern over safety, health, and the child's welfare is paramount. The educational environment is wonderful, and the parent education nights provide insight to the great works our children learn. My children have been there for 2 yrs now and are happy and thriving, growing independant and responsible. Special needs for behavior, health and education are all met with special care. The down sides: too many fund raisers, not enough extra-school activities for after-school, and with the exception of a few very dedicated parents, a lack of parent involvement. Those who are involved are very involved, and it's a family environment. We love it.
This is a wonderful high quality AMI Montessori School. They have been around for a long time and the teachers are awesome. I would recommend this school to anyone.
I love working at GEM!! The Director has created a harmonious, peaceful environment for students as well as staff. She provides encouragement and support to staff, which allows us to fulfill our duties with peace of mind that if we ever have an issue, her door is always open! All of the Teachers are highly educated and dedicated to each and every student. GEM Charter has an amazing dedication to the environment, promoting recycling, composting and E-Newsletters. GEM also requests only healthy, wholesome foods be consumed during school hours, to ensure every child is provided the proper "fuel" to learn to their full potential! I am proud to be a part of the GEM Charter Family!
We have been a GEM family for 4 years now and we love it! Our son has learned, grown and blossomed under the guidance of the loving staff at GEM. I volunteer often and am always impressed with the behavior of the staff and students. My son loves his teachers and is excited about school. I tend children in my home who attend the public elementary and there is no way I would ever switch. The door to the office is always open and I have always felt free to talk to the staff. We are truly blessed to be a part of the GEM family and I would recommend this school to anyone.
My children have been attending this school for numerous years and we have loved it. The Teachers are wonderful and the administration is available all day to adress any concerns. I would recommend this school to anyone who wants a quality Montessori education and a caring environment.
Like so many other parents, I have serious concerns about this school. I have since taken my children out the program. I wish I had time/space to adequately express our experience. To give you some idea: my otherwise independant child would cry EVERY morning not to go; my child received a head injury I was never told about by the staff; one day I saw my child notice the director approaching and try to squeeze himself between a file cabinet and the wall to avoid her. Every attempt to initiate dialogue with the director was dismissed or blame was directed at me for interfering. I have serious concerns about what goes on in that school. The energy is very hostile.
My children have been attending GEM for 4 yrs and started out ok. They have spiraled downward rapidly and have equipped classrooms with venomous staff. Montessori is supposed to be encouraging and about working with the student to bring out their best abilities. This school is severely lacking positive reinforcement! My 5 yr old sat out more recesses than I can count and was also asked to complete art projects only to be thrown away by his teacher while she forced him to watch. This school is money hungry, asking constantly for donations but never showing where the funds go. They never even send home news letters or calenders. Their car line is dangerous and very time consuming and the office staff are rude and careless.
Our children have been going to this school since they were in kindergarten. Due to growing concerns over some serious problems, we decided to withdraw our children as we felt it in their best interest. Punishment is harsh and children are often dragged into situations were only adults should be involved. Parents are often left in the dark about situations, not able to get straight answers about what is really going on in the school.
We've been VERY involved, supportive parents and feel GEM has wonderful aspects. However, growing (unresolved) concerns have left us no option but to leave. From direct observation, classrooms are managed heavy-handedly, with scolding and punishments given too freely. One particular class is ruled with an iron fist. It's baffling why it's allowed. Recess is only 15 minutes, inadequate to stretch growing legs! Ironically, the punishment principally used is taking away recess. A child unable to perform is motivated by negative consequences. This is patently unacceptable! This school-wide norm has taken a toll on my family and left my child utterly defeated. They want donations at every turn, yet refuse to print out yearly calendars or newsletters. The office doesn't have the 'time(!) or money'. There's a distinct lack of respect for parent opinions. Governing GEM seems to be more about what works for the office and less about *collaboration* with parents.
I have two kids at this school and I have been very pleased with their progress. The school is very welcoming to parents and encourages parents to visit and volunteer. It is a small campus, but that ensures the children are well supervised. When issues have come up, I have found the teachers and the the administrative staff to be concerned, caring, and centered in their approaches to resolution. The Montessori cirriculum allows the children progress at their own pace so no one feels like they are held back or left behind. I like that this school has less than 100 students; all of the kids know one another on sight, which adds to my sense of security and safety. The small setting and school size encourage the nurturing of ongoing relationships that is vital at these ages to social development.
My son has been at Good Earth since pre-school and is now entering the fourth grade. I love the fact the school is very small and 'everyone knows everyone.' Because of it, discipline problems are very rare and I never for a moment have to worry about bullying, unruly behavior. The kids are in general well spoken and well mannered and are highly encouraged to be independent thinkers and learners - all qualities that are sorely lacking in public schools. The Montessori approach is very different from traditional teaching methods and any parent should learn about it before choosing a Montessori school. More after school activities have been added over the last couple of years including music, dance, and chess club. Perhaps the best thing about GEM is my son loves to go to school every day!
I just removed my son from here. He was in the primary class with two excellent teachers and then the director decided to split up the teaching team because the other primary teacher was struggling. Instead of taking ownership of the professional development of the other teacher, the director switched teachers in the middle of the school year. and kept my son with the weaker teacher. Soon after, I received multiple 'incident reports' that my child was acting up. We did everything we could on our end to work with the school to change the behavior, but it didn't work. When I spoke to the director, she refused to acknowledge that the changes in teachers could contribute to the problem. We finally pulled him from the school and at his new school all of the old negative behaviors have dissapeared. I would not recommend this school at all.
The last two reviews came in just after my daughter started there. She came home every day for more than a month crying that she hated that school. That settled down eventually with lots of our time involved, but I agree that the administration is a bit closed minded about even minor improvements. There's a lot of scolding of the children, and ambiguous standards for behavior. While we'll sit out this year, unless it gets worse, I doubt we'll be back next year. The teachers do seem quite caring, but they are limited and frustrated by inadequate support.
My daughter attended this school and I found it to be horrible. I agree with the other parent that there is NO open door policy and my daughter came home and told me things about this school that I found to be frightening. I didn't trust her safety at this school.
Despite claims that an open door policy exists, I was repeatedly discouraged from coming to the school unannounced. The facility is in very poor repair. The teachers seem eager but my sense it that the administration interferes. The support staff is inadequate.
Excellent Montessori based Education. Well-run with a spirit of respect and thoughtful action. Meets and exceeds Arizona academic requirements. Great school for parents who want to be involved in their children's education.
This school is losing it's 'special qualities'. Our son is just starting the second grade,he has been attending gem charter since kindergarten. It was an awesome school! but now? Getting more rules and more children per classroom! they used to keep it to 20-23 kids in a classroom. This year. . . 32! That's alot for one teacher, and the small classroom. Not very happy this year. Too many new rules this year, too. Can't have this. Can't have that. Plain clothing ~ no words or cartoon or picture. They are asking the kids to bring alot of supplies. . . Were are our tax dollars? No music offered in the classroom. An after school activity. No sports. They do have pe twice a week. And they ask parents to help ~ lots.
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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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