The truth. It's a good school. The teachers I have met are really nice and work hard to help the students. The principal, however, is in it for herself. She does what makes her look good. Some of the front office are really nice and helpful while others look at you like "what the heck do you want?" If you have a child that behaves well in class or is wicked smart, then you get in the advanced classes. Otherwise, your child gets lumped together with the troubled ones and will either sink or swim depending on the teacher/parent involvement. I personally feel that the schools rating would improve with a better principal.
This school is great! The teachers are great! The families are great! It's earned top-honors for it's gifted programs & has on-site YMCA, a parent-funded PE program, a great PTA, and extended after-school curriculum & other activities. BUT, the principal has been driving-away some of the most active families. She's rude. Speaks to parents like they're children. Closes her door when people come in the office. She's unwelcoming, and even imposed rules limiting parent's access to the campus. The school was much better, and has been going down in every measurable way under her rule. Fortunately, the school is now a Charter. When she leaves, I suspect that the teachers & parents will find someone who plays better with others.
The previous reviews are wrong. Rumors are going around that it is one disgruntled parent using multiple emails, that hasn't even been at the school very long and has a history of school hopping when people finally wise up to her unpleasantness. It is a shame that websites like this exist that allow anonymous people to slander hard working, dedicated staff and students such as those at Germain. It is a terrific school!
This school is below unsatisfactory. I am disappointed with the class room sizes, the terrible unhealthy processed lunch service, and the 5th grade teacher's technique on NOT reprimanding students when they are displaying disruptive behavior. My child is easily distracted by children her own age, and it is not acceptable to secretly note child's behavior instead of controlling your students and stopping them in the moment of their distracting behavior. These are 5th graders in ELEMENTARY school, not middle school or high school. Do not pretend they understand how to behave, it is your job as a teacher of these students to TEACH them the required lessons as well as the behavior of a student. These students need to be taught healthy study habits, don't just send your "list" of behavior issues home each week if you don't have the TEACHING skills to bring them up directly with the student when it happens. Besides the lack of a "Teacher" in the huge class, the students themselves seem to be a reflection of over worked, rarely home, stressed out parents. The way little kids gossip, whisper, "date" and talk down to each other is disgusting. Parents of these students should reflect....
Terrible school. Teacher's are friendly YES, however the teaching style and class room size does not help the students succeed. I am pulling my child out, after only 8 weeks. My child deserves an education to build a foundation for success not failure. It is not my child's fault that the class has more than 40 other students, she deserve to have her questions answered. Her teacher should understand each students individual learning style, not pretend every child knows what the lesson is about just because your reading from the same book. I enrolled my child in this school based on the below reviews, but these "parents" "grandparents" and "teachers" are in LALA LAND! You have no idea what a "good" school means. Take the time to educate yourself on what a child needs in school, before you pretend everything is peachy at Germain Academy of JOKES
This school is horrible, mostly because the leadership team doesn't give 2 cents about the children. The good families are leaving in droves as well as the good teachers. Principal Mrs. Ugarte (well know by the students as Mrs. Notsmarte) is unhelpful, unfriendly and selfish. She uses foul language in her office and neglects to close the door so parents and students have all heard her potty mouth. She hides from parents as to avoid hearing their concerns and NEVER returns a call. If you have an issue prepare to take a week to physically track her down. The school is unsafe as the office is left unattended for small periods at a time, very brief periods but none the less. The office manager, Mrs. Alvarez is by far the rudest person on the planet. Rude to parents and absolutely rude to the kids. After 4 years at the school with no PE, thankfully PTA raised money and so now they get PE once a week. No science, yet there are tons of science boxes filled with great learning materials that are untouched, in fact dusty. No art to be spoken of. My son had computer lab in kinder and not again...ever. He is entering 5th grade and we are finally out of there!!
I transferred my child to Germain Street Elementary School from a private school in third grade. He is now graduating and I have nothing but good things to say about the school. The teachers are excellent! The staff is very helpful. The principle knows a lot of the kids by name and can be seen around the school regularly. Another thing I love about Germain is the ethnic and cultural mix of the students. With all this, it s understandable why they have received a California Distinguished School Award.
Germain is a California Distinguished School, which is a high honor based on the the school's high API, approval of the school's application and two signature practices--"Targeted Intervention Program," and "Depth and Complexity is for every student," and a visitation to validate the school's best practices.
I don't know what prompted the previous writer's remarks, but I have always found the staff at the school to be professional, courteous and helpful, even when dealing with circumstances that may not be under their control. The staff has been cut due to the budget crisis, but those that remain are working hard to give the students a great education and make them feel safe and comfortable at school.
My child has been at Germain for the last 4 years. There are a number of teachers that are completely dedicated to the children, and have taken the time to become positive role models and teach the children not only required subjects but what it takes to become a productive member of society. Let me also mention that there happen to be a few bad apples in the staff. I have encountered multiple staff members who are rude and should not be working in an elementary school.