Over the years when my child has struggled with a concept I had meetings with the teachers. I was given ways to support my child and encourage growth. My child was given additional support and success was celebrated.
My children see the teachers, admin and staff activity making their school a great place to be. From crossing gaurds to cafeteria staff, everyone is 100% present and giving. My kids feel so safe and value the handwork of the adults and other students on campus.
Teachers are highly qualified, admin is strong and visionary, school curricula is rigorous yet mixed with lots of arts, PE, garden and enrichment rotations. Warm and inviting place to send my kids. I work in education and I choose to send my children to my home school which is Gardner. I have happy kids who skip to the front doors of the building. Proud of the work at this historic PUBLIC SCHOOL!
My child loved kindergarten! He had a pretty amazing year. He came home with stories about activities, friends and his teachers Ms. Janet and Ms.Erica. My husband and I were fortunate to have had the schedules that enabled us to be able to volunteer in our sons classroom and also for special events regularly. We met other parents and faculty / staff members who were excited, passionate and dedicated to continuing to make our school a wonderful, positive place for our kids. I'm so thankful for Principal Rosner. I believe with Principle Rosner's leadership and all the committed teachers and volunteers, Gardner Street Elementary will continue to thrive and excel. We're looking forward to another year of fun, stimulation and growth for our son!
Thank you all!
I am a parent at Gardner Street Elementary School. We chose our home elementary school over local charters/magnets.
The reason the school's score dropped from an 8 to a 6 is based on last year's Common Core tests even though the California Board of Education suspended the state’s school accountability system. Moreover, the Board of Education voted not to produce an Academic Performance Index (API) for the 2014-15 SY (the index uses student results to rank schools and to identify those that need improvement). Many educational professionals strongly believe current testing measures affluence rather than learning. Gardner is a Title 1 school with 50% of its children receiving free/reduced lunch. This creates a socioeconomic and racially diverse school. However, this also means 30% of the students are learning English as a 2nd language and many students have limited access to computers/I-pads compared to counterparts at surrounding schools. This is an important fact as last year's test were electronic instead of the paper and pencil method used previously. Unfortunately, in light of these facts, Great Schools chose to adjust Gardner's ranking based on last year's test scores.
Our principal (former vice principal at Wonderland rated a 10) has made positive changes to ensure each teacher at every grade level is exceptional. Teachers are well versed in traditional & modern teaching methods. Ample training is provided to teachers to ensure they create a healthy learning environment and one that supports each child to grow emotionally.
The children receive P.E. twice a week, music once a week, art once a week and enrichment courses that are provided on a rotational basis such as drama and garden. Additionally, enrichment classes are offered after school such as engineering and robotics.
The children at Gardner are wonderful and kind. The landscaping/building structure provides a beautiful background for learning. The teachers are a perfect blend of loving and strict. Both children and teachers are taught principles of talking circles or peacemaking circles. These circles use a structural framework to build relationships and to address conflict within a community. This in turn creates an environment where children play well together.
Lastly, the parents are lovely! They are friendly and involved in making our school wonderful.
This review should serve as both a review of Gardner Elementary School (awesome!) and a rebuke of the "great schools" website (flawed!)
I relied heavily on this website to help me choose my daughter's school, earlier this year. I considered three schools, none of them my home school. In large part, because my home school received a score of 5 on this website, i barely considered it. I considered Ocean Charter, Citizens of the World Charter and Gardner Street. Those schools had scores of 6, 8 and 8 respectively. The only reason i was considering Ocean Charter with a 6, was because I have a friend who works in their office and could tell me that the school was really a special place, that the test scores were quite old (the only measure this site uses to determine it's score), that the academics were strong, and that the place was just wonderful. In the end we chose Gardner based on our multiple visits to the school, conversations with the principal and teachers and parents, and on the fact that the Principal had come from Wonderland Elementary (they have a 10). I admit that I cared about our 8, that I hoped it would go up. But checking the site recently the scores I mentioned above have flipped drastically. From 6, 8 and 8 to 9, 9, and 6.
Did those other schools go from being mediocre to excellent in one year? Did Gardner go from high achieving to middling in one year? Obviously that's impossible. The leap in numbers alone indicates how meaningless the scores are.
There were major technical difficulties with the tests administered at my school, and that the test only scores kids from 3rd to 5th grade and most importantly, that it was a new test administered on iPads that failed to work. When our administrator complained of the technical failures she was assured that this is just the first year of this test, and they are working out the bugs on this round, and that nothing will come of lower scores.
Except on the internet. Where we have lost two full points and have had our reputation as a Great School tarnished.
It won't change our minds, we are having a wonderful year in Ms. Janet's kinder class and enjoying art twice a week, PE twice a week, music, drama, garden and library. We love it. You might too. Just ignore that meaningless number.