For those parents not able to spend $30 - $40k a year for private school in San Francisco, this is a great alternative. GHS is getting better each year as kids from the sister charter middle school enter GHS. GHS has smaller class sizes than in SF public schools and teachers actually care about their students and are linked into an email and online grading system. Like the middle school, GHS students have a code of ethics and a 96% rate of graduates that enter college or university. This is where I will send my children.
My school is okay. There seems to be a lot of racial discrimination and bullying within the campus community. Not everyone treats everyone else fairly. I don't like this though. It seems hard for the teachers to control since they keep on having meetings and gathering the different grades from each house to talk about the specific issues. Besides the racial discrimination, I feel like the diversity is not even getting better. It tends to get worse over time. There are many African American and Latinos here; very few Chinese. How is this diverse??? Oh well. I am going into my senior year and I hope that this school changes in a positive way because I want my last year to be the best. I need it to be the best because I want to get into a good college.
Gateway has great curriculum and a lot of heart. The teachers are challenging and caring. My other kids went to private high schools and I am now wondering why I didn't take a closer look at a wonderful charter school such as Gateway. My son is both gifted and has some learning differences. The teachers have been quick to understand and responsive to his needs and gifts. We love Gateway.
Here's an update to my 2009 freshman "We love Gateway" review. My son is a junior at Gateway. This review is from my perspective; I can only refer to the interactions my son and I have had with his teachers, the Principal, Vice Principal/s and the Executive Director. My son is African American. 99%-100% of the teachers are white and the Principal and Executive Director are white. That shouldn t matter, but it does. The teachers haven t the skills to address the cultural diversity of their students appropriately; therefore, students are negatively misjudged. The teaching is inconsistent; depending on how many students are allowed to disrupt the class and how well the teacher is able to connect and engage them. Over these three years, students have been asked to leave if they re failing, expelled or dropped out. Mostly it seemed to be the African American male students.
Gateway has phenomenal teachers and staff who are not only well qualified, but continually enthusiastic and actually seem happy to be teaching and working with teens. Sharon Olken provides the kind of leadership that makes a difference in both the culture of the school and the well-being of the students. This truly is the "private school of public schools" offering college counseling, tutoring, a Learning Center, community service, Project Week and many other ways to support and ignite the students. Gateway does an incredible job working with students of all learning styles, and I want to emphasize the 'all' in that sentence. My son is a traditional learner and he is getting a wonderful, rigorous, college prep education. This is not just a school for those with learning differences. It's a school that brings out the best in everyone. I highly recommend you visit Gateway (and now Gateway Middle School), and see the enthusiasm, positive culture and possibility for your child to thrive and have attend college.
Gateway is extraordinary in many ways, but perhaps most illustrative is this -- its student population contains four times as many kids with identified learning differences as other public schools in the area and yet 95% of seniors get accepted into college. Teachers teach to strengths and continually seek ways to make all students successful.