The school advertises a no homework policy. This is mostly true although sometimes work is assigned. In our experience, the teacher would sometimes ask parents to teach their children some math topics.
Unfortunately this school did not work out for us, but not necessarily because the overall approach is severely flawed. Students can learn math at their own pace, although in our situation we saw little discernible involvement by the teacher in terms of guidance. Moreover, the six-week inquiry projects in our child's first classroom placement tended to lack the depth of younger and older classes. Be aware the approach is not truly inquiry-based, differentiated, or constructivist here, but students for the most part can indeed go deeper than they might, in some other schools.
One aspect of the culture there is to actively avoid critique. Parents speak to each other about problems but there is also pressure to sweep things under the rug, so to speak.
Student turnover truly is high. It's true the school is not equipped to deal with twice-exceptional issues or learning disorders, but this notion is unethically applied to students with garden-variety issues as well. Our son would come home with sarcastic speech and judgmental facial expressions, which we later discerned he was picking up from his teacher. He would be punished for things like singing while wiping down lunch tables, or sitting on his knees, during lunch. Or, when an older student got him to use a spray bottle inappropriately (for which the older student politely apologized, in writing), our son was banned from using said spray bottle for several months. Each of these incidents were so jarringly petty, but unfortunately by the time we left, he was openly asking us, frequently, whether he really was a "bad kid" and was acting out more than usual, having nightmares, etc. Fortunately in a new, more professionally administered school setting, these behavioral issues eventually resolved. Bear in mind this was just our individual experience and your child may not encounter something like this, but parents of prospective students aged 6-7 would be well advised to ask more pointed questions than usual, prior to enrolling.
Other much more positive aspects of the school culture are evident, though, such as an overall respect for learning and a cooperative and kind "vibe" among the students. Overall the other teachers seem dedicated, energetic, and creative in their pedagogical approach. Bullying does exist, but it's not a big problem.
As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.
Yes, the behavior of the students overall is more mature than other schools, although there is an undercurrent of conformity. The school could do better to model acceptance of different types of personalities, creative expression, etc.
This school has been transformational for both my children. We left a well regarded private school in the east bay to come here. At Gate we have never had trouble with bullying like happened at our previous school - and we see big efforts by staff to stay on top of any issues and deal proactively. Gate does academic differentiation- again something that didn't happen at the old school. When new students try out at Gate they can visit for two full days to really get a sense if the school is the right fit. This school is a great fit for academically motivated kids- not a fit for kids with severe learning disabilities or behavioral issues.
This school does not have the resources or staff for learning disabilities- you will need to seek outside help. Because of the differentiated learning someone with mild issues could do well. But the admission process is very clear that they do not have support for learning differences and cannot accommodate the twice exceptional.