I have nothing but great things to say about Gault! My daughter who is now in middle school went there all 6 years, K-5 and so did my son who is now in 5th. Every one of my kids teachers were amazing at their jobs and gave their all to make sure all kids in the class thrived. There is a community built by the parents, students, staff and teachers! If this is your neighborhood school I urge you to visit the campus and take a tour. Talk with past and present parents and students. You will be very overwhelmed with what you see and feel.
I have two children at Gault. I have to admit that before my oldest started 4 years ago I was concerned that the scores were lower than the other SC schools. We decided to give it a chance since it is our neighborhood school. Taking a chance paid off. We have had amazing teachers and Molly Parks is a wonderful principal. There are many parent volunteers who work very hard to make Gault a great school. The class sizes are small and there is a real sense of community. My children are thriving at Gault. If you live in the neighborhood you should look beyond the numbers and see for yourself.
BEWARE! If you can get your kids into a different school, then you should at least try. My daughter was bullied by other girls, made fun of for being Jewish and verbally assaulted by another parent while at school. This person actually threatened to make my daughter pay. We spoke with her teacher and tried to talk to the Principal. The Principal at this school seems very indifferent to any concerns but her own. She refused to listen to my daughter when she tried to complain, nor did she respond at all to indicate she saw a problem with the parent of a bully showing up to make additional threats. They tell you to "talk to them". If you try, you will be met with indifference. The girls who bullied my daughter and encouraged her to disrespect her family and herself are at camp, while my daughter is at home. Again, the Principal could have stepped up and tried to remedy this situation. She could have prohibited the bullies participation in a camp activity. Would you let your child go on an overnight outing with kids who have no conscience? Do you want your kids going to a school with a Principal and staff who see nothing wrong with bullying your child?
I am a retired teacher, and taught for 22 years at a California Distinguished School. My professional life gave me knowledge of a number of schools in Santa Cruz County. My grandson goes to Gault Elementary, and it has been a wonderful experience from day one. He has had some challenges in his life, and both the principal, Molly Parks, and all the teachers he has had, not to mention the compassionate office staff and support personnel, have been there for him 100%. He is academically very strong and has been challenged and motivated by the engaging, creative curriculum. The Life Lab, music, art, and library programs are outstanding. I can't say enough for this great school.
We really like Gault: it's a smaller school with great teachers and lots of involved parents. Our son can read well after one year of kindergarten and 3 months of first grade. The library is good and they have a garden with a life lab program where the kids learn about plants.
I love Gault and have had nothing but a positive experience here. My second grade student was given great leadership by her teacher who cared about her academic success as well as her personal development. In short, we quickly fell in love with Gault. The value for nutrition is another thing that really impressed me. All students are given a healthy (whole grain, balanced) breakfast every day as well as awesome nutrition lessons relating to the garden program. I have no complaints. :)
Gault is one of the smaller schools in the Santa Cruz school district. Their class sizes are small (for example my 1st grader had 18 students in her class) and the teachers are dedicated and have been at the school for an average of 10 years plus. The primary English speaking children get 4 days of Spanish. The school has a strong environmental and art emphasis. The life lab program is great too. We feel so lucky to have our kids here.
Gault Elementary School has been providing outstanding education for decades and deserves accolades,especially in the form of funding.
The community of parents, teachers, staff, etc. All really care about the individual child!
One child is now in third grade--one started Kindergarten this year. The academic quality has been very high, but what we are really looking for is content and teachers that will enhance our children's love of learning. Every day is exciting because they learn about the world by doing, not just from workbooks. The third grader's test scores just arrived--she is smart, but not brilliant and certainly not the brightest in her classes. Yet, she scored at the advanced level in both Language Arts and Math! I think this is due to her excellent teachers and the fact that she loves going to school. My kids are caucasian and they have friends from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. I like that. Gault's scores are low because over half of the kids are English Language Learners. Try taking a written test in a language that you are still learning!
Kindergartens are bilingual -- American Sign Language (which is not found elsewhere), English and Spanish. Diverse after-school activities offered through the county cultural council, but they do bill you for fees (scholarships are available, though). Parent involvement doesn't seem very high, but may be because many are working-class parents who don't have much time. Was unsure about it at the beginning of the year, but am satsified now (March '05). My son is excelling, and will be well-prepared for 1st grade.
I think that Gault is a fantastic school because they concentrate on really inspiring students to learn, actively engaging kids in creative, complex, highly motivating projects. I think that Gault motivates a true love of learning precisely because the school does NOT obsess on test scores and standardized curriculum. I also love the arts emphasis.
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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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