This school seemed great at first. Then they found out the special education needs my son would need. Trying to get them to allow for a para has been extremely difficult. He is to use other devises to help with his work, but the teachers take away points and give him a lower grade when they won't let him use these devices. They label the "bad" kids and put targets on them. Once they do this, the kids can't do anything right. They are way behind in curriculum, we came from out of state and my 6th grader was learning things from his 3rd grade class. I'd go for a different school, they don't have the means to support special education the way it should be.
The principal hates the kids. The teachers are wonderful. The school is old, and my child has told me that the bathroom creaks. Some of the staff in Gales Ferry School are rude, and mean to the small children. As I said, the principal is one of them. She is also extremely rude to the parents, who can do nothing because they dont want their children to pay for it. I just hope someone will at some point.
This is a great school. The kids all seam to get along well and my kid made friends easily. The school has a great gym program and skilled teachers. Some have been around as long as I have! The teachers keep a close eye on the kids and know when to punish and when to let it go. At recess the kids all have tuns of fun. I can tell seeing as I can't hear myself talk when I go outside during recess. Aids roam around making sure safety is going well. It's really a great school. I encourage you to enrole your child in this school.
Agree w/ other postings. This year there is a new principal (shared w/ Gales Ferry now). Atmosphere w/ new principal and office staff changes isn't quite as friendly. Hopefully new ones will warm up. Facilities definitely old/out of date. Some classes too large. Overall some great teachers but wide variety of teaching and classroom management styles. If child needs specifics, request those. New pressures on teachers for testing is making life more difficult, but that's probably happening everywhere. I find most teachers have excellent classroom control. Kids are happy here which makes a huge difference to me. Negatives: lunch program(or lack of), facilities. Highlights: high academic standards without stressing the kids, nice community atmosphere, caring staff.
This school has an average quality curriculum. I feel teachers spend too much time keeping trouble-makers in line and focusing on struggling students. The students performing at or above level are left to their own devices. There is no hot lunch program, but the PTO does sponsor pizza and Subway each once a week. The school's appearance seems extremely drab sitting next door to a newer facility (the K-2 school). The classrooms are over-crowded with average class sizes ranging around 25 children per class. The library is dreadfully understocked and is situated in what used to be a small classroom with only bookshelves lining the walls of the room, none standing in rows through the room. I have to say that coming over from Gales Ferry School last school year to JWL School this school year I was shocked at both the appearance of the school and the class structure.