Most of the teachers are exceptional! They are amazing. They are happy to meet with you and discuss concerns, offer assistance and suggestions. They go above and beyond for the kids. It is a climate conducive to learning.
My children have been going to this school since Kindergarten and we love the school overall. The teachers really care about the kids and the atmosphere is very positive. As with all schools, some teachers click better than others, but overall, the teachers here work hard to give the kids a great education. My only real concern with this school is the gifted program. This program has had many changes over the years with teacher turnover. In the past, the gifted program focused on technology, then an additional teacher was added who left midyear. The focus was technology (with various technical issues) and switched to geography with a new teacher midyear. A different new teacher (along with one who stayed) this year and the focus has now become science. The problem is that the science has taken the place of their regular science class. I am not alone in having concerns about the effectiveness of this as a replacement to their regular well-run 5th grade science class.
We are just finishing our first year of kindergarten at Learning Gate and have been beyond thrilled with the school overall. The school goes far beyond the typical work book curriculum.
They bring the children to the gardens, where they grow fruits and vegetables, care for the chickens and learn about sustainability. They explore the woods on hikes to search for bugs and animals, measure trees and band birds.
I think they are adjusting well to the curriculum requirements and changes, my daughter testing well above the Hillsborough county average. Her teacher did a good job with breakout reading groups and identifying specific student levels. She would appropriately challenge her with areas she could improve upon in math. Science is hand down the schools super strength, she recites planets, animal classes, and environmental facts not just the knowledge but with a true understanding. Her class started the year growing tadpoles and I've watched them release butterflies they raised from caterpillars they found outside.
The campus is a beautiful place to be and an experience you must feel for yourself. Classes feel like small families, you get to know every child and most of the parents very well.
I always say go with your gut when making the difficult decision of choosing the right school. This school isn't for everyone but it is perfect for our family and both of our girls! Looking forward to having one start first grade and the other kindergarten next year.
Some of their after school clubs include: swimming, yoga, glee, Magic Tree house book club etc. Our field trips this year were gym/play place, beach (and Seabird Sanctuary), the Lowry Park Zoo and Lettuce Park.
Learning Gate is truly a unique and wonderful place! Kids get to be kids, explore nature, appreciate the outdoors, get dirty, and have fun! Both of my kids look forward to school every day. I am very appreciative of the fact that Learning Gate is not obsessed with FCAT testing and other standardized tests. The kids do take the tests, but the teachers don't stress the kids out over them. My daughter got a perfect score on her FCAT reading test, without all the ridiculous obsessive preparation they do in traditional public schools. Some of our favorite things the kids get to do include growing and tasting fruits and vegetables in the huge garden, bird banding, and community service projects. The school also has a great gifted program! The princi al is very personable and always has her door open for parents! We are so happy to be a part of the Learning Gate family!
Principal at this school is tremendous if there Are any issues with your child. We found that teachers were hit or miss however. Very nice but some not very prepared or as strong as others from a curriculum perspective. Our kids began the year a little ahead of age requirements and are ending the year a little behind.