I was a student at Gilchrist for six years and, as far as I'm concerned, it is the best elementary school in Tallahassee. Thanks to the challenging lessons and Creative Academics classes offered there, I am maintaining all A's throughout middle school. I am in the eighth grade.
It is a very multi ethnic and multicultural place. When they have the annual field day they begin with a parade of nations with each grade dressing up to represent a country and my child is a Chinese American so that matters to us and that there are others who look like her. Also it is a 'Blue Ribbon' school which proves what we already knew, that they work hard to make sure everyone is a successful student. They do cool projects like the 'Art in the Sky' project that combined learning about the indangered Whooping Crane with a cooperative aspect of making the huge crane on the ground using students and teachers bodies in the correct color shirts for the formation.
My son started 2nd grade in Gilchrist we are from Katrina In Louisiana he was not doing well in his reading. At Gilchrist they put him in ESE class and he has come a long way the Teachers have been wonderful with his taeching of reading this is his last yaer at Gilchrist. And I know for a fact that my son will miss his ESE teacher's thay spent one on one with him and have helped him alot He use to not know how to read and now he does Thanks to the Teachers this is a great school we were bless to have come to Tallahassee and have my children go to the best Leon Elementary school I also have a 3rd grader that is going to 4th grade next year and they also helped her in her reading in her regular class.
This school is not the school to send your child to if he has any kind of learning or emotional problems. They are very unsympathetic and seem to only want 'normal' students. I have gotten the feeling from administration as well as teachers that they don't like to be bothered with children that have any time of problems. The ESE program is a joke, my son has already repeated kindergarden and is on his way to repeating 1st grade. They tell me they are doing all they can which seems to be not much of anything. Some of the teachers/staff there need more training in dealing with children that have special needs.
Children are challenged academically and receive positive encouragement from their teachers. I am involved with my child's class as well as the volunteer tutor program. The parental involvement at this school is impressive. We moved from another state where our son attended a private school which ran close to a thousand dollars a month. I feel his teachers at Gilchrist worked harder with him as an individual to succeed than the teachers at his old private school. Overall, we have been pleasantly surprised.
We bought a home in the school district so our children could go to Gilchrist because it was rated so highly. Now, I'm concerned about the increasing number of low-performers/behavior problems showing up from the 'F' schools. It's hit or miss with the teachers. I wish there was a better system for learning more about the teachers themselves - like teaching philosophies, ratings by parents & school, classroom observation. As far as random assignment? I noticed the most involved parents' children are in the best classrooms. The standard line is - 'there's no room to move them once they've been assigned'. The absolute worst thing about the school is the location and start/end times. Too close to interstate, major NE intersections, etc. I'll bet Gilchrist has the highest number of tardies as well as FCAT & parent volunteer hours.