My child is in the Pre-K program at GHES and has had a wonderful year. She loves school and has been on several fun field trips. Her teacher is engaging and always lets us know what they what she is doing in class. She keeps us involved by sending pics of our kids learning during the school day =). I have been super impressed with my child's academic growth as well. She reading emergent level texts like Bob books and Dr.Seuss books independently and knows almost 100 sight words.
We have since purchased property in the North Atlanta district so that she could stay at Garden Hills. I am super excited about her matriculation at GH and beginning the dual-immersion program that is being offered. Its in its 3rd year and they are even promising to extend this through high school. This means my kid will graduate with an International Bachelorette Diploma with a seal of biliteracy.
We love it here!
Mr. Usher has left a strong and effective legacy. Stacey Abbott was selected by a group of parents and teachers from the school and we have much faith that she will continue to put the students at GH first in the same way Mr. Usher had.
I think the IB programme really helps the students develop these skills. The teachers are great role models in these respects and place much value and importance in developing these attitude in their students.
We are in our second year at GHES (this year with a third grader and kindergartner) and we come all the way from SE Atlanta via admin transfer. Why? This school is a hidden gem and carries the banner for elementary International Baccalaureate in Atlanta. Parents and the community are super involved and invested. It is majority Hispanic / ESOL but those challenges are met by an amazing amount of resources and the best teachers and administrators in APS. In return, my children get real-world diversity in a challenging educational setting, and my kindergartner is in a dual-language immersion program that will render her fluently bilingual if she stays the course throughout her school years. (I'm a bit jealous of that.)
I love the teachers at Garden Hills and feel many of them work very hard with the children. My student will be graduating from this school soon and I have had very few complaints! I have seen administration come and go, and I can say from my experience, that some used to be more concerned with the general population of the school, and not only the "neighborhood" kids and parents. Also they were more approachable and knowledgeable about what was actually going on in the classrooms. But overall, I have been happy with my child's experience.
I'd venture to say that if teaching was a juggling contest with each ball representing a different reading or math level, Garden Hills teachers could juggle the most balls without dropping a single one! GHES is in an urban area, and as with most public schools in this setting, there is a wide range of socio-economic conditions among the student body. It's an absolute necessity that the teachers at GHES have the skills to work with this broad range of abilities. They use tools such as Star Math and Accelerated Reader to take frequent assessments throughout the year, and these help identify the course of action for EACH STUDENT. Some are great at math, but struggle in reading, and vice-versa. Our teachers are trained to identify learning disabilities and take a firm course of action that suits EACH STUDENT. That ability to differentiate is mastered by every teacher at Garden Hills and administered with dedication to success.