This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Galapagos Elementary Charter School5
Posted July 31, 2013
- a parent
I have had great experiences with Galapagos. The principal, Ms. Jackson is also willing to speak with me and she is amazing with the kids. I think the school gets better every year. This year the 8th graders went to Washington DC. I don't know many schools on the west side where the staff are willing to spend their time to take the kids on a trip like this one. Yeah, I like this school.
Galapagos has gotten so much better. They got teachers who work hard and a principal that does too. They got private tutoring for my baby and they started a basketball team and send the kids to Washington. I am very happy with the school.
The complexity of a school that grapples between tension and distress. Tension between teachers and administration that overloads their teachers with unnecessary work, documents, and software programs. Distress of overworked teachers and overworked staff members. But, more importantly, distress of children who are made to be silent and sit with their hands in their lap for almost the entirety of their school day. Distress of children who do not have time to release physical energy, run around a playground, paint a picture, or sing songs in music class. Stop trying to educate your students from the waist up and start educating their entire being. It will yield results. Instead of using the entirety of other education models, look to your own reality, Galapagos. Your kids, your teachers, your successes, and your failures. And begin to develop innovative solutions to your own problems. Not KIPP's problems, or Uncommon School's problems. Do whatever you can to make your teachers happy. Because they are who, in fact, are making change in the classroom. And they will decide if they want to come back next year, which hasn't been a reality in your past.
This is my son first year of school he is in kindergarten. I have had nothing but a wonderful experience so far with this school. I like the fact that before school started they had a meet in greet so we both felt comfortable on the first day. plus he's learning spanish which he really injoys. My only complaint is the school supply list is ridiculous for a kindergartener and the fact that they recieved these things and I have yet to see my child use any he brought everything on the list and it's beening used by only God knows who because he has none of the things in his desk. when I asked about it they said that all the kids share the supplies. feel they should ask if you wanted to donate $40.00 worth of supplies to the school. but other then that so far so good. Teacher's and staff has been very nice and there open door policy is wonderful and I also love the weekly assesments letting me know excatly whats he's mastering and what he needs help on.
My son comes home every night saying he likes school. He likes his teachers. He feels like his teachers like him and that they teach well. He's been in 16 different schools and he's only said that he has liked 1---Galapagos.
I disagree with the last two reviews. I have seen great things happening at this school over the years. The school works really hard with the students and it shows. The work I have seen some of the kids do surpasses that of what manny of the high school kids in the area do. When you talk to a Galapagos kid they become immediately animated about their future and the fact that they will go to college. This is not a sentiment shared by neighborhood kids who go to other schools in the area.
I'm glad to see this review. I'm a community member (live on the block)and never have I been approached to get involved. When this school opened, I was working in a small alternative school and knew that I didn't want my kids to be involved in a chaotic dysfunctional mess. We have had problems with parents driving down the wrong way on a one way street to drop their kids off; the "garden" looks like it ran out of funds and by the way I don't think they involved the community one bit. We have been active in the neighborhood with kids that go to this school and I agree they aren't flexible, they wouldn't let a student go to football practice! thanks for the confirmation.
The instructors at this school go above and beyond. They truly care about the students. Unfortunately, most of the administrative staff create a very poisonous and negative environment for both teachers and students. Although teacher retention was somewhat higher this school year, high numbers of teachers are either leaving or were fired. They have a much higher than average turnover rate, but the admin does not want to really reconsider their approach or evaluate just why teachers choose to leave. It's also an incredibly high stress environment for new teachers. I do not recommend working here if you are a first or second year teacher. It's too much to handle. Also, admin constantly try to reinvent the wheel. There's no actual evolution of education, as they claim. It's just a chaotic, dysfunctional mess. There also appears to be a bit of a power struggle between certain members of the admin staff, and teachers get caught in between.
I have worked a many schools and Galapagos is the only school that I've worked at in which all of the adults in the building seem to have the interest of the kids at the forefront. I honestly believe that the school wants every student or as we at Galapagos say "scholar" to succeed and attend college. I cannot say that about other places I have worked.
This school is more concerned about money than the success of students. The teachers are told that the students shouldn't be absent because every day they are gone the state pays Galapagos less money. The teachers really care, and are some of the best you can find, but administration is a problem. Most teachers leave because they are treated with constant disrespect, and are not compensated fairly for their skills. Six teachers have already left this year and it's not even October. Do not send your child here or get a job here.