This school has many positives, but also many negatives. The positives are that there are many teachers who sincerely care about the students. The 'typical' students get good grades and a good education. One of our children was in special education at this school and the teachers were wonderful. This child did not have any social or behavioral issues however. Another child had social issues due to Autism Spectrum disorder, and this child was 'punished' for behavior that was beyond his/her control. This child was allowed to be treated badly by some of the other students also. The parents at this school live thru their children. They will throw fits to make sure their children on the sporting teams they want them to be on and good sportsmanship is not important. I will say that when issues have been brought to the principal, she has been very good about handling all that she can.
This past year was our first at Gilbert, and I have to say that overall I'm impressed. So far our experience with teachers has been excellent, and yes, extracurriculars are limited, but it's elementary school so how much do you really need? The bigger failing is a lack of communication about the activities that are, in fact, available. The gifted program here is, unfortunately, laughable compared to our experiences elsewhere. The school does an excellent job of assisting students with 'special needs' but tends to sideline those who would benefit from a great gifted/enrichment program. Just a side note - the principal noted by another parent retired at the end of the 2008-09 school year.
The quality of academics varies all depending on the specific teacher. We have found the school prinicipal to be very rigid and difficult to work with. Extracurricular activities limited. But overall a good school.
The academic programs I would say were average, not particularly challenging. The teachers are the real assets of this school. They are not all perfect, but each has specific qualities that promote good learning for all students. The emphasis on small classroom size and the administration's dedication to that goal is admirable and effective. They have a full time guidance councelor on site - many schools do not, this is a plus in my opinion. If your child has special needs, gifted, special ed, ADHD, etc. you must be proactive, although the school will help (when pressured), I found it to be like pulling teeth. I am not sure this is true with extreme cases, but it was my family's experience.