This is our first year here at Guilford with a son in first grade. We are actively involved parents in field trips, classroom volunteering, PTA, etc. The teachers are dedicated and I will have to say that the Principal is very accessible, he comes to all the PTA meetings, has an open door policy and responds quickly to problems as they arise. No school is perfect but being involved with the school and the Teachers/Administration knowing us and our child has made this school perfect for us. If you have a problem with anything try to be involved a little bit at the school. If you ever get a day off just come up and have lunch with your kid or ask your kids teacher if you can volunteer for 30 minutes or an hour. It makes a world of difference when you are really in/around the school to understand the dedication of all that work there daily keeping all of our children educated and safe.
The teachers at this school are amazing. They take time to truly connect with their students and families to make sure each child is met at their level and is successful. Unfortunately, the principal does not measure up to the teaching staff at all. He does not make an effort to connect with, understand or genuinely get to know the children or their parents.
Any negative reviews of this school prior to September 2015 should be taken with a grain of salt. I've read other reviews complaining about this school. The new principal, Jonathan Davis, who arrived for the 2015/2016 school year is much more active and cares for the students more. He holds the staff accountable. The previous principal was a useless waste of skin.
This principal is doing for Guilford Elementary what Marcy Leonard did for Hammond High School.
This school suffers from an absolute failure in leadership, even more apparent when we moved to another location. Please stay away if your child has special needs; It is definitely not a SpEd-friendly school and you will either expend considerable time, energy and stress getting what you believed to be an outstanding Howard County school; it is not. The principal micromanages everything and everything starts with "No" to anything she doesn't want to do. We spent four years in good faith doing everything we could to work with this institution, but unfortunately ended up fighting every inch of the way to the numerous roadblocks for our son's right to a Free Appropriate Public Education. Worse yet the county circled their wagons to cover up discrepancies that could have been solved at the lowest level; no special needs support until her hand is forced. The teachers are afraid to rock the boat and it's probably due to the extreme micromanagement we experienced; even our advocate was beside herself. You can't communicate with your teachers. Our son was bullied here & we felt discrimination being military. If you don't care about your child's education, this may be the school for you.
Overall, I think Guilford is a great school for our child. The teachers are engaged and communicative. The leadership seems to be as well. If I have a complaint, it's that I'd like to see more parent involvement, both in the PTA and on a volunteer basis. Too often, I see the same twenty faces at every function. And, this in a school with well over 400 students. We're perfectly happy with our child going here.
I'm confused by some of these reviews. In some regards, school is what you make of it. My child has had great teachers at Guilford. They're responsive when I make inquiries; they meet whenever I ask them to. We have lots of parent involvment and lots of opportunities to nurture a love of learning.
PROS: - Staff is nice - Cafeteria menu shows a nice range of selections and healthy options - PTA - Car rider drop off is nicely handled - Parent involvement (I see lots of parents volunteering) - General communication via newsletter - Bridges Program CONS: - My child's teacher barely communicates with parents and can be unresponsive (this is my biggest issue, it's like pulling teeth) - I had to teach my child how to count money, name the planets and their order, and how to add and subtract. This may be more to do with the curriculum than the school. My frustration is with the lack of math and science. My child gets more information about nutrition and the environment than math. - Too much emphasis in arts & crafts. My child does art/craft projects in his regular class and has art class. - My child reads above grade level and already knows how to add and subtract. My expectation of public school is that those children "above" grade level will be given more challenging work. That is not happening. This is our first year at Guilford. One particular teacher is below average. The school overall is good. What I do commend is that school tries to improve.