This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Guilford Elementary School1
Posted February 22, 2015
- a parent
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.
After reading some of the reviews, I would like to give more transparency regarding GES. Guildford is a great school. They have so many extra curricular activities (band, orchestra, sports), you have to deliberately not involve your child. There are so many tools supplied by GES and Howard County Schools to enhance the education of my son it is refreshing. My son has been a student there for the past 3 years. Are all the teachers candidates for 'teacher of the year', no, but they are above average. You find me a school that does and you will lose all credibility. My son is in GT and excels because of my involvement in his studies. He could go to Mount Boogidy Boogidy Elementary and it wouldn t matter. This is the key element many parents overlook. Turn of the TV, stay out of Target, and shut down the Blackberry. Get involved!
My child was encouraged and challenged, grewing from a non-English speaker in Pre-K to First grade level in both Math and English, while still being in Kindergarden. Both Pre-K and K teachers are outstanding and there is a lot of collaboration between teachers. The staff and the parents support many extracurricular activities to which my child paticipates with enthusiasm.
Considering the number of ESL students and special needs students, the faculty of this school really shines! I have two children in this school who are challenged, and happy. Great Job Guildford ES Teachers and Staff!