This school destroyed my child. The bullying, cyber bullying, peer pressure, cliques and drugs are rampant. This school district hides the students who do not fit their idea of a perfect student. Support for these students is insincere and inadequete at every level, from teachers to administration. My talented, intellegent child's perception of life was changed forever. Look past the candy coating and then decide if your child can survive here.
Gull lake is an amazing school... If you value looks over substance. Every student gets an iPad! Wow! Sounds amazing, right? Well the school put no effort into setting up a curriculum with them, so most teachers ban them from use in the classroom, waste of millions there. The teachers are mostly mediocre, with a couple hidden gems. The bullying problem at Gull Lake is immense. I myself have been bullied for not being straight, but GL does nothing to solve bullying. They put on a huge show of starting the "Power or 100" club, and even making this year's marching show an anti-bullying message. But that's all they did. Make a big show. In reality, the problem continues to grow unchecked, as the administration does nothing but give the perpetrators a slap on the wrist. All in all, if you want to show off what a good looking school your kids go to, choose Gull Lake. If you want your kids to be successful and happy? Look elsewhere. GL is just one gigantic masquerade.
Our family has been a part of the community for a few years now and we started with a positive opinion of this district. We had heard there were plenty of resources for learning, like technology. We had also noticed they seem to be commited to not letting teachers go when there are budget cuts. I am sorry to say that I have been disappointed in a few areas, though. In particular, the teachers seem to put much less effort into teaching than we were accustomed to. The staff overall does not address social issues. I was expecting to find higher quality programs at gull lake, but mostly they just have newer stuff and not even the best. And I have never been to a school where the teachers asked parents not to come to special events, but I have had two between my children already who do that.
I have been going to Gull Lake schools since the middle of 1st grade and all of my experiences have been negative. While in Middle School I had a tough time in certain subjects and it seemed that the teachers didn't care to help me even when my parents wrote them emails and I personally talked to them. I also had (and still do) have friend issues because of this school. The school is divided into different cliques regarding the events you take place in. If you are great at athletics and an A+ student you will find this school marvelous. However, if you are a B student who loves to do musical theatre this is not the school for you. Any programs regarding the arts at Gull Lake are terrible; while I cannot vouch for visual arts programs because I haven't taken them the performing arts programs are terrible. PAC (the theatre program) is struggling and the same six kids are casted in mediocre productions. The band programs teachers don't know how to handle their classes and are utter chaos. I would not recommend this school to ANYONE.
I do not recommend this school district to parents and students. The district may have money to buy things, but there are schools in the area that will put far more into educating your kids. I have two children in these schools and neither is happy with their experience. Being a teacher myself, I previously had the idea that most teachers will work hard to give kids a great education. My two children came in to Gull Lake ahead in every subject, but now they are both behind in math. I work hard to tutor them now in free minutes, but once they are behind it is hard to catch them up. I wish the their teachers would have told me immediately and helped them more, but they do not seem to care much. I have been helping out regularly at both schools. My children have had trouble making friends because of this atmosphere that others have described on this site---the kids manners may range from good to bullying, but most of the time I observe a general rudeness that paid teachers don't address. I am also aware of one referral that was made to the office for behavior that would have been an automatic suspension somewhere else. There are a number of teachers that are not with state standards.
I have four kids in the GL schools, from elementary to high school. No school district is without it's faults, however, none in the area compare to GL. Don't just listen to the reviews below, but check graduation rates and likelyihood of attending college and being successful. I've had 2 kids graduate from GL and were definately prepared for college. Sure, they may have gotten better grades at a lesser school, but that's the point. They are challenged and the teachers seem to care. Most of the staff at all of the schools are younger and are more engaged. Even the seasoned teachers are good, though we've had a few problems with near retirement teachers, but I think the unions breed that. All in all, if you are looking to move to the BC or Kzoo area, GL is a great place to be and you won't be dissappointed. And remember, people who want to complain are more likely to come to these sites, while those of us who are content tend not to find that outlet.
My kids have been going to Gull Lake for the last 6 years. Overall I think it is a good school. I think there are a lot of great families in the district. The school does a great job in the areas of academics and preparing your kids for college. I have had great experiences with teachers as well. The school lacks in extracurricular activities. While they have all of the basic sports, a good band program; I would love to see them enhance the school with a swim program and to broaden their theater program. The school has undergone many recent enhancements, such as a new high school, a homeschool partnership and bringing back all day kindergarden. There is definitely a small town feel to the school. Overall I have been happy with the school, but feel like more options in the way of extracurricular activities would be nice.
I had to move my kids out to a neighboring district so they could get the education they needed. The principal and teachers were not responsive to the needs of my children, nor would they address bullying, which is a huge issue in this school.
I graduated from Gull Lake High School and had an excellent experience there. I will never forget the impact that several of the teachers had on my life and education. Though the lack of racial diversity is indeed apparent, socio-economic diversity thrives in this relatively large district. I frequently found that sports, marching band, or other extra-curricular activities bridged the divide and brought students together from different backgrounds. The A.P. classes that were offered while I was there allowed me to walk into Michigan State University with almost a full semester already finished, not to mention that the teachers of these classes had a huge impact on me. I had all these experiences in the old HS building, which has since been replaced by a brand new one. I still keep in contact with my teachers and though I no longer live in the area, I met many of my all-time best friends at Gull Lake.
I do not care for the Gull Lake district. One of my children has graduated and one is still in high school. Neither of them cared for it due mostly because of the arrogant cliques. Also, the teachers care more about the unions and their benefits rather than really helping the students learn. The head of the high school science department showed WAY too many hours of movies in class three years ago!