It used to be 'Great', particularly in the mid-nineties.
One reviewer wrote "Having had two children attend in previous years and witnessed the decline in support, I've decided to move my child to a nearby district that has much smaller class size and higher academic outcomes. I wish Gatewood all the best but must do what is best for my child."
Copying it saved me the effort of writing it out, it echos our family experience.
After the Hopkins 'budget/execution issue', the reduction and elimination of secondary classroom support staff in the lower grades, the elimination of advanced and elective programs, the exodus of students beginning with even Gatewood Teachers' own children, the influx of WMEP transfers to fill in, the achievement gap was narrowed in part by lowering the top students. Advanced students needing additional work were forced/allowed to tutor the lowest students. That is a nice experience for all students involved, but not a substitute for eliminated programs. In our last few years there my youngest children were subjected to stolen lunches, items stolen from desks, and even reverse-racism. When these issues were raised staff protected the WMEP's involved. It's a good thing there are other good school's close by, that also had a variety of student backgrounds, but no such/significant behavioral issues. I had hoped it was improved in the last few years. But today we heard more uncomfortable stories from a current parent.
Wanted to love it because it's our local, assigned school but after one year had an underwhelming experience. Test scores are significantly lower than other schools close by and there is no plan from leadership in place to improve. Seems parent engagement is low as our teacher seemed taken back when we were asking for more info on what was being taught in the classroom in order to reinforce at home. Overall, my child was very happy at school and the environment is one of inclusion, I just wish there was a bigger focus on including parents in the learning experience and a strategy in place for improvement.
Ms. Montgomery is a hands-down 5-star Principal. She deals with any misbehaviors in a direct and timely manner. This school, from my limited observations, enforces their "zero tolerance" for bullying. The teachers are amazing! Each teacher that my daughter has had are all very invested in her learning and are proactive in bringing any concerns to me as her parent. They all seem to know the kids in the school, even if they are not in their particular grade. It feels like the teachers / admin staff are like one big family. The only reason I gave the "Parent Involvement" a 3 rating is because I can view this from two angles... First, does Gatewood work to get parents involved? Then it would be a 5. Second, do I SEE a lot of parent involvement? That is where I give it a 3. While given many opportunities to be involved, it seems like parents are not choosing to get involved. I like the fact that Gatewood is considered an "International Peace Site." Their location is ideal because it's not on a busy roadway but rather tucked in among a beautifully landscaped area with safe play zones and positive security measures. Fabulous school!
While my child has had good teachers while at Gatewood, the lack of leadership at the school leaves a lot to be desired. The rule seems to be talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. The actions by the school don't reflect the words being spoken. We are currently looking to move our child to a different school.
Gatewood is an amazing school with an amazing teaching staff! I wouldn't send my children anywhere else. The curriculum is rigorous, the technology is simply amazing, and the diverse learning environment is a microcosm of society and is exactly what all children need to live and work in our world in the future.
My children absolutely love Gatewood! It is an amazing place with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We love the great curriculum as well as other learning opportunities such as orchestra, band, art, technology and on and on. We have a great PTO which makes many programs possible as well. The leadership is very effective and fair which is important at an elementary school. Thank you Gatewood for providing such a great experience for my family.
My child has had an amazing experience at Gatewood. We are blessed to have found a school with highly qualified, caring teachers. We have been very impressed at the individualized attention each student gets, and the seamless integration of technology into everyday learning.
The school depends on the parent volunteers to provide some of the primary learning objectives. Classroom size is out-of-control reaching beyond 30 and with a high percentage of ESL and SpecED in the classrooms making it even more difficult to manage the classroom. They have good intentions but the administration seems to be lacking leadership to support ALL areas of the academic level. Having had two children attend in previous years and witnessed the decline in support, I've decided to move my child to a nearby district that has much smaller class size and higher academic outcomes. I wish Gatewood all the best but must do what is best for my child.