This school does well in promoting compassion and empathy. However, we personally thought it went overboard with the summer book selection that was given and we refused to have our student read the book.
An advanced student was placed ahead in a subject. The student began to do poorly. When teacher was asked throughout the year if the student was appropriately placed or should we step back. The teacher consistently said that they were fine. After leaving the school, the student was independently tested for placement using another high school's guidelines. The end result was that the prior year in the subject was a waste of time.
If your student is hoping to graduate from high school and needs a "second chance" this is a great school choice, chances are they will probably flourish. If your student is advanced academically, they have the risk of disengaging. Project based learning, while good for some does not offer opportunity for test taking. Students are not able to learn necessary study skills that are important for HS and college. Deadlines are often changed at the last minute, providing no incentive for promptness and no penalty for being late. While teachers prefer to see work completed than not at all, it does not teach skills that are needed in HS/college or workforce. Students are quick to learn this and will often fall victim to procrastination. Competency based learning then allows them to not even complete all assigned work. Soon the student learns that if they wait long enough, they will not be responsible for completing much of the work. Advanced students are lost in the shuffle. If the primary goal is to have your student receive just a high school diploma through GBECS, this is a great school. If your student may attend high school somewhere else or have hopes of attending a good college, strongly advise to look elsewhere. This rating is based on how the school helps academically advanced students.
My child is in the seventh grade at GBeCS, and he loves it. The teachers are wonderful, and the entire community is so supportive and engaging. Every day he comes home happy and talkative, telling me how much fun school is, and how much he likes it. The project-based learning principles are perfect for him, and he is once again connected to school in a way that he hadn't been in the recent past. The students also seem supportive of one another. I would definitely recommend it for a student who isn't engaged by the more traditional learning methodology, and who flourishes in a more flexible, hands-on environment. A student definitely needs to have a strong sense of independence, and a self-directed approach to learning. Not great for students with behavioral problems, as the community is so small, and it would be too disruptive for such a small class size. I am *very* happy with GBeCS.