What a warm and caring school community! GBCS seems to be a place where everyone feels truly welcome. As other reviews note this school has an amazingly dedicated staff. They struggle, however, with meeting a very diverse set of needs and often seem to teach to the lowest common denominator. Although the concept of the Personalized Education Plan (PEP) is great in theory, parents of students performing at or above grade level must be prepared to advocate for challenges in the classroom to ensure their bright kids don't get bored. The school also struggles to engage a diversity of parents in Board and other organizing efforts -- those parents that do participate are committed, but represent a very small subset of the community. Lastly, with the exception of the 2011 Talent Show (which was a truly remarkable effort), after school programming leaves a lot to be desired. The regular fee-based ASP is little more than a holding pen.
This school is very good for developing social skills. Unfortunately, there is not much help offered for children who need more challenging work. It is a struggle to get the teachers to cooperate with challenging your child's limits. They could also use more structure and discipline.
This school offers flexibility and excellent teachers. Some classes appear to be somewhat out of control but my child's teachers are better able to maintain order than others. She has done well on standardized testing but I don't about other scores. Parents are much more involved than in regular public schools. However, there still some parents who expect the school to do everything. Overall, we are very satisfied with this school.
K-2 class academic program is excellent; the Physical Ed., Music and Art classes are also great. Teaching realistic social skills could use improvement. Students do not seem to be disciplined and respect for authority is not well emphasized. Overall this school offers a good academic foundation but social skills, after school program and grades 3-8 need a lot of improvement.
Elementary program is good. Two teachers per class. Project-driven curriculum similar to Montessori. Middle school is problematic. All new teachers in middle school w/exception of one. No consequenses for misbehavior. No accountability.
The teachers at this school are very devoted to their students, but some seem overwhelmed when it comes to keeping control of their classrooms. Many parents volunteer to help out with aftercare and fundraising.