I am very happy with Wood Gormley, its teachers, and especially its principal, Dr. Bessett, who has been an absolute champion for our son and daughter this year. WG is not just a school, but a lovely, healthy, supportive community for children of all stripes. I believe the parents who took time to rate this school at 1 star need to take a trip to Reality. As a parent who does not have the option to send my children to private school (where their need to dress however their parents want is not fostered--horrors!), my children have until this year at WG suffered the slings and arrows of public school education in other parts of New Mexico. It's not pretty out there. If you have the option to send your child to WG, count your lucky stars. All public schools in NM must test children and prep them for standardized tests. WG does so with grace and with equal emphasis on the arts, fostering individual talents and creating a kind and intellectually stimulating community.
Most parents in Santa Fe view this as the best school! It is not. The teachers fail to meet children's basic needs. The teachers and aides do not even say hello to your child. They except them to be "robots," so that they can get the highest test scores. Our child no longer goes there but our decision to switch to private school was the best choice! If you go to this school, just make sure you get the "right" kinder teacher! Ask around. Our child is thriving at his new school and feels loved and cherished!
We were told this was the best school in Santa Fe. If high significance on standardized tests, a principal who will not hear you, and ungodly amounts of homework is how we define "best" these days, then I guess so. My kiddo was not a good match for his teacher, a woman who doesn't seem to enjoy kids anymore. The principal would not move my child to another class. It seems like the allowance for students to be the kids they actually are has been replace by a militaristic system of indoctrination. This treatment is not just reserved for students. As a parent, I experienced the this-is-the-way-it-is,-your-kid-needs-to-fit-in-and-do-what-he's-told. No conversation, just a wall. (My child read books when lessons were going on and refused to do homeowrk - not totally horrible by any means.) I believe the whole of SFPS has bought into this philosophy and I'm not sure what to tell readers. The severity of which ridiculous district policy is implemented within each school depends upon the principal. I've heard Acequia Madre's principal is a kind and reasonable man, but unless you live in that zone, good luck. I'm looking to move into that zone, until then, every day is a struggle.
WG has been a disappointment. The school is not teaching to its demographic. Families here are generally highly-educated, well-traveled, successful at their professions, and very active parts in their child's education. Why then is WG training its student population with a one-size-fits-all mentality? Uniforms. Euphemistically called dress code. Where through history and up to present time are uniforms worn? With what population of people? Well, people who need to be behaviorally stripped down and put into place; who need to have their individuality removed; who need to be programmed to act, speak, and think in a predetermined manner. Is that what you desire for your child? Significance on standardized tests. The word "standard" itself means average & normal. Would Donald Trump, Oprah, & Richard Branson be where they are today remaining small like everyone else? For parents who like to see education as a tool of empowerment; as a means of encouraging more expansive thinking; and as a way for kids to know they can create & generate more possibility in the world, WG won't do. I'm sending my kiddo to a nearby private Montessori school before too much mediocrity sets in.
My spouse and I have been parents of Wood Gormley students for many years. We used to feel that this was a good school, but it has sunk in our estimation. It is crowded, has lots of families who don't live in the zone but somehow manage to get in, and the school has become overly concerned with test scores. The human aspect of teaching is gone: Little warmth from the teachers, who seem overloaded by the crowding and the narrow focus on testing. If you want inspired, caring teaching that exhilarates students to do their best, this school is not for you.
I chose this school over the top private schools in Santa Fe. I loved this school and its visionary principal, Dr. Linda Besett, so much that I removed my kids from their private school, bought property in the school district, and moved into it just so my kids could go to school there. A former superintendent, Dr. Besett CARES about the individual learning needs of every child at her school. Consequently, my children have received the services--both in the gifted and support ares--they need in order to reach their highest potential as learners. The teachers are exceptional; they do their utmost to make sure their students think creatively and do their personal best. Compared to the top private school in Santa Fe, I can confidently say Wood Gormley offers a stronger academic program, better competitive sports programs, better art teacher, and is much better at providing students individualized learning opportunities.
The previous writers No Child Left Behind comments I found interesting. The principal at this school is exceptional. She was highly committed to students. The supervision of playground activities and attention to special needs not as good as I would have liked. Too many delays in meeting the needs of the child even though we were very proative parents. They encourage parent involment yet I signed up for many of the parent-assisted activities no one ever called me. It felt like there was a clickishness to the school. I have education in film-making, music, art and literature, outdoor activities and publishing as well as administrative background--offered my help in all areas and no one ever called me