In my experience, the school is great. So far PK3 and UPK have been very good in every aspect. I'm very pleased with my son's improvement academically and socially. The teachers are very warm and down-to-earth, the classroom is bright and comfortable and the children have everything they need. They have gym and music classes and first-class lunch service (UPK). The kids are happy and they learn a lot, through play. Let's not forget UPK is not kindergarten and these are 4 year olds. I think the academic is just fine.
The universal preK program is horrible. The teachers are in denial of how little instruction is happening. The creative play cureiculum is a as good as a glorified babysitter. Kids are regressing in what they learnt the year before. There has been bulling and when it was addressed it was denied. Very unsatisfied with the program.
I have read the other comments and have to say that the allegation of a toxic parental community is blatantly false. St. Gabriels is a welcoming community with dedicated parents whi want the best for their children. Naturally,as with any school environment ). You are going to get that one parent or small group of parents that are never satisfied with anything and whine and complain. The school is quick to deal with issues of bullying or any other issues of concern that may arise. As far as academics are concerned, the expectations are very high. Accordingly your child will be very well prepared for high school. The school has historically graduated students that have been accepted to the top high schools in the city. Well worth the money. Just ignore the naysayers.
The academics are good, most of the teachers are very effective, the parent community seems to be somewhat toxic- I don't know how this compares to other schools. My biggest issue is there seems to be a bullying problem across different grades that its not clear to me how it has been addressed. There was also recently an issue in one middle school grade where the boys were routinely making inappropriate sexual comments to the girls; it was intensive enough that some of the girls didn't return the next year. Again, I dont know how the school dealt with it.
The parent community is very toxic and very involved in school life. The teachers are great but many of the adults actively involved in the day to day activities of the school are not positive role models.
My son started Kindergarten this year at Saint Gabriel's, and we have been extremely happy with our choice. We were drawn to the traditional curriculum and feel of the school they've been doing things right there for the past fifty years, and I hope they continue to do so for many years. The environment is wonderful, the teachers and principal are great, and our son is excited to go to school each morning. The class size is small, and the academics seem to be rigorous. I am thankful every day that we chose St. Gabriel's.
I graduated from St. Gabriel's in 2007 and currently attend the University at Albany, and I must admit that I learned more at this elementary school than I did in high school. There is such a rigorous and rewarding academic curriculum that is also paired with a caring and committed faculty. The unique combination is ideal for enriching and inspiring young students. This school definitely inspired me to achieve more and I am very glad to have learned here.
This was a great school to go to when I was child. It was a tight community of parents and teachers that really cared about academic excellence. I graduated in a class of 22 children and most I had known since I was 6yrs old (and still keep in contact with today almost 20 years later). I know that some teachers are still there from when I attended SGS like Mr. McCarthy. He's probably the most dedicated teacher I've ever had.
I can't say enough good things about the quality of this school. I have a child in kindergarten and another in the upper grades; they both just love the school. The older one consistently receives very top scores in standardized tests each year and this is completely due to the quality of the teaching. One small downside: as the neighborhood has gentrified, we have seen a growing number of 'helicopter' parents who are overinvolved with their kids' education and who unreasonably expect the school to adapt its curriculum and practices to their individual preferences. Those parents can be a drag to be around, but they're in the minority and I think you'll find them in every school in this neighborhood now.