We transitioned from SGS last year; my child has been at the new school long enough to not fear repercussions and to thus give a fair assessment of SGS. Pros: Teachers work hard to get to know every student and help remediate; Yvette had amazing heart/soul in guiding the school; parents mostly involved and do care for one another; many students find a home at SGS after hard times at other schools. Cons: School has grown too fast and lost its' heart; administration is understaffed and underperforming causing massive burden on teachers; teacher turnover is surprising very high (and will continue) as salaries are low and admin support limited; Yvette is a figurehead as Dr. Gaynor has taken full leadership; much emphasis in past few years is in expanding the campus resulting in principal leading a capital raise that he is ill equipped to do; transitional efforts for graduating students is lacking and parents should do their own research and fully not rely on SGS. Conclusion: Go in with your eyes open! The school can be helpful, but this is a business. SGS is a good special ed schools but leadership has less heart/soul than what special ed children/parents truly need.
My child is thriving here, I wish this was around when I was a kid. They tailor the program to your child and will try any number of different ways to help both you and your child to be successful. Incredible school!
We also credit the Stephen Gaynor School with changing our child's life--and in turn, ours! The early childhood center is absolutely outstanding. They truly understand bright children with learning differences, and they have delivered in every way possible. We are grateful every day for this extraordinary learning community!
At first we were overjoyed to have our child be accepted to SGS. Don't know if it was different in its old building but SGS is now disappointing. Teachers well intentioned but some lack experience. In new building, SGS seems overwhelmed, but expanding again. Despite huge tuition, all is a la carte. No lunch provided. Students who benefit the most seem to be those who can afford to have additional outside services and tutoring. School more focused on remediation, which is only ok, than on stimulating and enriching curriculum. Low expectations for students. Severe deficit in sports, arts and science. SGS at times keeps the parents in the dark about progress and goals for their child. Lack of flexibility in accepting, considering, or incorporating new ideas or suggestions. School psychologist only available 5 hrs, a wk and don't know if available to students. Seems to be no plan for individual students & no interest in preparing students for next step until 7th grade. Some exceptions but most students moving on, go to another special ed school, special program within a mainstream school ($$$$) or repeat their last grade in a mainstream school sometimes with great difficulty.
We thank God every day for Stephen Gaynor and its brilliant approach to educating smart kids with learning disabilities that keeps their self esteem intact and builds their strengths while remediating their weaknesses. Its academic program is strong -- my son is in his sixth year at Gaynor we couldn't be more thrilled at his academic progress, his love of learning and his ability to understand and apply strategies for the learning differences that he has.