The really terrible art teacher will be finally retiring this year (2014 spring) after destroying a love of art of 2 generations of kids. As one teacher said to me, "There are people who give tenure a bad name." I agree that the music teachers are enthusiastic and generous. Hopefully the arts will now be more rounded.
Families and taxpayers deserve better than what they have been getting under the current building administration at Guggenheim School which concerns itself, day in and out with, with personal matters (personal and family illness, births, marriages and attendant parties, etc.), expressing petty greviences against superiors and subordinates, and generally ignoring the very real issue of improving academics for all students. If you are planning to rent in Port Washington, Sousa, Salem, and Manorhaven Schools offer more mature and professional staff and leadership. Don't set your family up for a favored pasttime at Guggenheim...undeserved, indescriminate derision for sport.
We have been so unimpressed with Guggenheim elementary school that we picked up and sold our house and moved two towns over where the schools provide a much higher quality of education for the students. During the 2012-2013 school year, the principal at Guggenheim has been out on disability (she has returned sporadically over the past few months) and, with a handful of substitute principals this year, leaving a leadership vacuum at the top. Additionally, my child's teacher (tenured) clocked more than 40 days absent during the school year (a pattern this teacher has repeated across multiple school years).
Like any institution it'a mixed bag. We've had some wonderful, nurturing teachers, who worked to enhance each childs' talents and support the deficiencies. The special needs program is excellent, with a contained classroom that works on mainstreaming and support, good speech, OT and PT. There are meet the author assemblies, focus on literacy, a gifted enrichment program and good music. Allergy awareness is a big push. Each grade has a special focus project for the year- 2 grade did an astronomy fair for their families. But the HSA is still about SAHM fundraising, 10 am meetings??? If you have poor class parents, you may not be invited to the classroom most of the year without making an effort. There are lousy teachers protected by the overly defensive principal, who pretty much disappears at 3pm. She's also overly security focused to the extent that parents are excluded from many events, because of the "headache." Had very bad experience with one art teacher, who is less about creativity and more about discipline. On the whole, we are happy withour childrens' progress and the teaching, but there are areas that could be improved.
Creative teachers for music and art. Sports and other extracurricular activities are available. Parent's are involved in a limited role: class mom's, fundraising activities, special events, newsletters are sent to keep parents informed.