My two sons both attended Grey Culbreth, and had very positive experiences. They are building a new science wing, which will be ready for the 2014/15 school year. Excellent teachers, support staff. Good music and arts program. Love the chorus teacher, Mr. Jones.
We have been at Culbreth for the past two and a half years, and our daughter will finish eighth grade soon. While middle school is arguably the harder years for students, our daughter has scored very highly in outside programs, via Duke TIPS, for example, taking her ACT in seventh grade and scoring in the 90th percentile among HS students. The teachers do their best, but high turnover and continued cuts to the system have made this school suffer. We appreciate the overworked gifted specialists and teachers most, but some teachers are not as good as others, and the principal is the worst I have ever known. There is more emphasis on sports than academic teams by the principal, and little creative thought as to how to leverage the many benefits we have living so close to major universities. Would have chosen Phillips if we had to do it over, but all the schools are suffering now.
New Principal, even better experience, with good communication and caring for kids. The principal now is focused on the kids (has one in the school) and is a beloved staff member from the local high school. It's early in the year and we're already feeling welcomed. We had a great experience over the last 2 years, and with 2 kids at the school now are loving the teachers, the teams, the athletics, and the whole experience!
I think that the teachers go above and beyond, but the principal only seems to care about the Ipods. They currently have a drug problem at the school, fighting, and steeling. It seems to take the student 4 or 5 times of bad behavior before something is done and then it is only 1 or 2 days of ISS.
The principal is terrible. She is not interested in communicating with parents, changes policies without notice, and doesn't make any attempt to know the kids. She micro-manages everything, which makes more sense to me now that I have learned that she was promoted to this position after being principal of an elementary school. The guidance staff, at least for my child's grade, is terrible. The counselor doesn't know the kids, doesn't have any interest in the kids, and like the principal, seems to take any request to change something about a child's schedule as a personal attack. The school also asks kids and parents to fill out electives preference forms that list courses that are no longer offered.
I also agree with the principal comment. Ms. Wells shows that she is incapable of listening to other's ideas, and my son says that she frequently makes little things into big problems. She yells at my son every day when his bus is late, and refuses to listen when he informs her that he had nothing to do with it.
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