I have been in and out of this school for years, and I know many of the teachers and staff. I have also worked in other schools and I can say this middle school is a great one. No school is perfect all the time for everyone, but the atmosphere at Culbreth is good and the staff are positive.
This community is full of highly critical, highly educated people who often have little understanding of how much work goes into a school or how much baggage students bring from home to a school environment. There is also, unfortunately, often a condescension toward teachers from many parents who see teaching as a second-rate profession.
In addition, given the educated population here, many, if not quite most, students qualify for some kind of gifted services, and there is a scrum to get students into "LEAP" or "highly gifted" classes or designations. Quite a bit of humble-bragging goes on as many jockey for a spot in this or that "gifted" program or Duke TIP, or whatever.
Not every teacher is great and not every great teacher is great all the time. But I am quite happy my child attends Culbreth. Like most things in life, a school is what you make of it, and supportive parents will always find teachers who go out of their way to help children.
I can't say enough good things about Culbreth. My daughter transferred to the school in the middle of 6th grade. The counselors, teachers and administration all made her transition incredibly smooth. Every teacher I have met has impressed me enormously and seems to truly cares about the kids. Most public school environments are so terrible these days that it is refreshing to see enthusiastic and high quality teachers and seemingly strong school morale. No one (parents, teachers, staff) seems to say anything negative about this school, which is rarely the case with public or private schools! My daughter likes school and loves her teachers. She's done very well academically in school and on standardized tests. So glad I moved her to Culbreth.
This school is one of the worst schools my kids have attended. It is a negative environment. The curriculum is not challenging. The administration will not work with parents to get kids in a class that is the best fit for them. Principal is flaky. My child has 10 minutes of homework per night - at most! - in 6th grade and is not being challenged in the classroom. Look elsewhere if you want a postivie, challenging school.
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.
PRINCIPAL IS AWFUL! My student was intentionally tripped in the hallway and even though the principal knew about the incident, she handed it off to an administrative intern! The intern informed me that even though a videotape confirmed that the student intentionally tripped my child, no disciplinary action would be taken; she did however recommend that my child should "try to avoid the other student, just to be safe." What is the principal's job, if not to ensure the safety of the students and enforce the student code of conduct?
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!