A school really shouldn't describe itself as "Catholic" if the manners and morals of the place don't fit. This isn't a voice of "self-righteousness," but just common sense. Student culture should reflect ordinary decency, not vulgarity. Conversations should be positive, about good things, not about porn, hooking up, etc. 14 year old kids from well-meaning Catholic homes should not be exposed in a few days to more than parents would've ever imagined or allowed. Once done, damage can't be taken back. And teachers and staff shouldn't sit idly by, but should intervene. There's no good reason to pay a private school price for a public school environment. Rather than pretend there's nothing wrong, a right-minded institution and diocesan leadership should work to fix what's wrong. Character matters.
This school is pretty great for students trying to get the full high school experience. The teachers are extremely helpful if a student is in need. Classes are challenging only when the student wishes to make them so (the same thing goes at most other schools.), except the hospitality of the teacher who teach the classes help the student decide which ones they want to take. The theology classes are spirit strengthening, with history and philosophy intertwined in with them. Dress code is great, khaki shorts and a white polo shirt are comfortable all seasons of the year. The only thing that needs work is the school lunches, which often run out by the last lunch period.
CGHS is Catholic by name only. Practically no discipline enforced by anyone on staff. No uniforms, students wear flip-flops to class and does not enforce any type of dress code. The principal there strictly for show only. No guidance counselors for issues other than academic. Very rude woman at front office as well as in attendance/lost & found office. Make sure your student brings his/her own lunch because on at least 5 ocassions in one year there was not enough food for the last lunch period. Overall dissatisfied with what you get for $12K. Sports tryouts are unfair and pre-determined, at least that was the case for the baseball team.
I went to CGHS and did well. I would have done better academically, socially, and my college options would have been the same had I gone to my base public school inside the beltline. Gibbons is a fine school in a good number of ways, but when I look back, it was an expensive lesson learned about perceived quality of education. If you have a kid who on track to go to Duke, Notre Dame, etc., then CGHS is the right place, but if you live in a well-off neighborhood in the ITB and your kid is going to a public college in NC, you're better off sending your kid to public school. As posted, most of the students come from North Raleigh, Cary, and Durham. I might have also gone to CGHS to get away from the "bad news kids" at the public school. But with the good morals given at home, I would've stayed away from those kids anyway. CGHS is a good school, but not worth the extra cash. If you're a good parent with a good kid who isn't superiorly gifted academically, and if you live in a well-off neighborhood in the ITB, you should save your money for college.
Gibbons is a very good school, with an excellent administration, good sports teams, good kids and good teachers, but it does have it's downfalls like other schools. For example, many Honors and AP courses require certain PSAT scores in order to get into them, which is ridiculous since those tests don't indicate how well a student will do in the classes. The majority of the students are from North Raleigh, Cary and Durham, which may make students from other areas of the Triangle feel uncomfortable socially. Although CGHS is a very academic school, I don't see how it is any better than the majority of the Wake County Schools as far as placing kids into top-notch colleges and universities as well as preparing students for college. CGHS probably does do a better job at that than the Durham Schools and some of the Wake County Schools though.
My sons go to Cardinal Gibbons and they would not leave for anything! The admin and teachers actually care about he kids!! It the students are happy in a place that they spend most of the day, they will do better in school. Kids stay at school until evening because the school has so much spirit.
I was a student at Gibbons, my brother and cousin are there now. I really believe Gibbons changed my life in a positive way. In addition to preparing me for a college education, the support of the staff helped me through some difficult times. When i was going through a tough time with my family as many teenagers do, the vice principle and other teachers took notice and stepped in to make sure i had a support system. I dont know where i would be without the school staff.
I attended Cardinal Gibbons for high school. My sister is there now along with two of my cousins and I have 2 more cousins that will enter next year. The school is outstanding. My classes were limited to about 20 students and many of my teachers were former professionals. Many of my government/history professors were former lawyers. The school places a strong emphasis on preparing students for college. Many of the AP classes are taught in college format as a college professor would. All my teachers knew both me and my family and took a strong interest in seeing me do well. The school felt like a family and allowed me to grow as a person.
High schools do not get better than this one. My two sons thrived at CGHS. The caring environment, the academic structure and the parental involvement is second to none.
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