I came here for my first year of Kindergarten in special ed. The teacher was nice, but she was inconsistent and didn't do well on her job. She resigned in the middle of the school. Despite of my behavioral problems and the teacher resigning, it was a very good year. The new teacher was wonderful, kind and actually gave us gifts. The paraeducators were great. The class was fun and I enjoyed the learning activities. I also had summer school here and it was a lot of fun.
Our daughter is in Ms. Alleman's first grade class and we have another headed to kindergarten at Grout next year.The level of parent involvement goes up each year and the PTA works hard to enrich the kids' lives; a fabulous rain garden, the harvest festival, holiday craft fair, and making sure Play Works is there to enhance social skills and to teach them playground games! I love the emphasis on reading and the small reading groups geared towards the kids' needs. Our daughter is studying insects, learning about fractions (parts of a whole) and they've written several books this year! I also love the diversity of the student population. There are kids from all over the world at Grout, many languages spoken, and many cultures represented. My daughter has friends that are Japanese, Somalian, Russian and Indian. We love the SUN program for offering FREE after-school activities, and I can't speak highly enough about the YMCA after-school care. Nate, the YMCA teacher, gets those kids moving outside to burn some energy, and makes sure they have great crafts, games and stories to entertain them. We love our neighborhood school and can't wait to see you and your kids there!
My husband and I moved to portland last year for the 2010-2011 school year. Our daughter was in Ms. Kirks 2nd grade class and I could not have been happier with the results. The last school she went to had about 6-8 classes per grade so this was a great experience to just have one teacher and half the students. Any issues that were going on in the class Ms. Kirk handled within that day, any emails that were sent to her were handled during the day. The school over all was amazing. The music that played when you entered the school, the diversity and the teachers. I never entered the school and was not acknowledged by any teacher. The SMART program that if offered at the school is such a great offer for working parents because it is better than a daycare it actually keeps the kids in activities that they enjoy with their friends after school. I did have one instance at the park during the weekend with some bullying to my daughters friend and when I emailed Ms. Kirk she sent the email to the principal ASAP and I got a response to Susan McElroy right away. I am sad to say that we will be moving back to GA and will not get to experience this school again and all it has to offer.
My son just graduated from kindergarten in Teacher Dayle's class. All of the kindergarten teachers at this school are wonderful and put so much effort and passion into these children that it's amazing. Grout Elementary has a wonderful school culture, created by an amazing principal, Susan McElroy. As you enter the building, you'll see glowing glass planets hanging above you while glass fish swim along the walls and glass flowers grow under a blue sky - all created by the kids at Grout. Directly in front, you'll see a copper tree sprouting the glass leaves they've made. Classical music plays in the hallways and the secretaries are both smiling and welcoming. The library is well kept and serves as a reading sanctuary for the kids. The economic, cultural/international, racial, religious, linguistic and political diversity is astounding and beneficial for our child...he has grown so much in his exposure to this. Playworks keeps recess fun for all of the kids and we don't have to worry about bullying. Our son has a dairy allergy and we send his lunches everyday so I can't speak to the cafeteria. He is part of the SMART reading program and that's definitely improved his comprehension.
So far, we've had an excellent experience. My son was in a Montessori school for 3 years before attending kindergarten at Grout. I was worried that he wouldn't get the time he needed - since he could already read and write upon starting...but the teachers have been great at assisting him in his continued growth. It's a beautiful school and values the arts, which is the most important thing for our family - especially at this age. Children need to have their creativity respected. Grout has a beautiful theater and a new garden. Parent involvement is increasing. The inside of the school is well-done, and the emphasis on art really shows.
I am still unsure of how I feel about the school. My son completed second grade there, and is now going to 3rd. I am giving it one more chance to prove itself as far as their methods on discipline and teaching. I am keeping my fingers crossed, because my son has alot of friends there. I am a very involved parent and enjoy being envolved, I just dont think that I should have to provide homework as well as the school in order for my son to learn something.