This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Green Woods CS5
Posted April 12, 2014
- a parent
As the parent of a gifted student, Greenwoods has done everything I had intended for my child. He was really curious, like most young children, always asking a ton of questions. My husband supported that by always saying ask good questions. At Greenwoods, he learned how to continue to ask questions but the questions just got better. Maybe a child like mine would have performed well anywhere, but I don't think so. It takes great teachers to create a healthy container within which children can develop and grow. We have experienced teachers like that all the way through his education. I'm grateful that all of the research that I did when my child was three, and we didn't want to have to leave Philadelphia for the suburbs, paid off. It was the lottery we needed to win. My only wish is that every child in Philadelphia could go to a public school this good and have parents who care about them and their education. The only way for Greenwoods to improve is to open 30 other schools just like it. I saw the story about the bullying and I know about it. That was then, this is now. Zero tolerance for bullying is in place and it is part of the curriculum. That and conflict resolution.
I WAS a student at Green Woods. WAS is the key word. The school lacked help on childerns feelings and how they were unhappy with their social envorment. Teachers and staff did NOTHING to help the bullying conflicts that went on. Day after day I saw one of my friends getting verbally abused or I got verbally abused and when I drew attention to it, the school swept it under the carpet like it was nothing. And some of the middle school teachers had attitude. They favored some kids over others (the "special needs" children over the "normal" children). They let kids these "special" kids interupt the learing enviorment, but when someone else interupted it they got punished for it. The bullying thing is what got me the most. I hated the fact that I had to go to school in fear everyday and cried myself to sleep every night because of what people said to me and my friends every day. There were only a select few of staff members who actually cared about the childrens well being. I HATED THE SCHOOL AND THE MOST OF THE STUDENTS! -an EX-student
Green Wood Charter school curiculm is challenging. My son loves learning about science. I know the teachers go beyond the call of duty and you feel all their hard work every time you enter into the school. First year kindergarten parent..
I agree with the parent who reported a lack of respect towards students. The atmosphere at the school includes a great deal of yelling and students are encouraged to behave competitively rather than cooperatively. My daughter started 1st grade this year and came home crying for the first three months of school. Science is supposed to be a major priority at the school, but it seems that the students spend most of their time on worksheets - not on hands on activities. My daughter is learning a lot, I just wish that it was not at the expense of her self worth and her love of learning that are both decreasing in that environment daily. I want to see the school improve and I want to be a part of that process so we are sticking it out, but so far I am very disappointed.
The success of Green Woods is evidenced by the more than 800 families, to date, that have applied to be a part of our incredible learning community. It is unfortunate that we have so few seats available to meet this demand, but hope to expand our program in the years to come allowing us to serve additional students and families. We are pleased to report that construction is underway of our new, 60,000 square foot school building, which will include a 3-acre outdoor learning lab where our students will explore and discover nature by being in nature. Green Woods' students consistently exceed the state average on PSSA scores with 96% of 4th grade students scoring proficient/advanced in Math and Science. Thanks to an incredible team of teachers, we were named a "Top City School" by Philadelphia Magazine and educators from throughout the country have looked to Green Woods as a model for replication. We look forward to building our school and our future in our Northwest community and serving additional students in the years to come. Please visit our newly-designed website to learn more about our school, the EIC Model program, and our dedicated teachers, students, and parents.
As a current parent, I am sorry to say that I cannot give above 4 stars, and in some areas GWCS merits 3 stars. The curriculum is highly varied and rigorous, and the long-range plans set out by the CEO and Board of Directors are ambitious and well-thought-out. The students are repeatedly asked to show respect and responsibility for one another and their teachers. However, the lack of respect towards the students by the teachers is disappointing. The structure of the classrooms is extremely strict. I have witnessed multiple occasion in which teachers yell at students, or order them to do things without a "please" or "thank you". Respect needs to happens at all levels. If GWCS wishes to hold itself up as a model for education and learning, it should make the environment conducive to this by expecting respectful treatment of all members of the school, down to the smallest. In talking to other GWCS parents, I have heard this same complaint. I am not a disgruntled parent--just a concerned one. Children learn how to treat one another from the adults around them. GWCS has an opportunity to be a "trailblazer" for true respect and consideration; it has not done this in my opinion.
Urban does not define a race, it means to live in a city or town, and the city of Philadelphia includes people of all ethnic backgrounds. Roxborough is not a predominantly African-American area of the city, it is diverse like Green Woods Charter School.
Green Woods is the best school in Philadelphia. The teachers are innovative and approachable. The students have high academic standards and also lead balanced lives. We have a dynamic PTA that encourages a strong sense of community and parental involvement. As active, involved parents, our voices are truly heard at Green Woods. Green Woods is the best scholastic value in the city...no crazy, over-priced catchment zones to worry about and no financial aid applications are needed...just good old fashioned parental sweat equity.