This school is extremely disappointing. Half of the student population is hispanic, so the majority of the schools resources are applied to them. This in turn slows down the pace of learning for all other students. The year progresses painfully slow . The teachers are disconnected, barely in control of classrooms (with the exception a very few). Minimal homework assignments given, if any at all. Bathrooms are unsanitary.
My son has been at New Garden for 3 years, and it has been a wonderful experience. He's extremely bright (but not part of the "Gifted" program), and had teachers who recognized that he needed to be challenged more. They were in constant contact with me, and went above and beyond to meet his needs. It's a warm, friendly environment with amazing parental involvement. (No better PTO around!) The teachers and staff know every child, and really do care. The "specials" teachers are top-notch. Mrs. Pizzini (Librarian) is young and enthusiastic, and actually teaches about research, among all of the fun things she does for/with the students. Mr. Scheuing (one of the music teachers) founded the Kennett Choir Boys, which means he's a part of the community, and wants to work with kids even after the school day is over. I'll admit I was worried about the impact of the non-English speaking students on the resources in the school, but it's a non-issue. (Their parents may not speak English, but the kids do.) The fact that New Garden Elementary feeds into Kennett Middle School (recognized as one of the top middle schools in the state) is icing on the cake!
This is an excellent school!! My children need more challenging assignments because of their advanced levels, and every teacher has accomodated them. No matter what your child's level is, they will thrive at this school! Superior Super Intendant, great teachers, you can't go wrong!
Save your children alot of grief and do not send your children here....we are moving the end of this year and it will not be soon enough. If you want your children in an environment where profanity and teasing are a normal everyday occurance than that is what they will get at New Garden Elementary. One of my son's teachers is horrible even after I have counseled with the principal regarding the behavior of the teacher. My children have been to 5 different elementaries and we have never had a more stressful, unhappy year.
My oldest has moved onto middle school and my middle child is currently in third grade. I have experienced very committed and warm/friendly teachers that my daughters have absolutely loved. There was one that was fine not spectacular and that is going to occur anywhere. But most importantly I want to point out that my girls (one of which is in the gifted program the other is not yet tested) were challenged in their studies. Despite the lower abilities of the hispanic population, my higher achieving students were not slowed down at all. They were able to push more and more forward. That was my worry when we began and it turned out to not be the case. It's a shame that the minority test scores pull down the school's results. But I can attest that my daughters have received amazing test scores and had a wonderful education.
Although i don't necessarily agree w/the mixed ability grouping...The excellent teachers make it work. Excellent leadership from the principal, excellcent support staff and great parent involvment makes the school an excellent choice.
NG has dynamic, involved principal who believes strongly in the value of education - and not just in the classroom. The school promotes and allows use of facilities for a wide range of extracurricular activities before and after school hours (music lessons, sports, scouting). Also has a strong PTO that funds teacher supplies and playground equipment. Most of the teachers are very good; always a few not so good. I especially like their 'Golden Ticket' program to positively reward good behavior, attitudes, deeds; tickets are entered in a weekly drawing for a prize.