I have debated for months if I want to even rate this school. Then if I did, how would I rate it? The first 6 years were fine and the last 3 were bad enough that I withdrew my youngest and transferred to a different school within the district. In the end though, I learned ALOT through this ridiculous journey that I never wanted to take and I would like to share some advise that I wish with all the time I didn't really have that I wasted that someone would have told me. I am a business owner with 3 kids so I really didn't have the bandwidth to deal with all of the problems happening here which I think were mostly caused by a principal who wasn't doing her job and all the trickle down problems that come after that. The principal is the heart and soul of these schools. The difference between my first 6 years and my last 3 years in dealing with the school was a different principal. Look, I could write a novella on all the things that started going wrong for us the moment the new one started but that would be fruitless and at any rate my family, an embarrassing number of other families, many of our teachers and this 3 year principal have all since left. My advise is before you enroll your children in the school, interview the principal and talk to the parents (whether the PTA president or just random parents) then decide if the school will work. What is the energy like? What is the attitude? Do the parents participate? Is the principal there? (ours was inaccessible and absent) What sort of goals does the school have and metrics for measuring things (the last 3 years, the administrator at both the school and the district weren't really demonstrating accountability and were surprised the parents asked)? The other thing is trust your gut. I'm not even sure this principal was coming to work on a regular basis and frankly, I've never met anyone before who worked so hard at not doing his or her job ! If you don't think this school is a good fit for your kids then it's easy enough to transfer to a different near by one. This school is an IB school and it's just not for everyone. My kids all sat academically above the bell curve and have no behavior issues and it really wasn't a great fit for any of them, though it was certainly worse when this lady took over and stopped focusing on academics. Anyway, do your homework before you commit!
I changed my review. The principal this year is organized and experienced and it shows! A huge improvement overall from last year. The teachers seem happier as well. Perhaps as more of this leadership's goals are implemented, I will rate this a 5 star school. I am impressed so far.
Both of my children have attended GVHE since kindergarten. My oldest is now at Four Points Middle School. Both of my children are high achieving students and are in the PACE/QUEST programs of the district. GVHE is an IB school, and the smallest elementary in the district. The social/emotional intelligence IB has taught my kids far outweighs any program I experienced as a student myself. And I can see in the middle school that the GVHE kids come in as more understanding and empathetic kids than the kids from the other feeder elementary. The academic rigor is far beyond what I learned in Texas public schools as an advanced student myself (I attended both public and private elementary schools and taught middle school in Texas) and my middle schooler has had no trouble adjusting to the expectations of 6th grade advanced coursework. All schools should have the learning environment that GVHE provides its students. I LOVE this school.
As an educator myself, I have been involved in many different schools over the past 20 years. Both of my children have attended this school and I have been thrilled with the level of rigor, with the teachers, and both sets of administration. IB places others at the forefront of my children's minds rather than solely looking at our small community. I appreciate the diversity and am pleased with the values that my children are learning.
We have two children at this school and have had an excellent experience, particularly since Jennifer Andjelic (formerly Farley) took over. From time to time, I've had concerns in the classroom, as is expected, and I've always received courteous feedback and swift action to those concerns. One of my children has been identified as a top performer (Quest and PACE) and our other child has a unique learning style and struggled for a few years. Both children have received the education they need with just a few minor bumps in the road. There are many extraordinary teachers at GHE, the counselor is top-notch, the PE team is incredible, the parent volunteers and PTA are very involved, and the administrators care about educating the whole child. Additionally, children at GHE can participate is low-cost, PTA-sponsored enrichment programs after school, like Garden Club (did I mention there is a school garden?!?), Running Club, Math Pentathlon, Robotics, FLL, Yearbook Club, and Chess Club! The school is outstanding!