I am a teacher at a high school in GISD, and my daughter attends WGA. I pick up on teacher's attitudes. The teachers at WGA are some of the best district-wide, and are very enthusiastic about their role in making WGA a Blue Ribbon school. My daughter became much more excited about school after she transferred to WGA from another school within the district. There is a very strong but friendly competitive spirit among the students. They also take more field trips that most other schools in the district, with great parental involvement. I teach in an IB high school, and kids from WGA continue their development in the IB program in high school (after middle school), so they definitely travel the academic path, and they love it.
WGA is difficult and challenging. This school is not for every child or every parent. We have lots of parental involvement that is very much appreciated. Every child is expected to succeed and they rise to the challenge. Just walking through the school you will see students having fun, learning and reading. Last year they students read a total 28,000 books! WGA is fabulous for the right child.
The parents wanted to be involved, but the principal began keeping them out of the school. 1/4 of the teachers are excellent, 1/4 are absolutely awful and 1/2 are 'average', but average doesn't cut it because this is a magnet school.
My child does not go to this school-however, I work for an economics program in a neighboring district that walnut glen participates in. I visit dozens of schools each year and walnut glen has always impressed me. The school just 'feels happy' when you walk in. The kids are always prepared when they come to our program, year after year, and the teachers really seem to know what they are doing. I am actually moving into this district to try and get my child in this school.
This school was a big letdown. We were told that our students would be accelerated in their learning and at the same time treated age-appropriately. What we have found is that the teachers treat 5-7 year olds as if they are 15 year olds and hold them to unreasonable behavior expectations. In addition, there is little to no communication with parents. Although we actively volunteered our time and energy to the teachers, we were told in no uncertain terms that our help was not required and not wanted. We have experienced run-around answers, intolerant teachers, and nothing but frustration since we arrived. I expected a Gifted/Talented school to understand the unique needs of that population. However, I now know for a fact that this is not happening. As far as the academics, it is very inconsistent. Some subjects some weeks are very accelerated, while others are not. It depends on the teacher.
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