Walnut Glen is a fantastic school! My older daughter who is now a freshman in High School started out here and my son is now in his second year here. The administration, teachers and support staff are very dedicated to maintaining the high levels of learning that this school is known for. The students also take pride in the school and actively participate in everything from their day to day activities, to after school programs and extra curricular PTA events. It is rare to not see a student holding open doors for each other or with a nose buried in a book while in between classes.
I have 2 boys at WGA, and I have been extremely pleased. There have been some changes recently, but it's not anything that's been serious. I think we all have problems with the change, b/c no one likes change. But sometimes change is good. I think our Principal and our Asst. Principal make a great team. They generally love the kids and want the best for WGA. If I ever have a problem, I know I can discuss it with them and they will quickly address it. WGA is a phenominal school and I know my boys are getting the best education that they could get in a public school setting. It's like free private school. Which in my book, is awesome! ~ Kate Wilke
WGA has successfully transitioned through change in the past. So saying that staff, parents and student's are resistant to change is not factual and skews the current truth of things. The facts are that excellent teachers are being bullied, forced out, reduced to tears, children are stressed, staff are fearful. As a parent, you are likely shielded from these happenings or else turning a blind eye. Change is one thing, chaos is entirely another. Currently, there is chaos. In fact, even a high level staff member had to take a leave due to stress. Regardless, the scores will soon tell the tale of the school decline. The problem is not the teachers, it's the leadership. Or more accurately, the current lack thereof.
Look up the teacher's certification to help you decide and then ask to see their degrees. Are they highly qualified? https://secure.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECONLINE/virtcert.asp
It's a shame that a really nice enviroment for the kids and a good principal are being thrown under the bus by some very immature parents and staff who can't seem to accept change. One star reviewers grow up.
I am very sad to see the recent posts regarding WGA. As a 9yr veteran of WGA, I tell you that I continue to CHOOSE to send my youngest child here. There is not any organization, teaching, business, even non-profit, that does not go through a transition when there is a change in leadership. New ideas, new philosophies, new plans. The simple fact is that nothing was perfect before, nothing will ever be perfect but my child is happy, learning and excited to go to school each day. And that is an environment I can support 100%. There is an energy level that is refreshing. I see collaboration between grades and teachers now & teachers are even collaborating & planning with middle school teachers to help the transition & make sure the students are ready for what is ahead. In a society where it is easier to complain than compliment, and easy to think of only what 1 wants and not the community as a whole, I think it is vital to recognize that what is being worked on at WGA is for the greater good of ALL that walk into the school. It does not mean that it's ideal for everyone, and for those, fortunately, GISD has choice of school and you can choose another elementary.
I have been at WGA for going on 8 years, and while no school is perfect, I wouldn't trade our experiences and education for anything. We have a staff that cares for the kids in their classrooms, cares about their lives at home and wants to see them all succeed. While there are some struggles to work through with changes in administration, etc., the doors are always open to having a conversation and trying to find a solution to any given problem. I am thankful that my kids have been (and are) at WGA and know that they have a solid foundation to take forward with them.
I highly encourage parents to contact teachers directly if they have a concern. That can be done by email or by making an appointment with the office for a personal conference. My assistant principal and I have an open door policy and are also avaialbe by email, phone or appointment if parents feel they want to talk to us first. Thanks in advance... Respectfully, Alex Rivera, Principal
Overal, WGA is a pretty good school. Their high ratings are primarily based on high TAKS scores, which are easy to get when you have a school of GT students. The main problems I've had with WGA are, first of all, the way they grade. If a 7 yr. old doesn't follow the directions perfectly, for example, the directions say to put the letter for the answer and the child puts the letter and the word, they count them all wrong. A child can fail even if he completely understands due to a simple mistake in directions. I think half off would be more appropriate. Another big issue I've had is that they often don't respond to emails or notes in the planner. I've had several teachers that I sent a note to repeatedly and never got an answer over a week long period. They weren't rude emails, just questions. I know that my child would get in trouble if I didn't reply to notes in his planner! The last thing that bothers me is that they don't participate in parent conference night that the rest of GISD has. I thought it was a requirement for all of GISD schools! I will say that Ms. Cole is an amazing kindergarten teacher! She is so kind and really helps the kids progress! She is the best!
I have never had such a hard time communicating with a principal or teacher in all my children's school years. Ms. Sims is disrespectful and I have not gotten a response from the principal either in 2 weeks concerning my sons poor grades in this one class. I read all these great reviews, but why is my situation different?
Amazing School especially Mrs. Susan Cole! She has helped my daughter to excel wonderfully in reading I could never thank her enough!
WGA is a wonderful school. We are blessed to have this as our school home!
WGA has been a part of our family for almost 5 years now and we could not be happier. My kids are thriving, happy and learning so much. The teachers care about the different learning styles of the kids and understand that getting to know each child is an important part of the teaching process. This school is providing a fun, warm and happy environment. There is a team effort between staff, parents, teachers and the kids to work through any struggles and get to the best possible resolution.
WGA is a great school, very likely the best in Garland ISD. I have been a WGA parent for five years, and my children are receiving a great education! The teachers and staff work very hard to maintain a warm, accessible environment.
WGA is a school like no other. It is the best place to be in Garland if your child is academically or artistically gifted. Mrs. McCloskey (the principal) runs a very tight ship and the teachers are really able to focus on doing their jobs under her leadership. There is a very collaborative approach with the teaching teams at each grade and I have not in all of our years at WGA ever seen the 'infighting' behavior I have witnessed amongst teachers at other schools. This, I attribute to the leadership and example set by the principal. My children are very happy at WGA and amaze me at what they are able to learn. WGA is very accelerated learning and is not for every child. My children are very active in sports, church and other programs outside of school and are still excelling at WGA. We feel blessed to have WGA!
I have to agree with the last rating. The atmosphere int his school is not friendly or a nurturing environment. Problems generally are reflected from the top down and I think the case is true here. A very cautious attitude seems to be held by the teachers and staff...uneasy at best. Such a sad commentary on so called gifted and/or talented schools. However it is a public school.
Our daughter is reading three grade levels above her, has all As and a B currently, rated 4th place at UIL this year and is miserable at this school. She's begging us to move her. She feels she is singled out on a regular basis. I agree that WGA has been a let down and that 5-7 year olds are treated as 15 year olds and are held to unreasonable behavior expectations. Every stereotype of ISDs and public schools are true here. What's more, is that the politics involved are outrageous. Children who have parents at Garland ISD seem to be treated differently than those who don't. We are now looking into SACS accredited charter schools (yes! there's one in Garland now!) WGA is probably a great match for robot-like kids.
I'm very happy with school. My child is lucky to be in Dr. Berry's class. She is the best!
This is one of the best school in this district. My kids were very lucky to have been part of this school. We have move but my kids miss the school and teachers very much. Thanks walnut glen staff and teachers.
My wife and I and my child are truly grateful for the great education and life experiences that the Walnut Glen Academy Family has provided my child. The school is made up of great teachers, PTA members and kids. It is an extremely positive and successful school because everyone is involved and is willing to go the extra mile. This year is the last year for my child at Walnut Glen but we will continue to volunteer if needed. We are willing to do this because we want other kids and parents to experience the Happiness at Walnut Glen.
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