This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Walnut Glen Academy For Excel5
Posted September 01, 2013
- a parent
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.
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?