I am a former employee at this school and I wouldn't recommend it to ANYONE! The staff is mean to the students, the teachers are highly unqualified for the position they are in, and the test scores say it all (the LOWEST school in the STATE). Ultimately, GPA tries to mix public school teaching methods with Montessori methods which results in chaotic classrooms and yelling teachers (oh ya, they are yelling at them almost every day!) who use punishment instead of discipline to control the class. They don't keep the students interested and they become bored because of it. This school feels more like a military school. If I had known how horrible this school was, I wouldn't have ever applied to work here. I LOVE the Montessori method and unfortunately, GPA just can't manage to figure out what that method is all about. PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD HERE. They are better off academically, socially and emotionally to be in a public school than to be at GPA. But don't take my word for it - go observe the classes for about 30 minutes each and you'll see what I mean. Show up unannounced, though, or else the teacher's will bribe the students to behave better.
I have knowledge of and experience with the Montessori Method and my children have attended GPA from the beginning. I have seen the growth of each member of staff as they have received more and more training in the Montessori philosophy. In my opinion GPA has gotten better and better each year. Some parents in our area are concerned with the test scores, I tell them repeatedly that I can see what my child is learning just by talking to them and observing them. Learning is the key word, children at GPA don't just memorize facts to spit out on a test, they are given practical experience to apply what they were able to teach themselves to their everyday life. I LOVE that all learning is concrete up to the age that a child's brain becomes abstract. Each individual child is assessed based on what he or she is capable of. This philosophy has enabled my children that were ready to move on to be able to and my children that needed a little more help to get it in that specific area. I LOVE Montessori and would recommend GPA for all children.
I am a teacher at Gateway, and have been since it opened in 2008. My own students attended 6-8 grade here. Not only did they go to high school academically prepared, they went to high school socially prepared as well. They know how to prioritize their time, make quality friendships, peacefully solve problems, and think about the long-term consequences of their actions. I come to work every day excited to teach and to learn. I love our students, and my colleagues. WE have incredible parents, and a strong phan club also (parents helping and needed.)
We had a tough experience at a local elementary school. My child's self esteem was destroyed by a teacher. We made the switch to GPA and it has been an awesome experience. The teachers and staff really care about my kids as individuals and if they are understanding basic principles before advancing to the next. My kids have all progressed well. They are happy again. They love to learn. The twinkle is back in their eye. We LOVE GPA and the talented staff.
The first year the school was open my son LOVED it!He still talks about how great his teacher was in 3rd grade.He didn't want to miss school for anything.The first year they were still figuring out how to provide supplies and were training their teachers on the Montessori method.The teacher, or Mentor and they call them, was very nice and accommodating.She always allowed me to volunteer in the classroom and appreciated having me there to help out when I could. The second year,however,was SO HORRIBLE that we have decided to home school our son.My son's teacher his second year,4th grade,seemed to have a lot of issues she took out on the children and she seemed to have no respect for her student's parents. Home schooling him this year, we are finding that we are having to play catch up A LOT to get him to his grade level.We are repairing a lot of self-esteem damage from his teacher from last year as well. I think the school has a lot of potential if ALL of the teachers cared about their children and truly practiced the Montessori way.Not all of them do.Prescreen your child's teacher carefully.
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