Depending on the year and teacher, I would give this anywhere from 2-4 stars. I took my kids here for a long time, and liked their program for the younger students. However, I noticed after a while that the way they teach "Montessori" was really scewed compared to the real child led learning platform that Montessori is all about. Half of the teachers or aides my kids had were great and the other half were really, really horrible, especially as they moved up in grades. The children also are very limited on recess, phys ed is nearly non-existent, and they coop them up in the Gym every morning before class starts. I really wanted to love this school, but ultimately it wasn't as good for my kids as I had hoped, and worse for some than others.
No continuity. A few were great, and some were really ornery with the kids. You never know what you will get from one classroom to the next. At this point, complaints about teachers fall on deaf ears, even when they are harmful to the student.
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.)