I like the vision of GWA; however, the execution is lacking. The "10" rating is misleading. That is why we chose the school, but there is more than just test scores that determine an education. Must win at all costs? Be the best or else? The teachers seem to be under considerable pressure as are most students. Not the positive learning environment we hoped for our children. Very grateful for the teachers. So far GWA is an illusion, a primrose path. Everything is shinny with exception to the lack of joy in learning experienced in other schools. No extra programs in the arts or technology. Just a lot of extra homework and late nights helping exhausted and bummed out kids. GWA is missing la joie de vivre. Which is sad. It should be a great school.
I've had multiple kids in GWA. I've seen the ups and the recent spiraling out of control downward slide. The last Principle did a Great job. Back in 2013 GWA became Charter school of the year! That is a Great accomplishment due to a wonderful Principle they had that year. Yes after he retired was GWA ever able to get that title again. "NO!" Now with a new administration running the school. Things are spinning out of control.
They do not except students who have a learning or physical disability. How many students with disabilities have made GWA there school for more than three years before feeling pushed out. It's not the students that are the bullies it's the administration. I thought GWA had hired professionals that could assist students with disabilities also what other school in the area has a elevator for physical disabilities. However when a child comes into the school with a long term physical disability is the child pushed out. The elevator is in the school to assist short term issues. Like a broken leg.
The teachers try very hard to help there students. I know of a few teachers who would spend lunch and after school hours working with there students. No extra cost to tutor a student in need. Teachers seem to sincerely have there students best interest at heart.
The administration however are not across the board treating kids equally. Some students get away with colored hair, I have seen students have shorts on with long socks showing designs while others get in trouble. It's a uniform school we know that at the time of signing up. So no students should get away with wearing something out of code.
If you want your child to have a good experience bow down to the administration or you will reap the punishment!
The teachers really are the life savers of this school. I don't believe they are given enough create. They have to teach all day check hours worth of homework and test after school. Prepare for next day work. A lot of after school hours are gone into work when they should be spending time with family or doing something they enjoy doing. Lots of after school meetings they attend on top of everything else they must do.
We’ve had multiple kids go through this school and it used to be great but over the last two years it’s been in a steep dive. We’ve watched first hand how the “principle” made life difficult for people she didn’t like. The same can be said for certain teachers and some staff who participate in gossip about parents and belittle students they don’t care for, even going as far as letting their bias affect how they grade. There should be no tolerance for this type of behavior in any school let alone a charter but the board of directors seems to turn a blind eye to it.
Academically a lot of emphasis is put on math and writing, the homework can be daunting but we didn’t mind it, we also liked that the students wear uniforms.
Cons - No buses means A LOT of cars moving through the school and no shortage of crazed, late for work parents doing stupid/dangerous things. They required 40hrs of volunteer time, so if both parents work 9-5 that can be hard to swing or nearly impossible if you’re a single parent. When compared to public schools there is definitely a lack of extra curricular classes/facilities such as shop, home ec., music, robotics, advanced computer classes, etc. There is also no attempt at languages below 8th grade which always seemed disappointing because it would have fit so nicely into 7th.
Would we do it again? If it was today the way it was with the last two principles I’d say yes but given it’s current state and leadership I wouldn’t.
I have attended this school since it opened. It really helped me get ready for highschool. I feel like I am ahead even though I am a sophomore at another school now. Socially, mentally, and academicly this school had boosted me.