This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
George Washington Middle School5
Posted April 17, 2015
- a parent
For a number of years, our family has had a wonderful experience with George Washington Middle School. We feel like our children receive an excellent education at GW. We would highly recommend this school (and the Alexandria City Public Schools in general) to other families seeking a challenging and excellent education for their children.
I am an 8th grader at GW. During my three years there, I have encounter many wonderful teachers and classmates. I have had teachers that changed my life and friends that I will never loose contact with. GW has an amazing music program and arts programs. The choir, band and orchestra all receive superior ratings at festival (the top score you can be given) while performing high difficulty music. I have been blessed to be part of the orchestra, directed by Jonathan Jones. I have improved my playing immensely and given the opportunity to participate in school trips to New York City and strings competitions. I have also participated in competitions like Science Fair and History Day, which have helped me learn researching skills, project management, and presentation techniques. I wouldn't trade my experiences at GW for anything, and I would never choose to go to a different school, no matter how many times I was asked.
While not perfect (no school is), GW is a world-class educational institution by almost any standard. The educators whom we have encountered there as a family have been very good instructors and have motivated our children in an effective and positive way. They teachers are generally very accomplished accademically as well. We, as parents, also like that our children attend school with kids who have different backgrounds. We are hopeful that he school's diversity and our teaching will help them avoid the "entitlement attitude" that can so easily be acquired in Alexandria which has a large affluent community.
We, as parents, think that GW is an outstanding, high-caliber educational institution. We guide our children who go there to focus on adacemics and music. The school's honors classes challenge our kids in a way that does not induce stress. Language teachers and programs are excellent. Of course the school's nationally acclaimed music programs really stand out, too.
GW is an institution filled with highly skilled educators and wondetful students. While this (and all schools) will always have some issues to address and improvments to make, we should not forget that this is truly a great school in a wonderfully supportive community.
My daughter attended Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, where she wasn't challenged academically and transitioned to GWMS last year, where she has finally been challenged and flourished! Under the new redesign, each grade is organized into 4 teams of 100 that each share the same 4 core teachers. The teachers organize their curriculum as a team, conduct conferences together, and work in concert. The teachers have been excellent and supportive and the opt-in honors curriculum has been very demanding, particularly in science. My daughter takes Chinese (one of 5 foreign languages they offer) and is learning both pinyin and characters from an excellent, engaging teacher. She reportedly really likes all her teachers and finds her assignments interesting. The only concern my daughter has raised is that the school appears to be very racially stratified. She is in a team consists of predominantly White students (She's the only Black student is half of her classes), and when her homeroom teacher sent her to each homeroom to collect forms, she observed that each classroom is either almost entirely White or almost entirely Black and Latino.
Our child came to 6th grade at GW as a new student. Since day one, the teachers took care of her and followed her closely providing a lot of support. The curriculum and level of challenge met our high standards as well. She has good friends and loves the school and community. Our family highly recommends this school.
I find that the educators at GW focus intently on improving achievement for all students. The school provides a clean, safe and disciplined environment which I believe is key to making a difference in student learning. The principal and the ACPS administration are supportive and strong as well. The academic programs are state of the art and our children have been successful there.