This school is more intimidating than the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I'm pretty sure there is a clause somewhere in our country's set of laws that forbids public education funding to go towards the establishment of a military camp, but apparently Gilbert Linkous has discovered a loophole. If your dream in life is becoming a renegade soldier, then this is the place for you!
GLE is as good as any public school can get. Our kindergarten teachers are so dedicated and hardworking. They are not only academically challenging but down to earth about every child's life details such as opening a milk carton for them. They are caring and inspired to teach. I love seeing my child excited to go to school everyday. I used to struggle on the decision between private vs public. Struggle no more.
My child went to this school for less than a year. I pulled my child out part way through because of their discipline system. By December, they no longer used "warning" card turns. So any misdemeanor resulted in punishment: Running laps around the playground during their ONE recess...while all of the other children watched. THis was for infractions so serious as forgetting to have their parent sign their planner (3rd grader), forgetting to sign up for lunch, not putting their chair on their desk at the end of the day, etc. My child was a shadow of his former self by the time I pulled him. He was anxious every day about forgetting one of their million rules and getting punished. This might help other kids to be responsible, but my child is already very responsible and believes in following rules to the letter. However, GLE's rules were so numerous, even he couldn't be perfect 100% of the time, resulting in anxiety. At his current school, he got an almost perfect report card (lost 1 point in handwriting, that's it), and got a perfect score on 1 SOL and near perfect scores on the others. I am VERY happy I got him OUT of GLE! It was the principal's discipline program, btw.
I work at this school and have grown to love it. The principal and teachers are all very supportive and work very hard to make sure the students succeed. There are many after school activities offered, advertised in the Orange Notes sent home with the students. If you do not hear about these classes make sure your child is bringing home the newsletter. There is a great after school care program that also runs through the summer and holidays.
We recently moved to the area and are very happy with this school. Our kids are challenged academically and are given a quality, well-rounded education with small student/teacher ratios. We came from out-of-state and I am very impressed with the number and variety of after school programs offered. My kids have especially enjoyed the opportunity to get involved with theater. Meetings take place not only after school but on weekends as well. They have also enjoyed 4-H and chess courses. From what we have seen the principal whole-heartedly encourages and supports after school programs.
We moved to Blacksburg just so our kids could go to Gilbert Linkous Elementary. The class sizes are small, the teachers are great, and there are some after school activities available though they aren't always advertised widely so that more students could join. A lot activities such as lego league rely on parent involvement so unless you are a stay at home parent, most don't have time to commit time to starting them up.
Good school if you can be satisfied with only the minimum and the basics! Small size elementary school, nice teachers and staff. Our biggest problem with the school (and the principal primarily) is total rejection of any after-school actitivities. Other elementary schools in the area host LEGO clubs, chess clubs, childrens choir, foreign language clubs, etc. Some are free, some require minimal pay. We, parents of Gilbert Linkous students, are left to scout extra curriculum activities on our own.
Gilbert Linkous is an outstanding school. The teachers are awesome and the parents are involved. Our daughter loves going to school. Their SOL scores and other measures demonstrate a strong academic component.