You can feel safe about your child attending this school. We moved from a small town in Alaska at the same time that my son was to transition to middle school. I think I was just as nervous as he was. Each grade has a specific hallway. The 6th grade hall is red. If they turn the wrong corner, the walls and trim are blue and they are on the 7th grade hall. Within each grade are teams. So, my child's team of core teachers (English, Math, Science, History) are positioned with 2 classes to the left, and two classes across the hall. No running from one class to the next. The whole class stands up and goes to the next class right next door or across the hall. The 6th grade has lunch together and they sit with their team. The 6th grade has P.E. as a group, (no sharing the locker room with 7th and 8th graders). The meeting with the teachers are always with the whole team. They really do work together to help a child meet their potential. I have heard the Principal speak to parents on a few occasions and he just says the same speech each time (stuff about cell phone misuse, and the changes that have occurred in the district since he started teaching 45 years ago). Thats not such a bad thing.
We started with Cedar Road Elementary, then Great Bridge Middle, and now at Grassfield High School - of all the school experiences Great Bridge Middle is head and shoulders above the rest! At both other schools my child was repeatedly attacked - during the three years at Great Bridge Middle we had NO INCIDENTS which allowed my child to thrive and enjoy his education. There are clear and distinct differences in levels of professionalism, spirit, teamwork, and passion for education in this school than any other school. From the Administration level to the teacher level and the assistants level - everyone had a vested interest in all the students that attended. It is truly remarkable how good management and good moral leaves a lasting effect on not just the students but the parents as well. We will always be grateful and hold fond memories of Great Bridge Middle and our experience there.
We recently moved to Chesapeake and enrolled our children in GBMS. We having be very happy with the the caring teachers. Both our children have throuoghly enjoyed their transition to GBMS after coming from a very small overseas school. The academics are solid, the teachers are diligent and we were blown away by the number of organized clubs and sports that we have not observed at other schools. Their athletic program is also amazing. We moved to the area primarily based on the reviews we read on this site and we have not been disppointed!
I think this school takes things to far. My child is new and has always loved school. That is just not the case anymore. They don't even allow the kids to sit freely at lunch, assigned seating for lunch and the bus. They treat them like prisioners, they are kids please lighten up a little.
The sixth grade counselor and teachers were very very good! The seventh grade conselor and teachers were awesome, the best.The school nurse is GREAT! But Grade 8 staff needs a major overhaul. The teachers are not good - they do little actual teaching - more what I would expect of an inner city school - unfriendly and demanding. If you talk go talk to the guidance counselor you will get a condesending smile and she will do nothing to support or help your student. She is definately there for the paycheck and nothing else. I believe that such attitudes come from the top down, so while I have had no interaction with the grade 8 principal - it must be his leadership that promotes such attitudes in the 8th grade staff.
This is a great school! Academics are challenging, but just enough to keep a student interested in learning (if they are interested at all). There are of course the "mean kids" who always try to pick on someone, but the staff is there to stop it before it gets out of hand. The other activities in the school (sports, theatre, etc.) are really fun and the teachers who run them are very kind. On my 7th grade year they didn't have theatre club and i was disappointed that no one stepped up to be the director. i will be moving to the Va Beach district for a school more involved in the arts. I will definately miss GBMS! Go Wildcats!
I've had two children go through GBMS and agree with the other statements about kids who need extra help. The teachers are not sympathetic at all, and many are brisk and unfriendly towards the kids. One of my kids is average, the other is special needs, and both received little attention beyond a 'figure it out yourself' attitude from the teachers. We've had much better experiences at the intermediate and high schools.
I agree completely with the last commentary posted 12/29/08. Great Bridge Middle is not very child friendly and quiet frankly antagonistic if the child is not able to meet their academic standards. Maybe too focused on the SOL's and not on the children who truely need their help!
If you have a child that excels on their own, they will do fine. If your child needs extra support, you will have to find it elsewhere. I had 2 children go through 6-8 grade who excelled on their own and did great. My other child that needs more hands on guidance struggles, with very little support from teachers.