Before moving here we heard really good things about Great Bridge. I have to say that we have been 100% happy with the school. We have been lucky to have a wonderful teacher who is very interested in her students. No complaints here.
Coming from a homeschool environment, I was extremely dissatisfied with the school's administration. The principal and asst. principal specifically. We were routinely at odds with the administration in terms of our child's needs vs the school's accomodations. My experience is that the admin is out of touch with the children's goal of learning and, instead, focus on SOL's. Something that for them measures less what the children know and more the school's teaching skills. Many of us parents noted emphasis on 'review' sheets for SOL prep than on homework or in-class tests. I had heard good experiences and poor experiences from family and neighbors; however, our experience was simply abhorrent.
My Son attended this School all three years and was in BM Williams prior. Unfortunately these schools are more concerned with test scores than they are with Student development and learning. Parents are the teachers here and Students are given bad grades for having busy, working, parents. It's really sad what this School District has become!
Chesapeake has a reputation for having Great Schools, however it's just the test scores that are great. Unfortunately the test scores are all they care about, the Teachers there are more concerned about those test score then they are about the students they are teaching. The Student/Teacher Ratio is great, so that's not the problem. The Vice Principal is never does anything to address concerns. The Principal does not get involved at all, I never even saw her except at public assemblies, despite requests for her attention. I had several concerns about what my child was not learning. Also the Parents have more homework now than we did when we were in school. This school has forgotten the Basics and the three R's!.
In two weeks, my daughter will be starting her third year(5th grade) at GBI. I couldn't be happier with the school. Everyone, teachers and support staff alike, is pleasant and knowledgeable. I have absolutely no complaints about this school at all. She did exceptionally well on her SOLs, achieving passed advance on all tests except reading, on which she scored a 464. Not her teacher's fault - she just doesn't like to read. :) The school is excellent, the PTA is very active, the curriculum is top-notch, and the staff is wonderful. The ladies in the office, the school nurse, the custodians - all super nice. The principal is seems to be very hands-on and approachable, very involved and dedicated to GBI.
I think that the school over all is okay, but some of the teachers arn't the best. They could be a whole lot nicer to the students instead of yelling at them all the time. The exstracurricular activities are very fun. Like in computers we can go on a program to help us learn how to type faster and more accurate. Some of the other activities like music, including strings, are very interesting because you can learn a lot of info. to help anyone on the SOLs'. As for P.E, what a blast, we do physical and mental education there, some for fun and some for state records. Then there is art where else a better place than that to express your feeling than there.