With two children at the school and 5 years of cumulative classroom time between them, we really can't say enough positive things about Gesher. The teachers and professional staff exude warmth, competence and friendliness, and our experience with multiple teachers for both general studies and electives has been very positive. The facility still feels new and provides a wonderful environment for learning, recreation and social development. We are excited to be a Gesher family, and our kids were actually CHEERING, yes, CHEERING, when we reminded them that school starts next week! For those who may have felt let down by gifted programming, challenges presented by Gesher's location, or other leadership concerns at the school in years past, I can only say that every school may have drawbacks for some families, but now, it feels like a great time to be a parent or student there. We are truly grateful for the secular and Jewish education our kids are receiving, as well as the network of friends we have developed with other parents over the years. I hope this review is helpful to whoever might be considering Gesher; but definitely GO VISIT if you get the chance.
Our daughter spent two years at Gesher, and then we moved out of the area. It's a wonderful school, nurturing, friendly... Everyone we knew there was happy with it. They also work hard to accommodate families who need financial aid. The only problem with the school is that it's hard to truly foster community when kids come from all over Northern Virginia, from Chantilly to Reston to Arlington. There is a group of stay at home moms who bond with each other while helping out the school, but beyond that it's very hard to get everyone together, even the occasional after-school event means battling No. Va. traffic.
We are very happy with our chidren's education at Gesher JDS. Our older one graduated last year after getting a comprehensive education in grades K-8. The culmination of her learning was a class trip to Israel and it was a wonderful experience. She is now doing extremely well in high school. The Gesher teachers are wonderful and truly care about each student, helping each one to excel. The head of school and faculty continue to evaluate and add new innovative academic features and technologies. The academics are excellent -- high scores on standardized tests, strong math teams with high placements, etc. All this in a nurturing environment, where students learn a love for Judaism and their heritage, and live a life of Jewish values -- good deeds, respect, etc. Some of the science curriculum takes place outside: seeing the animals in the vernal pond, the foliage in the meadow, planting vegetables and plants that are either native to Israel or Va. colonial times. I would recommend Gesher to any Northern Va. Jewish family of any denomination.
For average kids, this school is lovely. For especially gifted kids, this school simply does not have the ability to deal. I was so unhappy that I had to pull my children out. I would have expected more from a Jewish school. But I guess those days are gone, and like most other schools, this one teaches to the middle. It is a shame, but I have known several families who removed their gifted children from Gesher.
We stumbled upon Gesher many years ago and have never regretted it. Outstanding teachers, a caring administration, and a community that is supportive and demanding helped us to raise wonderful young adults who are thriving in high school. Their high school teachers tell me often how different my children are - they are able to critically analyze situations and texts, naturally assume leadership positions, have a strong work ethic, and are good friends to all their classmates. Most telling is that my kids never miss an opportunity to visit Gesher, checking in with their 'old' teachers. I highly recommend Gesher to all Jewish families.
Top-notch academics in a warm and nurturing Jewish community. We left the Fairfax County Public School system for Gesher five years ago and have been extremely happy with the quality of education as well as the school environment. Gesher's teachers are dedicated, caring educators who appreciate the individual needs of each student. Gesher parents are actively involved, so parents and students both enjoy a warm, thriving Jewish Community. Gesher field trips far outshine the ones our child experienced during 3 years of public school. Judaics and Hebrew curriculum are wonderful. Our child experienced his Bar Mitzvah surrounded by a group of friends who cheered him on and appreciated the importance of this rite of passage, rather than just seeing it as a chance to have a party. Priceless!
Our two children have received a fine education at Gesher. The older one has already transitioned out to the FCPS, and has proved to be well prepared for his honors-and-AP-heavy course load; additionally, the demands of a dual Jewish-studies/general-studies curriculum from grades K-8 have helped him learn time-management skills. It's also been wonderful to have our children in a place where Jewish observance is an integral part of daily life, and not something looked at as weird. Our younger child, though his learning needs and personality traits differ from those of his brother, has also had a great experience at Gesher so far: the experienced, well-trained teachers respond to the unique qualities of each student, helping him to be the best he can be. It's been well worth the money.
We have been extremely happy with our chidren's education at Gesher JDS. The teachers are wonderful and truly care about each student, helping each one to excel. The head of school and faculty continue to evaluate and add new innovative academic features and technology that move the learning far ahead of Fairfax county schools. All this in a nurturing environment, while the students learn a love for Judaism and their heritage, and live a life of Jewish values -- good deeds, respect, etc. I love that some of the science curriculum takes place outside: seeing the animals in the vernal pond, the foliage in the meadow, planting vegetables and plants that are either native to Israel or Va. colonial times. These experiences are wonderful and my kids have thrived. I would recommend Gesher to any Jewish family of any denomination.
What a wonderful school! My children have thrived in Gesher's nurturing environment, both at the elementary school and middle school levels. The academics are so strong and well-thought out, and the the values instilled in our children at Gesher are umatched. The teachers are extraordinarily talented and dedicated, and the school leadership and administration are smart, caring individuals with the highest integrity and a wonderful, individualized approach to learning. Each year my children have benefited from the special qualities of each of their teachers and the amazing experiential learning opportunities that Gesher offers. I have appreciated the attentive nature of the teachers and the administration at Gesher, and feel comfortable working with each member of the faculty as partners in my children's development and education. Every parent should give Gesher a look - after all, our children only get one childhood - and one opportunity for K-8 education!