This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Greenbriar East Elementary School4
Posted October 21, 2014
- a parent
My children have attended GBE for three years, and I have been generally happy with their education there. There are a few bad apples, but that doesn't seem to spoil the bunch. I don't get the bad reviews about the principal. I've found her to be caring, honest, and available (except for a health crisis that couldn't be helped). We try to attend events put on by the school, such as the fall festival and Veteran's Day concert, dances, bingo night, etc., and it always seems like lots of people are there. It does seem like the same group of volunteers each time, but that could be because the neighborhood and parent teacher organization are very cliquish. I can't attend the 9:30 a.m. meetings because I work in DC and can't take time off during the day to go. Several of the teachers we have had don't use Blackboard, which I think is very frustrating, especially when my children aren't very forthcoming about upcoming tests/work/etc.
My son and I love GBE. He is now in the 5th grade and has been in this school since K. He has always had the nicest sweetest teachers anyone could ask for. The staff and teachers are extremely helpful and very responsive to emails or even when you visit on site. The counselor has always been very supportive when I needed guidance with my son in his learning and behavior and as a single mom (who still struggles on how to do things right for my son) I needed direction on how I should proceed. The music teacher was and is wonderful and very helpful when we needed guidance on renting instruments. They provide many diverse activities for the kids to keep them engaged and are very focused on everyone being respectful. I wish they taught a foreign language like Spanish would be all I could say that is missing. The school itself is beautiful, recently renovated, bright, clean, and provides and overall happy environment. I am not sure about the other 2 negative reviews on this site but if you ask for help in a friendly and nice way you get the help you need from the staff. They have always been extremely friendly, kind and helpful.
While the community has a great location and Greenbriar has many friendly neighbors the staff especially the nurse who doesn't show any concern..actually the whole administrative staff acts like they hate their job, that your problem is not important and they have the "I could care less attitude." I'm not the only one who feels this way. Be aware before you call because they make you feel like you are bothering them! The nurse says she's not even a registered nurse! Basically you have to be the nurse of your own child and when your kid falls and gets hurt they don't even notify you. Counselors are not even helpful unless it's an issue in the school. So make sure you have your own doctors, nurses, and counselors OUT of this school because this school could care less!
School is dull, teachers are never predictable. having moved from CT where my two kids went to the greatest school ever "french town", it has been a terrible experience and a horrible downgrade that I will regret for the rest of my life. As one of the reviews mentioned, I can't imagine how they treat my children when I'm not there, and my fingers are crossed that we can move soon and away from this bad experience. BTW. we are seriously moving just to move our kids from this school.
Education- its not bad but my son is bored because he has remembered the last half of last years teachings. (Being the first half of the year is a repeat of the last half of last years.) Kids/staff- Bullying is a major issue. Staff does nothing.. kids make fun of other kids names/ethnicities on a daily basis, the "bus patrol" that is older kids supposed to ensure the safety and well being of the other kids is a power trip for these "patrols", making fun of the younger kids and forcing the small kids to say swear words or calling them names. My son tells me stories everyday how someone has been threatened to get beat up (he was threatened yesterday by a 5th grader who has been bullying him since the first day of school, go figure its mid October and yet to this day an adult has yet to do a thing!) To sum it up, disgusted. This is bully heaven.
We've been at GBE for 3 years and I love it! My youngest son has been lucky enough to get great teacher's every year. My oldest son only went one year there, but also got a great teacher. I do a lot of volunteer work at the school and have gotten to know most of the teacher's and staff. They always ask about my oldest son, sincerely wanting to know how he's doing. Mrs. Cohen is a very dedicated principal. If you drive by GBE at night, after everyone else has gone home, you will see she is still there. She always is at the dances and bingo nights along with several of the teacher's. We also had teacher's participate in the Family Fun Run. Coming from a school in CA where it was all about "what can you do for my school" to "what can I do for your child", this is really just amazing! There needs to be more parent involvement though, you always see the same parents every time signing up to help out and then other parents complaining about it.
I want to like Greenbriar East but it's just too hard. There is terrible bullying going on in this school. Concerned parents, such as myself, have brought this to the attention of teachers and counselors and nothing is ever done. Staff acts like they care when you are talking to them about it but nothing ever changes. It's a big problem there and the school prefers to turn it's cheek. I do not think the staff is very invested in their school. I have never been to any after school activity in my 4 years there and seen ANY teachers. They don't show up to dances, movies, family fun nights or even a restaurant spirit night.
I'll start by saying that our oldest child had a GREAT Kindergarten teacher, but it's been increasingly horrible ever since. This school is from a different era. The demographics of this area have changed dramatically, yet the school staff looks like it's circa 1958. They have low expectations and consistently project their own stereotypes on certain segments of the school population. When challenged, they have no basis for their false claims, but the damage has already been done. While this is bad enough, know that it can get worse...their SACC program is a great example.. Working with large groups of children can be extremely challenging, but they signed up for this gig. I don't know that I've encountered so many rude and down right nasty professionals/para professionals in one setting...and make no mistake, they have no problem being mean-- borderline abusive to other children in front of you..I can only imagine how they treat my children when I'm not there...fingers crossed that we can sell our house as we know that this county has good schools.
My kids have been at GBE since Sept. 2011, and I graded this school excellent primarily b/c of the principal. She is proactive, always makes herself available, and is actively involved in school activites. I maintain communication with my kids' teachers, the teachers seem dedicated to the success of students, and the administrative staff is helpful & respectful. Although I wish the curriculum were more creative & challenging, this is general to the public school system and not specific to GBE. I LOVE that the school is so diverse, both culturally & economically. My 2nd grader is in chess and jr. readers, which are great. I wish, however, that there were more programs specifically at this school. We thought we'd be here for one year but are seriously considering staying b/c we are so happy with the school.