This school has a lot of issues. I have heard the new principal has made some progress, but he culture of form over function and appearance over substance is hard to defeat. We have been at Colvin Run for two years now since our eldest got into the level four Advanced Academic Program and we have been able to pupil place the other kids to CRES as well luckily. But despite loving our house, we are looking at moving to the CRES area to ensure we never have to go to GFES again. Truly, astoundly awful.
I have to admit, I'm shocked to see this school has only 3 stars since it's one of the best elementary schools in the state. I have two children at GFES, and it's an amazing school. It has an on-site Advanced Academic Placement as well as Japanese language immersion. Plus, it's a small school and has that small town feel. New principal is doing a great job. Teachers here are on par with anywhere in Fairfax County. Lots of great PTA events and parent participation. I do think there's a lot of emphasis on test scores, but to be fair, this is a county/ statewide problem, not something that's unique to Great Falls.
I attended this school from 1st to 6th grade, I am now in 8th grade, and I can say that this school was one of the most difficult schools I have ever seen where the teachers are unnecessarily hard on the students and treat some students like trash, me being one of them. I was asking a question while my English teacher was reading us a story and she told me to put my hand down and stop asking questions, she told me it was clear that I didn't understand the book and that the book was higher level readers only, and told me to leave the classroom, I cried the rest of the day. The teachers Favorited some students and gave them passing A's when I put in much more work then they did and all I got were C's. This school is the epitome of unfair treatment! The teachers treated us like we couldn't learn anything. When I passed all of my SOLs I couldn't even be happy because my teachers were to busy harassing me. Overall This school was trash, DO NOT SENT YOUR KIDS THERE!