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1-8
Public
Woodbridge, VA
Students enrolled: 663

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15311 Forest Grove Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22191

(703) 580-6501
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Mary G. Porter Traditional address.

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May 29, 2014
I wish that the lottery system was public to ensure that it is fair. It is very difficult to get into, even for upcoming 1st graders.

- submitted by a community member
May 23, 2014
This school is good on paper. My children are very good at taking tests, and they are academically successful, but the atmosphere at Porter borders on clinical. I have heard from several staff members that the principal is difficult to work for, and having had our first issues requiring her attention (in 6 years) I find that to be true as a parent as well. Porter checks all of the boxes, but is far from a nurturing environment. The good thing with a single, powerful leader is that they can get results, but the only results that seem to matter are the test score the kids get. The format for this school has amazing potential, but that's where it ends.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2014
I have been affiliated with this school for 6 years now and it has been a great place for my child who started in 1st grade and is currently in 6th grade (middle school). I have a child that's in 3rd grade at this school too and it has been an ongoing success academically and socially. No, school is perfect, but Mary G. Porter comes pretty close to perfection as far as my children academic needs are concerned. I'm confident that the quality of education they are receiving will promote future success in every avenue of their chosen profession. It is a school of choice and I'm grateful they have the opportunity to attend this school.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2013
I love this school my son has been getting all pass advanced on his SOL's ever since he joined this school.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2013
I am very happy that my kids are accepted at porter. I love this school not only my kids. My kids are very advanced and thanks to the great teachers and the wonderful principal whom my kids love an adore. Thank you porter allowing us to be part of your family. We will continue working together to the best of our kids. Excellent school in reading, math, writing, s.studies and science. Looking for the best private and public don't hesitate put your child at porter.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2013
I HATE THIS SCHOOL! The principal is very picky. She has her favorites. My student is going to godwin noe.

- submitted by a community member
January 05, 2013
This is our first year at Porter and we could not be more pleased with our experience. Our 3rd grader was pulled in the lottery and our 6th grader was wait listed, but did get in a week after school started. The excellent reputation and test scores are what drew us to apply initially, but the extracurricular activities are a huge plus. Our 6th grader doesn't enjoy contact sports but was very excited about being on the golf team, and then he also signed up for and loved archery. He is also taking robotics now then woodshop next semester as elective courses. The middle school he's zoned for doesn't offer any of these (they do offer robotics and woodshop, but only as after school clubs). Our 3rd grader is singing in the chorus and can't wait to be old enough to play volleyball. They both absolutely love Porter and as a parent I'm very glad they're there. My only regret is that we didn't move to PWC and apply for Porter sooner.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2012
My daughter attended Porter for her middle school years. She is now in high school and the experiences she had in middle school has prepared her for high school environment. The principal and staff were supportive and helpful giving the extra time and attention to the needs of the students. Many long days and night are put in by the principal and staff. They might not be able to attended all functions but are aware of the students performances and accomplishments and thankful for the great students and families. Having families of their own they give more time to the students of Porter. It is truly a family with everyone caring, and looking out for each other.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2012
Mary G. Porter has not only the best test scores but The Best Principal. My children are cared for and loved. The principal strives to protect the students and has high expectations. She wants all of us to be accountable. She has a tough position and especially with parents that want their own way. It saddens me to read any negative statements about Porter. The success of the school is the proof of the results and over 600 parents wanting their child to go to Porter. My children have been there 8 years and I applaud the staff and thank them especially the principal!

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2012
Porter is outstanding! The school really works on making it Bully free! The principal is wonderful and loves my kids. She gives tough love and only wants a climate that promotes success. I am so happy with all the technology. My son is making QR codes.

- submitted by a parent
April 06, 2012
The teachers are excellent at Porter. The principal does have a strong personality... and a kind heart. I've spoken with the principal about different issues. Eventually, she did listen to me, and implemented changes over the past two years. No matter what school you choose, it is very important to be involved in your school in some way, and to continually speak up with gentleness and respect., then you are more likely to be heard. My children transferred from a private, Christian school. Their biggest challenge was learning a totally different way of doing math. Also, they are not pampered. Socially, my kids have friends from different religions and cultures and countries. Any disobeying of the rules is quickly taken care of with reasonable consequences. The staff also rewards their students for showing Star Qualities. (character qualities like, respect, courtesy, etc...) Parents are required to submit volunteer hours. This is also what makes the school good, because of the different talents and skills that the parents give back to the students and teachers. Overall, it is a good school, because the teachers and the principal genuinely care about the kids.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2011
I have kids at Porter too, and have issues with the principal. Wondering how she is still there with all these complaints? Did anyone bring this up to the PTA or the school board?

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2011
If you are a parent looking for a safe bully free school this is the best place. if your kids in elememtary school theyll love it, middle not so much. As a student I can say the principal is a warm-hearted person, but as a principle she has too much control. The njhs and sca in the school are just little servants who do chores for facuilty whereas in other schools they have a signifugant role. students are forced to sign agreements that ban students and parents from critisising the school openly through the web and studens are punished for it. Also some of the teachers are too sarcastic and verbally abusive at some points this leads to students talking back and disipline referrals. The school adds too many tests to increase averages and this adds stress.Lastly the schools obsession with publucity has a negative effect on sports and such. There is extreme pressure on the robotics and basketball teams to exceed or else there are conciquences. Last year the robotics teams had unbelieveable success but only one team went to the international championships because money was (tight) but that year the school spent over 1k on ipods and technology to draw attention for the technology labs.

- submitted by a community member
April 26, 2011
At this school and we have won the title "School of EXCELLENCE" 5 times, IN A ROW. So... tell me, why is it that Leesylvania has a better rating than us? Kids at Leesylvania probably get more referrals than us too. Plus, you have to apply to Porter to have the chance of getting in. So our school should definitely not have the rating of three stars, meaning average. We are an above average school. And by the way, our teacher staff is also excellent, as well as parent involvement.

- submitted by a community member
March 28, 2011
Dear Parents: I would like to hear more about this school and principal. This year my boys selected thru the lottery process. I would like to know your positive and negative views on this school. I am noticing a number of parents raised issue with Principal, was is raised in the PTA. How long this principal is serving this school, how long is her tenure in this school? I How about the school curriculam? How the students feel about their school? How are the other yeacher's and staff's behaviour? How about extra curricular activities? The parents of prospective enrolling student will be highly benefitted from your kind reviews. If there is change needed, how influential the PTA is? Awaiting your kind response.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2011
It would seem to be that whoever says they like the principal have not had any sort of one-on-one with the principal. She seems to have her own agenda in doing things, and who does that agenda benefit? It is unclear other than it may just feed her need to be in power. It is a shame. Many parents are excited to bring their children to this school, whether it be from the consistent good grades on the SOL's, the uniforms or the required parent-involvement, but it is quite disappointing that there seems to be a lack of heart in the school, but instead, there's plenty of whitehead and administrative staff to back it up. The couple of teachers I have gotten to know have been okay, but with all the hype of the school, I'd expect way more than just okay. My children now attend Rosa Parks Elementary, and I was blown away by how incredibly wonderful everything is there. Now I know that it wasn't just my imagination that Porter could use a lot of improvement. When the principal and upper staff fall short, it trickles down to the rest of the school. It is like having a rotten apple in a bag with other apples. The rotten apple, and those apples close it need to be removed.

- submitted by a parent
March 11, 2011
Its not that she is a bad person, her a as principle is whats bad. She micro-manages, and has to control everything. She has tried to control what we were so much now, its insane! And none of its in the "uniform Policy" book, nor is it in the code of behavior. She's trying to get all the parents to buy from Landing In uniform services, and they are so expensive! Some type of kickbacks are going on. Also, she will not hear us students out. Its immediately your wrong and shes right. Plus, im in the 8th grade, and she treats us like children. She talks down to us like we don't understand her and we are mentally challenged. My parents have tried to talk to her, and they say its impossible she refuses to hear you out and her option is "Your welcome to leave". I think some parents don't realize what they are putting their kids into when they enroll for that school. Plus, the curriculum is the same for county wide. The teachers, dont really push us and when The principle comes to "talk" to us, she ends up yelling at us as if we dont know anything. I mean , I'm a Student I am there 5 days a week, I know my school and its not as good as people make it seem to be.

- submitted by a community member
February 04, 2011
We are new to the school this year, but we love it. My daughter has pride in the school and has learned great discipline. Porter has taught her this, as well as instilling pride in her country, which seems to be going by the wayside these days. She has excelled in her academics and is challenged to go beyond regular classroom work. The PTA is very active in the school and does fun events. The extracurricular activites are wonderful - chess club, quill and scroll, robotics, to name a few. We love this school and feel very fortunate to have our daughter attend Mary G. Porter.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2010
This school is a good school to receive an education based on the diversity, clubs, after-school sports, technology, etc. But unfortunately, this school is all about test scoresm test to learn, not learn to test, all about SOL's, School of Excellence. Numbers and Politics! I have had excellent support from the Middle School Superintendent. You might want to start with her before you go all the way up. If this not work, send compaint to Prince William Human Rights Commission, or Office of Civil Rights. Parents advocate for your children! M ake sure they do not get lost with all the outer trappings of what looks good, but make sure they get an equal education! It's about the children not how friendly or unfriendly the Principal is!

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2010
Porter has great staff and teachers. Unfortunately, there is a lot of tension surrounding them because of the principal. She is not a good leader and I can personally attest to her dismissive nature regarding my child. And no I am not one of those "difficult" parents with a problem child. There are enough complaints about The principal to merit consideration. Furthermore, taking anything up the chain of command does nothing because the assistant superintendent and Ms. Whitehead are best friends. Rae Darlington will not give credence to any complaint regarding Darci Whitehead. Ms Whitehead also allows for the girls to get away with a lot more bullying than the boys. Leadership starts from the top and trickles down. If the staff and faculty are not happy, it affects the students.

- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2010
As a parent of 2 Porter students, I am surprised by the reviews- I don't think is accurate. I agree that the teaching staff, opportunities for parent/family involvement, communication are all excellent. I do find the prinicpal approachable, dedicated to do what her students need, and creative. I have personally met with her a few times regarding my children/issues, she listened to what I had to say, asked fair questions and I was amazed at how well she spoke with my daughter about a discipline issue. I have heard some parents voice concerns about the principle- but honestly, those parents who voice concerns, I can see them being very difficult, condescending, and not wiling to see their child could do anything wrong. They are more the problem, not Mrs. Whitehead. When i come in the school and in dealing with it, I feel welcomed and included.

- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2010
As a parent whose children are getting ready to start at this school in September I want to state how I feel about the principle and school in general. I love this principle. This principle and school has a track record of positive results. That is what makes them the professionals and more specifically that s what makes them know what is best for the child. If it is not broke don t fix it. Parents should be there to support the staff and the principle to help them continue what they have been doing for some time now very well. If too many options from parents were welcomed in, we might break something. Please let s leave good alone. It is the leadership skills of this principle and the efforts of the support staff that has produced the results they have so far. Providing firm direction to children is not bullying.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2010
I also had a problems with this principal. I was surprised at how she treated me. I felt that her decisions were not in the best interest of my child and I ended up talking to the superintendant. I was shocked that the superintendant dismissed me. She said that she is good friends with the principal and that the principal would never do what I said happened,. She also said that nobody has ever complained about this principal. After I pulled my child out of the school, many parents asked why I did this and they confided in me thier similar stories and their similar frustrations with going to the superintendant. My complaint is not about the principal but with the superintendant. If there is no accountability, the principal is going to behave any way she wants. PWC schools hurt our property values. I see now the problem.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2010
I thought I was the only one that felt this way at times. I believe this school year is my child's last year. I want my child to have a fresh start elsewhere. Everything you said is what I have been feeling this way for quiet sometime.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2010
I was very excited to put my children in Porter Traditional. I liked the fact that a lottery system is used in order to choose the students. This allows the children to come from homes where education is a priority. However, after dealing with the school for a couple of years I began to notice, in my opinion, some concerning issues. For instance, I think that the principal has a personality that comes across as harsh. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with being firm because that is expected in a management type position. However, I believe she is not just firm, but rude and offensive. Furthermore, my excitement for the school began to diminish when I noticed that the curriculum was the same county wide. In particular, I did not like the fact that my children were learning Math Investigations. This is not a traditional way of learning math.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2010
My daughter entered this school in 1st grade and has had a successful experience. She is currently in 2nd grade and the success continues. I wasn't sure about putting her in public school because she has always attended private Christian schools. I am so glad we made the decision to give it a try. She loves it and we love it too! I am very active at her school and I've witness so many positive things and the school culture, climate, and cohesiveness of staff, faculty, and students is outstanding. It is indeed a Professional Learning Community (PLC) that's passionate about all children learning at higher levels. If you are thinking about sending your child to this school please don't hesitate. You will not regret it. There is no perfect school but Porter is pretty close to it. Blessings, A Satisfied Parent

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 13, 2010
My children go to Porter. What I love: parent involvement, teaching staff, support staff. What I don't love: the principal's 'bedside manners'. I guess if she were a surgeon it wouldn't matter if she's a good people person. But for someone who is supposed to be accessible to both parents and children she comes across stand-offish. I agree with the previous comment about her not allowing dialogue; little or no input from the bottom up. I understand that people in leading positions can't make friends with everyone and there will be disagreements. The fact that this school is so sought-after makes it easy for her to disregard dissenters and 'invite them to leave'. Little anekdotes about her yelling at parents or walking away in the middle of a conversation (admittedly hearsay) add to bad air around her.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2010
My children have attended Porter since its opening. We chose Porter for the required parental involvement and strong academic and disciplinary standards. The school gets good numbers on SOL s and I have found the teaching staff to be very professional, caring and willing to work with parents, with a few exceptions. The principle, however, is dismissive and extremely condescending as well as intolerant to anyone disagreeing with her. She refuses to discuss problems civilly and often ends conversations by recommending the family leave the school. This, sadly, detracts from the family friendly atmosphere that the school should be providing. During my years at Porter I have spoken with other parents who have been intimidated via these tactics. I have scene many caring and involved parents pull their children out of Porter. Porter is a public school, and the principle lacks the tact and manner necessary as a public servant.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2010
My son was among the 2nd graders the first year that Porter opened and my daughter started in second grade as well. the thing that struck me most about Porter is the amount of energy they put into the 'no bullying' policy - and yet - some of the teachers, and the principal and the ones doing the bullying. there were many times I would hear they way the teachers would talk with the kids and they would use demeaning language and make demands of the children that coming from another child would be considered bullying. Children learn to be bullies because they are bullied by others. it is unfortunate that it is the adults in their lives that are teaching them his. my children no longer attend Porter as we moved out of state, their new schools do not put nearly the same emphasis on this problem

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2010
I have two children who have been at Porter since first grade and we all love this school. The teachers are excellent and care about the children and their individual needs, the front office staff are exceptional and there to help. The Principal is also great and I applaud her in being firm on how this school is run and not bending for parents who feel they deserve some exception. Attending Porter is a privilege not a right and if someone is not able to do what is expected they can and should find another option. My hat is off to the entire staff of Porter, keep up the excellent work and I will continue to support our school.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2010
I have two children at the school and have to agree with the other comments regarding the Principal. Her negativity trickles down to the teachers and also to the students. I am withdrawing my students this year and sending them to another private school in Woodbridge. The atmosphere at Porter is not what I want my child to come to know as normal for school.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2010
This school has such great potential. The teachers are great and the front office is extremely helpful. Unfortunately, even with great staff, the mood of the school is greatly affected by the leadership. Leadership is more than just finding great staff and great test scores. A good principal shows leadership by leading in such a way that the parents know that you have the best interest of the children in mind. When parents overhear and see callous statements and actions from the the principal, it is hard to believe that she actually has the interest of the children. I hope that the principal could see how her actions hurt not only individuals but our whole school. Not everything needs to be a fight.

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2009
Every thing is great about this school the Principal Made sure that I would get good grades and if I didn't she would have a teacher help me after school. without Porter I would have been a D student but now in High School I have all A's and it's all thanks to Porter but I would really like if the PWC made a Traditional High School.

- submitted by a student
December 07, 2009
The principal needs to go.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2009
The principal has fantastic communication skills and always has an open door policy. She will be glad to meet with any parent, as long as she has a free minute. The staff are wonderful and care about ALL of the students at Porter, not just their own classroom students. Most of staff know the names of all 600+ students! I daughter went here and loved it. The warm family atmosphere is great! and so supportive. PS. one of the front office secretaries was named Virginia Administrative Professional of the year by the Virginia Elementary Principals Association.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2009
I have two children at Porter. My son has been there since second grade and is now in seventh. My daughter started last year as a first grader. The teachers and staff are very good. However, the principal lacks tact and willingness to work with the parent when there is an issue. She certainly does not tolerate her authority or opinions being challenged by a parent. Honestly, if it weren't for the teachers, I would move my children back to their base schools because the principal is awful.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2009
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- submitted by a student
August 27, 2009
The principal lacks communication skills with the parents. She is very frustrating to work with. She is unproffessional and even rude. This principal lacks leadership skills.

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2009
this school is like a family we all take care of each other

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2009
The uniforms are great, however the principal is not very accomadating. Parental opinions and suggestions are not encouraged. School has a waiting list, so it is not a great loss if you choose to leave the school. Some of the teachers are excellent and very caring. The school focuses highly on SOL instruction and does not tolerate any behavioral issues or you are asked to go back to your base school.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2009
I used to be very pleased with the school. By first impression, it is a dream. Because it is a harder school to get into, (lottery system and mandatory parent participation) the children all come from homes that place education as a priority. I love the teachers and my children's friends. It is all wonderful until you see the politics that go on there. The principal belittles the parents and clearly states that decisions need to be left to the proffessionals. She clearly states that she knows what is best for the child more than the parent. When, as a parent, your child to be more challenged, tells the parent that they will in the older grades. Talking with her is extremely frustrating. I can see why people are taking their children out of the school to homeschool them. I give 2 stars because of the great teachers.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2009
i go to porter im in the 7th grade i've been there scince the 3rd. Besides wearing stressful uniforms and homework (ick) porter is a awsome schoool. the teachers want to help you. the make sure you pass your exams and fitness test. I use to think the school was lame because my friends would say it was dumb but porter has alot to offer

- submitted by a student
July 10, 2009
I have two daughters, one graduated and one currently attends. My eldest daughter was an incoming 5th grader at Porter when it first opened its doors. The faculty and staff are wonderful, going above and beyond. The combination of my daughter's work ethic along with the knowledge and experience that she gained there has fully prepared her academically for High School where she continues to be an Honor Roll student.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2009
Porter is an excellent school. It's safe and your child will get the best education ever.

- submitted by a student
March 01, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2009
Mary G Porter traditional school is the greatest school in in the county this school has ever thing smart bords, laptops, green screen, help, and great no worderful staff you wont make a mestake in sending yor kid to Porter.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2009
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- submitted by a student
January 21, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
January 01, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2008
My son has been at Porter since first grade now at 7th grade. I could not ask for anything more. The principal has done an incredible job keeping the school at the hights level.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2008
My son has been at Porter for 3 yrs. Even the SAC program they have before and after school is of a much higher quality than you find at the other schools (3 other SAC experiences during summer and winter breaks). The teachers go above and beyond to ensure that the children excell.

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2008
I can't believe how great this school is. They have exceptional teachers, a wonderful principal, and activities that only expensive private schools offer. Best of all, they do not tolerate bad behavior or bad grades and they emphasize traditional manners.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 30, 2008
I have 3 kids at this school and I amd very pleased with the education they are receiving. The teaching staff really seems to care about each student. I feel that this school is a cut above the typical public school in my area.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2007
My daughter is an learning disabled child. I am very pleased with the support she has received at Porter. She was unable to pass standardized tests before she attended Porter. I am very pleased that she passed all standardized tests for the first time in 6th grade. The staff is very attentitive and works with the parents until the midnight hour! Love the school!

- submitted by a parent
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Mary G. Porter Traditional
15311 Forest Grove Drive, Woodbridge, VA  22191
(703) 580-6501
Last modified Mary G. Porter Traditional is a Public school that serves grades 1-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Mary G. Porter Traditional Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 57 reviews. Top