After a great start at Garfield with a phenom kinder teacher, I couldn't have been happier for my child to attend Garfield. The honeymoon was over and problems started. I felt so in the dark while my daughter attended 1st- and part of 2nd grade at Garfield. A common theme I recognized not only from my daughter's experience there, but from other parents is that there were so many concerning student/student & student/teacher interactions that just got swept under the rug. My daughter was pulled in the counselors office to be questioned about another child's alleged sexually explicit language in class and I was never contacted. The icing on the cake was my child's entire 1st grade year she was told by her teacher that she had "reading difficulties". I insisted that there was a disconnect somewhere because if anything my child was an ADVANCED reader. Teacher persisted, didn't listen to me, even wanted her to take a summer reading program for struggling students. We transferred to Griffin and not surprisingly my child was placed in an advanced reading group. Staff don't take parents seriously and concerns are minimized. Tara Mock, kinder, is the best thing about that school.
I had my daughter enrolled in this school and within a month I had to pull her back out due to her 3rd grade teacher not being a good teacher. The teacher was not able to explain things to me about my daughters school work or the school work of his classroom. He was rude to both me and my husband and treated my daughter rudely also. I also witnessed him being mean to other students and not understanding of why the child was upset. My child loved going to school and always looked forward to going until I enrolled her in this school and got that horrible teacher. I had to build up her confidence level due to this bad rude teacher
We are in our second year at Garfield and my daughter loves her second grade class! She's had the benefit of looping with the same teacher and class, and has made great progress in her reading and writing. I value the diversity in the classroom and the strong teacher that she has. Garfield also has a great many energetic volunteers and interns through partnerships with the local colleges - they've done some great afterschool programs and provided extra help in the classroom.
Garfield elementary is a poorly run school. The teachers and staff are disrespectful to the students, volunteers, and other staff. Teachers seem to regard little value in the students as people. The academics are mediocre. The principal does not show strong leadership, and seems to be apathetic about what happens in the school. Though there are a few good teachers, overall, they seem to lack respect and often gossip about the students with other teachers.
From what I have observed during my daughter's kindergarten and first grade year, Garfield is an excellent school. I do not know the principal very well yet but he appears friendly and my daughter likes him. He speaks calmly with students who are misbehaving. My daughter's teacher Mrs. Sheafe is amazing and thankfully my daughter has had her two years in a row due to the school looping teachers up through grades. I do not know if the parental involvement is higher than average as my daughter is my oldest, but from what I have seen, numerous parents are very involved and even teach optional after-school enrichment programs.
Over the las three years the community feel to this school has diminished which is sad. I can no longer recommend it as better than the others nearby because of that. The message to parents:'You're family here (principal's slogan) and stay out of our way and let us do our jobs...' Lets just say, its an okay school, has some great teachers and its not really a 'community.' Sad truth.