Principal Morningstar did an exceptional job this year - the future is brighter around here with her sense of calm determination & confidence. No nonsense, equalitarian, communicative leadership style. Her newsletters were a great means of communication and her presence before & after school were a great opportunity for the kids and parents to approach her and observe how she handled things (effectively & consistently). The counselor and music teacher are both exceptional, going far beyond what is required of them and really creating a sense of community by putting on all-school evening events.
I bet everyone who has posted so far is in the montessori program. That's just how it is. I doubt dual programs work flawlessly anywhere, but they definitely don't here. It lacks a feeling of 'whole' community. The montessori program is great & the nontraditional program (for a diverse program in the Southend)is good too, but the montessori [program] feels exclusive. That said, the new principal is no-nonsense & can-do. To her credit, both lousy traditional-program teachers left/retired midyear! Also the montessori does lots for the school (with their money & parent involvement). All kids seem really happy here & the counselor is fantastic.
Graham Hill has been called the jewel of the South End. It certainly proved to be that and more for my family. Principal Morningstar is a capable and outstanding leader. The staff is excellent. The playground is beautiful. The school seems to have become stronger, more cohesive and energetic since winning the fight to stay off the closer list. I think it will continue to blossom,
Our daughter has been at Graham Hill for three years. It was been a wonderful experience for her. Superb teachers. Wonderful music program. The facility received a $5 Million expansion 2 years ago with new library, computer lab and classrooms. Not a portable remains. Parents are engaged and supportive. We have a new principal starting this year who has a great track record in elsewhere in the district. We are extremely positive and excited about the future of our daughter's education and for overall Graham Hill community.
It s no secret that Graham Hill has an extremely involved and dedicated PTA, which has worked to build, maintain, and innovate to the clear advantage of the entire school. The whole school has a fantastic music program, a young authors program, and an ESL program. We re expanding our program for autistic children. Our families have invested of themselves to conceive, fund, and build a world-class playground, a model in child-centered design. We have a brand new renovated building worth every penny of the nearly 5 million dollars in taxpayer funds. These costly improvements tell our kids every day: We care about you all, and we want you to be in an environment that s conducive to your best learning. Graham Hill has retained nearly all of its teaching staff in both of its successful programs, despite the incredible turnover in leadership over the past 7 years.
Graham Hill is great. It has a wonderful ethnic and economic diversity of students and two different programs, a regularly structured program and a Montessori program. The teachers are really great and dedicated. Parent involvement is great on the part of a core group of parents. Of course, there are plenty of parents who wouldn't show up if you paid them, but the core group does a great job in writing grants and getting things done. The district has assigned new principals practically once a year, and that has been an issue. The music teacher is totally awesome. The school takes advantage of many enrichment and grant programs such as Discover Dance and writers in residence, etc. The core parents worked hard to raise money and do the heavy work on a new, wonderful playground. We love Graham Hill, our neighborhood school!
My daughter is in the montesorri pre-k program and loves it. There is a little bus that returns her home around noon. The bus is only for the 3 &4 year olds and has child safety seats on it. The preschool classes are mixed with 3,4 &5 year olds. We are concerned that the PTA seems strained and rather conflicted. There seems to be some tension regarding the montessorri program at the school. There is also some tension around the current principal.