I have found Principal Maria Breuder to be excellent. She has always been responsive to any concerns I've brought her way, and she is smart as a whip. She is an asset to the school. I am in total agreement that the community is great -- parents pitch in and there are fantastic events at the school, most of the teachers have been great (one awful exception -- I'm sure there is a mix of good and bad everywhere) and that the relentless fundraising is a bummer. The funding goes to support teachers and kids, so it it a great thing, but it is relentless.
The principal gives a huge speech each year about how kids are expected to be good citizens by showing compassion, caring and empathy. Ask around, the principal is know for practicing the opposite of this. You can't expect kids to practice these things if the principal refuses to act with those same principles.
Some teachers are great about fostering honestly, integrity and fairness while others couldn't care less. I don't think the principal has much integrity, so it would be impossible for her to foster it. She's more concerned with test scores than students feeling safe and appreciated. Safety is barely addressed on any level, from bullying to the aggressive drop-off and pick-up mess on either side of the school. The principal all but ignores parent concerns about safety.
Too much pressure on kids for fundraising every week.
Principal is detached and test score driven.
Cares more about teachers jobs than educating students.
There are some great teachers, but a few horrible teachers.
Great parent involvement.
Terrible traffic jams on both sides of the school.
The school district should hire traffic guards for safety of the kids from aggressive driving parents..
The principal is more worried about her orange cones being touched than to be outside to monitor traffic.
The principal is a poor communicator. Sends horrible emails to the parents every week, ranging from hostile to ineptly written.
Most parents have written her off as useless, over her head and a poor leader.
Great teachers for most grades, but a few bad ones with bad reputations.
Kudos to all of the support staff from the front office, nurse, Ms. Melonie, the art and music teachers, the reading and math support teachers, librarian and special ed team. You guys support the gen ed teachers so much, yet barely get recognized with bonuses or gratitude because you do what you do so humbly and quietly. If not for you, our school wouldn't be nearly as effective at educating our children.
The kindergarten and first grade teachers are exceptional and well respected. Second, fourth and fifth are great and easy to work with. There's a drop-off in student numbers that start to show in third grade and extend after third grade. It's common to hear that third grade is the least enjoyable year at McGilvra for kids.
The homework amount is just right, but the math is especially ridiculous involving complex, unnecessary writing and drawn out process that take 5 minutes for a problem most could solve in 10 seconds using methods parents learned. For those of us who became attorneys, executives, engineers, doctors or almost any profession, we did it using non-Common Core math. Our kids could focus on so many other things if not spending 40-60 minutes a night on common core math.
Sometimes it feels as if during the middle of grade school, creativity and interest are discouraged and replaced by the persistence, grit and determination of conformity. Taking away a child's interest in school and making them fearful of being ridiculed in front of their class by a teacher is wrong on every level!