This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
McGilvra Elementary School1
Posted January 27, 2015
- a parent
My child attended McGilvra for only one year, 5th grade. It was her worst year of school thus far. Her home room teacher, although a very nice person, had no control over her students. The class was in constant chaos which detracted from other children learning. She was also unable to challenge or raise the bar academically for my child often saying in frustration "what am I supposed to do with you?". The students were very "clicky" and alienating. The other staff were helpful and attentive to concerns raised save for the current principal. There was an incident last year where there was a bank robbery in the neighborhood. Following protocol the school went into lock-down. My child was in the restroom when this happened and had to bang on the door to be let into her classroom. I address this concern to the principal via email multiple times--suggesting that a sweep by an adult through obvious places like restrooms should be part of the protocol. She never responded to my concerns and when she saw me in person, she was cold and dismissive. My child's teacher quit after last year having taught for many years. Overall, one year at McGilvra Elementary was huge disappointment.
McGilvra has been a wonderful neighborhood school for my children to attend. As a small school, robust parent volunteer pool, dedicated and hard working PTA along with all of the wonderful teachers and principal at McGilvra, it has proved to be a top notch school. As the school district continues to struggle with budget constraints and cuts, schools are faced with larger fundraising needs to help supplement all of the wonderful specialists and programs that we have. While there are a few asks throughout the year, it is comparable with that of other area public schools as we all face similar challenges. All of our teachers have been dedicated, kind, energetic and able to meet my children's needs and we are pleased that our Principal (in her 2nd year) has our student's best interests in mind and as top priority. As the demographic of our school community has continued to change, she is working hard to help meet the needs of all students and families.
McGilvra Elementary is blessed with some of the most dedicated teaching staff I've ever experienced. To augment this (and ongoing School District budget constraints) the school also has extremely active parent and PTA bodies. I sometimes flinch at the number of fund raising initiatives, then I walk by a brand new computer cart containing 30 add laptops recently purchased by the PTA for in classroom technology training. I'm not sure what this investment entailed however, it has been confirmed that all of these funds came directly from PTA contributions. Kind of takes the sting out of the various fund raising asks when you see these proceeds going directly to support your child's educational needs. I frankly wish that McGilvra was a K thru 8 as I can imagine a number of parents opting for private middle school whereby I can't imagine teacher engagement could be that much better. In summary, we are extremely satisfied with McGilvra!
Great community, and so far very fortunate with teachers and supplemntary staff services. k,1, 2 classes are small (about 20 children each) and 3,4,and 5 while large have team teaching which puts them in smaller groups where they get individualized instruction. great pre and after school child care and enrichment activities. My family is fortunate to have this as our neighborhood school.
One of the best public elementary schools in the city. Agree with active parent community. My experience with the teachers has been nothing but positive. While the principle is in her 2nd year (she was formerly a teacher at the school) she is passionate, results drive and a community builder. While all schools have mix of teacher quality our direct experience with teachers has been nothing but positive. As with any school you have to be your child's top advocate but we couldn't ask for a better neighborhood public school. We have many friends who have gone the private school route and have similar highs/lows with there schools. Regardless of the decisions (public, private, APP, Spectrum, etc) you make for your children you will likely second guess it along way. We have loved our McGilvra experience so far but continue to focus with making it better community for all kids.
McGilvra is a charming school with a dedicated staff and strong parent involvement. While some of the teachers are wonderful and enthusiastic educators, a few are less than desirable. This is probably typical for a school, particularly as veteran teachers burnout. I was disappointed when the current principal was selected, and continue to be unimpressed. Her method of leading is to be "stern" and expect everyone to fall in line. The problem is that she does not communicate well. It is hard to "fall in line" when you do not know what the line is. The teachers in grades 3, 4, 5 demonstrate bias or indifference to the kids who learn differently than their chosen teaching style. There seems to be an attitude that kids who cannot adjust to the teacher should move on to a different school or repeat the grade. I recommend the school for families who want to be involved in their kids education, just expect to be extra involved in providing the missing effort in teaching.
Active parent community. Parents fund a good portion of the extra programs offered at this school. Principal is below average with very poor communication and conflict resolutions skills. Mix between exceptional teachers and marginal teachers.
Committed parent support sets McGilvra apart from so many there public school options. Where the district and state funding falls short, McGilvra parents work hard to offer necessary resources to provide children with comprehensive support, With these efforts, teachers are supported with arts, recreation and academic support, special education support, before and after school options and a myriad of activities. While striving to meet benchmarks set forward by National guidelines, the teachers teach with the learning style of the students in mind, not a standardized testing cookie cutter method. Their efforts are fully supported by an attentive and caring administrative and support staff that is exceptionally devoted toward the success of the students, not the reputation of the school. There's a wonderful effort to involve parents and the local community in many events through the year. The efforts placed into helping the students feel successful, creative and included is of paramount importance. McGilva is a great example of things that should happen in public education. We couldn't be more pleased that our son is nurtured every moment of his time at McGilvra.