Great academics. If your top priority is academics, then this is the school for you. For kids who are not self guided, this may not be the right school for them. If you are concerned about fitting into cliques, this may or may not be the school for you, because you may or may not fit in. If your number one goal is being prepared for college, competition, and life in general, this is definitely the school for you.
I have 3 children who all graduated from GW. It is a great school. The modular schedule is wonderful and not at all difficult to follow with minimum effort. Most of the teachers will go out of their way to help you if you demonstrate to them that you are really trying. My children spent a great deal of time studying (took all AP or Honors classes) but were also active in sports, music, and clubs and still managed to graduate with honors. They are doing well in college as they learned how to schedule their time well in high school.
GW is a great school. My child went to GW from out of district and I am so glad. He learned so much, including self direction and responsibilty. The large group lecture setting is a definite prep for college. Yes, occasionally there are some of the parents who are cliquish and think they are better than others and better than the teachers, but overall, most parents & staff are nice. Students are, for the most part, pleasant. If your child is suspended often, then why don't you attend school with them? You can follow them around all day to classes and at lunch and see what they are doing (or not doing) that is getting them suspended. I wouldn't want my other children to go to any other school.
I am an alumnus and give GW 4 stars, based mainly on academic programs. But there are some downsides that you should know: **SOME** teachers pick favorites (usually children of rich/important families) and balance it out with 'pick-ees' based on personality confilcts. Also, the 6 day modular system makes no sense to me. It requires a great deal of effort just to remember where you are supposed to be at any one given time. I went to a big 10 college and had MWF or TTh scheduling, so I don't know why GW throws in the 6th day. I actually did alot better, GPA wise, in college than I did at GW. I don't know if that means that GW prepared me well, or that I underachieved at GW because of the modular system.
i have 4 kids in g.w. and i personally think they are the worst school ever. they have no control over the students, do not know were the students are half the time. the get their favorites to pick on then keep suspending them. and this is not only my kids, i have many friends and realitives that have thought the same.
Don't get me wrong: I sincerely believe that George Washington has its faults. For the person that stated 'my daughter tells me most teachers either read a script or pass out a handout,' your daughter is obviously taking the wrong classes in the school if this is not what she desires. That's what so great about the school: you can get whatever you want. If you want discussion, you can get that by taking the upper-level classes (i.e. AP, and sometimes honors). This school is what you take out of it. We have great teachers and great comrardery among students, if you are just willing to put yourself out there. GW is a great school that prepares you tremendously for college. I even know of a girl that got in front of her college class and explained a concept because she explained better than the professor!
It's an exclusive school, that's for sure. But exclusive means exclusionary, and the way the classes become so terribly close is by excluding anyone who didn't start with them in kindergarten. I'm sorry I ever took the trouble to get my child in -- neither I nor my child were ever made to feel welcome no matter how hard we tried to get involved. I lost count of the number of times and people that walked away or at least looked away while I was trying to speak to them. Talk about feeling invisible! We will not go back next year, and far from feeling like anybody will be glad of it, I doubt they will even notice we're gone!