I've had 4 children go to this school and if your child does not have special needs then it is a great school. Over the years budgets have been cut and now the main focus is on test scores, not to forget we have had two principal changes in the last few years. The school has overcrowded classrooms the last few years with 28+ kids per class making it difficult to give any individual attention to the students who would benefit the most from it. My son is diagnosed with ADD and he is required to keep pace with everyone else, most of his work comes home on a daily basis because the classrooms do not have funding for teacher aides and because he tests well he doesn't qualify for and IEP. All my other children did well here but unfortunately the school has their hands tied with not enough funding and I'm out of options.
LOVE Gifford. I have not one, not two, but FOUR children attending Gifford. Art, music, band, choir, track, off the charts amazing teachers and PTA, most involved parents I've ever seen at any school. I honestly don't see why anyone would waste money at private school if you could get your child into Gifford. It has the highest test scores of any elementary school in RUSD that's not a gifted and talented school. Two of my children are the kind of kids who are always at the top of their class, and Gifford always manages to keep them challenged. Two of my children I did not birth, and spent the first 5 years of their lives in foster care. They have an extreme amount of baggage and tons of emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities. One has an IEP. Gifford has been amazing with these two as well, they bend over backwards to meet their needs, understand their history, meet them where they are, and cheer them on to greatness. I can't say enough about the blessing this school has been to ALL FOUR of my children. P.S. Test scores are amazing considering it includes plenty of children with unique and special educational needs like 2 of mine who do not do well on tests.
Gifford Elementary School has the best state test scores in the area even compared to the nearby rural schools. Gifford boasts a very active PTA that is highly supported by the school staff and administrators. The class sizes are too large and this is a negative. 28 to 1 is the norm. As one parent spoke regarding the issues caused by having a large number of students eating lunch at one time (150 per grade), a parent needs to keep in mind that lunch is 20 minutes of their day. In the big scope of things, test scores, educational enrichment programs and staff should count heavily and at Gifford you have those.
This school has been a nightmare for us. Not only do they have some of the largest class sizes in the district there are issues with supervision during lunches. The students have far too little time for lunch. The school hours are also much too late for early elementary students and it is common for students attending this school to not get home until 4:30 in the afternoon. When looking to buy a house we looked specifically to buy out of the area in which our children would be districted to this school.
I just transferred my children this year, because we didn't want them to have to switch schools mid year even tho we moved in November... WHAT A MISTAKE. I am Thrilled (!!!) with Gifford, the staff, the learning atmosphere, teachers, the kids are so well behaved and SAFE... I have not seen a safer school EVER even with all the locks and checs at other schools, this has a sense of calm to it also even tho it is 2xs as large at least of any other elem school in the city! Way to go school!!! Keep it up!!!
I am happy with the teaching and the curriculum. I think the size of the school is way to large. I am not impressed with the cutbacks to the teachers last year with Kindergarten and the next year with first/second grade. Kindergarten classes were avg. 20 last year and are now 27 with no teachers aids, but the success of the teacher that we had she hails to the well behaved class she has this year.
Gifford is the best and safest school in Racine County hands down. Their NO BULLYING policy should be adapted by all schools and enforced just the same. My child is learning, understanding and enjoying them self. Send your kids to Gifford if not private school!