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Patty Moore

Gravenstein Elementary School9

Sebastopol, CA | Sonoma County

August 7, 2014

This school is amazing. There are tons of options in the greater Sebastopol area, but I feel confident in saying this is the best. I sat in at 3 of the 'best' schools in west county and none compared. Though my children are in the Enrich program I have friends in the traditional program who are equally satisfied. All of the teachers are passionate about the kids and the focus on the arts and sciences has my kids coming home inspired and enthusiastic every day. The search for the right school for your child can be overwhelming, my only advice is to take the time to look around. When you come to Gravenstein you'll see the difference. Just notice how engaged the children are.

Submitted by a parent

August 4, 2014

I transferred both of my children into this school last year from a school in Rincon Valley and have not regretted the decision. I have one child in the Enrich program and one in the traditional (my second child has learning disabilities and cannot keep up with the Enrich program). The Enrich program is truly amazing- enrichment field trips every month, year round Art, Music, Spanish and just a ton of little extras that make learning fun. Yes, there is a donation to the program, but it s worth it. Supposedly it s optional, but I felt pretty harassed when I missed a payment. School is now fun. The Enrich parents are very involved, but the traditional has less parent involvement. The core curriculum is strong, but without all the extras. Both the traditional and Enrich teachers were excellent. It s only when you compare the traditional program to the Enrich program that the traditional seems a little lacking. This school has very high academic expectations. The administration has been very accommodating of my child s disabilities. The before and aftercare program is EXCELLENT! I am happy I made to move to Gravenstein elementary.

Submitted by a parent

May 7, 2014

We live here in west county and when we started looking at schools for my son we were overwhelmed. There are a lot of good schools but when it came down to it nothing offered what Gravenstein does. I was reticent regarding the Enrich program. I was worried that there would be this have/have not mentality. That is not what I have experienced. Everyone seems happy with the choices they made/make for the children's education. Our child is in the Enrich and he loves it. Science, art, drama, music, Spanish, the list goes on. Where else can you find this in public education. I am happy to have my child at a school and in a program where all of his peer's parents are strongly invested in their children's education. As they say if you give your child an education you give them the world. Though other west county schools are fine and may have more of a 'Sebastopol' feel (which I'm partial to) I would have always felt like I shorted my child by not allowing his education to be truly well rounded. This school nourishes a love of learning and promote an environment where being smart is cool. I hope I'm helping some of you out when trying to decide for your family.

Submitted by a parent

October 8, 2013

My child, currently in 4th grade Enrich, has attended Gravenstein since K. We have had a great variety of teachers who have not only addressed the academics but who have instilled self confidence, living in the moment, supporting each other as a classroom community, teaching planning and organization and an overall love of learning. The staff that provides for enrichment, such as music, art, drama, spanish, dance and physical ed, are great and my child looks forward to those days. The office staff have addressed our needs if/when they arose and Gravenstein has fit what our family needs well.

Submitted by a parent

September 27, 2013

I'm not real crazy about my son's 3rd grade teacher this semester (who is new to the school), but I have been consistently pleased with the overall quality of the school in general. My main complaint is that the principal does not seem terribly involved in school matters and does not address concerns about teachers with the parents very effectively. We are fortunate that we can afford the ENRICH program classes, but my understanding from parents in non-ENRICH classes is that this is an even bigger problem for them.

Submitted by a parent

September 6, 2013

I had two kids at Gravenstein. They were in the traditional program. Unless you are in the ENRICH program, don't bother going here. The Secretary is SO rude and the principal is not much better (unless you are an enRICH parent). I am so happy I moved my kids!!

Submitted by a parent

July 4, 2013

I am a parent of two students at Gravenstein School. Both are in the Enrich program. This is a fabulous school. The teachers are enthusiastic and really care about their students. The curriculum keeps students motivated and learning as much as they can handle without stressing them out. The Enrich! program extras are outstanding. The kids are happy and love learning. Linda LaMarre cares and is a hands on principal. What more could you ask for?

Submitted by a parent

April 8, 2013

I am a parent of students in ENRICH! on both campuses. I love it! The exposure to the arts is fantastic!

Submitted by a parent

April 2, 2013

I left a message to find out about the school and Enrich program. I cannot believe that the principal called me back at 5:45pm. She gave me a clear description of the school and program. She stayed on the phone with me for as long as needed. To find a principal that dedicated is amazing. We are at a private school paying $18,500 a year for 2 children. My current school doesn't offer 1/2 of what this school does. We are applying today! I take one star off, because the secretary is SO rude. I went in, and she didn't even turn and look at me. She just asked to help, without ever facing me. Fire her, and hire one like the principal.

Submitted by a parent

February 23, 2012

My daughter transferred to the ENRICH program at Gravenstein in the 4th grade since her neighborhood school did not have a GATE program. I was highly involved in her first school and was skeptical that Gravenstein would live up the principals promises. After 1-1/2 years I am happy to share that my daughter is as thrilled with the school as are we. Yes, we happily donate $250 a month to pay for small class sizes, Spanish, Art, Music, Band, Poetry, and multiple field trips including several overnighters. Because the children have so many enrichment activities there is not the "Drill and Kill" she experienced in the past. There is also a greater emphasis on science which she loves. As far as the principal is concerned, I must admit I had some initials doubts as I was close to the principal at the previous school. For various reasons I have had several conversations with Linda LaMarre and every time I have been left with the impression that I was heard and understood and, more importantly, that my child was understood and supported. Efforts are continuously made to address the needs of the children (not just my own) as they arise. I highly recommend this school!

Submitted by a parent

January 9, 2012

I have to say that I read all the reviews before enrolling my 2nd grader into their Enrich! program. I loved the positive reviews and found them to be true. The next year, after enrolling my Kindergartner, I found the negative reviews to be true too. The principal/superintendent is only looking out for money. I am greatly disappointed with not being given help when needed the most.

Submitted by a parent

August 19, 2011

We are thrilled with the education and experiences that our children are receiving at Gravenstein Elementary. They are challenged, motivated, and loving school! The teaching staff is dedicated to providing an engaging yet rigorous curriculum, infused with the arts, all the time ensuring that all of the standards are addressed. The principal/superintendent works tirelessly to provide the best educational environment for the students. She manages the budget in such a way that the school is thriving despite budget cuts, and has carefully selected a staff that truly loves what they do and who do it well! This school is truly outstanding in every way and far superior to the private school we had previously sent our children to. It is no wonder that families from all over the county commute to attend Gravenstein! We give it an A+

Submitted by a parent

August 12, 2011

Be aware that the magnet program has a (mandatory) donation of $250/per month per student. They tell you that it is a GATE program, but if you look at the numbers of students there- you know that they all can't be GATE. The traditional program is dying. Be aware of this if you move into the district. Your tax dollars are going to be supporting mostly kids out of the district coming in from Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa. Bad design to have the principal also the superintendent. She is both the judge and the jury. There really is a two tiered system of education at Gravenstien. Those that can afford the magnet program and those that can't Administration is difficult to work with at best.

Submitted by a parent

October 9, 2010

The teachers are all enthusiastic, bright and love the kids. The curriculum is diverse and includes lots of field trips, it's the best!

Submitted by a parent

April 3, 2010

Wow, everything you read negative about the pricipal just backed up what I was going to say. My son is a 4th gr and we have been going since pre school. They take all the great teacher and put them into the reach program. This principals motives are purely driven by money. I have been lyed to by her, I have brought dangerous issues to her attn. and she smiles them off as if she cares and doesn't do anything to handle them. My son was choked 2 times by another child until he was taking every kid out in the class before they finally handled it!!! Seems as if we all have to leave our own school dist. before things will change.

Submitted by a parent

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