We're still a year off from kindergarten, but I am trying to find folks to tell me about Grout. It's our neighborhood school, and I really really really want to support my neighborhood school, but I've heard mixed things about Grout. So, tell me. The good, the bad, the ugly!
Any parents of kids who attend Grout elementary in Portland?
Yes...here's what I wrote on a review of the school recently.
All of the kindergarten teachers at this school are wonderful and put so much effort and passion into these children that it's amazing. Grout Elementary has a wonderful school culture, created by an amazing principal, Susan McElroy. As you enter the building, you'll see glowing glass planets hanging above you while glass fish swim along the walls and glass flowers grow under a blue sky - all created by the kids at Grout. Directly in front, you'll see a copper tree sprouting the glass leaves they've made. Classical music plays in the hallways and the secretaries are both smiling and welcoming. The library is well kept and serves as a reading sanctuary for the kids. The economic, cultural/international, racial, religious, linguistic and political diversity is astounding and beneficial for our child...he has grown so much in his exposure to this. Playworks keeps recess fun for all of the kids and we don't have to worry about bullying. Our son has a dairy allergy and we send his lunches everyday so I can't speak to the cafeteria. He is part of the SMART reading program and that's definitely improved his comprehension.
In the past, the parental involvement has been lacking. It's gotten much better in the last couple of years and continues to grow. We have a new website for the PTA this year, a facebook page to disseminate information and are working with some of the capstone classes at PSU to continue improving that. I cannot express enough how important the principal is to the creation of a wonderful school culture and Susan McElroy is about the best I've ever seen. She is amazing. She cares so much about these kids and about making sure that art is part of EVERY day they spend at that school.