Strong involvement from parents and teachers develops kids of great character. Kids are courteous and respectful with good manners, and in the 6 years my daughter has attended I've heard of no instances of bullying in any way.
In 5th and 6th grades the academics become a bit more demanding, and the kids are given the final hour of school for open study time to work on homework (called Viking time). Our daughter is in 6th grade and has perhaps 20-30 minutes homework each day.
Our daughter is now in 6th grade and has been attending VVL since Kindergarten, and her years at this school have been truly exceptional. Having been raised myself in small town Midwest, VVL has the same feel of a small town school grounded in solid core values. Kids are taught more than just academics, with an equal focus on the 'pillars of character' including honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, and generally becoming a decent citizen of the world. The Principal and Staff are stellar, but it is really the involvement of the parents and sense of community that sets this school apart. The PTSO is a veritable brigade of committed parents who are tirelessly fundraising to maintain the various enrichment programs for the school. There is even a Dads Club that host many fun events throughout the year such as Outdoor Movie Nights, School Dance, Fishing Derby, Lego Derby, Sidewalk Chalk Art, D'backs outings, and more. Overall, a great place to raise a child!
I taught in Gilbert Public for a few years and subbed around the district and have worked with other districts as well. Nothing compares to VVL Elementary. I bought my house in the neighborhood just for this school. Because it is an older neighborhood the school population is much smaller than other public schools. My son's kindergarten only had 21 kids and it was wonderful. They have a veteran staff of wonderful teachers who are well trained and work well together. I also LOVE the Fundations reading curriculum. The reading specialist at the school is very well trained and I am impressed by her background. I grew up in the Midwest and this school does have that small town community feel. My kids love going there and I like to say it is a private school feel with no tuition:)