This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Palm Valley Elementary School5
Posted December 02, 2013
- a parent
Palm Valley is an exemplary school with amazing parents. It is truly an Arizona school that competes with east coast schools. There is a long wait list for variances and the principal is very welcoming.
As a member of the PTO for the last few years, as soon as I can, we are out of this school. The principal and her PTO cronies are passive-aggressive and want everyone to conform to them. Are we here to raise money or to support and educate children? I actually heard the principal say she can work with the variance contract because it was vague enough. Don't know the details but that doesn't sound good to me as an outsider. I also found out that they don't allow non-conformists to stay on the board. Just ask former and present board members. I believe in the public school system but something went wrong with this school. Someone needs to take the power away from the PTO and the principal. It's getting out of hand for this so-called "public/charter" school.
Palm Valley is an exceptional school! I know because my daughter attends third grade here and has been at this school since preschool. The academic experience is consistently A+++, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Not only is the academic quality the norm, but equally important is the fact that teachers truly care. With students as their priority, always, teachers also display a vibe about their profession unlike any I have ever witnessed, and perhaps that is what keeps me very much pleased with my child's educational experience here.
PVE is an absolutely amazing school. I am very impressed with the education my children have received over the past two years. The teachers have always gone out of their way to ensure that their students come first and have amazing communication. The principal and the staff excel at making everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. I often volunteer in my children's classrooms as well as at school functions and while I do enjoy seeing what they are doing in the classroom and being able to help out, I feel that the PTO is unfriendly and very clique-ish. I understand that they have all worked together for a long time and have become friends however I thought the PTO was there to support the school- not for socialization during school hours and certainly not to exclude those that want to help. While I feel that the school is amazing and that the leadership by both the teachers and the administration is stellar, I frown upon the leadership of the PTO.
I have been around this school for awhile now and my children have really enjoyed their experience there. They have had excellent teachers who truly care about them educationally, socially, and work hard to help them develop new interests. This school has some very hard working and dedicated staff and volunteers who make all of this possible. I have had other school experiences where this was not the case. Unfortunately I feel that there is a concern that needs to be addressed by someone, in that the PTO president deems it appropriate to get defensive and blast individuals for expressing their opinion. Keep in mind there are 54 posts viewable including 1 by the PTO president and 2 that express an opinion that was not liked by the president. As the leader in such an important role to the school it would be great to know that everyone's opinion would be accepted and evaluated. The post below indicates to me that this president overreacts and is more concerned with the perception of her, than actually taking these opinions seriously. I normally don't get involved in this stuff however felt compelled to say something so readers know that this overreaction is not how the school is.
We have a first grader this year at PVE and this is our 2nd year at this amazing school. My son's kinder and first grade teachers have been excellent and no words could do justice to what they have done for our son. I have worked as a teacher in several different schools in several different parts of the country, and I can confidently say that PVE is a vibrant, student-centered, academically-focused, stimulating and emotionally nurturing school. PVE focuses on educating and growing the WHOLE child in all areas, from character and fine arts to "the basics". Mrs. Pearson is exactly what one would dream up for their child's principal - positive, supportive, understanding, and committed to excellence! We truly consider the teachers (kinder, first grade, art, music, PE) administrator, and staff as wonderful blessings to our son and our family. Our family was brand new to the school and to the community last school year. We were welcomed with open arms and made to feel very much a part of this school community by the PTO. The PTO at PVE directly supports so many programs that enhance the day to day operations of the school. I am so proud and thankful my son is a Thunderbird!
I am the president of the PTO that has been reviewed in the comments over the past few weeks. I find it unproductive that people are willing to complain anonymously on a website about a group of hard working VOLUNTEERS who has raised over $75,000 in the past two years and provided thousands of volunteer hours. The fact of the matter is, parent involvement is a key indicator to student success and I want to make sure I do all I can to help my children's school be successful. I also train the volunteers for our campus and end each presentation with an invitation to join our organization and get involved. Is it natural that those who show up and do most of the work become friends? You bet. Are there more and more tasks that the school staff has asked us to be involved in because of lack of time and budget cuts? Again, guilty as charged. Are we perfect? No. But making anonymous accusations isn't going to change anything. If you really want to see a change in the PTO leadership, then get involved. Every position on the board has been elected unopposed in the past 4 years. I would love to see greater participation- come to the meetings, join the committees, run for the board.
There are so many wonderful things to say about PVE. I have had children in this school for a number of years and I can not say enough wonderful things about the principal of the school. The front office staff is top notch and they know every child in the school by name, and many of the parents, too! The teachers in the school are, for the great majority, the best in the business (we have been here for 2nd through 5th and ALL of our teachers have been great). The PE coach is one of the greatest assets of this school. I will be honest in my review, and share that the PTO at the school has become a distraction and a purveyor of politics. I believe that the ladies that participate in the PTO have the best intentions, but they have been given way too much leeway over the past few years. The principal needs to take some of these activities back under control and needs to demand that the PTO become a part of a national organization for greater oversight and transparency in their actions. A huge majority of parents do not feel welcome to spend time volunteering because they are not in the right "circle" to be welcome and I have seen that firsthand, especially the past 2 years.
They could solve the traditional academy questions by posting the scores of the children admitted to the program. It would be sad if a PTO child (Or any child) was admitted when they had scores less than another candidate. I think the Faculty and Principal are great at the school. The PTO ranks somewhere just behind the food selections in the cafeteria, and playground equipment in my mind. Their influence upon my child's education is minor.