We have been struggling for the past year on whether to stay or leave Kiva. On the one hand you have a "few" teachers that are exceptional but on the other hand you have plenty who are not. The PTO guards everything so if you ask a question you really are given the run around. Not sure I will ever donate again. The PTO President doesn't seem to care about the parents and each year it's getting worse. The office staff are rude and can typically be found playing candy crush on their phones. The nurse is clueless when it comes to treating special needs. The PE teacher plays favorites. The library if you can call it that is a circus most days. The PTO events are always late and no one seems to know what's going on. Overall not a good school and certainly not one I'm bringing my daughter back to next year!
We have two girls that went to Kiva and while we loved the teachers, we cannot say we would do it again. After graduation from Kiva and experiencing one year of the low quality of Mohave we took our oldest to a Great Hearts academy and brought the youngest there as well. While Kiva is a good school we are astonished at quality of education at Great Hearts. Kiva, unlike Mohave, has good teachers but they are overloaded and underpaid. They just look like the walking wounded. Now both of our girls are learning a foreign language, music, athletics, ancient history... It is like a light was turned on. The whole mood of our home has been elevated. While Kiva is a good school and doing its best there are indeed better alternatives. Take them if you can...
My daughter is going into 2nd grade this year. She has been at no other school since kindergarten so its a challenge to say there is a "better" school without the experience. Thus, I went with 4 stars instead of 5. I know there are a few parents who are moving their children to the Great Hearts Academy this year. I have been happy with Kiva. I think the teachers are great! Hey, my daughter is reading and doing math. She is stimulated, inquistive and loves science. She is socializing and having lots of fun. She loves school! The kids all cried when they said goodbye (for the summer) to their 1st grade teacher. This reassures me that Kiva is the place for my girl!
Our experience at Kiva has been terrific. Our daughter has a great teacher and loves the other kids in her class and in the school in general. She's learning as she would be at any good school. We've never had any problems whatsoever with communication. The principal is very engaged, always upbeat and has a great sense of humor. The secretary's in the office are even wonderful. Parent involvement is very high. What more do you want?
Our two daughters attended Kiva after being at an exceptional elementary school in another state. Living in a town like Paradise Valley, I was thinking the elementary school would reflect its surroundings. What a disappointment. The school facilities are dated and dingy. The office staff, except for its Principal, are incredibly rude and act like it is an imposition to help you when you come in. Especially the blonde at the front, Candy. The worst. She has no business being the face of an elementary school. The teachers were OK, but we were alarmed to find during our parent/teacher conference with a third grade teacher that she did not realize what the kids were being sent home for homework after we asked a question about it, turning to the student teacher and saying, "oh, did we not cover that in class?" Yikes! That was the beginning of the end for us. And for many I am afraid as so many of the students now come from outside PV/Scottsdale. No community feel. Sorry to have to write this. Updating the school facilities should be their first step to turning this problem around.
Scottsdale school district has many great schools from which to choose. As a concerned parent I took my time and chose Kiva, largely because I had heard that it had a strong parent/teacher community spirit. After four years at Kiva I can say that it truly does try to practice the values for which it stands. Bullying is not tolerated and as such, I appreciate the fact tthat the school takes a preventative approach to a problem that can arise in any school. From the Principal, to the dedicated teachers and strong parent volunteer group, I feel that there is a team approach to educating my two children. I can only speak for myself when I say that my children come home happy each day, and performing well academically. It is unfortunate that one reviewer had a negative experience with a Kiva parent, and I do understand how one experience can taint an overall impression. However, I wrote this reivew because I feel passionately about our school and the care/education it provides our children.
I'm not sure what happened with the previous review but I can say that it is very atypical of Kiva. One parent out of hundreds having a bad day is hardly an accurate reflection of the school. My child has attended Kiva for four years and we have been very pleased. The experience level of the teaching staff is very high and the community that supports the school is amazing. My child has experienced some life altering health challenges in their time at Kiva and the response of the staff and community to my child and our family has been incredible and humbling. The staff has shown a great commitment to my child's success both academically and socially. I cannot recommend this school highly enough.
I have had a wonderful experience at Kiva! I first met the principal to inquire about how boys learning styles are handled. Not only were all my questions answered with clear info about Kiva's teaching methods, but the principal then read the book and called me again to be sure I had all the answers that I needed. This was a fantastic first experience, and I have not been let down since. I have 2 boys, in K and 3rd. I have experience with the Gifted program as well. The teachers understand my boys as individuals. They are receptive to my concerns and ideas. The staff as a whole is terrific: well qualified, innovative, personable, and eager to assist me in whatever role I am serving be it Cub Scout coordinator to reader to library aide, etc. They care about my children! My boys are in wonderful hands and they learn daily about kindness, integrity, volunteerism and academics(KIVA) . As for bullying, thank goodness it is not tolerated and so it never needs to become an issue. Better to prevent it than have to deal with that ugliness!
Wow, what happened to Kiva? I grew up in Arizona, went to Arcadia High School following Hopi Elementary. Kiva, as well as Hopi, were extremely well reputed back in the 1970's. I visited Kiva today (3/21/2012) with my 5-year old son to inquire about kindergarten for the 2012-2012 year. The first thing I noticed was the huge "NO BULLYING" sign on the front gate. I have never, ever in my life ever seen such a thing elsewhere. This was red flag number 1. When I entered the office I encountered the rudest lady in years. I thought she worked there, but it turned out she was a parent of a child attending the school. Red flag number 2. When the office staff finally noticed my son and I standing there, I had already made up my mind that my son would never, ever set foot again on this school ground. The office staff was abrupt and rude. Wow, how Arizona schools have changed, and not for the better. Just my experience and opinion.
My daugther has gone to Kiva starting at Kindergarten. She is now in 5th grade and has had outstanding teachers for every grade. I truely feel she is prepared for what comes next in her life. The teachers and staff take their time to become part of my childs life and worked with her during some dark times in our family. I am always able to contact the Principal and Vice Principal. The office staff is warm and caring. The nurse and I are on first name basis. This is the right place for our kids.