Our kids have been treated with great respect throughout their educations (both since K and now going into 2nd and 4th.) The community involvement with the school is quite good, and there really seems to be a flow between the teachers, admin, parents and kids.
Oh, what a wonderful school. After researching many of the nearby charter schools in my area, and talking with several parents who had children at Candeo or Great Hearts and moved them BACK to Vistancia, they all said the same thing... "the grass isn't always greener on the other side." We have been so happy with Vistancia. My child left Kindergarten reading chapter books with ease. She was in the HEAT program for Kinder and the teacher did an excellent job of not utilizing a "one size fits all" approach, but rather tailored the curriculum to each child's needs. The HEAT program was created by the principal as a way to accommodate advanced students while still having a very limited budget. In talking with parents who have children at other district/charter schools, my child is learning at least as much, if not more, in her HEAT class. I am so grateful for this program that accommodates children who need to be challenged more than others. Love all the specials and the breadth of extracurricular offerings. Glad I didn't succumb to the peer pressure to drive further every day to take her to a charter school. Vistancia is an excellent school within walking distance!
No school can be perfect but Vistancia comes pretty darn close. I have two kids in the school for a combined total of 9 years of attendance and we have yet to have an experience with a teacher or the administration that couldn't be dealt with by positive and constructive communication. The teachers and staff at this school go above and beyond and truly contribute to a positive environment that flows through to the community. We have exceptional, very involved parents which are supportive of the school's efforts and mission and work together with the staff at Vistancia to really demand and provide an exceptional environment. Our PTO is second to none. Serving on the PTO is a thankless, time consuming position that you only do because you care - nobody gets paid - but those who don't serve like to complain about those of us who do. We expect the best at Vistancia and we get it. It's not perfect by any means but I'm proud that my children attend Vistancia Elementary and I would recommend this school and this community to those who want to positively contribute, become a part of the solution instead of the problem, and be a part of a community that is truly a community.
Our daughter attended Vistancia Elementary 1012-2013. She had been attending a private Montessori school in Atlanta, GA that was also terrific. Our daughter could not have had a better first grade year. Mrs. MacDonald the 1st grade HEAT teacher is truly outstanding. Our daughter learned a tremendous amount. The staff was friendly and accessible. Also they put on a Veteran's day that is not to be believed. Very appreciative that our daughter hd such a great experience.
Just read that last review and I had to laugh... EVERY school in Arizona is like that. Funding has been slashed and they can no longer get by with what the legislature pays. I am a new parent to this school, moved my children here on a variance from a school in the Dysart district (which was aweful!). We couldn't be happier. Staff is friendly and professional. Community and parent involvement is encouraged. My child is already learning a lot and it's just the first few weeks of school. I have seen what a bad school looks like, and believe me, this place might as well be Mayberry!
This school is insanely ridiculous. Paying for public school kindergarten is an abomination. Every thing at this school is so money driven you'd think it were a for profit business. From the supply list that asks that you send your kid to school with two rolls of paper towels and two rolls of clorox sanitary wipes (sanitary items should be provided by the school), to the request that parents sign up to be "secret donors" that supply monetary donations upon request, to my kid being sent home with a box tops for education advert that suggests you should spend more on you grocery bill to buy name brand processed trash that's bad for your child so they can earn the school a dime, to the PTO constantly asking for money and being little more than a glorified party planning committee (they accomplish nothing). Not to mention that the responsibility of teaching has been shifted to the parent. I love my kid and want to be active in their learning but for them to be sent home every single day with a homework assignment that is basically a have-your-parent-teach-you-everything-you-should've-been-taught-at-your-overpriced-public-education-today assignment. They value money, not children.
My children have been attending Vistancia Elementary since 2008. Vistancia's teachers and administrators are great. The teachers truly care about the kids. All of the teachers my children have had are very easy to reach via email and respond quickly to any questions or concerns I may have. Mr. Gillett and Mrs. King are great leaders for our school. We often see them at the school sporting events cheering on our kids and at PTO sponsored family events joining in on the fun. They always greet us with a warm smile and a hello. The front office staff is friendly and always willing to help. The PTO is wonderful and has stepped in many times to provide financial support for our school during these tough times of district budget cuts. The academics are top notch and Vistancia's test scores consistently rank at the top of the district. I have one child in the HEAT program and one who is not, and I feel that they are both receiving a great education that fits each of their individual needs.
I have one child at this school. I have not been at all impressed by the 3 teachers she has had. All my child does is worksheets and it doesn't appear that the concepts on those worksheets are really being taught, since when my child comes home, I have to teach them and then she gets it right away. The accelerated (HEAT) program is a joke. Instead of having teachers that are trained in teaching gifted students, they simply get worksheets from a couple of grade levels above and do those. My child is uninspired to even want to go to school. At parent teacher conferences, not one nice thing was said about my child. We were told that, yes, reading 2 years above grade level is ok, but my child is still "behind" the rest of the class. Doing math 2 years above grade level is ok, but still behind the others....then a whole bunch of negatives. I get the feeling from the teachers that you are bothering them if you ask a question, or call....even if it's only once during the whole year. It's a school that strives for conformity and vanilla approaches. Not impressed at all.
Excellent school. Impressed with the HEAT program. Teachers are exceptional and work above and beyond to keep the school top notch. My children have been at the school since it first opened and every year it just gets better. Congrats to the wonderful staff and Principal.
Top notch school with amazing teachers and support staff! Its more like a family then just a place where your kids go to school! The PTO involvment is also a huge roll to the success of this school! AMAZING!!!!!!
We relocated to AZ in '09. I have 2 children that have been at Vistancia for a few years combined. We have experienced kinder & 1st grade; as well as 3rd, 4th, & 5th grades. One of my children is a medium to high learner. The other is an accelerated, 99th percentile higher learner. Vistancia does the absolute best it can based on budgets. Due to the economy, housing crisis & some relocation, there have been some unpredictable student to teacher ratio's that have left many schools unable to accurately prepare for the number of teachers to start with in the beginning of a new school year. Like most schools, Vistancia has fallen victim to this. HOWEVER, they have done absolutely the best they can. When budgets cut the gifted program, Mr. Gillett put together the HEAT accelerated academy that did not cost extra. It is similar to an AP program. Peoria USD has a higher graduation percentage rate than AZ or the US. In regards to the pesticide review, notices are present when it is time to control the pests that we do not want around the children. This notice will allow those with ALLERGIES to not be subjected to the spray. Last, PTO is very active & raises $1000's to offset costs.
My first grade twins were only in this school for a week. I was really impressed with the teachers, and the staff was very nice. My daughter was moved into the "HEAT" program right away. They were doing great. We had to transfer out, unfortunately, because we received a pesticide spraying notice. I was appalled to find out that toxic pesticides are sprayed INSIDE the carpeted building once a month. Very sad, because we were loving the school, but I can't let my kids be exposed to toxins on a daily basis.
Here it is the Friday before school is to begin and my daughter is suppose to start kidergarten is not assigned to a teacher. I enrolled her in April for the school year that starts in August. I had called several times about not recieving a supply list, every time i was on hold for 15 minutes plus, come to find out they did not enroll her or several other children when we handed in our registration packets. Now, they have told us not to attend meet the teacher night due to the teacher they just hired is not going to be there! My daughter is 5! This is her first time attending school, I moved to the neighborhood because of the community and the school rating, DO NOT BE FOOLED! They don't even care about the small children.
The PSD has the most ridiculous kindergarten program I have ever seen. PAID kindergarten is a joke. Really, what am I paying for that is different than free in AZ's other districts? Talk about Economic segregation. Basically: If you arent rich and able to pay for the full day program you go with the "poor kids" in the half day program. Full day = Paid for DayCare Half Day= No teaching, poor education BTW, since when is Kindergarten compared to daycare? The office tried to convince me that paying for the full day was cheaper than daycare. When I told them I didnt work so I didnt need daycare they said "well, most people here are a two income home so they need the full day". Which translates " they can afford it and need a sitter". The "half-day" free program is not even a half day. Its 2 hrs and 45 min. Plus, they have almost no interaction with the full day kids. Time and time again the half day kids were left out of the K activities. Going to 1st grade will be like meeting total strangers their same age that live nextdoor. PLUS, I didnt feel like my child learned much. Everything was done at home becuase of the lack of time in school. I did more teaching than the teacher.
I believe this is a great school for the elementary aged kids. The school, staff and adminstration however are not equipped to handle the jr. high aged kids. They lack training, sufficient classroom space, staff and skills needed to deal with this age group. Unfortunately that is how this district has developed their K-8 program. I am hoping my children don't suffer when they reach high school. I needed to hire an advocate for my child.
Vistancia shall forever be on our schools of shame list. It is the worst school my daughter has attended. That us the only shook she has ever gotten an f in. That wasn't her fault. The teachers made her cry and they moved too fast. They were never nice and the curriculum was terrible. I am NOT recommending this school to anyone.
My daughter is on her third year at Vistancia and we couldn't be more exicted. She is now involved in Band this year and we have heard great things about Mrs. Carlson. Happy with Steve Gillett also. Joining the PTO this year.
Moved to AZ from MI beginning of '08-09 school year and decided to move to vistancia based on the community lifestyle and the school. We have 5 children and 3 are in school now with 1 more next school year. I am writing this review because we used this website heavily along with talking to parents while researching where to live. We were hesitant at first because of the high teacher:student ratio but knew that a new school (Lake Pleasant) would open in '09 to accomodate the growing population. Even with the high teacher:student ratio, we were pleasantly surprised with how well this fairly new school (volunteers-staff-leadership) did this year. Our expectations for '09 are now much higher with lower ratio and another year of experience in their belts. Unfortunately, my oldest son's favorite teacher/mentor maybe leaving due to budget cuts. God speed Mr. Smith and THANK YOU.
I must say that I am rather disappointed with the fact that when a teacher demonstrates misconduct in the classroom, they are not disciplined for it and it's automatically the child's fault. I'm disappointed with the level of leadership at this school.
i have a first grader here and this is a really great school. wonderful events and teachers.
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