This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Vistancia Elementary School5
Posted June 22, 2014
- a parent
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!!!!!!