Valley Academy has a very strong academic basis, but I am concerned about the backbone of this administration. When we first enrolled our child to VA we knew about the strict 'rules', ie, dress code,etc. Now it worries me that the board and administration caves to threats from a few parents. Didn't we all sign an agreement that we could all abide by the rules? Who gives a few parents the right the change things because they don't like it. Bring it up as vote. I still think that Valley has some great qualities. I am also concerned about some of the best teachers not coming back next year. What are we doing about recruiting great teachers and how are we supporting them and encouraging them to stay even though the pay is lower than most public schools. I think we need to support our teachers also.
Valley Academy has proven to be the right choice for my family. The academic standards and expectations far exceed those of our neighborhood school. Students are well behaved, attentive, and ready to learn. The teachers, staff, administration, CEO and Board of Directors have created an environment which encourages student achievement and welcomes the support of families. This past year has brought improvements to the campus, opportunities for parent involvement through the Strategic Planning Process, and renewed energy and excitement for this gem of a school. Valley Academy is a school of choice for families who value a quality education. My children and their classmates are supported and encouraged by involved parents. This creates an atmosphere where learning is the first priority. This common focus has brought together a school community comprised of quality people. Thank you Valley Academy!
Unfortuantly when you have many people in one place, there will be differences. That fact is that this school is very divided. If you question this, just attend some of their meetings. In my opinion, this school is taking a very liberal direction.
Love this school! A friend inquired about Valley for her daughter because she felt the public school was not doing its job at all. She asked if there was anything that I did not like about Valley. I'd have to say I love all of it. I love helping in the classroom. I love the way subjects are taught. I love how much my child has achieved in her first year of school. My child gets frustrated because it's not fun like preschool but on the other hand she is proud of how much she has learned. She is ADHD w/out meds and the teaching style & Structure are perfect. She is kept busy and the academics are hard enough to keep her from getting bored. We have all made many new friends since starting at Valley. My husband and I feel extremely lucky to have found Valley.
The quality of academics is superb. I know my child is receiving a top rate education. Yes, it is tough! The teachers expect the students to be resposible, even in the younger grades. (I find this a very good thing.)Students must keep track of their daily assignments and homework as well as the long term projects. Sometimes the requirements seem a little over the top, but my child has been able to rise to the challenges. If straight A's are a necessity for your family, you may want to look elsewhere. However, know this: When your child leaves Valley Academy after the eighth grade,he or she will have the tools to succeed in high school and beyond.
I believe that Valley Academy is one of the strongest schools in Phoenix. It uses traditional education styles and emphasizes the arts like we learned them when we were little. The PE program is thorough, and Spanish and Computers are taught from 3rd grade one. My only concern is the management by a self-appointed board of directors. The principal reports to this board of directors, and there doesn't seem to be any checks and balances in the system. Parents can sometimes feel frustrated with this. We go the Principal for help, but he/she has no real power in the school. If this aspect could be changed, it would make parents feel better. The board members should be elected by the parents. Also, parents as board members should be kept to a strict minimum to show transparency and allow outside people with an unbiased opinion to improve and support the school.
I am very concerned that the overall quality of education is being eroded.
Like many parents I am very concerned about the recent changes at Valley Academy. My child has attended for three years, and up until now I was fairly satisfied. Next year holds great concern for me and I am considering other schools. The Board of Directors seem to have no real understanding for parental concerns.
My child will be a first grader this fall and the new changes have me a little worried. I did attend the meeting on 6-22-06 and left the meeting with the same questions, which tells you that the questions weren't answered. I want to end by saying education wise I love the school, the teachers, and parent participation and I hope that doesn't change. Thank you.
Valley Academy is a great school, however recent events which have included the firing of Mrs. Malone the principal and the making of a non educator the 'CEO' of the school are very disappointing. A few things to think about. The pace of the school is very advanced as well as the content. This has been the hardest thing to which to adjust. I would not recommend the middle school at all. The staff at that level does not encourage parent review or participation. For the lower grades, you can't do better generally, but for the coming year, I would be very careful with a change in administration. This move has included no explanation to the parent body and no reasons were given. Mrs. Maone was principal for 8 years and made Valley what is has become.
This school is so advanced that when I switched my middle school child from a public school to this one, she struggled with the advanced academic schedule and structure. This year she's improved a lot. Even though she struggled she loves this school. Very disciplined, structured, and teachers keep you informed if the child is falling behind on her/his grades. I recommend it to everyone.
I have a 4th and 5th grader now at Valley and both have attendended since K. Valley is not for parents that are looking for a babysitter for their kids. Valley is a very structured school with exceptional teaching values and strategies that require a lot of parental involvement. Yes, homework is intense, but without homework, concepts do not 'stick' and must be relearned year to year which means lost teaching time due to review. Core values must be taught at home and high behavior standards are expected (which should be the case in every school, but it isn't), which gives Valley students what they need to have a good learning environment.
My child is finishing Kindergarden & has done great. Yes, I was very involved in the beginning while learning all the phonograms, reading... Once she learned how to read, she was able to read instructions on her own.. She has a great teacher, who has given her a great start for this school, was very involved in communicating if there were any behavior problems on a specific day, gave great positive feedback & acknowledgement to both students & parents. I would definitely recommend this school, If, you're willing to be part of your child's education & not just leave raising up your child to the school. As for extracuricular activities, yes the school needs improvement, but the City offers lots of programs to use after school/weekends for sports/activities, if desired. I feel kids need time at home to relax, wind down, use their imagination & just be kids.
I have been very pleased with my daughter's educational experience at Valley Academy. Her teachers have all been exceptional and knowledgeable about their subject areas. The leadership is very competent and deal with matters quickly. I would recommend this school to others.
Very high academic progress this first year for our two Kindergartners. The are reading and completing math times tests up to 11. We are very happy with the academic progress made this year. The only negative we find is the lack of social interaction with kids after school. This is primarily due to the children being driven to the school from many different areas around the west valley. For academic progress well beyond most public schools, this is the school of choice.
The quality of educatin is good.I feel good about extracurricular activities too.There is a lot of paretns involvement.
Very structured school focus is only on academics there is no consideration for socioemotional health. If a child is struggling in one subject they would prefer to hold them back (retain) rather than Identify the problem inform the parents work out a tutoring strategy andintervention. They have music art choir and sports after 4th grade only. The average student will do at least 1-4 hours of homework every night. Without parental help this school would be impossible for even a gifted student. When a child is struggling and you ask for help the common response is 'Maybe Valley Academy is not for your child'. If your kid is not on cruze control and needs a little support good luck. Parents are required to provide minnimun of 2 hrs per month of school assistance most parents give much more some give a lot.
My son attended this school appx. three years ago and I loved it. I am hopping to have my kids attend here again next year.
Speaking to the junior high program, I had two children who entered Valley in 4th and 5th grades. They were generally not accepted by peers due to the fact that they hadn't been there since Kindergarten. For my fairly quiet child, things went OK with teachers, but my active son was often ridiculed by the teachers in front of classmates. When I spoke to the principal about this, she merely attributed one of the teacher's behavior to her particular personality type. Only one of the teachers (Hayo) took the time to appreciate him. He was so beaten down with such low self esteem from his experience at Valley, that we homeschooled him for 9th grade. As long as your children (and you!) 'fit the mold' (studious, compliant), Valley will be fine for you. The minute you try to assert any indivuality, you will be an outcast.
My daughter attended kindergarten at Valley and learned a great deal. However, Valley expects perfection, even from five year olds. When the class began writing sentences (yes, sentences) my daughter was penalized for not using a 'Spalding' capital 'y' at the beginning of a sentence. She used a capital, just not a Spalding one. The children do not have opportunities to practice creativity and individuality. There is blatant favoritism. One child was constantly disrupting the class and getting out of his seat without consequence while another was awarded detention for talking out in class. Families with more energetic children or children who struggle are treated poorly and feel they have to leave Valley. In all, if you don't mind expecting your child to perform perfectly, don't mind having homework that lasts three hours nightly and blatant favortism then Valley Academy is for you.
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