Although I agree with some of the points covered in previous comments that discuss the weaknesses of VVS, such as: the lack of funding and money available for sports, and in general, the lack of experience some of the college counselors have demonstrated, the extent to which the U.S. actually recognizes the IB program, the number of inexperienced faculty members with the amount of money being paid in tuition, and, lastly, the blurred line between professional and personal relationships. By this last point I mean that a majority of students board and inevitably interact with the faculty on a more personal level, which makes it difficult to distinguish between the level of professionalism needed to be upheld in a classroom environment, as opposed to outside of the classroom. I feel as if focusing solely on the weaknesses of VVS is being unfair to its immeasurable strengths, though. No school is perfect, but I give it five stars, because it IS “great,” not perfect. This school has given me so much as a person. It has given me the chance to perform onstage with the rock band, perform in my first play, and meet some of the most wonderful, diverse people I could have ever asked for. You won’t find that in many places, especially for a shy person like myself. VVS has helped me find my sense of self and shaped me into a much more confident person, overall. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone more in my one year of being there than I ever did during the two years at my other high school, because VVS is such an incredibly warm, and supportive community. It is also important to note that VVS also encourages a strong work ethic on lots of unique levels like with the work jobs students partake in twice a week, the two week field trip, project period, and truly anywhere students want to apply themselves. VVS is all about what you make of it, and it provides so many opportunities for students to make it great!
I'm going to try and keep this simple. In the past four years the school has had three headmasters, the most recent one did not even last a whole year before being told he would not be coming back because surprise, he did not have any experience. In the past four years the school has also gone through three deans of students, an almost complete turnover of faculty which has been replaced with many unlicensed and inexperienced "interns", the dorms (except for one of the four girls dorms that was renovated about two years ago) are crumbling apart and for the longest time the school has had college counselors with no experience other than going to a high ranked college themselves that have made mistakes including: forgetting to send transcripts before the deadline and therefore ruining the students chance of getting into that school, giving misinformation about schools that led students who got accepted to not be able to attend, and my all time favorite not knowing how to correctly fax important documents to college registration offices. Not to mention the ridiculous way the school handles alcohol, drug, and sexual assault issues. I will never forget a rape case where instead of having the authorities called the school simply interviewed the victim and then decided that her claim was not worth anything because the guy she accused was such a good guy in the community. But they tell you it is worth paying around 40,000 to 50,000 a year why? Because they offer the IB program, which by the way is not in the states recognized by that many colleges and even fewer will give credit for it. Meanwhile most other schools offer the AP program which is recognized by every college in the US and even if your heart is set on the IB guess what, there are roughly around 3,000 public schools in the US that offer the IB FOR FREE. Even the public school in the area Red Rock, which offers AP classes for free has more students going to better ranked schools this year than VVS does. So while I am not saying someone shouldn't spend money on their high school education or attend a private school, I am simply suggesting that VVS might not be for you, or really for anyone.
Verde Valley School is truly an unique experience. To have this opportunity as a day student has been so rewarding. The staff have been very supportive which reflects a positive environment at VVS. Students arrive at VVS from all over the world. To have this opportunity to build relationships with international students is priceless. Some of our favorites are field trips, the IB Experience, equestrian program, drama and so much more! I can't say enough great things about Verde Valley School , most important is Thank You!
When you take a first look at this school you will fall in love with it. However, when you learn the truth it starts to turn pretty ugly. I love that it is an international school, but that is about it. I am at the end of my first year here and am not pleased. They are firing many of the teachers (important nes too) because they do not want to spend the money. However, in a school I'm sure there are better ways to save money than by firing teachers. The mandarin program is now being taught online, we are losing one of the two music teachers (the only one who knows how to play and teaches piano), both history teachers, and many more. There are rumours of hiring interns next year. AND the food makes everybody sick. Some meals only consist of mashed potatoes bread and corn. Many of the teachers are not understanding which is important especially with the IB program. I am very dissapointed by this school, and I know much of the faculty and my fellow students agree. I have no doubts that this school used to be brilliant, but now it is falling apart.
As a current student, this is my second year going to verde valley school and sadly probably my last. In the past year the school has undergone a complete transformation in almost about everything, the way academics are run, student lifestyle, and where money gets spent. During my first year as a new student, I loved going to Verde Valley School, but this year seems almost nothing like the old school I once considered my second home. The new academic system is very difficult to manage as the new policy gives students grades only based on tests. This means homework, participation, and attendance no longer count towards a grade. But perhaps what is really making a student like me that was once so happy at VVS leave, is the fact that the school really has no money. They have put all their money this year into the horse back riding program, which by the way about ten out of the one hundred students participate in, meaning that there is nothing left for any of the other sports or arts departments, school trips, or facilities.
While this school does contain many great aspects about it such as Field trips/ Project Period, international diversity, and a beautiful campus; it does not fully make up for the lack of professionalism in and out of the classrooms. Not only does the school lack in funding for many of its programs, ( especially the arts and sports facility) it still advertises for programs it does not or no longer has such as an online library, a swimming pool, ect. For such high tuition price, one would think that a school like Verde Valley would be able to provide a little more than it gives.
I am a current student at VVS, and its the only school I've been to where allvthe students were kind yet serious about their work. We have fun and party on the weekends, but crack down and study together. Every week we have a meeting with just the students to talk about student matters, lead by our class presidents. The classes are small, and we know our teachers on a first-name basis. I am a boarding student, and its been a great experience. Our community is small, about 120 students, and we're like a family, and we all look after each other. I highly recommend VVS to anyone who is passionate about their work, but willing to know knew cultures from around the world. I'm very excited for the years to come at VVS. And for the next dorm party. jk. :P
I loved being part of the VVS community. It's one of the only schools that I enjoyed going to. The teachers were amazing and my peers were great everyone had a great fun loving but grounded attitude. If you want your kids to have fun but learn well then VVS is the place to send them