This school (and this district, for that matter) is no longer concerned with promoting excellence.The unreasonably large 5th-grade classes and the ill-conceived idea to divide the curriculum by half year per subject is a poor strategy.The lower grades now paired together in multi-age classes is simply in response to the heavily-marketed trend towards Spanish immersion programs. CFSD's Super. stated clearly last week in her "goals and mission" statement that she intends to promote and market the district for open enrollment and the immersion programs. Yes, Spanish Immersion is working in so far as the students are the priority for VV: the rest of the kids--special ed, non-immersion--get whatever is leftover. What's leftover at this juncture is overcrowded classes (grade 5) and kids who inevitably repeat the same curriculum twice in the multi-age classes. The principal of this school is a non-participant; leadership is not her forte. She is only there to march the VV community through the paces set before her by the Board. But, what happens if VV loses more of its best teachers? From the sounds of the crickets over the last few years, it seems like everyone is okay with that.
The reason the Spanish Immersion students have higher AIMS scores than the regular/English classes is very simple. They do not have children with learning disabilities. The regular/English classes have a mix of gifted, above average, average, and below average. The parent who wrote about how "smart" the Spanish Immersion students are sounds like the typical BASIS parent. When you average the brightest students' scores with a few students who have learning difficulties, you will get a lower average. SIMPLE MATH! This is why BASIS has the top scores - weed out the students who bring down the high average. Fortunately, public schools can't do this. I'm a parent of a "gifted" student and I would never send my child to BASIS! Unless I wanted him/her to turn out arrogant and unhappy. Ventana is a GREAT AND WELL ROUNDED SCHOOL! It's not perfect, but we have been very happy.
This is a good school going rapidly downhill due to a myopic Board. There are some excellent teachers, but one by one, they are leaving. The location or the school, the view of the mountains, the proximity to nature are truly wonderful aspects. Unfortunately there are major problems. The Principal, although well meaning, is powerless. There is no long-term planning and the possible impact on students is not considered when sudden changes are made. Classes in 5th grade are now 90 minutes long, with Social Studies for half the year and Science for the other half, so when students go to middle school, they will not have had lessons in one of those subjects for half the year! When pointed out by parents, it received little sympathy from the principal, and none from the Board. Almost a third of the 4th graders left last year- a well meaning Board would have looked at the causes and addressed them! The Board is vociferous in asking for help and donations, but remains silent to the parents concern for falling standards. A sinking rot has set in and can only be stopped by a change in leadership, not only at the school, but also at the Board.
"The Spanish Immersion Program is fantastic. . ." Why is there such high teacher turnover for Spanish Immersion if it's so "fantastic?" .... High teacher turnover?! Please do your research also. Logically, as the students grow older new staff must be hired each year. It would be wrong to categorize this as high teacher turnover. My child has been in this program since kindergarten and is doing very well. Although the immersion program has had a few bumps through the years, Kim Boling is a solid principal and addresses each concern appropriately. I am pleased that my child is receiving a quality, well rounded education at Ventana Vista ES. GO BOBCATS!
Kindergarden teacher is great !!! (Mrs. Perella)...2nd grade teacher not so great (Mrs. Tomiak)...They are planning to put first and second grade together next year (2013-2014) and i am not so sure this is appropiate.
I'm devastated that we had to move! the best school ever. The 3rd grade teacher my kid had was so nice and loving. She actually cared for her students. The feeling was just wonderful, the principal is very nice, caring, understanding and friendly. Even the lady's/monitors that work helping with the traffic were so nice. My son said that some of the lunch monitors were not that nice and some of the office people but other than that everyone was just so respectful. They have so many resources for the students to use and wonderful after school activities. The classrooms are clear of clutter and distractions and you get this feeling that the teachers are happy to be there. My son loved the Spanish and art classes. We miss this school and I wish all schools were like this one. This is en excellent school.
The Spanish Immersion program is fantastic at Ventana Vista. Look it up: the AIMS test scores at VV are among the highest in the district and if you look at just the VV Spanish Immersion students, their test scores ARE the highest. These are exceptional students because of exceptional teachers and a supportive district!
The last review (August 1 2012) is obviously written by someone who doesn't really have a child at this school.........very dishonest. 1. There is, in fact, a librarian and she is fantastic! Mrs. Wadsworth is loved by all the students and parents. 2. Ventana Vista is ranked FIRST in AIMS scores compared to all the other CFSD elementary schools. This is not a "probable" ranking; it is a published ranking within the state of Arizona. In fact, VV is ranked in the 20s among public elementary schools. The previous reviewers citations for Manzanita and Sunrise are ranked in the 70s. 3. Ventana Vista has the lowest amount of open-enrollment students which makes for a much more neighborhood-oriented environment and also keeps but one CFSD school free from the over-crowding caused by OE kids. 4. There is a school code of conduct and initiatives to promote no- bullying supported by and promoted by the principal, Kim Boling. 5. I would AGREE that the teachers are overall excellent. I have had children attending Ventana Vista for the past 7 years and it is a very positive and enriching learning environment.
We have been a part of Ventana Vista for many years. My review would be mixed, at best. Pros: Some outstanding teachers, great physical plant, FFO organization good at lots of extra activities; Cons: Principal, emotional bullying is allowed, there is no librarian (past was amazing - gone due to funding), part-time counselor, not enough physical education, mediocre IDS (gifted) program. Out of the 4 elementaries, this would probably rank 3rd. Go to Manzanita or Sunrise (plus their Middle School is superior). All in all, a perfectly good school for an average, normal child.
My son attended this school for two years. He is autistic and the staff, faculty and other students always worked hard to make him a part of the student body. He was put in typically developing classes, had full time assistance and adjustments were made in the curriculum to fit his abilities. I always felt like he was not only accepted at the school, but truly loved! Thank you so much Sandra, Vanessa and Genny for all you do! WE truly miss the school and doubt we will find another to compare...
My daughters are Kindergarten and 1st grade at Ventana Vista. We absolutely love the school with its fantastic programs (PE, Music, Art, Spanish) and the great faculty & staff. The parental support is incredible and fantastic to see. I volunteered for an event in my daughter's class and 13 of the 19 kids had parents there to help out (this was a mid-day, mid-week event). My soon-to-be 1st grader is incredibly prepared for the next school year. Love this school!!
This is a wonderful school. Both my daughters are there now, one in 3rd grade, the other in Kindergarten. It's true that there are a couple of drawbacks. For one, I find that the principal isn't really personable. Also, the school made the mistake of their transferring one of their best teachers ( a 2nd grade one)to Sunrise Elementary because of seniority (or in her case, because she was new). Nevertheless, my husband and I are very satisfied with Ventana Vista. We used to live in San Jose, Ca and don't want to think of how much it would cost to live close to a school of this quality over there!
We moved our child this year from one of TUSD's 'excelling' schools. There is no comparison. The art, music and P.E. programs are outstanding in addition to the spanish program. Our child was a bit behind and when asked in our TUSD school we always received the same lazy response, 'he's fine'. It's a refreshing change with a top quality private school feel. We've happily donated to this school and hope parents will do the same, a small price to pay compared to an $11,000 per year private school. Outstanding professional staff that puts other teachers to shame. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to be at Ventana Vista!
I am an active duty Marine stationed in California. About half the reason I moved my family to Tucson was this school for my son and we could not be happier. Great school, teachers and administration.
My son is in his second year of school at Ventana Vista. We have been very happy with his teachers, the campus, and the overall learning environment. He has been able to take extended math, which appropriately challenges him. He takes Spanish everyday, which he seems to really enjoy. I feel very confident that he is in an extremely safe environment and well taken care of.
My son is currently in the 2nd grade and has attended Ventana for the last 3 years. The teachers are very good and are always ready to help. I feel that the students should be receiving more homework. This year however, they began longer days and getting HW and activities in is becoming quite a task. I love the environment at Ventana and believe my son is being well taken care of. He's happy and that of course makes us happy. I'm very involved with the school and love all the after school and early release classes that are available.
My daughter has found a great home at Ventana Vista. The Principal, Kim Boling, actually knows each child's name and some background on them and talks to each one of them. The Guidance Counselor, Terry Fletcher has gone out of her way many times to make my 5th grader feel a sense of security and she teaches the kids ethics--how to be kind to one another. The library is the best you will find at any elementary school and the library staff also knows each child's name and interests. There is a dedicated and certified Spanish teacher, phys ed teacher, music teacher and art teacher. For a well rounded education by educators who love kids, look no further, Ventana Vista has it all. My daughter went to TUSD's top elementary school in the 2nd grade, although the teacher was good, what the school had to offer could not compare.
We have been attending Ventana Vista for the past 2 years. Great teachers, and good curriculm. However the teachers do not get treated properly by the district. Nor does the district take care of the campus during the summer monsoon season. They wait until school starts to start the clean up from the rain damage.
My children have been at this school for two years now, K and 1st. The teacher/student ratio is low. The classes offer a teacher, student aide as well as parent volunteers. You could not ask for more help. I am very impressed with the curriculum and the extended math program. The students are challenged and taught to work hard. There are rotations for Art, Music and P.E. throughout the year since time is limited. Parent involvement is huge! The FFO runs the lunch program, and many fundraisers throughout the year which are fun for the families. The library is the best in District 16. The librarian is full of energy and is wonderful with the children. She is very science oriented and challenges the kids to think. The principal is very approachable and friendly and is enthusiastic about bringing new technology to the school.
The school has been on a steady decline since a new principal took over 2 years ago. The general morale of teachers and parents is not good. Therefore academics is suffering. The principal is not interested in teacher or parent concerns and chooses instead to ignore the problems the school is facing. This school used to be one of the best now it is not such a good place to be.
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