This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ventana Vista Elementary School5
Posted August 02, 2014
- a parent
Ventana Vista is a great school. My child was in the grade 1/2 multiage last year and I am very happy with his progress. He will continue in 2nd grade this year with the same teacher. His teachers are nurturing and have high expectations. He is not in Spanish immersion but he goes to Spanish class 4 times a week. There are a lot of extracurricular activities offered. The best thing about the school is that they offer extended math in grades 2-5, so students who are skilled in math can basically be one grade ahead every year. Even though I was told my son wouldn't get to have extended math until 2nd grade, the teachers put him and other first graders who were great at math in a second grade math class, and this made me very happy. There is no reason to go to any other school.
My 2 sons have had a terrific year! Their teachers have been very supportive in motivating and pushing them to do their best academically. One of them is in the multiage class (1st and 2nd) which has been a very positive experience. The teachers help one another and separate the 1st and 2nd graders when needed. This is not a new concept, and has been a success at many schools as well as Ventana. As far as the 5th grade. The class sizes are not big. There are exactly 26 and 27 students in each class. Compare that to most schools that have 30 students. My son has learned so much this year and will miss his teachers next year when he's at Esperero Middle School!
I have two children in different grades in the Spanish immersion program at Ventana Vista, and I LOVE it. The school is wonderful -- teachers, principal, other kids, other parents, special classes, events and activities, etc. I can't say enough good things about the education my children are getting and the wonderful community that we are part of. No, not everything is perfect, but when there is a problem, people really seem to care about fixing it. Exactly what a great elementary school should be.
This is my second year at Ventana Vista and our family has been very happy with the school overall. The teachers are wonderful and supportive, the immersion program has been a positive experience and the principal, Mrs. Boling, has always been available and proactive when needed. My child loves his school, and I could not be happier with our choice to attend Ventana Vista.
The Spanish Immersion program is a great opportunity at this school! They offer an educational fit for all students. The teachers are fantastic as well as the principal! We have been very happy with this school overall.
Our son has specific academic needs that are being met and surpassed at Ventana Vista. His overall performance has improved 100% in just one school year. The dedication his educators have displayed is exemplary-our son has forged a real bond with his teachers and he now enjoys the entire learning experience. The principal and the teachers have worked together to assist us and our son with his learning and attention issues, to create learning environment conducive to his needs.
I have 2 children attending Ventana Vista and we love it. The school itself is absolutely stunning - an architectural marvel sitting high in the Catalina Foothills. The serenity of the location adds a private feel to a bigger city school. The teachers are fabulous. My son is in fifth grade and the team is professional, creative, and extremely devoted to making sure every student is challenged to learn. Art, music, and physical education play a prominent role in the weekly curriculum, as students rotate these various "specials" from week to week. My daughter is in the third grade Spanish Immersion Program, where the foundations for a future of language learning and later fluency, are developed through regular lesson plans taught entirely in Spanish. The children are excited to go to school everyday, and always come home with daily stories about the things they learned and the great experiences they had. Ventana Vista is truly one of the best schools in Tucson.
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.
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.