I am biased, of course! All I can tell you is to drive by the school after 3:30 any afternoon, or on the weekends. You will see staff members up there going above and beyond because they are passionate about what they do. The proof is in the success---we have former Grizzlies who have gone on to be very successful in jr. high, high school and college-they not only have shown ease with academic success, but in leadership and community service. They are the kids who serve on student council, sleep in a cardboard box to raise money for the school district's homeless program, and receive scholarships. I personally know of several physicians, professors, marketing, business, real estate, film makers, and teachers who had their foundations built at Vandergriff.
I personally don't give much homework. I don't like to take my work home, (although I do....!) so I don't expect my students to have to spend hours on school projects and homework, but to be able to pursue outside interests and enjoy family time! I think it varies from teacher to teacher.
Vandergriff has a long history of encouraging character development in its students. Currently, we are learning about Covey's seven habits, and it has been awesome for students, teachers, and families!
My four children attended this school from 1995 until 2001, and then I started working there in 2005. Dr. Stark and the charter staff sought to build a legacy at this school of kindness and compassion. To whom much is given, much is expected. While there has been huge growth at this school in academic achievement and curriculum alignment, the heart of the school has been maintained-a family atmosphere in which every person is valued and cared for, and each is encouraged to reach his or her highest potential. The school has become more diverse in recent years and there is definitely room for growth in learning to be more inclusive and broader-thinking as a community. If you're considering purchasing a home in this district, call the office to schedule a visit, and even ask if your child could visit a classroom. If teachers know ahead of time, they can be ready to put you at ease in your transition. We've just received the National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Dept. of Ed. for the second time in six years. Our PTO is phenomenal, helping to provide all kinds of support for the faculty, staff, kids, and even the larger community.
We have been at Vandergriff for 7 years. I completely disagree with the parents who wrote the teachers are uncaring and that it matters what type of clothes their children wear. My children have some name brand clothing but not much and they are not treated any differently and we have absolutely enjoyed and been impressed with the teachers that we have had. One was not fantastic but who can except every single teacher to be amazing. That is not reality. Your child will not always have amazing teachers if you are in any educational program. You must learn to adjust and your child must too. Education is their focus at Vandergriff and now they have added a leadership program ("Leaders and Me"). My kid that is there now absolutely loves this program and it is encouraging him to be outgoing, respectful and to set goals for himself.
More than disappointed. Purchased a home for the specific reason that my child attend Vandergriff. If you believe your child will need ANY extra help or attention regarding behavior or academics, this school is not for you. However, if your child is in a position to excel academically & emotionally, Vandergriff could be the right place. With a highly praised school, comes "highly praised" people who generally are affluent and well known within society. Either you fit into such social environment or not. This should be a consideration, as it does & will affect your child & your family accordingly. This is simply my opinion, but I will say that many others I know agree.
Education and growth of knowledge is the focus at vandergriff. As a mother who is able to go into the school on a regular basis, I see and hear kind teachers, kind kids and a friendly staff for the majority. I appreciate the teachers that look to challenge kids and also make the learning process fun. I see confidence building techniques used in the learning process. I would recommend better hygiene (hand washing) and healthier foods on the menu for it to be a 5 star school. I encourage my kids to be respectful and treat others as they want to be treated. We do not wear much brand name clothing as it is pointless at any age to focus on that. My kids dress in the most mis-matched things they can find and are confident with their choices and I'm fine with that. Build confidence in your child at home and allow teachers to build their minds at school.
Yes Vandergriff is materialistic. The teachers aren't warm and seem to meet standards of each other. They have their own little thing going like it's still college. Their very petty. If you attend make sure you wear name brand clothes and so your not talked. I like a more christian atmosphere myself. My child needs a warm and christian kind of people so he can learn by example by good role models. A good person cause the ripple effect in this world and I want my children to be some of the good people and not like the teachers at this school
I've been taken aback at the general emotional environment at Vandergriff, with a few shining exceptions. I've seen children's sad feelings ignored, and at times scorned, by office staff and some others. With some rare exceptions, the teachers are not the kind of warm, happy types I've met at other elementary schools. Stand in a straight line and sit in your seat! The main focus is keeping up the test scores, but research shows something like 80% of the variance between schools' tests scores can be explained by economic differences between schools. I'm surprised other affluent parents (although there's a surprising number of families in the Vandergriff district who are not) are so happy with this school, but I've discovered many are, themselves, rather authoritarian in their ways, so the school reflect their values and style. If your child marches well to orders and isn't affected by seeing other kids who don't receive the consequences, you may love this school. We're planning to sell our house and move to a different school zone, where the atmosphere is more relaxed and friendly. Facts can be forgotten, but emotional lessons last a lifetime.
Best elementary school in the state. It recently received the "Blue Ribbon Award". I have lived in Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana and Michigan, and Vandergriff is far superior in creating an environment conducive for learning.