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Van Buren High School

Public | 10-12 | 1275 students


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13 reviews of this school

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Posted October 7, 2014

VBHS..Mu child was dropped from a class and made by the school to sign the consent agreeing to be dropped from the class. The school never contacted us to inform us. We found out the day it happened from our child. I called the school and requested he be put back in class and was told no because he may fail the class and not graduate. On September 26 they decided my child had to be put in easier English class because he may fail in May.They made this decision because he did not turn in one essay as well as other students but they were not dropped from the class yet they said my child was not singled out. When we met with the principal basically was told he will hear me out but he will make the decision as to what is best for my child's. We talked to assistant principal..He agreed with principal..They all agreed we should have been notified and they were sorry that we were not but we are not changing our decision..
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 1, 2013

As a current student at VBHS I have to say that I absolutely love my High School. They have an excellent music program. I am a former member of the band, I am going into the 11th grade I decided to get out because of the stress involved in marching band. I had the best biology teacher ever, Mrs. Gail Saifi is such an awesome teacher and she deserves the respect. I am a choir member going on my second year, Mrs. Kathy Hoover is the best ever and I love her a lot :) As far as education wise with me in marching band it was a little stressful to get my home work done and get all of my stuff done in time and work around band schedule. I had the best experience my 10th grade year. I loved band, but in my opinion grades and school work are more important than extra curricular classes :) I love I can be in chess club and in choir too :) and still have a music credit. I hope to graduate with at least a 3.8 GPA. I want to be a music major and I feel like I can achieve that at VBHS :) It is a great school, and a lot of people talking negative about because of what they see on the news about it. But the VBSD staff and facility take extra good care of us students and makes sure we are safe :)
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 14, 2012

This school can be great or horrible depending on where your child ends up, with what teachers, in what social group, etc. I attended this school myself and found the administration to be severely lacking but the teachers to be excellent and I succeeded in school. My first two children didn't do as well. The middle child fell into drugs bad at that school and told me of how easy it is to sneak off campus and how much the teachers just goof off and encourage the kids to in class. Also, he was a good kid making good grades and never affected by peer pressure but he said he was surrounded with the drug pressure constantly. He is in a better place now. My last child will not be going to that school. I saw for myself after repeated visits the lack of caring for the children there. They are just numbers now.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 18, 2012

Very disappointed in the lack of communication from teachers and administration. Totally understand time constants in education; however, a number of parents are very frustrated with the lack of professionalism and responsiveness among some of the faculty and the administrative leadership at Van Buren..
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 26, 2008

I'd like to say Van Buren is very well organized, I believe the faculty goes above and beyond to educated their students. With a new facility comes new opportunities and I look forward to seeing what the performing arts dept. has in store for us this spring. The athletics and AP programs are of high focus in this district. Students choose to take advantage of what the Van Buren school district has to offer. All kinds of new programs have taken place but it's up to the student to participate. Fort Smith walks students through their sub-par education. Good luck surviving in the real world. My student was a state debater, offered numerous scholorships and was very much prepared not manufactured, to enter into a higher level education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 26, 2008

Van Buren High School is one of the best schools in Arkansas. There are some really amazing teachers and the staff seems very student-oriented. The best thing about Van Buren is the music program. Mike Jones and Ron Smith do an AMAZING job with the band, which is arguably the best in the state. Kathy Hoover does a great job with the choir. In short, Van Buren High School is an amazing school/
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 29, 2007

I've been pretty satisfied with the education my son has gotten at VBHS. Can't speak directly to the question of principal leadership since I haven't had any personal experience with that. His teachers have been excellent; Gail Saifi and Steve Brodie in particular - they teach difficult subjects well by making them interesting and fun. That said, I think the school (and the district as a whole) places too much emphasis on sports, at the expense of educating the students who are struggling. The students don't even have their own textbooks for each class; they must check them out to take them home, which I find ridiculous.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 22, 2006

VBHS is the best High School in Arkansas, period. They are the State Champions in both Soccer and Band, the Van Buren Pointers Rock!!!
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 6, 2005

I am very proud of the Van Buren School District. My children have been blessed to have, for the most part, wonderful teachers and school facilities. My oldest child just graduated with high honors and has earned a full scholarship for his college, including room and board. Van Buren has much to offer academically and through various extracurricular activities and organizations. What's also wonderful about this district is the amount of parent participation, which is encouraged by the schools. If you're looking for a quality place to live and raise your children, Van Buren is it.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 15, 2004

Kathy Hubbs, Gail Saifi, Ladonna Brewer, Mari Newby, Stephen Brodie,Quince Coleman, Tim McCutchen,Kevin Porter, Sandra Whittington, and Gary Deffenbaugh are major assets to the Van Buren School District. These teachers have influenced me in many ways and I would like everyone to realize how much the are needed at Van Buren High School.I would also like to add that something needs to change about how the most wonderful biology teacher in the world gets no respect from the administration, she deserves anything she might happen to request and it needs to be taken into consideration of the superiors that her requests be fulfilled. Gail Saifi is an amazing teacher and her influence on her students is tremendous. Thank You.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 15, 2004

As a current student at VBHS I would say that this is a wonderful school to attend we have excellent teachers and great AP classes. There is a minimum of school violence, and the students blend in well with others. We have great athletic programs that are steadily growing as well as our student count. I couldn't hope for a better public school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 8, 2004

As a parent of a child previously enrolled in the Van Buren School District and a previous teacher within the district, I would agree that the Van Buren secondary schools are sub-par (Elementary schools are excellent). Unlike many, do not feel that the teachers are to blame. The district has excellent faculty (about the only redeeming quality in the district). The problem is with the administration. The Jr. High and High School teachers many times have their hands tied by upper administration who are much more interested in how the community perceives the district than preparing students for their future. While I realize this is a problem in every school district, it is overly magnified in the Van Buren Secondary Schools. If you could get the faculty to speak openly, I assure you they would agree. This is why I left and have chosen to teach in another institution.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 26, 2003

Its organization, faculty, and facility, as well as issues such as discipline, course content, AP program, and athletics, are all worse than sub-par. After living in this district and having two students attend VBHS (one graduated), our family moved to Fort Smith so the other children may finish their education in schools that do more than manufacture graduates who are ill-prepared for college, military, or work.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

The state average for Literacy was 70% in 2013.

405 students were tested at this school in 2013.








Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Arkansas used the Benchmark Exam to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in literacy and grades 3 through 8 in math. The Benchmark Exam is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Arkansas. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Arkansas Department of Education

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 77% in 2013.

347 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Biology was 44% in 2013.

430 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Geometry was 72% in 2013.

427 students were tested at this school in 2013.








Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Arkansas used the End of Course Exam to test high school students in Algebra I, Geometry and Biology. The results for End of Course Exams administered in the spring of each school year are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The End of Course Exam is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined by the state of Arkansas. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Arkansas Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 71% 64%
Hispanic 16% 10%
Two or more races 6% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 1%
Black 2% 21%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 46%N/A61%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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2001 Pointer Trail
Van Buren, AR 72956
Phone: (479) 474-6821


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