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 :)
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.
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..
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.
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/
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.
VBHS is the best High School in Arkansas, period. They are the State Champions in both Soccer and Band, the Van Buren Pointers Rock!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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