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Valley Achievement Center



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Living in Bakersfield

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $110,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $830.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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18 reviews of this school

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Posted June 10, 2014

I really wanted to like this school and we wanted the program to work for our child however it didn't turn out that way. I had spent a few days there with my child and that was enough for me to see how the staff handles the children. Most of the "teachers" are young and and the job requires very minimal training and most of them have no experience at all. Autism is a complex disorder and not one child is the same. I think in order to be an effective teacher, you need to inform and educate yourselves about the disorder and learn how deal with different behaviours. This is what this place lacks. Although in theory they are great, but the staff who executes them does not have enough skills. Their ratio is 1:1 which is great but the place seems small for the number of kids and staff that were there. They do DTT there as part of their task but not sure if my child's aide knows what that really means cause she didn't even know what ABA means. These children deserves better school and shame that Bakersfield has only this one.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 5, 2014

Unfortunately our experience with VAC was a negative one. We really were hoping this school would be the answer we were looking for. Although there are people with advanced degrees on staff, they are not the ones working with the children day to day. Most of the hands-on staff is very young, have only the minimum of 6 child development units, and are not college graduates. They are glorified day care workers being 'trained' on the job. The employment turn over rate seems rather high as well. My child did not respond well to the chaos created by the disorganization, the ever changing new faces, and the overall lack of understanding regarding Autism some staff members displayed. Autism is not a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. These children are individuals with quirks and eccentricities specific to them. Just because one doesn't understand a certain behavior, does not mean it should automatically be deemed a problem behavior. This community is certainly in need of a private school to serve and educate the Autistic demographic. Regretfully, this one misses the mark. (Why are the previous 6 reviews, all positive, dated within 2 days of one another? Are they legitimate?).
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 31, 2013

The staff are amazing! They are very friendly, and all know every child by name. The teachers are genuinely concerned about every student's progress toward their individual goals. We have seen a lot of progress in our child's social skills in just a few months of attending VAC.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 30, 2013

VAC is an amazing school which not only improves the lives of their children, but their families as well. Staff works closely with families to ensure their children receive a quality services. The staff are friendly and you can truly see they have the passion to make a difference.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted October 29, 2013

I have worked at Valley Achievement for 10 years now and I can honestly say that I have grown and learned so much from my experiences at Valley Achievement Center. The biggest reward for working at VAC is seeing the students grow and progress with their individual goals. If this wasn't a good program, I would have left by now.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted October 29, 2013

I have worked at Valley Achievement Center for almost a year and a half. This is a great program that really wants the best for every student that attends. Each student gets the attention and support they need to succeed and everyone here is rooting for them to do so. This is a wonderful organization and I am thankful I get to be a part of it.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted October 29, 2013

after school program improved my sons social skills, thanks for the wonderful people who worked with my son.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 29, 2013

My child has attended The valley achievement center since the age of 5 when his autism was diagnosed. He has had a very good experience there and has continued to make improvements. The staff is nice and respectful. The hours and location work well with our family's schedules. The valley achievement center has been great for my child.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 29, 2013

Good social program for autistic kids. Good staff. Very happy with my child's progress. Staff is nice and friendly to everyone. Kids are treated well and with respect.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 29, 2013

My son has been going to Valley Achievement Center for the past 5 years and I have seen significant improvements with his socialization skills and expressing his needs and concerns. The teachers maintain a certain level of professionalism but at the same time reflect so much care and personal attention to each student and even with parents/care provider. The school maintains a very warm enviroment that is conducive to learning and also promotes good health and enviromental awareness through different programs and activities.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 1, 2013

I worked there for a couple of weeks and I can honestly say that they have the right idea, but very disorganized! There is never supplies. I was frustrated because I was always missing something to do my job. The building looks run down and is in serious need of TLC. Kids are so sweet! Students deserve new equipment and other things to make place more appealing.

Posted May 9, 2013

I think this is a great program for children with Autism. I worked there for a very long time and it was amazing to see the progress in each child. The staff really care about the clients and each child has a ton of goals that are worked on daily. They use ABA and DTT to teach, so it can be monotonous, but it is proven to work for children with Autism. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to see quick and progress in their child.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted November 23, 2012

It used to be a terrific school... until Jolene left. Now the staff is poorly trained and unqualified.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2011

Great place for kids with autism. They're really passionate about what they do. My daughter has changed so much since she started there 3 years ago.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 1, 2011

My son has been going for two years and has blossomed. Not sure where the description comes from, but VAC has over 150 clients in 5 different programs. If we had a high functioning ASD program for full time education we would place him there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 11, 2011

That review in feb 3rd is completely delusional, sorry but it's true that's what they want you to believe if you knew what was actually going on you would pull your child instantly. If that review was actually from a parent that is.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 4, 2010

I worked for them. In my opinion: I have never seen such bad management in my life. The state is cutting budgets, and this program is an ideal example of waste. This organization is no better than a glorified baby sitting service, and only attempts to provide the services it advertises. The program is an example of redundancy, and could easily be incorporated into public schools ( after school autism program).
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted April 25, 2010

They have a great staff theat really cares about their students. They work closely with the students taking the time to help them learn. The students triumphs are their triumphs.
—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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 39% 26%
Hispanic 33% 52%
Black 22% 6%
Two or more races 6% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School basics

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  • Nonsectarian


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Special ed
  • Special education
  • Special eduction
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
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1300 Stine Road
Bakersfield, CA 93309
Phone: (661) 834-8670


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