This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted January 11, 2013
- a parent
I LOVE Village school. It is the perfect school for my children and my family. My children feel love, safe and respected. They love going to school. THe whole child curriculum, positive discipline, field trips, centers, class meetings, family camping trip, community etc. are things that make Village school the PERFECT school for us. It is not a school for every family. As a parent, I have taken classes that they have offered over the years to help me become a better parent. All the teachers have treated me and my children with the utmost respect. Positive Discipline works and we use it at home. Like I said, it is not a school for everyone. Please consider if the school philosophy resonates with your family. Village is the BEST and we could not be happier. My one complaint- I wish it was a K-8 school.
I confess, I am the PTA Pres at VS and I LOVE our school! My children have attended VS for 6.5 yrs. VSTeachers are caring, innovative and effective. VS Parents are engaged, passionate and giving. VS Students are inquisitive and enthusiastic about learning. VS test scores are high. Last year s 5th Grade achieved the highest Science score in CUSD. My own child graduated from VS to Rolling Hills in 2012.She has a 3.5+ GPA at RHMS. In K-3, she was always in the lowest reading group. VS teachers nurtured my child at the appropriate level to help her feel good about her abilities at every stage of her growth. You will not find A s, B s or C s at VS. If you want grades, please consider another school. VS is about the learning process and nurturing kids holistically. The Parent commitment at VS is significant. Our Charter requires all families work on campus during school hours.You will be asked to actively mentor other people s children (in class/playground/field trips). If you are uncomfortable with this (because children can be challenging), please consider if this is the right choice for your family. If you support Parent Participation and Positive Discipline, please consider Village!
Village is a great idea gone wrong. As test scores increase, more families came who were not interested in being part of the community and doing the required work. Positive discipline is supposed to be kind AND firm. Village practices kindness with very little firmness. The result is ever changing rules/boundaries that leave many struggling to navigate the new day and many children who don't feel they need to comply with an adults request. While we want empowered children, they also need to learn how to earn and give respect. The "new" principal does not have the backbone to lead. Most upsetting of all, is that she will back down from disciplining a student if there is a history of parents (especially dads) pushing back. This only confuses students more and leaves them to feel as if there is no one to protect them. Many enriching activities exist, but they can come at the cost of basic skills of spelling or penmanship. The expectations are just not there from every teacher at the school, making the transition to "normal" school more difficult. The negatives far outweigh the positives anymore. Children need to be in a place with cohesive rules/consequences.
I have heard so many wonderful things about Village, with one HUGE exception... The complete failure on the part of the Campbell Unified School District, to be fair and unbiased when following enrollment guidelines for placing students into this lottery based school. CUSD has failed to account for and administer enrollment practices. They have blatantly manipulated and grossly mismanaged a very important role in our community. This is an outstanding school being dragged down by an inept school district.
A successful parent participation school requires a well-respected leader to create a cohesive community and encourage parents to put in 100%. In September, our beloved principal suddenly left to take the helm at another school. Our new principal means well, but lacks experience and connection. On the plus side are required Positive Discipline classes; a focus on the whole child instead of tests; the teaching of conflict resolution skills; many field trips and community-building activities; music, art, and PE classes and parent-led workshops; an outstanding school secretary; and, a feeling of cleanliness and safety. Challenges include: the principal building a stronger spirit of collaboration; more students with developmental issues, some of whom take over the classroom with disruptive and disrespectful behavior, affecting the learning opportunities and behaviors of the rest; the need to better utilize parents talents in the classroom; and, the small physical space.
We feel so blessed to have Village for our children. I couldn't even imagine sending my kids to a school with 600+ children and minimal supervision on the playground. At Village, there is so much parent involvement that children are safe and teachers can spend more one on one time with kids in the classroom. The challenge is fitting a parent participation school in your life if you are a working parent. I run a business full-time, and it can be difficult to fit it all in. With that said, my children are a priority to me. My children get a private school education within the public school sector and I'm willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make that happen. Thank you Village for providing us with a safe place to go to school and for allowing my children to thrive in their education.
Having had one kid move through Village and having a second one still in the school since kindergarten, I'm seeing changes that I don't much care for. In the last year we have seen several of the keystone families withdraw their kids and move to other schools due to conflicts with the prinicpal. I've also seen a number of behavorial issues in the upper grades (group bullying) simply not be addressed by either the parents or the administration. The intimate tie we had between the staff, kids & families is simply NOT what it once was.Sadly the school is a vicitm of it's own success. A great community led to high scores and a great reputation. In turn it has led to enrollment by folks unready for a real parent participation school.
Village School has consistently worked with me, and my family, to get the best education for my son. An earlier review stating that the change in leadership this year was responsible for starting a culture of bullying seems to be looking at the past through rose colored glasses, because my family had to deal with this issue 3 years ago (with the old principal), as well as this year. I have found that the current staff has been at least as responsive to my concerns, if not more so, than the previous administration. I have seen the new Principal out on the field during my lunch recess shift most weeks and have been able to use her as a resource to help deal with any situations on the spot.
Our principal is supportive of the staff, parents and the students. When she is on campus, she spends her time in the classrooms, out on the playground for morning and lunch recess. I hope that parents don't perceive her frequent absences due to district meetings and business as a lack of desire to meet the kids and parents. If she is in her office, you will often find she is meeting with a student, parent or a group of parents. Village is a warm, supportive community and continues to be the best school in this area. Not everyone can truely appreciate what we have.
This is my 6th year at Village School. It has been an amazing educational experience for my daughters and me. The teachers are dedicated and energetic, bringing a lot of creativity to our curriculum. I feel as though my 5th grader has learned a lot of academics and gained social intelligence as well.