I am a teacher AND the parent of students who attended Venado MS prior to attending Irvine HS. I have always been grateful to Venado's staff for preparing my own children so superbly for high school. They learned the discipline AND the work habits AND the knowledge necessary to make all their school years successful and gratifying to them. I could not have asked for anything more. G-d Bless Venado's fine, conscientious administration and staff for making their school a role model from which all other middle schools could learn!
I am a former student who can attest to the first-rate quality, incredible dedication and sincere passion of Venado's teachers. They really stand out above the rest (not just among other middle school teachers but high school too) for going above and beyond. One of their strongest features is setting high expectations for students which in turn elevates both our beliefs about what we can do and our actual achievement. While I was a student many years ago, I still fondly remember many stand-out teachers who made learning come alive, esp. the many who developed creative, interactive programs with real-world applicability that generated such excitement and engagement. Venado is truly one of the best middle schools.
This is by far the best middle school in Irvine. The principal and vice principal work very hard and create a positive school climate full of well-behaved, mostly hard-working kids. I am glad they keep the expectations high and the ne'er-do-wells out. Most of the teachers are seasoned and experienced - with some bright, new ones coming in - and the departments all work well together to create a balanced curriculum. They receive honors every year for their music, chorus, and theater programs. The science department is outstanding, with this being home to the district Teaher of the Year. If you can get your kid into Venado, by all means do it!
Venado is an excellent school, although one of the general education humanities teachers gives way too much homework and I've heard her classes are really monotonous and boring. In woodshop you have to be careful because he favors some students and hates some of them, and he has a short temper. So DON'T put your child in woodshop unless they have really good time management skills. Otherwise, the new p.e. teacher, the gate, and science teachers (7th grade) are amazing. To the parent who submitted a post about the gate program being too much stress, it's only because most of the class procrastinates. A LOT. And that's coming from my own experience as a 7th grader at venado. Your child will need to learn how to manage their time wisely for middle school, dividing the work in projects into chunks.
We heard mixed comments about the school before the school started, so we prayed a lot and hoped for the best. On the 1st day of school, I was actually a bit anxious, but then I saw the principal firmly and kindly (with sincere smile) correcting some kids' behaviors.. ( 2 kids were standing on the flower bed after the principal had announced not to; 2 girls wearing shorts that were a bit too short..) Another day after school, I saw a kid tried to take a short cut climbing over a fence, the principal paced over and advised him not to using the same firm and kind attitude. He really showed his care for students. He is the kind of principal that I would like my kid to have. Starting from the 1st day, my kid has been loving to go to school everyday. He likes all his teachers and enjoys being with his friends. From our observation, his friends are all nice, fun and hard-working kids, and the teachers are devoted to their jobs and to the kids. I heard the dress code is bit more strict compared to other schools, and that's another thing we like about the school. Generally, we love the school and it has been a great experience for my kid.
I enrolled my daughter at this school in February 2010. At first she did not enjoy the school but, as she gave it the time she started to enjoy it. But, as she went into her 8th grade year things began to change. On top of the new principal and vice principal, she had brought to my attention about the way kids were acting and dressing in the school. She had told me that a large group of so called "popular" 8th grade girls began to dress in very "showy" apparel. She said this was embarrassing to be going to school with girls like that, and the principal seemed to do nothing about it. This really annoyed my daughter because she claimed that the principal and vice principal seemed to favor the "popular" kids over the not so popular. For example, my daughter and her best friends began to get verbally bullied by some of the "popular" girls, which had gone one for several weeks. When I had brought it to the principal's attention he said to the other girls to "be nice", and told my daughter to leave THEM alone, when THEY were the ones causing the problem! If you think that your child would enjoy being in an embarrassing, rude, and,stressful environment then Venado is right for you.
I wish I knew more about this school before I enrolled my daughter. In two short years she went from a child that loved school to a child that hated school. There are a few great teachers but to say there are mean spirited teachers is putting it mildly. I would definitely choose another school if I could do it over again.
Although there are some seemingly mean-spirited teachers there, they are just trying to do their jobs. I am in my second year at Venado and rather enjoy it. The teachers all love their job and most are experienced and passionate in their work. Students are encouraged to do well on tests and in all work, but are not pressured to the point of exhaustion. Homework varies from teacher to teacher, but overall, it is caround three to four hours, is challenging, and promotes deep thought and critical thinking. Students may be slightly dastardly, but teachers and other staff do their best to keep them in order. As long as your child does their homework and is not disrespectful to any teachers, their experience at Venado will be pleasant.
Do not... i repeat DO NOT put your children in this school. My children went there and to mine and their detriment. There are many subpar (putting it nicely) teachers there, actually some downright nasty and mean spirited ones - there are better middles schools in Irvine - for your childrens education and emotional well being - choose one of the other schools
Excellent school. The GATE program is awesome. The science teacher is amazing. She deals with the most delicate topics with ease and also educates the kids with do's and don'ts in life. The same thing with Leadership, Histroy, LA and Math. Awesome teachers, awesome school, excellent discipline too.