Students enrolled 949
Hours 8:30 - 3:00
School leader Catherine Holmes
Transportation options no info
District Irvine Unified School District
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

6 Federation Way
Irvine, CA 92603

School website
(949) 936-6350
(949) 936-6359
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Vista Verde address.

4 stars
Based on 61 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

February 08, 2014
It is obvious that the last two reviews (posted on Feb 7, 2014) were written by the same parent.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2014
We drive across Irvine to have our kids attend Vista Verde. Our kids have varying degrees of special needs. The staff is really trying to help my kids succeed, which has not been the case at other schools private and public in multiple school districts. We have great relationships with the principal, school psychologist, teachers, nurse, health clerk, and speech teacher. The other staff is also very nice and supportive. With the high standards of education at this school I don't worry as much about extra academics, and focus on extra curricular activities to target other areas. The main suggestion for this school is to reprogram language arts to be accessible to the dyslexic population at the school. We are so pleased with Vista Verde.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2014
After reading some recent reviews, it obvious nothing had changed at Vista Verde. This school is a disaster. If you are a busy body with nothing better to do than follow your kid to school and play politics, it ismost llikely a good fit. If you have an average kid (not too smart) that likes busy work this is the perfect school. However, if you ate familiar with education law and have a high functioning kid, or a disabled kid or both you really have three choices. Run! Get a lawyer and sue (please pick this one) or be miserable and buy all their lies. I had hopes that when the former principal left some miracle would happen but it is still in IUSD so I guess not. You are not crazy they are. Teachers are so spoiled with parent helpers they don't know what's up with any kid. They don't grade or record the papers....hod knows there are a lot of dead trees because of VV.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2014
teacher do not teach, being spoiled by volunteers. if they have to compile 2 pages, they are already overworked and they will inform you about it ;) the staff would try to sell lies to parents 24/7. hostile atmosphere. if you contribute some good money then you can have some kind of feeling of private school for public money and all families are aware of it. definitely they do not work for the best of students. ask parents and they will tell you: "average". you might stay but you'd better RUN.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2013
I love Vista Verde School and hope everyone who went there loved it. It has more than 1,000 children that all appreciate the school. Vista Verde is a school that has a very high API score and has many gifted and talented students. Don't worry, if you go to Vista Verde, you will not be bullied at all! Be sure to listen to the instructions to all teachers, or else they can give you an F. If you decide you want to go there, make sure that you are okay with year round schools. In the whole city of Irvine, there are only two schools that are year round. All others are traditional schools that start in September. Vista Verde is a school K-8, so if you go there starting Kindergarten, you will stay there for nine years! Vista Verde is different from other schools by loving all students, advantaged or disadvantaged. I have been in Vista Verde from Kindergarten to eighth grade and have loved it throughout all nine school years! You would never even think about how much I cared for all the teachers, gave them handmade presents and happiness. In Vista Verde all the teachers make children learn very well. I don't know any school other than Vista Verde which I appreciate as much as this school.

- submitted by a community member
August 01, 2013
In a few words, we sold our home that we built and meant the world to us just so our children can be part of Vista Verde. This is day 4 of school and we can see the pride & love that the Principle & Staff ( Team ) has for our school and children. We have all become a family and we are all motivated to better the lives of our children by providing them with all and more that is expected of a public school. We are privileged to becomes Vikings of Vista Verde School in Irvine, Ca. The Sender Family

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2013
There are some amazing teachers in this school like a husband and wife couple who are great role models as well as fantastic teachers. I can't say anything bad about this school other than one thing.There is a fifth grade bully teacher in this school. She definitely has some kind of problem and is not fit to be a teacher. Certain kids always get punished in her class no matter who did the wrong doing. Her favorite students never get bothered even if they do something wrong. She acts more like an angry teenager than an adult teacher. I don't know why the principal doesn't do anything about her in spite of all the complains from the unfortunate parents. I wish the principal could see or hear the way she treats the kids through some kind of hidden camera.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2013
The recess teachers and volunteers are the worse. I often visit my child during breaks, and I see how horrible they treat the students, and the parents as well. They shouldn't be working with kids if they don't know how to talk or treat children. They demand and bark, rather than speaking normal. JUST BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE YOUNG DOESn't MEAN THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND. Hopefully, a miracle happens and these teachers/volunteers get trained how to treat children or get prohibited working here. (Btw, third recess is a waste of time; it should be taken away, and let out 20 minutes earlier. Long day for kids:). Praying the right person reads this, and actions occurs. Thanks.

- submitted by a parent
February 16, 2013
We were not impressed with the quality of staff or teachers, although there were a few exceptions. For a public school, the facilities were new and well-maintained, and it was close to home - those are the most positive things I can say about the school. Although some previous reviewers felt the school catered to high-achieving or "gifted" students, we did not fell this was the case. Our daughter had a comprehensive private evaluation and was diagnosed as "profoundly or exceptionally gifted." Her needs were completely unrecognized and unmet in the huge classroom she attended where the teacher didn't seem to know anything about our child. To make things worse, our child was bullied and teased for having principles and values. We moved her to a private school and all of us are happier than ever. Her abilities were not recognized in a system that processed children like robots on an assembly line, though the assembly line was spotless and shiny. We know at least four highly intelligent successful families that have left this school in the last few months. We only wish we'd started with private school, but at least we got out early enough to save our daughter's childhood.

- submitted by a parent
January 01, 2013
I had a very similar experience with the (ex)principal. When I talked to her about how to improve math education, she said "my son never did anything like that, and he went on to Berkley!" What an educator. Vista Verde has the highest parent participation, parents are grading the homework & tests. And teachers are seen tutoring in the local library after school!

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2012
"Vista Verde has high expectations for their students, but there is an overall lack of support. Good grades are appreciated, but when your child is struggling, he or she will be treated like a loser. This school strives for overachievers and winners - everything else seems to be unacceptable." ok this is my 2nd year here and this is completely ridiculous. My son was struggling in a particular subject. Both teachers took huge amounts of time and effort to help address this. In fact I am amazed, based on the class size they can even put this type of specialized effort in. Just blows me away. Both teachers went way above and beyond in helping me, giving me resources and any thing else I could ever want to help my son in an area in which he was underperforming. By the way there are areas where he is on par or excelling, and the other students need the specialized help.

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2011
This is our 6th year at Vista Verde and we love it! On July 1, 2011, our principal retired (she did NOT resign, as another parent stated). We have a new principal who is energetic, smart, enthusiastic and experienced. She has already shown a desire to continue the successes of the past principal and to listen to parents when they have concerns. The parents here are highly educated, involved and aware. There are MANY stay-at-home parents at Vista Verde, and they are a wonderful asset . . . not only on PTA and the Vista Verde Foundation, but as hands-on volunteers in the classroom. When a student doesn't do well on a test, a parent volunteer can take the time to go over the questions with the child so that he understands what mistakes he has made. When a child needs extra one-on-one reading time, parent volunteers are often asked to listen to the child read. Qualified parents can also work with those students who need to be further challenged. The school really tries to cater to students of all levels and abilities. What more can we ask of a school?

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2011
Vista Verde has high expectations for their students, but there is an overall lack of support. Good grades are appreciated, but when your child is struggling, he or she will be treated like a loser. This school strives for overachievers and winners - everything else seems to be unacceptable. Following rigid rules and impeccable star behavior is expected from the children, while the principal and some teachers scream at them behind closed doors. If you dare to critique as a parent, you are told that you can leave, since there are enough other schools in the district that handle things differently . I ve seen many families leave. The principal lacks skills, compassion or humor to handle the middle school teens in an age appropriate manner. They are closely observed, treated like little ones and suppressed in their individuality. On the other hand there are strong, bullying cliques that are tolerated. The principal seems to be worn out and it was no surprise to hear about her resignation. Hopefully this will mark a new and better beginning for this school.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2011
This school is average. My Kindergarten son entered school at 3rd grade reading level and the teacher refused to give any leveled instruction. High API is due to parents not teachers. They refuse to do anything for high ability learners until gate. I'm changing schools next year. The principal does not care.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2011
If your child is gifted, the child will fit into the mold of Vista Verde. The teachers focus only on the high achievers. The teachers encourage those that do well and ignore any child that struggles, with an exception of resource/learning issue's because they are legally bound to help them. The teachers rely heavily on parents grading the child's papers, rarely looking at the grades to see what the student did incorrectly. My 3 children have attended this school for 5 years.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2010
We came to Vista Verde from a private school. The principal is OUTSTANDING. The teachers are amazing. The academics are challenging and our kids are learning at a great pace. They are happy! We are happy! The principal takes bullying very seriously. Other parents are very highly educated and involved. We recommend Vista Verde

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2010
My kids were enrolled at this school for three years. There is a huge bullying problem at this school, and the principle refuses to address it. She prefers to pretend that the school is a warm and welcoming environment,and keep the facade. There are a lot of cliques with the girls, and if you want you child to stay away from that kind of drama this may not be your school. The teachers are average, and not very inspiring. The kids whose parents are very involved in the PTA generally get the teachers of their choice. If you care about your child's education and psychological well being stay away from this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2010
We moved here from the east coast and are extremely happy with this school. I would say it compares favorably with the private school our child attended out East. We chose this school from a list of about 10 schools we surveyed in the area. Without a doubt, the driver of the school's success is the incredibly passionate and attentive principal. She runs a tight ship and has assembled a group of teachers that in many cases have decades of experience and truly care about our children's education and wellbeing. This creates a virtuous circle where the school attracts families that care deeply about education and good citizenship. This, in turn, makes the whole learning process more pleasant and efficient for teachers and students alike. In today's increasingly global economy, the school's diversity is also a big plus for us. I couldn't recommend a school more highly.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2010
The principal, teachers and parents make this school rock!!! I'm so glad we enrolled our girls in this school. The kids are happy campers :-)

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2010
We're not really parents, we're two students who enjoyed our time at VV. Things we liked: -fun teachers -good memories (project success, ace classes, assemblies, field trips, Jogathon, social events) -major fun projects (4th grade wax museum, 5th grade plays, Renaissance fair) -seclusion, how it was a different experience than other middle schools Things we disliked: - Speeches given by the principal - The idea that if you didn't get good grades that you were a failure (Toyon trip, in speeches given) -Heavy backpacks (no lockers) -Had to exercise in our regular clothes (gross)

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2009
Vista Verde, a K-8, is unique in that it has an incredibly warm and inviting atmosphere, encouraging participation by parent volunteers. The principal and teachers are excellent (the teachers love teaching there, as do the subs), and the PTA is amazing. This is a caring and dedicated school that emphasizes a whole child philosophy. All IUSD schools have the same curriculum and standardized test requirements. Vista Verde deals with them better.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 26, 2009
I feel so lucky to have my two kids at such a great school. The teachers, principal, and families make Vista Verde a unique school. My kids love school because of the hard work and dedication of the staff. When we moved to Vista Verde, everyone was warm, welcoming, and made it an effortless transition that we would never change!

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2009
The curriculum at this school covers the minimum requirements which teach the students to perform well at tests only. The emphasis should be on overall development of the students and not strictly test scores. The teachers attempt to do their best on educating the students but they need to learn how to teach in order to provide better engaging materials for students to think beyond and outside the box. If you want your child to be a future leader avoid this school. The leadership from the principal is lacking, when problems/issues are being brought up she does the bare minimum to address them. Too much school politics and principal is the main cause of this.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2009
Since the school moved to Turtle Ridge, my second child to go to Vista Verde felt bored there, feeling the program tuned to the more gifted. For example, the music program is divided into two groups, concert and symphonic, effectively sheltering the kids who get private lessons from the normal kids. Some teachers are on autopilot: academically, I spent many hours at night doing worksheets rehearsing material that was obviously never covered in class. It's a school full of smart kids, and so API scores are naturally high. My first child also attended Vista Verde, but when it was in Irvine. For her the experience was better, but she graduated emotionally unprepared for University High. The culture shock going directly from the sheltered world of Vista Verde was very great.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2009
I have two children that attend Vista Verde and I cannot think of a better school for them. I transferred from Deerfield and am so pleased with the love and nurturing that my children receive from the teachers and the principal. The teachers are welcoming and communicate well with me about my children's progress. We absolutely love the new site with all the new technology. I don't know what all those parents are talking about when they say there are tons of worksheets because my kids are always doing something fun and hands on in the classroom!! I give this school an A+++

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2009
I am amazed at how prepared the students are when they leave Vista Verde. My child went to Uni High and is at the top of her class thanks to the teachers at Vista Verde. Due to the rigorous curriculum, especially in science and english, our first year was a breeze!!! Thank you to the wonderful teachers -you really made a difference!

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2009
My family has attended Vista Verde for the past 12 years. We have had teachers who worked better with one child more so than the other. That happens everywhere. But, I cannot go everywhere to find such caring teachers who take such pride in their work and concern for the success of the child. This is unique to our school. Children are taught to appreciate each other. The K-8 allows the kids to enjoy childhood longer and to become more confident with themselves before entering High School. As for my High School student, he was well-prepared academically and socially. Thank you Vista Verde.

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2009
Every child is able to learn: every child can be successful. There are a variety of factors that meet this criterion; including parental support, teacher ability, and administrative leadership. I work with a group of highly professional and committed people who bring multifacited talents to our classrooms and facilities. The K-8 allows us to know our students, their families for 9 years.

- submitted by a teacher
January 14, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2009
I completely agree with some of the comments below, do no recommend this school at all. The curriculum is not well balanced at all. It rely too heavily on worksheets, which does not provide challenging and creative learning at all just lots and lots of busy work. There is absolutely lack of leadership from the principal. The teachers are not professional enough, preferential treatment is very obvious. Threats of no recess or lunch are made to the students by the teachers if the in class worksheets are not completed.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2008
This school is very worksheet centric, students are not being engaged in creative learning at all. The teaching methods are very outdated. Top API score does not mean the school is good at all.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2008
I couldn't disagree more with the two comments below. We have found the staff to be very responsive, strong instructionally, easy to work with, and very appreciative of parent involvement. Parents are welcome in all parts of the school. The Principal loves children and is very visable on campus - always has an open door. This school has a wonderful reputation and high test scores - you couldn't ask for a better educational experience for your child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 16, 2008
I have a child in the kindergarten. I have never seen a more organized group of teachers and the teaching is fantastic. My kid loves school and loves his teacher. I have nothing but great things to say about my son's first experience with school!

- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2008
We have moved here for the school however after 2 years here we are very disappointed. The whole school environment is geared more towards middle school aged kids not elementary level.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2008
Love the small middle school (my son came in for 6th grade), love the activities, think the principal is highly skilled, wish that there was more consistency in the teaching, which ranges from excellent to so-so.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
March 06, 2008
The school use to be much better before they moved to a new location. The new campus is big and new but not as 'kid-friendly'. We had various experience with teachers as well - one year the teacher was fantastic, the other year - not as great.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2008
i am currently enrolled as a seventh grader. I agree with several reviews that parents left, like the comment that every child is treated as 'gifted'. However its just the illusion of gifted that they press onto the students. Everything is easy enough for all students to accomplish, so it can not actually be gifted work. Also this school does not push the true gifted to the appropriate levels.

- submitted by a student
January 17, 2008
This is a great school. All students are encouraged to do their best. In my son's 5 years here the every teacher has been willing to give extra time and go that extra mile to keep my son on track. Every child is treated as 'gifted'. Bullying is not tolerated and all the students get along pretty well. The principal state and teachers arethe best.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2007
Vista Verde is the best school, public or private. The principal and teachers are the best at what they do. The principal's leadership is apparent throughout the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
August 15, 2007
I appreciate very much about the teachers' attitude toward my son who was showing very negative about moving to Irvine. He didn't like leaving his old school & friends. Principal & teachers are excellent, great school.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2007
We are very happy with Vista Verde, the principal, staff, teachers, parents,students and the brand new school are great.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2006
Fantastic principal. Really caring and involved. Great atmosphere, my child is very happy here and is getting a good education.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2006
We have been with Vista Verde School for the past ten years with a daughter who recently graduated from 8th grade, and is now in high school, and a son who's in 7th grade. With the small school environment (about 80-90 students per grade level) and a top-notch, dedicated teaching staff, VV is among the best schools in Orange County -- public or private!

- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2006
We love the school! We are a little concerned/aprehensive about the school relocating in fall 2006. However, the new campus will be fabulous, just not as close to home anymore.

- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2005
THe kidergarden programm in this school is very good. Teacher is very warm and patient to the young kids. Ther have art, music and PE class activity supported by the PTA. Teacher to student ratio is good. Parent volunteers is very supporting and actively involved in the class and school activity. A very good shool to choose.

- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2005
Great school. The staff is very qualified and attentive and it is a safe and loving environment for the kids.

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2005
The small student population may not appeal to everyone, nor the close environment, but for those who like individual teacher attention this is a great middle school. Also, vista verde students are just as prepared for high school as other students.

- submitted by a former student
June 04, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2005
Excellent academic program, excellent teachers, excellent principal. Parents very involved.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2004
We have a 2nd grader and 2 kindergarteners and are very involved in the school. We cannot say enough good things about it. Everything about VV has exceeded our expectations - the teachers, the staff, the feeling of 'family', the program offerings, the diversity and, especially, the other parents. It is a wonderful place for us to work as a partnership to help our children learn and grow.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2003
I have been with Vista Verde for over 7 years, starting with my 7th grader who started in Kindergarten. Because of VV's K-8 program & small school environment, the students are more confident and able to successfully transition to H.S. than students who graduate from a traditional 7-8 M.S. At VV, the teachers take time to get to know the students & their needs. VV's test scores are above average (in some cases, the highest in Irvine). Because parents choose to send their children to VV (it's not a neighborhood school, it's open to everyone in Irvine), parent involvement is very high. VV's teachers work very hard and most have their Masters degree. I cannot say enough about VV and its exceptional K-8 program, teachers and staff!

- submitted by a parent
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Vista Verde
6 Federation Way, Irvine, CA  92603
(949) 936-6350
Last modified Vista Verde is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Vista Verde Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 62 reviews.