I'm another person who moved to Lafayette for the schools and ended up disappointed. The schools have a great reputation but Burton is first of all, in the middle of nowhere. If you don't live in Burton Valley, it's a trek to get out there with a ton of traffic and once you are there, there is no reason to stay. This is problematic for working parents and people who live outside of Burton Valley. The other issue is that the school is too big. They really need to consider opening another elementary in Lafayette. There are lots of issues that are bound to come up in a school of this size - especially if you have a young kindergartener who has to attend Burton and aftercare and Merriewood. Lastly, I wasn't impressed with the curriculum - not a lot of creativity, very cookie cutter, lots of worksheets. I get the feeling the school has been operating the same way for years and is not in touch with current research regarding childhood development. They push reading hard with reading lab and testing to the point where my son started hating reading. We switched to private and we are much happier, well worth the money than deal with this mediocre, big school.
Dont waste your money. We chose our home specifically so our children could go to Burton Valley. After 5 years we had had enough. The teachers are mediocre at best. The classes are often inundated with children that the teachers cannot handle, who distract their peers from learning. The families are exclusive and small minded- think it's cool to provide their second graders with instagram and texting. Bullying and girl meaness is rampant and the school turns their heads. Basic safety issues are ignored. In 2012 there was a Norovirus outbreak at the school, Contra Costa public health recommended that all classrooms institute handwashing before meals. This was not enforced and teachers acted imposed upon when asked to do so. They still don't wash their hands before lunch. The school is too big and the adminstration is barely treading water. Lafayette School or Springhill are better choices. Don't waste your money in Burton Valley-unless the sorority/fraternity atmosphere with no family values appeals to you.
As many do, we bought our home in part, because it was in this school district. I expected to love the school. Kindergarten was a big disappointment with teachers that were " phoning it in". In fact, one even told me "TGIF" as she turned away from, rather than deal with, two students physically fighting. What's worse, the lack of responsiveness. Teachers did not even reply to my email(s) letting them know one student had threatened my child. After that it took three calls to the principal (over a week) to get her to return my call. Once we meet, the principal was extremely concerned, but clearly vested in protecting her teachers. ...too little, too late. I know there are some wonderful teachers at the school. My suggestion is only to be aware that they aren't all great, or even decent.
This school is very fun and well. We have many fun field trips, lots of ways to do fun math, writing, and other subjects. Burton Valley also have a very strict rule about NO PEANUTS OR TREE NUTS, or other nuts. Burton Valley's food is not bad, yet not very good. We have break and lunch, have a great library, great art teachers, fun teachers who are strict, yet fun, and too many more things:). For some people who may have trouble reading, we have a classroom call READING LAB. If people have a bit of trouble talking, they can go to SPEECH. Burton Valley also has a MARYWOOD for children who's family might have work after school and can't pick they up. GREAT BURTON VALLEY FOR KINDTERGARDEN-5 Grade:):):):):).
Don't go here if you have a bright child. They don't "believe in" acceleration. Your child will have the opportunity to top out at average, nothing more. After many discussions with my daughter's teacher, getting absolutely nowhere, with her reading scores actually declining from where they were at her previous school in another city, I dislike this school strongly.
Great teachers from K to 5th. Lots of fun fieldtrips, and a very happy atmosphere. One added perk: kids from Burton do much better as they move to Stanley Middle School because they've been able to make more friends in various classes vs. those from smaller schools.
Having recently moved from an area where my children attended private schools, Burton Valley is our first public school experience. I am so impressed with the quality of our Kinder Garden classrooms and the parent involvement is outstanding. My son's class is diverse in culture and Mrs. Reed and Mrs. Micallef are amazing. We are still new to Burton Valley, being that this is our first year and only have positive things to say about this school thus far.
Whether or ot a school is "great" depends vastly on who you ask. Most parents at BVE that are from "around here" and have know only BVE or other California public schools will tell you they love the school. However, if you ask people who have had their kids in public schools in other states, you will hear a different story. So yes, by some standards this school is perhaps a 9 or 10 out of 10 but maybe we need to adjust our standards instead of patting ourselves on our backs saying how lovely it is here.
I've been a BVE parent for 8 years (3 kids) and ours is a multi-cultural, hispanic family. I was sad to see comments that the community is not diverse, one poster even calling their neighbors "stepford wives". Get involved in one of the many fun school events or step inside a classroom, and you'll see a broad range of students and parents who have one thing in comming: they clearly care about education. I value the dynamic, high quality of teaching here, the safe environment, and the inclusion of character building as part of the curriculum. My children have enjoyed everything from instrumental music instruction to extra-curricular theater production. I couldn't ask for a better learning environment for my children.
I had to second your comments to "I'm an incoming parent." I loved your description of the "caravan of suv's." Completely true! I've had kids at Burton Valley for more than 5 years and while I think well of the school the fact is that the earlier posting referring to residents as "stepford wives" and the above-referred posting's assertion that kids who are different are ostracized are both more than somewhat true. However, there are very nice people whose kids attend the school and you just have to find them and avoid the sorority sister/cattery contingent, because they are alive and well at Burton Valley and do have kids who have already inbibed their limited outlook.