This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Burton Valley Elementary School3
Posted June 07, 2014
- a parent
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.
To "I'm an incoming parent in the Fall of 2010 "....you clearly have a lot to learn and since you have not yet been here long enough, perhaps you should wait before making such sweeping generalizations. There is not an ever-increasing non-white community here. Children who are different in race and religion, those who are artsy or a little different are called names and have been ostrasized. I can't give you specific examples in this forum because the kids and parents involved wouldn't want to be recognized in my descriptions but I assure you that "diversity" is just a catchphrase just like being a "green school" while a caravan of enormous suvs is parked outside in rows is a joke. Sure, it's safe here and that's wonderful....it should be, it's all million dollar homes. Why would you feel the need to be defensive if it's really so grand?
I'm an incoming parent in the Fall of 2010 and have lived in the area for 2 years now enjoying the preschool community. Every single parent in these two years, who has a child at BVE, has raved about the school. We specifically bought moved to the area not only for the accolades and feedback on this school, but for the area as well. We came from Berkeley and can say that we'd prefer to have the side effects of a more affluent community and "teach" our children to appreciate the differences in people and their ways. It is sure better than having to teach them that AND explain why someone is getting shot at in the middle of the day in downtown Berkeley. Every area, school and family will always have some sort of issue. But ultimately, we can decide how we get involved and who we connect with (or not) and enjoy those people that matter most to us. Since I've been here, I have connected more with the ever-increasing non-white community of the area. It DOES exist and I'm happy to be a multi-cultural and caring parent in this area. And yes I'm white and a business owner.