This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Valencia Elementary School5
Posted October 26, 2013
- a parent
My son has been at this school for two years...Kindergarten and currently 1st grade. He has thrived here. I'm not sure if we have just been lucky but the two teachers that he has had thus far have been phenomenal. I would love if the class was smaller than 32 kids but I'm grateful that every day there is a morning parent who volunteers and every afternoon there is a parent volunteer. That is 10 different parents who volunteer weekly. This makes a huge difference in the education that they are all receiving. Budget cuts are what they are so those who can pitch in, should and do! If we could just teach the parents how lead by example and see that every moment is a learning opportunity and every conflict is a time to teach skills in managing life's stressors...the kids could take this into the classroom with them. The kids who do no value nor respect anyone or anything take up so much of the time in class that could be used for learning.
Valencia Elementary is the best choice of the failing California school system. Yes, they have some tired teachers that are teaching just to get to their pensions but there are some great teachers there also. I would have chose something else for my daughter but I did not have the funds for private school. We did the best with what the school had to offer but I would never say that is a top educational experience.
I really like the way this school makes the best of the what they are have. Budget cuts makes it hard to teach at times and the math books may be almost falling apart, but the teachers really do a great job with inspiring the kids to learn. I have one child that have already graduated from Valencia after having attended from K - 6th grade. My youngest is now in 5th grade. Even though there are 36 kids in his class the teacher does a great job with all the kids. Sure it would be better if the class size was smaller but that might not happen any time soon. Overall, I love the way the PTA steps in to gift the funds raised so Valencia can afford to have a librarian 5 days a week, a part-time nurse, Art Masters and the Science Guy. Keep up the great work!
If your idea of a great education is based largely on the sparkle and lure of this school's high API scores, then take some time to ask yourself what a "great education" entails for your child. I was very disappointed to see that my child does tons of worksheets each day, all involving very little critical thinking, group discussion, or related project work. Most of the students just copy the teacher's answers from the board. They get drilled on the same facts ad nauseum. Why? The higher the school's API scores, the more federal money they can get. While everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie, there comes a point where the ends just does not justify the means. This incessant worksheet factory revs up in September and crushes classroom time that could otherwise be spent nurturing young, creative, and fertile minds; addressing special learning needs; and conducting cooperative learning. The principal needs to step up and create a better balance to foster true learning and let the students shine in their individual ways. Well-meaning and kind parents help at the school, but are sometimes rudely disrespected by the staff and administration. This school needs an education bailout.
Due to budget cuts elementary schools that were closed now we have larger classrooms more students for teachers. Unfortunately due to large classrooms; teachers cannot give one on one time to students that need it. Instead teachers are asked to label a child, as struggling, cannot stay focused, etc. and then asked the parent to have them tested for ADD. I am hearing that this is becoming prevalent among many public schools. Go back to PRIVATE schools if you can.
My son just completed his first year of kindergarten and I have been really pleased with the quality of their instruction and the caring attitude of his teachers. He entered as a typical kindergarten student and came out reading (loving/devouring) books at a third grade level. Math, science, social studies, interpersonal skills...all very solid. What they taught exceeded the "standards" and challenged the students without overwhelming them. They used strategies to address different learning styles. Personal attention was given as needed. His teacher said that besides the academic work, she wanted to ensure that students exit kindergarten LOVING school. She certainly accomplished that with my son, because the morning after kindergarten ended, he asked me, "So, can I start first grade today?" *All excited, jumping in his seat.* I was so disappointed to tell him, "No honey, you have to wait two months until the summer is over." Yes, there are a few cliquey parents, but there are other very nice ones as well. The teachers, principal, and parents come together to create an academically strong - yet loving and fun - atmosphere for the kids. Five stars - keep up the great work!
2 Kids in this school and they love their teachers. We v'e seen huge progress in them in couple months and soon we will have our third child in this school too. Beautiful Area and Friendly Teachers. :D Happy Mommy.
My child is in kindergarten at this school and loves it. The kindergarten students have a separate science teacher/lab space and a garden in the playground. The teachers seem to be very engaged and caring and hold high expectations of their students. The incoming kindergarten students take an assessment test and are screened for knowledge of sight words, spelling, and math concepts such as sorting and patterns. Parent teacher conferences happen early on, within the first two monts of school. One caution to incoming parents is to be aware of the school's divisive mommy culture, which is apparent on the K level. There is a stark division by income at this school - which translates unfortunately into an exclusion by moms of other moms if they do not drive the right kind of car to pick up their kids or do not live in the right neighborhood, etc. Cliquey moms have play dates and parties for their kids only, to the detriment of the excluded kids (they don't bond as quickly with their classmates) and literally turn a cold shoulder to moms who try to approach them even to say hello. That might seem tangential to an education review, but it is relevant to the school experience here.
A teacher can't do it all! What I think it really changed is the amount of time parents dedicate to their kids instruction. My kid is in Valencia in a class of 31, he started to read in November and let me tell you...he reads and writes beautifully (and by the way he enjoys it!). I would have never known it if it wasn t for the teacher who called me one night and told me he was ready to read. We have been reading since then every day! I can t expect the teacher to seat daily with my child to practice, what I expect from her is to give me the tools to help him be a good student. I understand in today s days moms are busier, I m a mom too and I work! That doesn t stop me from putting my kid instruction on the top of my to do list . Homework it s just another way to make sure our kids will become responsible adults!
The Valencia PTA is a committed and dedicated group of Parents, Teachers, administrators and Staff that work together in making this school excellent. The PTA maintains a healthy budget and funds the following: Library staffing, Art Masters, Reading Counts, Composer Countdown, Science Enrichment program, assemblies, school nurse, Grounds Beautification, Boo Bash, teacher classroom expenditures, contributions towards field trips, jog a thon, Donuts With Dad, Parent Educational Nights, Staff appreciation week, and on, and on. It is evident that this community is passionate about their school and their students. It is a privilege to have my children attend Valencia!! Thank you to all the parents that volunteer thousands of hours! You help make this school great!!