Students enrolled 678
School leader Mike Ruehle

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3200 Tully Road
Modesto, CA 95350

School website
(209) 576-2283
(209) 576-2838
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Great Valley Academy address.

3 stars
Based on 44 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

May 01, 2014
My kids are happy here, we have had one teacher that I wasn't thrilled with but the rest have been excellent and handle individual needs well. My children have been at GVA since Kindergarten. For what it's worth, their STAR test scores are very high. There are good and bad elements at every school but I'm confident my kids are learning and growing and happy here.

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2013
GVA creates gifted learners in a safe, loved and learning environment. Our child is performing above grade levels in all her subjects and loves most of her teachers. They are caring and create a stimulating learning environment. Foreign language, sign language, physical education, and drama are included in this rounded education. She began in second grade and came from a private school. She improved steadily throughout her years and is in her last year at GVA. Her H.S. career will begin with great expectation because her love of learning flourished while attending GVA. Curriculum problems existed at GVA, but this has been rectified and academic standards are high. The joy of learning is a major strength at GVA and I believe that their efforts to promote teamwork, camaraderie and group effort as well as a push for individual achievement is fundamental. With this in mind, I believe our child is headed to High School with a solid foundation and will excel in her classes. We laid a strong foundation in the early years, but GVA has proven their success by helping create a strong, gifted learner who excels and goes above and beyond in all her subjects. Thank you GVA for doing your part.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2013
Our family absolutely loves GVA. After a horrible Kindergarten and beginning of first grade experience at a public school (where my child felt like part of an army, not a unique individual) I was so thrilled to transfer my child to GVA when space became available. I noticed an immediate change in her attitude and enthusiasm about going to school (no more crying!!), and we owe it all to the philosophy of "safe loved and learning" that GVA has. The teachers and staff are kind and caring, and the Spanish, music, PE and GVA Smart programs are so enriching. As a family, we also appreciate the fact that there are not packets full of "busy work" (aka homework) sent home every week, so that we may enjoy family time and other activities instead. We LOVE GVA!!!

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
We have been very satisfied with this school. Our child is in 1st grade and we have had only positive experiences with her teachers, curriculum, sense of community and great kids' care staff.

- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2013
Wow, bad experiences here! I know for a fact that no one school can make every single parent happy, so if it doesn't fit go somewhere else. My perspective is that I have been very pleased overall. I have one child who was in high school when GVA started, so I also have that experience to compare with. My two younger kids have gone to GVA from the start. It has not been perfect - both of them have had teachers that I didn't think were the best fit, but that happened outside of GVA as well. My middle child has a math disability and the traditional school she previously attended just told me I would have to work with her at home to bring her up to grade level...I could get no extra help because she was not far enough behind. At GVA we did not request extra help because they started her where she was and then moved forward from there, as opposed to sitting in a class that had moved on without her - leaving her feeling "stupid". After 5 years, she is now at grade level and we are happy with that. She is far above grade level in all other subjects. Once she realized that not being great at math did not define her worth and intelligence, it was a whole new world for her.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
I am very pleased with my daughter's progress at this school. There are a lot of negative reviews on this site, but I feel there are more happy parents than unhappy. The school is very different from the traditional school system. My child is receiving an education in subjects the public schools have had to drop due to budget cuts. These include, foreign language, sign language, physical education and music. She is flourishing in all aspects, doing work above her grade level, and enjoys going to school. The school has had several administration changes this year. Each one had me question the school's direction, but the bottom line is my daughter is doing well so they are doing something right. I have no day to day interaction with the administration, but I do with her teacher and the Kids Care staff. Both are amazing in every way. My confidence in the school lies with them and the caring, nurturing environment they provide to my daughter. Both have excellent communication with me. I know within minutes, via email or phone call of any incident (big or small) that should be brought to our attention. We love the school and understand that it might not be right for everyone.

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2013
horrible couple of years for GVA DO NOT ENROLL YOUR KIDS HERE please ....last year for my son in this school very disappointing

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2013
The principal leaving was the worst possible thing that could happen to GVA. The life and soul of GVA are gone now. The teachers are demoralized, and now are scared to ruffle any feathers. What a mess they have created, vice principal clueless. This school is just going to be another mediocre school down the street- my kids are out next year.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2013
I really have always loved this school fought hard to get my kids in here celebrated when they did our first year was great BUT this year no:( been through two principals gossip what's really going on here? My oldest son has struggled since the beginning nothing new this year and I asked for him to be tested however no because they don't see a learning disability I do! He is very different from other kids and I'm tired of watching him struggle and kinda be punished when he tries his best. He was in IVL which didn't carry over this year:( he's had no extra help however has had packs of homework because he doesn't get it done in class and his teacher doesn't know how to help him. Since last teacher conference I've heard he was at a third grade reading level a second grade level now fourth grade level. I'm so confused. There is a bad communication here and I've been really discouraged here:( However my other son couldn't love his teacher more. Always is approachable very happy there. The school in general love the community family safe loved and learning idea but this year it has fallen short.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2013
I'm still trying to convince myself that I made a good decision to send my children to GVA.

- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2013
What a huge relief to hear the principal resigned. I have been worried for years about the outcome of the administration's decisions/actions regarding the education of GVA's school children. I just hope the school begins to hire administrators and board members with educational experience. As it stands now, I don't believe there is an educational expert among the administration or board, with the exception of one, and he is not in a decision making position. Up until now the only person making decisions for every aspect of GVA has been the, now ex-principal.

- submitted by a community member
March 03, 2013
Unprofessional, poor leadership, and unable to address the needs of students adequately. If you have a special education child, and if your child is getting vision therapy at GVA to address their needs, you may want to read what the American Association of Pediatrics says about vision therapy. Then ask GVA what are they really doing to help the special needs students.

- submitted by a community member
February 26, 2013
Our daughter has gone to GVA since it started the Principal was always hard to deal with, not apoachable, or would not listen to your concerns, she was in Special Ed, but each year would just get a song and dance about why she was still so far behind, just recently we were looking into placing her in another school, just checking out our options, and the Principal and office staff took it upon themselves to give us 1 days notice and kicked her out of school, in which she was schoolless, and 2 grade levels behind. The other Principal that was there for a while was good she would listen and address your concerns. Posting this as do not want anyone else's child to experience the heart break of been told you cannot be at this school anymore, as this was devasting to the child as didn't understand why. Now we know why there was such a high turn of staff at GVA. Safe loved caring enviroment, not!!! this school needs to have more over site, or be closed, they place to much importance on money, and if you have the money, rather than whats best for the kids. Stanislaus County OO Ed needs to over see more of what they do, as they sponser the charter. Would not recommend GVA to anyone, beware

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2013
What is the current starting pay for teachers? Everyone I've talked to says that the pay is less than standard but no one is willing to give up a number.

- submitted by a community member
September 21, 2012
We knew going into GVA that as a new school and charter it would take a long time for it to develop. It is going in the right direction, there is still room for improvement as with all organizations. Knowing all this I have implemented much enrichment and additional learning for my children to enhance and build on what GVA does. As for the change in leadership at the Modesto campus last week, it really is not fair that there was a firing. Mr. Cole the present principal is very capable and experienced and will do an excellent job of leading GVA forward. Oh, and there is plenty of time for children to have lunch and its longer than 15 minutes! That comment was a bit silly!

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2012
My daughter has been there since kindergarten. I decided to give GVA a chance for the simple fact of being a charter school. They seemed to be heading in the right direction but they have implemented many changes during the past 2 years. Their employee turnover rate is high; teachers are quitting because of pay and inconsistent curriculums. GVA is trying to do many things at once and is failing at them all. For example they started a home school program this year, last year they opened the Manteca campus, they also hired and fired a new principal for the Modesto campus all in one year. Overall bad decisions and management have been the highlight of this year. I am moving my daughter to a private school where she will get experienced teachers. One more thing the whole no cafeteria situation is ridiculous, teachers only allow the kids to eat lunch for 15 minutes, not reasonable. This school needs to focus on the problems they got at hand rather than embarking on new ventures.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2012
Very disappointed with the new leadership at the school. Principal blows concerns off, fails to get back to parents and overall seems annoyed if she doesnt get her way. Current teachers need to be paid more and new teachers need to be selected at a higher standard. Overall I like the way the school is headed, but it still needs a LOT of work. Contemplating removing my child if this next year doesnt improve.

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2012
I agree with the poster on June 9. The school needs to improve their dicipline standards. I believe they need to make rules and follow those for each student. Principal is new to the school, but is trying her best. I believe that is a good thing. There has been many changes with teachers for the up coming school year. I hope that will be for the good. Also, my children like it at GVA and that is the deciding factor that keeps me there.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2012
GVA has positives and negatives, like any school, and I don't expect perfection. The pros: smaller class sizes, emphasis on physical education, Spanish, music class, art class, and caring teachers. I also like that they don't send the younger grades home with huge homework packets every week. Also, they try to tailor learning to the individual student. For instance, my son just finished up 1st grade but he was reading at a 5th grade level, so they pulled him out of class every week to join in a special reading group for students that were reading at a higher level than their classmates. Cons: Low API test scores, no school nurse on site, no school counselor on site, discipline is too lax, and, although this may seem trivial, I really hate that they picked khaki for the uniforms - - they stain SO easily. For our family, the good outweighs the bad with this school. I am hopeful that the things I have concerns about will change and get better as time goes on. My son certainly likes his school, and that goes a long way for us.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2012
They say they care about our kids but actions speak louder then words and the special ed dept is a joke. They couldn't help a child in need if they tried it's all politics & money at this school. Kids come first what a joke! Their are a few great teachers but they all leave because there not paid what there owed and aren't aloud to help the kids the way they need it. The state needs to shut this school down! It's damaging these kids........Rating F

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2012
It is our 4th year at GVA and so far we are very happy with this school. My child has great attitude about school everyday and enjoys learning . Beside basic academic, he is also learning Spanish and music. The teachers go above and beyond to help the students achieve their maximum potential. I feel that the school is very different in a way that it has provided my child all well round education .

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2011
I have 3 grand children attending this school , will be 4 next year,as a whole i dont see any difference in them then children that attend public school.There will be Bullies,and Harassment in any school as long as there are differences in the size,color,and ability to learn, of the child.I do believe a stronger learning ability starts at home, so many of the parents today need to both work to make ends meet and lack the time to give to there child development basics,it is not the schools responsibility to teach certain things as politeness, hygiene, etc.Brothers and Sisters will have differences as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west,I do think the school is going in the right direction and i hope my grand children continue to blossom in this environment. P. S. My eldest grand son completed Public School with a 3.75 grade average.

- submitted by a community member
November 01, 2011
I have 2 boys that attend GVA. I still have mixed feelings but overall feel I made the right decision for my children to attend this school. They came from the public school system. We have not experiened any bullying. My children feel loved and safe. They are happy and are gaining confidence each year. I do have concern about the accademics. They do not have homework but I am able to monitor what they study with the work that comes home in the weekly folders and I also keep in touch with the teachers by email and good old fashion communication in person. I also create my own homework for my kids each day. I believe it is also the responsibility of the parent to teach and keep informed. My biggest concern is hoping my child will be prepared for high school and will be able to keep up with the homework,time management and organization needed to suceed.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2011
My daughter attended GVA ever since they opened, she loved going to school, but over time we did notice that she lacked confidence. She didn't complain much and is pretty smart kid, but we always wondered what was suppressing her, found out from couple of comments she made that most of these white girls and boys tease her about her skin color which isn't too dark by the way. No offense to any ethnicity, but children are very emotional. The school lacks diversity in student and teacher population. Now that we have moved her to a different school, she is again a great student, but with the right mix of kids, she enjoys speaking and more confident. Another problem at GVA is NO HOMEWORK, good for student and parent, but ends up that parents are clueless on kids progress. This could hurt in the long run as homework teaches the kids to be accountable for their work. At her new school, kids get sent home weekly with what they did in the class and homework for the week. We did enjoy the Spanish and sign language classes. GVA is a new school and lacks solid data for me to trust my kids future, but then I don't know if choice theory and others sales pitches can change your decision.

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2011
My stepson has gone to this school for two years. With no homework or check ins from the teachers we had no idea how he was really doing. He did ok on his STAR testing (but was in a minority - take a look at school's the test scores) but we attribute that to our working with him every night for about two hours. We are fed up with the terrible academic program at the school and are now taking him out. I only hope that the extra work we've done at home will help him in a regular public school. As far as bullying, my stepson only had one problem (albeit a very serious one), but I know of many of his friends that have had multiple problems.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2011
My daughter has performed in the 90%-100% on her Star Testing. I get excellent reviews on how she performs. We faced bullying last year and really what school does not have that. I brought it to the attention of the teacher and the principle and they dealt with it. They are supposed to deal with it because it's apart of what is used to teach the children to be respectful. I like the school and the new teacher one of my children has is very impressive. My kids love to wake up and go to school, what more can a child ask except that they also learn Mrs. Autra last year was a great teacher. It is up the parents to make sure their child is learning, I ask my children everyday. I believe that this school should require homework in the older grades and that they should have tough assignments to ensure they are ready for high school.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2011
I believe every child should have a chance to learn in a way that works for them. Charter schools offer a wonderful opportunity for alternative educations. Unfortunately Great Valley Academy has a long way to go until they are producing gifted learners. Their STAR testing scores show the results. Our kids suffered greatly both socially and academically. Our children's new school offers tons of extras the way GVA does but has a lower amount of bullying and 95%+ of their students are proficient or advanced on their STAR tests. Good luck GVA, you have a long road ahead of you.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2011
GVA was a disappointment to our family. Our daughter's STAR scores went down from proficient to far below basic in one year. Academia is low and I don't think it prepares children for high school, college and beyond.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2011
While we love this school of course it has it's cons. Like any new organization that is growing, it has had some growing pains. Teacher turnover has been an issue, there has been some bullying, and as a working parent it is hard to get information. But in our experience everything has been handled great and I truly believe that all schools are dealing with these same issues and do not handle them as well as GVA. Our son is flourishing at this school. I encourage all parents to do their research before picking a school because GVA might not be for their family. Not all children are the same and that is the great thing about charter schools being able to tweak their curriculum. I wish we had more charter schools with all different curriculum so that parents can find the best for their child. It is unfortunate that the one star ratings seem to be from the same family. They essentially say the same thing and they were all entered on the same day. It is very unfortunate that they tried to bring down the rating by doing that. I hope they were able to find a better fit for their family

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2011
Great Valley has does wonders with my child (attended K last year and 1st grade this year). She is sooooo enthusiastic about school and learning and is self-driven to continue learning while at home with workbooks she can freely grab at home, read books, the desire to learn and share what she has. I love and am overjoyed she thinks school is a FUN place to be and not a place she has to go to. I love how the school is based on the learning of each individual child, not leaving kids behind based on moving on no matter if the student understands or not. My son is so looking forward to attending next year!

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2011
I love this school, teachers, and administrators. I have two sons who attend Great Valley Academy, one of whom has a learning disability. The local public school system was failing him, and he grew farther and farther behind every school year. Since he has been at GVA, his math level went from 2 years behind, to grade level and his reading level has went from two and a half years behind, to only nine months behind. The self-esteem that my son has gained during his three school years at GVA, has allowed him the confidence to continue to shoot for the stars, even though he learns slower than his peers. The school offers subject matter that the public schools have discarded long ago because of budget cuts. The teachers are loving and supportive, and students feel a sense of significance and belonging. This school is a perfect fit for my children. I am about to enter the teaching field (coming from a Child Development Background and Education), plus we are fortunate enough to have four teachers in our family (three public and one charter school). I am a mother of four (these two sons are #3 and 4), and I firmly stand behind this school.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2011
After a year and a half , I removed my children! GVA was not a good fit for our family. Now they are struggling and we are trying to make up for lost time!

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2011
We are just not happy with this program. We will not be returning next year. This school is not what we expected. A lot of other families seem very happy!

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2011
Great Valley Academy is working quite well for our two children, as they are academically challenged, succeeding...and happy. I genuinely hope those who have encountered difficulty at GVA will find the positive educational outcome they need.

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2011
LOVE this school! No other place in Modesto are they teaching the kids to be excellent, respectful and outstanding citizens, but also great learners. I had a first grader hold the door open for me as I walked in this week. My oldest child has gone from being just part of the crowd to a strong leader and has also advanced to being almost 2 years above grade level in reading. The kinks are getting worked out and this school is going to be a beacon for others.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2011
I have three grandchildren attending this school. We wouldn't want them anywhere else! They are so happy to leave for school and don't want to leave when we pick them up.

- submitted by a community member
February 07, 2011
My daughter has been at GVA since Kindergarten and is now in 2nd grade. She is doing great and I think she is getting instruction geared right to where she is and where she needs to be. It is such a loving and happy place. I have been involved in many aspects of the school from school-wide improvement projects to helping out in the classroom, I have been welcome in each of her classes to help or to observe.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2011
It is up to the parent to do their research on what school their child attends. My child is learning spanish and sign language as a Kindergartener at GVA. Yes, they teach differently than public schools, but I do not feel that my child is behind in learning. I would rather her be in a classroom of 21 kids than one of 33 plus kids. It is up to the parents to make sure school is a good learning experience and fun. Parent participation IS encouraged and I have seen NO signs of bullying during my classroom volunteer days.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2010
My children has been at GVA for 2 years now since the school first opened . We are very happy that this school has very dedicated teachers with strong parentals involvement and support. GVA followed a curriculum that is based on the state standard . The teachers also tried to meet each child academic abilities which you do not see at regular public school. The school also offered other programs such as music , physical education and Spanish. While most school are increasing the number of students per class and cutting the numbers of days of the school year, we do not see that happening at GVA .

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2010
An awesome dream come true for parents in Modesto. We have been fortunate to have both our girls there since the start. Excellent well rounded instruction in a loving, caring environment. Nurturing the young who will lead in the future. Of course there are those who are disparaging and attempting to tear this apart throught their own lack of insight and compassion. Nevertheless GVA will prevail its about the children not about self-serving egos.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2010
Since this is a new school the teachers are still learning the philosophy. BUT It is obvious they care deeply about each and every child. Everyone is so involved and the children are caring towards each other. We just love it at GVA!

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2010
We love GVA because it teaches children to care about others.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2010
This is our second year at the school and we just LOVE it. I don't worry about my son when he is there and I know they care about him as a WHOLE child. He is not only learning his subjects but they are also teaching him how to be a good citizen. Priceless. We drive from Manteca just to be part of this school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 21, 2009
I love the school, because their sole interest is to make learning fun at the children's age and the teachers go beyond 100%... they show a vocation towards education putting the children's needs first!!!

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2009
This school's first year has just ended, and of course it is a work in progress. The principal and the school staff are very positive and caring. The children are exited to be there. Parent involvement is fantastic. Aside from the core subjects, Spanish is taught from grade K as well as character development. Not too sure yet about the school's multi-age (combination) classes. Hopefully will eventually see classes for academically gifted children. STAR test scores are not yet in at this writing. All in all a good year for a brand new school.

- submitted by a parent
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Great Valley Academy
3200 Tully Road, Modesto, CA  95350
(209) 576-2283
Last modified Great Valley Academy is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Great Valley Academy Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 45 reviews. Top