This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Great Valley Academy5
Posted May 01, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.