I was a student at COVA since its second year and am a proud graduate. I want to say that I had an excellent experience. I did not see that staff had any bias and treated all students fairly, but some students would keep disrupting causing teachers to give more consequences. I saw that some students really didn't want to participate in the music, and held back those of us who really wanted music and performance. I did many projects and every year participated in the school science fair. I had the chance to play different instruments, sing, travel to Washington D.C., Catalina Island, and other great trips. I love music and have continued my music. When I graduated and went to high school I was put in advanced placement classes due to the excellent academics at COVA. Yes we did wear uniforms, but I was on the student government when we were given the task to choose the uniform style and colors, and the students were excited about having uniforms. I would not give up my time at COVA for anything, and anyone who is really serious about music would find everything they want at COVA.
I went to COVA since it was first made I graduated about 1 year ago and though it is a lot better then other schools it still has it's problems. I've met most of my friends there, learned a lot about music and had great experiences. I've also had bad experiences. Most of the staff were very bias towards certain students and other students didn't get as much attention or they were punished more harshly than others. Many students and parents had very bad experiences with some of the staff. Most of the music programs are very good and the academics were also alright but they don't do projects at all which help students learn better then just reading out of text books and do work sheets. The dress code for the uniform is very strict and in my opinion excessive, you can't have any white on your shoes except for the soles and many other things. I don't think these very minor things are distracting at all, you have basically no self expression when it comes to clothes. Overall it is still a good school, the students get good test scores but for many students it is not a very fun way to spend many years of their lives.
Agreeing with other positive reviewers, I want to restate a key point - this school is not for every kid. Or every parent for that matter! If you have a kid that is musically inclined, and if you are parents who understand that it is going to take all around discipline and constant hard work to turn around a bunch of 'raw' kindergarten kids and transform them into amazing concert performers just 3 months into the school year (and it only gets better from there on), then you and your kid will love this school. And thrive - like my 1st grader who has been there 2 years now. So, do your home work. If you want to give your kids a solid foundation in music education (in addition to regular academics, of course), there is no better public school experience available in the Oakland area, IMO. The passion and commitment the faculty brings is amazing and the results become apparent when you see your little stars perform. In fact, go attend one of the Winter or Summer concerts to experience it first hand!
This is my firsth year at Cova and I beyond amazed at how the staff and small parent involvement show their strong interest in the childrens education. I love that Cova has a high interest in providing an awesome learning environmnet to the returning and new students. Cova provides discipline and structure. It's a small school, not a perfect school but no school is. Cova is more like a family and my son loves it, most of all I love. Enrolling him into Cova was one of the best things I could have ever done to help him move forward in his education and in his music.
This is my second year at COVA and I am amazed at how they can do so much with so little. So little parent involvement, so little money, so little staff, so little time, so little control over the physical building. I truly appreciate how dedicated the principal, teachers and staff are to the students. There is a great deal of personal resources and extra time freely given by all of them. The kids are impressive and my child is thriving here. COVA is not perfect, but no school is. It is a rigid and disciplined program and that may not suit everyone. I encourage others to take an objective look at what they want from a school, how their child learns, and their discipline style and search for schools that match that. It's a great fit for us!
COVA is a gem! I have two children who have been at COVA for two years. They have benefited by the high academics and arts programs. The discipline is high, making the school and classrooms a place of learning rather than many schools where there are disruptions. COVA continues to demonstrate high test scores and the student concerts are exceptional. You would never know that these performers were ages 5 - 13. I am a very happy parent with two happy children who appreciate that we will be able to attend COVA until high school.
We are now entering our fourth year at COVA and while it has it's problems (as all schools do!), our daughter is happy and doing exceptionally well. We were worried that our once very shy daughter would have a problem performing on stage but she now looks forward to the performances and signs up for non-school performances (dance, theatre, etc.). Think of COVA as the Berklee School of Music of Oakland. You must be serious about the program and do well in classes. At COVA you are preparing your child for the academic world. It takes organication and perserverance but your child will be ready for the next chapter.
My daughter has been at COVA for three years and will be graduating this coming year. She came from a very good school in the hills, but was getting teased a lot so we looked for an alternative school. Since we are a musical family, I thought COVA would be a good fit. In her three years at COVA she has blossomed, and has made many friends. She has also grown musically and has excelled on her instrument. I can see first hand how these children have benefited from having music every day. All you have to do is attend one concert and you will see the amazing work these children have done. COVA is not for everybody. If music is important to your family, then look into this school. I'm very pleased that my daughter has had this experience. The public schools cannot provide the music instruction that these kids are able to get. It's a wonderful gift they have been given.
COVA is a music conservatoire. Its expectation is academic excellence as well as the demonstration of professional performance standard. It is not a theme park (or a movie set) with wild-eyes smiley faces and theme park style nurturing tones. The principal is the person on campus who takes on the authoritative role. Teachers are asked to focus in their teaching of the entire class. They are asked to send students with particular problems to the principal s office so that the rest of the class is not affected. After 3 years at COVA, I can tell you it is hard work to make sure my kid is at school on-time, completes his homework, brings his music instrument, practices at home and wears proper uniforms everyday. On the other hand, nothing compares to the satisfaction of knowing that my child is exploring his full potential and is developing into a person with high expectation of himself and others.
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