My daughter is a kindergartener as Lake and we have been happy for the most part.
Pros: My daughter has been advancing on an academic level. The school seems to really challenge their students, which we like. We love how well-rounded and perfectly diverse the school is - there is an equal amount of demographics. We have also been very impressed with the parent and community support. Parents are very involved with this school and work hard to keep it at an accelerated level. Most of the teachers are wonderful.
Cons: school is very overcrowded. They need to find it in the district budget to add on to the school to better accommodate all the students. Also, because of the overcrowding, they don't have room for a T-K program, so T-K students have to go to Breeze Hill Elementary, which is very inconvenient for parents who have older children going to Lake. Also, I wish they had more programs - there is no music or P.E. program. Hopefully with this Blueprint for Educational Excellence, these programs will be eventually implemented back into the elementary schools.
This school is severely overcrowded. Shadowridge is so densely populated and this is the only elementary school in the area. Pick up and drop off takes FOREVER- at least 30 minutes if not longer. The school sprays herbicides. The school lunches are glorified junk food. The last principal didn't want to do anything to improve the school- she was near retirement. There is a new principal and I'm not sure how she is because we ended up leaving because of all the issues. Same issues all schools have, guess.
We are fairly new to the area, and one of children has attended Lake this past year. To be honest, it doesn't look so hot from the outside - old facilities, overcrowded, low security, inadequate parking. But the school is actually very good and we had a fabulous teacher. My son's class had 35 kids in it , which is wayyyy too many, and he was in an old modular classroom. Somehow they make it all work. Parking is awful awful but this is due to the larger problem of no school buses and overcrowded schools, so that is not a fault of Lake's per se. Overall, a very good school with the challenges that most CA public schools have.
We transferred from a small private school, and we were concerned about the size. Our children, both a bit shy, adapted extremely well. The teachers have been superb and the PTA is extremely involved. (A good thing) We love the neighborhood, the community, and the school. We were taken back by the grounds, a bit rough, but the learning and the social skills that my children are absorbing is impressive. It is well represented by many different ethnicities, so our children learn how to deal with all different sub-cultures. It has made our children stronger and more confident by exposing them to different ethnic groups. Every school has challenges, but the staff at Lake have risen to the challenges and have impressed my us.
Excellent teachers with diverse teaching styles, offer students the opportunity to learn how to adapt to their environment (just like we do as adults with different bosses). We are current parents of students who have attended Lake, Kinder to 5th grade. We ve had a range of teachers from the strict to the easy going, funny loving ones. All teachers have responded to emails & phone calls when we had concerns, and addressed them to our satisfaction. Staff have been consistent with discipline and safety and open to parent envolvement, working well with the PTA. Families are involved at Lake volunteering, freeing teachers from tedious tasks, to focus on students. PTA offered/supplemented educational assemblies, classroom & playground supplies, and family activities like the annual Father/Daughter & Mother/Son events. Our kids have for the most part, scored as Advanced on the CST without any outside tutoring. Lake has offered: leveled reading groups; Universal Access, Renaissance - Accelerated Reader, online library catalog; Destiny, online math lessons for review/practice at home; Pearson Success Net, Garden Club, after school Kids College (additional cost) programs.
Test scores are not everything. I am disappointed only that it took us 2 years to figure that out. Transferred to BreezeHill. Lower test scores, but my child is learning more & actually finally excited to go to school. A world of difference.
I am loving the communication from our teacher this year. Our second grader is really excelling in class and is enjoying his experience. The administration is caring and willing to find a way to make things hapen. I'm proud to say my kid goes to Lake Elementary. I'm just sorry they have to work within the rules of VUSD.
I find most the teachers at this school to be very caring and dedicated. The PTA is amazing. Parent involvement is high. I would definitely recommend this school! Don't believe all the negative posts...it's just not accurate.