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Public charter
Petaluma, CA
Students enrolled: 366
Before care: No
After care: No

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1001 Cherry St.
Petaluma, CA 94952

School website
(707) 778-4740
(707) 778-4839
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Map of Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley address.

April 24, 2015
Warning! I checked this site when I decided to send my child to kindergarten at MCCV. I was excited about the school. Had I known then what I know now, I never would have done so. It's important to first acknowledge the great parts of this school. It has an amazing librarian. It has a good garden program. It has a good counselor and an emotional tool box curriculum. It has a charming music program. The parents contribute to the foundation. The problem, and it is a really big one that matters, is the absence of academic rigor and some of the teachers' role in ignoring and denying the problem. The problem is that this school seems incapable of realizing that it is objectively failing at its core mission and that the test scores are indicative of smart and notably fairly privileged children falling behind. How to say it? At worst, capable children are being harmed. Yes, some kids that would do well anywhere do well here, but capable kids are falling behind with basics. There is no excuse for this. This school has also recently gone through a series of principals and each has left after a year or two. As of this year, there have been three principals in three years.

- submitted by a parent

June 29, 2013
As a parent of a now 6th grader, 10th grader (NHS), and college fresh(wo)man, I can tell you that regardless of test scores, MCS teaches children to think, to problem solve, to organize, and to imagine. These skills are invaluable, but often left out of test-based teaching. MCS has nourished my children and taught them to not just worry the grade, but to investigate, to listen, to engage in the larger project/idea. I say all this because I've heard the not-rigorous argument for 11+ years now. My kids (like the twin salutatorians at Petaluma High this year) have not suffered because they didn't have grades to worry about k-5 or because they learned in the garden and at the river or because they sang in the choir or because they were read aloud to in 7-8. Quite the contrary, they are thoughtful students and mentors. For our family, creating a life-long love of learning is the most important thing a parent and a school can teach.

- submitted by a parent

June 23, 2013
Fabulous teachers!!! If your kid isn't doing great at MCCV, then its whats going on at home, not the curriculum or the school or the teachers!! This is a great educational environment that teaches kids to think outside of the box. They learn to respect the environment, each other and the value of education. If there is an issue at school, you can be sure it will be addressed but every parent needs to be involved. My kids went from K-8, are now in Jr HIgh and High School, have 4.0 GPA, are respectful, kind and determined in their school work and outside activities. I owe all of this to their years at MCCV. And yes, good parenting. Parents have to be held accountable for their own parenting skills because that is usually where bad behavior begins. MCCV grows GREAT kids but parents are the seeds!!

- submitted by a parent

June 18, 2013
MCCV believes in a constructivist educational approach that allows students, teachers and families the freedom to be who they are, learning in ways that suit them. Having K through 8 gives opportunities for joyful, cross-age relationships and a lengthening of childhood. We are developing along with the recent introduction of the Common Core Standards because they reflect more depth in learning, which is what we strive for. My child has been welcomed as a community member and grown just as I'd like him to, confident and curious.

- submitted by a teacher

March 31, 2012
Every school is not for every family. When you're searching for the right school, look at it for your family needs. I grew up with lots of homework! I moved to CA and had my 1st child go to CV. I was worried he wasn't learning and behind. When he went into High School, I was grateful that he went to CV. He and his friends learned the most valuable lessons they can learn in elementary school. #1 - They learned to love learning and not resent it. #2 - They all learned how to have confidence in their own mind #3 - They didn't give in to peer pressures in HS, because they learned confidence in themselves. #4 - They learned how to be a friend. They've all gone separate ways to COLLEGE and all still remain best friends. #5 - They learn through projects and using their reasoning skills, instead of being taught at and memorizing things they don't understand. My 2nd is now at CV. He's a different child then my first. I was worried he wouldn't be successful with the learning style at CV, because he needs more structure. The teachers and staff immediately acknowledged his needs and quickly placed him in programs in which he can be successful! He is happy and thriving!

- submitted by a parent

March 30, 2012
My four are behind in everything. My kinder doesn't know her alphabet, my seven year old can't read, doesn't know phonics ,can't count to twenty. One is struggling in math and reading, the oldest is bored and wants homework regularly. The school seems more about play time and arts. No diversity! Children or staff and this is California. When I call the office for information, they don't really return calls, I have to wait until parent/teacher conference for info & by then my kids are struggling. Problems should be addressed as they come up not wait until conference time.I prefer traditional education with routine curriculum & proper testing. Safety is a problem. No locked fence around the school. The building needs repairs. My children's favorite part of school is lunch and recess. I ask during parent/teacher conferences "how to help my children improve", the teachers aren't able to give me helpful advice. They say my kids are young, give them time and they will get it later on. They only say to read more with my children. The student/teacher ratio is bad. It's more like an over size daycare center.The principal favors married couples and not single parents. That's discrimination.

- submitted by a parent

February 23, 2012
I have children that go to MCCV and a few of them are behind academically. This school compared to several others that my friends children attend doesn't focus on homework and only once a week is it expected to be turned in as other schools have homework every night. I believe that's why my children aren't succeeding academically where socially they enjoy the school. I have come to find that many of the staff are prejudice and unless you are social with certain individuals they will not treat you the same as everyone else. If you are a divorced parent the school does pick sides and outcast the parent they don't agree with. I don't feel safe having my children attend this school as the campus is open and anyone can step foot on the grounds without permission. We had an incident where a person went there to speak to one of my children and was able to take my child away from class while school was still in session. A moment later that individual followed my child into the class and made a disturbing scene. The police were involved and luckily my child was safe and returned to me, the parent. I do not feel good after such an incident and will be taking my children out of this school.

- submitted by a parent

August 26, 2011
We love our MCCV!! I have 3 boys there and they are happy confident kids who love to go to school. The middle school program (6-8) is awesome and doesnt have a lot of the same pressures of Jr. high. The teachers are wonderful,smart careing people who really show they love to teach! We are really happy to have our kids go to such a special place.

- submitted by a parent

May 31, 2011
We love MCCV! Our daughter is going through the middle school years and she does not have to deal with any of the difficulties most junior high students deal with. She looks forward to school, is learning in a creative and positive environment, has gained self-confidence through participation in the arts, and her teachers and administration really know who she is. The librarian is amazing--my daughter never enjoyed reading before MCCV---now she loves it! It is such a comfortable and positive place. So glad she doesn't have to deal with the "nasty mean girls."

- submitted by a parent

October 03, 2009
MCSCV not only teaches the children the 3-R's, it teaches them to think for themselves, and how to be productive and positive citizens of the world!

- submitted by a parent

September 17, 2009
Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley is a conversion charter with an emphasis on environmental education and visual/performing arts. We are committed to the education of the whole child.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
September 17, 2009
I love it because the teachers focus on creating an environment where the children love the process of learning and the wonder of the world around them. It is very community minded as well as involving many of the parent body. My kid loves his school!

- submitted by a parent

September 17, 2009
My child loves going to this school and really enjoys learning. I attribute that to the mission statement of the school, it's teachers, the principal and staff. As a parent I stay involved. I truly appreciate and enjoy the community at this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
September 17, 2009
Great teachers, curriculum, lots of art and science. Love that it teaches children to think for themselves and be curious.

- submitted by a parent

September 16, 2009
All 5 of my kids have gone - or are currently going to Cherry Valley. This school teaches respect for yourself, others and the world around us. The teachers honostly care about each child and their individual needs - it's a wonderful place to go every day!

- submitted by a parent

July 02, 2009
I can't say I have been impressed about the academics, they do not even teach spelling to the children (no spelling tests and no phonics). Nice teachers and nice campus but too little focus on math, writing and spelling.

- submitted by a parent

October 28, 2008
We have loved the school ever since we started. Yes there are things that can be corrected and that comes with parent involvement. The parents that never have anything dgood to say are the ones who do nothing for the school. The teachers are in-tune with your child and always has time to discuss issues. The learning is wonderful. All three of my kids love reading! What else could I say? Even the sports program has started to advance. Wonderful school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
September 05, 2008
A truly broad educational experience of the liberal arts variety.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
January 29, 2008
We are really impressed with the school. the dedication to project-based learning, the performing arts, and the environment are strong. My 3rd grade son is very engaged in math and science. My kindergarten son loves going to school and sharing his new-found knowledge with older children during blended learning times.

- submitted by a parent

July 06, 2007
We have been really happy here and it's been a good fit for our 6 year old. They don't get into a dither about standardized tests and I think that's reflected in test scores. I do have concerns about how they address math curriculum and while I see that the school is a great fit for us now, but I might feel differently as our child enters higher grades. Academics matter a lot to me and this school has a non-traditional approach to teaching. It's not necessarily bad, it's just very different from my upbringing. Teachers are fantastic going above/beyond, principal too. Unfortunately we've seen a lot of out of control kids - the school attracts a few families with creative approaches to discipline (read: none at all). I suppose it's the same in any school, but I was shocked at how disruptive it is in the classroom.

- submitted by a parent

May 12, 2006
Our two years here were disturbing. Staff and administrative changes kept the classrooms in a continuous low grade upset with new families, such as our, clueless about what was happening. Our experience was not satisfying and we were relieved when the school year ended.

- submitted by a parent

May 16, 2005
my child is currently in Kindergarteden here, and we love it!....they are working on their writing skills, addition & subtraction...they really value reading, and do lots of artwork...they would appreciate one day per week of parent involvement....

- submitted by a parent

November 30, 2004
My stepdaughter is now in 4th grade here and I have been unimpressed. Her spelling is poor, she doesn't know her multiplication tables. There is little to no before/after school care or extra prgrams. The few after school programs were 30-45 min one day a week for 5 weeks for $50. Check the test averages. Not good. There is a new principle this year so maybe things will improve. My son will not be attending this school hence, the reason I am at this site.

- submitted by a parent

March 31, 2004
I have two children at this school who transferred in this year. I have found the principal and teachers to be wonderfully supportive, encouraging, and kind -- both to me and to my kids! They have always been willing to spend as much time as needed to talk to me about my kids to make sure they are doing well. The school has a creative, varied curriculum that allows every child to discover his strengths. The focus on public speaking, dramatic performance, music, and art is a welcome change from the paperwork and drills of the last school. There is a great deal of parent involvement, an afterschool enrichment program, and lots of interaction between age groups to promote bonding and acceptance. I can't say enough good things about this school! It is truly a community where everyone has a place.

- submitted by a parent

January 25, 2004
Appealing on many levels. Year round calendar, school literature describes 'Montessori', 'Piaget' teaching applications. Experienced was a lack of professional accountability. Lack of direction, teachers in lower grades had opinions that far exceeded their experience.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: April 24, 2015

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Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley
1001 Cherry St., Petaluma, CA  94952
(707) 778-4740
Last modified Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 27 reviews. Top