This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Valhalla Elementary School1
Posted January 26, 2015
- a parent
We felt that the school was discriminatory - they told us that our child's learning was impacted by being "exposed" to other languages growing up. The principal is sweet as pie until something goes wrong, then she gets defensive and vindictive. Information about our child's education was released to someone outside of the school, in order to retaliate for us lodging our concerns. Please ask the principal to get out of the school house door!
I am in my eleventh year at Valhalla, my third child is matriculating there. I have seen alot of change, staff turnover due to MDUSD budget issues. Two of my children had IEP's. Overall, the school , in my opinion is very exceptional. There is a great PTA, wonderful parent participation. Many activities to include everyone from a welcome back to school family dinner dance to family bowling night to a family BBQ at the end of the year that the Dad's network hosts. I encourage families to get involved. The school is only as strong as the parent involvement.
This school is not supportive of parental input. My child was put in the wrong class for half of the school year. i asked to vusit the class after to confirm that it was correct, but I was then told tha I could not visit my child's class due to confidentiality of the other students. At a meeting with teachers to try to resolve it the principal unloaded on me crying hysterically, saying that we don't appreciate them. Insanity reigned supreme after. It is time for new leadership.
The theme for us at Valhalla was - wasted opportunities. Bad experience, bad oversight, lack of clear leadership, and lack of training for teachers. Yes, there are good teachers there, but when there are issues, nothing gets fixed. Our impression was that the school is resistant to children from other cultures.
Looking forward to another year at Valhalla! Such an amazing school- the principal and staff are top notch! We are regarded as family here with so many/ such a warm and friendly atmosphere. Yes, MDUSD is struggling and that stinks-- but the families & principal really come together and make sure their kids get what they need!! Love Valhalla!!
My second child is now attending Valhalla and we have had very good experiences at the school over the past 10 years. As with any school, there are a range of skills in terms of teachers, but overall I've been very happy with the teachers at Valhalla. They do an excellent job of managing with the larger class sizes that are the norm these days, and an excellent job of dealing with students of differing skills, especially at the upper grades. Differentiated math and english made a big difference in my older child's success at the school. My younger child is very shy, but had no problem feeling at home at the school and got plenty of attention from teachers. I highly recommend the school.
Our child did not make progress in special education at this school for several years. Two months later at a new school, in a new district, it was an amazing difference. The staff did not have the skills to analyze academic performance or to implement it. The student teacher ratio is too high. The District has a low rate of children exiting from Special Education after years in the district. The leadership at the school engaged in a confrontational style and retaliated against us for advocating for our child. The school told us that our child did not perform well because of being exposed to other languages growing up. The leadership is out of touch.
I teach in another district and was not thrilled when we bought a home in MDUSD. I had planned on taking my children to my school/district. But after the wonderful things I have heard about Valhalla from colleagues, I decided to put my child in our neighborhood school. I have attended numerous IEP's and parent meetings over the years as a teacher, but experienced my first as a parent at Valhalla. I was ready to argue and fight for my child; and was skillfully disarmed by the principal. She had my child's best interests at heart, and when we did have a disagreement she was very willing to do what was needed to please us as the parents, as well as keep our child's goals top priority. From what I have seen at Valhalla, they have the whole child in mind, creating a place for children to learn and learn to enjoy the process. I hope what I have seen so far continues.