This year we have chosen to send our daughter to a private school rather than Valley View where she has attended since 2009. The primary reason for this is that the test scores for Valley View are atrocious and getting worse. There are intellectually disabled students in other public schools that have higher test scores than Valley View's overall scores. We have continued to hope for improvement, but don't want our child to continue to fall further behind academically. There is a new principal this year which will hopefully help, but it will take much more than one staffing change to make the kinds of changes needed in a school that clearly lacks the desire to set high academic standards.
To compare our school to another school outside of California is unfair if not hurtful. Valley View has dedicated teachers and a new principal that brings new life into Valley View. This school has been through some rough times in the past 3 years but between teacher and a supportive community this is the best nieghborhood school. Schools could always use a little improvement and nothing in this world is perfect. I'm dedicated to this school and I am very glad to be a part of this community.
Valley View is a great elementary school with a diverse student body and an active parents' club. The teaching staff is superb, working effectively with the parents and administration to create a supportive learning environment for the students. As with all West Contra Costa County schools, Valley View struggles to make up for school budget cuts, but the parents' club supplements many programs, such as music.
Unfortunately, this school seems to have suffered from the repercussions of poor decisions by the WCCUSD board. We were very disappointed in the terrible administration, the lack of support, the misinformation given, etc. Our child was assigned to a very good and caring teacher, one of several who had to change grade levels last year (after almost being laid off). Our child was in a class of 28 children, with 22 boys. We ended up becoming yet another family who opted to transfer out to a fantastic private school in the area. We were sad to have to take this step, as we enjoyed supporting our own community. Many parents tried to help, but resources were very limited. We both volunteered weekly in our child's class. I would recommend parents look at all their options before enrolling at Valley View. Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to get a transfer to another school, as this school is relatively "highly rated," at least for the time being (we've noticed the rating already slip from 7 to 6). NCLB prioritizes transfer requests from students assigned to "failing schools" in the district.
We have been very happy at Valley View - we've been there 3 years. The teachers are what sets Valley View apart from other schools - we have fabulous, committed and caring teachers. The last principal had his strengths, though some didn't find him strong enough on discipline. The best thing he did for Valley View was to get rid of the few bad teachers that no previous principal would do. Amazing! We should be rocking this year! We are supposed to start a fabulous music program this fall. There are a core group of parents very involved at Valley View - it would be great to see an increase in involvement. But, otherwise, we have been very happy here and look forward to many more years of quality education (younger child to attend also).
My daughter has been at Valley View for 5 years, and my son has been at Valley View for 2 years. I have been well aware of many of the problems at the school. Some of them stemming from a bad principal...who drove out good families.. He also tried controlling the teachers by switching them to grades they were not used to teaching. In addition, he did not deal with bullying until it reached a critical level. Thank god he left the school! That said my kids love the school! They have great friends, and receive a very good education in spite of the fact that class sizes have increased dramatically in the last couple of years. They are also amongst a very diverse population both racially and socio-economically. If you want your child to be surrounded by kids from all different types of backgrounds keep them at Valley View! My husband and I both have higher degrees from esteemed universities, and work in the high tech industry. We are quite happy that our children are not surrounded by only privileged kids. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we get a good principal next year!
We just completed our first year at Valley View (1st & 2nd grades). We LOVE it! I'm not here to bash the other parents who left negative reviews - I feel very sorry that they have had such terrible experiences. I am simply here to report that our family has had a WONDERFUL experience at Valley View and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. For the most part the teachers are incredible! Talk about dedication! They are trapped in a dysfunctional educational system but they do their very best to help support our children in their educational growth and personal maturation. Children at Valley View are loved and cared for by everyone from the custodial staff to the principal. There is a much higher level of parental involvement at Valley View than what I see and here of at other schools. The coming year promises to be even better than the last and I can honestly say that Valley View is regaining is footing as one of the best schools in the WCCUSD. (On a side note, the principal has resigned so much of those criticisms are moot now.) Go Mustangs!!
We have been a Valley View family for 5 years. I am currently so gravely concerned about the quality of education at Valley View that I am looking into taking my children elsewhere. Since the arrival of our new principle (2 years now) there has been a steady drop in academic achievement and parent participation. Additionally, there has been a sharp increase in bad behavior. So much so that I fear for the safety of some students and for the well being of the entire student body. Although Valley View remains one of the higher scoring (API) elementary schools in this district, I would keep my eyes open, see who the current principal is and ask what plans are being implemented to lessen the bullying and bad behavior at the school. Additionally i would check into the level of parent participation since this has historically been a key reason why Valley View has been so successful. Good Luck!
Wow, I've been reading past reviews, and yes, our school was great once. But, no longer! Mediocrity runs amok! Thank goodness that most of our same great teachers are still around, however the new principal has changed all the teachers around so this has been a year of transition as our teachers acclimate to new grade levels. The principal is weak on discipline so as a result behavior has declined to the point of disruption in the class rooms and bullying on the playground. Parents are so disgusted with the principal's lack of experience and lack of support for the teachers that participation level has dropped to next to nil! No parents, no money, honey!!! As of this year we no longer have an after school program, a computer program or a reading program. What once set us apart from the rest of the district is no longer! Welcome to mediocrity!
My children have attended this school now for 5 years. They have received a good education early on but beginning last year I began to notice that the overall quality of their education had suffered from overcrowded classrooms and lack of supervision. The situation at present seems unsafe and several recent incidents at the school have caused parents great concern over the leadership skills of the principle. I question whether the district enforces any checks and balances to hold accountability for overall performance of the school. My children will be transferred out of this school due to the principles lack of concern and regard for the quality of the student's education and safety. Look into other options before your child is troubled by the lack of leadership at this school!
You'll notice that there are no reviews here after May of 2010. That's for a reason. We started at this school when it was still great, back in 2005. Now the school is awful. Terrible, deceitful, manipulative administration. Turmoil. They care nothing about the children nor the neighborhood. The school has gone so downhill that we left. Ask around and see what's really going on at this school. The people who really care about their children's education have left - and for good reason. STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCHOOL. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Ask the district about all of the problems this school has had in the last few years. The current principal will not keep your children safe, nor will he take their education seriously. Safety is an issue at this school.
Excellent, devoted teachers and active parents. High quality, neighborhood school.
I love the parent participation, school activities and natural setting.
Valley View has great teachers and an awesome parent group always looking for ways to enrich the students education, however the school is old and in need of TLC. Money is a huge issue, we are desperately seeking ways to squeeze more out of what we don't have and being rather successful too!
I really like the school and staff. Principal is great. Little to no traffic because 2 people always there to speed things along. Best of all lots of parent involvement. I wish the after school programs were free like at my kids previous schools but if that was the trade I wouldn't change them because the education is much better here.
I currently have three children at this school and I wouldn't change that for anything. The teachers are great, the principal, Mrs Cotton, is the best ever! I plan on my children continuing in this school until they go to middle school.
My son started kindergarten this year & really enjoys this school. I am impressed by the high level of parent/teacher/principal involvement here. Great school! Valley View walks its talk and believes it takes a village to raise/educate a child well. They actively embrace a concept of partnering with parents, and not against them. It's also in a great neighborhood setting. As public schools go, class size is small 20 - 30 students. My son is a very active typical 'all boy' type child, so he would probably do better in an even smaller class -- or where the teacher had an assistant so young children could receive more attention. However, Mrs. Farrell the K1-am teacher does a terrific job on her own and I can't imagine anyone handling the challenge of 20+ 5 year olds all alone any better. A solid/friendly teacher - a little tough on obeying 'rules' but understandable.
When we were looking for a good school for our four children we did our homework and found a little gem right here in Richmond. We had to work very hard to get them all in here because Valley View is not our neighborhood school. The staff is welcoming of parent volunteers, thorough in their work with the children and promote a happy learning environment. The school principal Ms. Cotton is very accessible, friendly, and easy to approach. The campus is older, that is a good thing and also a not so much good thing. I appreciate the grounds being older. They have really big well established trees and a lot of open space. These newly developed or rebuilt schools are all cut up and black topped and sterile. But, the facilities are older. But not in need of major repair. We have a whole community supporting this school. It's Great!
Valley View is a school facing many transitions (which they seem to handle fairly well) The teaching staff is good this year. The Special Ed department needs a huge makeover in my opinion. The school is in a beautiful setting, the children seem happy (although I personally know of families that are not doing well and it seems that school is the only place for these kids where they are paid attention to.) I feel the Principal shows great leadership while facing the reality of this State's cutbacks and shortages. It is sad actually - when I went to school the school was a building. Now there are Modules for classrooms. Schools now have a sense of impermanance about them - which on the positive side encourages the value of flexibility. I believe Valley View creates a sense of foundational permanency, in an ever increasing impermanent world.
My son will be entering fourth grade this year, and this will be his second year attending Valley View. He truly enjoys it! If it was not for the parent involvement and the great principle, we may have had to move him to another school. I look forward to the new year 2008'-2009 and the next few years to come, to be a great experience for our son. *Remember parents: YOU are your child's first teacher. Without your involvement in your child's education, your child will be 'left behind'. Please do not think that teacher's are able to educate your child alone. Have a wonderful school year all!!!
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