Castleview is a wonderful school. Our daughter is in kindergarten and we feel the quality of education is excellent. Lots of parent participation and great PTA activities. The school is in a nice area and still has a manageable amount of kids per class. We are not in the dual immersion program but still get some exposure to it which is a nice addition.
I've been an elementary educator for 20 years. I've seen the best and worst in teachers and schools. This school is lackluster. Sitting on top of the hill; the country club feeds in, but if you have enough money to live in the country club - get your kids to a private academy or take them up to Orange Crest. The principal is good at covering up for lousy teachers, and she fills her office with caricatures of all the Evil Queens from Disney - weird. They claim their lackluster API is due to bussing from "down the hill" Yep, blame it on the poor brown kids! But why do 100% Title-1 schools (mine included) do better than the Country Club School? There's a few amazing teachers at this school, and there are a few that I wouldn't call teachers at all - technicians maybe, but not educators. A 30 year teacher was walked off this campus and disappeared? Nothing told to parents? Whaaaa!!!??? My son's 6th grade was a complete waste of a year of education. If I hadn't prepared my son for CST's he wouldn't have had much prep at all. As a 20 year educator I have seen lots of "shuffle the lemons" and this place is the epitome of that. A complete disgrace for the demographics.
Average school in a very nice neighborhood. Unfortunately, "average" in California isn't exactly bragging anymore. Located in an older community, as the neighborhood aged, more students were bused in. The more kids bused in, the greater strain on the school's resources. As the school started to slide, concerned parents moved/transferred/stayed away etc. - a vicious cycle. Many went to private schools or out to Lake Matthews/Orangecrest. Now, with the housing crisis, renters instead of buyers are entering the neighborhood. The slide will continue, and the Great School ratings and test scores certainly point that way. My son went there in 2009/2010 and it was a pretty traumatic experience. We transferred after a year. The administration treated us with absolute indifference....as if we had no other options. And so, we left ... along with many others. Eventually, the neighborhood will turn over and the working middle class will return, at which point, given the advantages of the location, the school will begin its return to "above average"...for California public schools.
I love this school because I feel like every kid is given a fighting chance. There are always people willing to step up and donate time, money, classroom supplies, etc. I know alot of people want to stand around and complain about how horrible their teachers are, how the budget cuts make things so bad, and just complain. At our school, I see people finding solutions, coming up with ideas and making things better regardless of the school system situation. I also like that the principle, office staff and teachers all really listen to the parents, and try to address things as they happen, for example, there was an assembly regarding bullying and now the kids know what's expected of them.
This is a small neighborhood school that feels safe. There are a few excellent teachers, and for the most part, the rest of the teachers are hardworking. There is an excellent drama program. Communication is lacking between the principal and the parents. Lunchtime is rushed for the kids, and they are not encouraged to sit and eat a healthy meal.
Castle View has a high-level teaching staff and solid leadership. Children have access to music lessons starting in 5th grade and the school has an excellent drama program run by a committed volunteer. An active PTA means chances to participate in Reflections and other extra enrichment programs. GATE programs are organized in clusters within a classroom. No full-day GATE programs here, but there are opportunities for that elsewhere in the school district. An excellent neighborhood school that performs well on the state standards tests.