We love Vieja Valley and have sent all three of our children through this school. There is something to be said about a small school and the intimacy, and sense of community that comes with this. It is set in a charming neighborhood that has big trees, grassy fields and horses meandering by. How many schools get this type of setting? it is charming to say the least. The teachers are committed. My children love their experience at the school, look forward to going and truly happy about their learning. My husband and I both have graduate degrees, and prioritize education. Our children are the top of their class, and my son was recently accepted to the 'Apple Program' at San Marcos High School. (This is an accelerated academic program for leadership and enrichment) It is considered one of the most competitive programs in our county. I thank Vieja Valley teachers for preparing the academic fundamentals, instilling higher level thinking, and creating a lifelong love of learning from the beginning years. The parent community is involved and welcoming. We are sad that this chapter has come to a close.
As an active and involved parent with two kids at Vieja Valley, I have been very happy with the teachers, the parental involvement, the curriculum, and the diversity. This is in no way a "rich kids" school as one review states but a rather balanced school with a majority of middle class families and an otherwise healthy mix of low and high income families. I spend time in the classrooms weekly and have been very happy with the teachers' class management and attention paid to all students. I've had one interaction with the principal and she was very responsive and helped solve a student problem quickly and efficiently. The school offers computer, music, and art classes, a nice library, and beautiful grounds with large outdoor play areas. Both my kids and I are happy here.
I am a single mom of 2 at this school. It used to be a top school in Santa Barbara with great teachers and staff. We have been so let down with the academics and now having to supplement with tutors and private art lessons. I hope this school turns around and changes up the divided staff but for now I am sadly choosing to leave schools for my boys. I've heard some of the teachers complain and are unhappy, but are unable to transfer schools. I would look at some other Santa Barbara schools that choose to challenge the above average child instead of focusing all their money and efforts on the ESL kids. The best thing about this school is the location and charm.
This used to be a great school, but I have had some unsatisfactory educational experiences for my child. I know funding had been cut in all schools but it seems like the teachings is at a grade to two behind. The classrooms are not as respectful or organized as I remember, with children threatening others and back talking to the teacher. Not to mention that many of the supportive PTA families have left, so the PTA after school programs had been eliminated. Also, my child has an incident where the playground equipment fell apart and hit him on the head!
We left this school because the teachers (most) just follow a curriculum that does not allow each child to be taught at their level. In fact, a large part of the curriculum is "dumbed down" for the lower levels. Even though we live in the district; we would not send our child to this school - but, don't take my word; spend quality time in the classroom and see for yourself. Sad because so many bright students are actually "left behind".
Our son transferred from home-school and completed 5th & 6th at this school. Everyone, kids, teachers, staff, parents, warmly welcomed us and made this difficult transition easy. Parents are active in classrooms, field trips, and PTA. PTA supports PE, Art, Music and Computer classes, and there are also after school enrichment activities such as foreign language, dance, flag football, many more. New principal this year has been responsive to our requests. GATE program is a one day/week pull-out (wish it was more).
With all of the economic turmoil as of late, this school is amazing. Programs continue, kids are still The staff loves each other so much and it filters into the students. My daughter is going to graduate this year and has had a great time with classwork, homework levels, expectations and fun activities. The principal is extremely kind and supportive of both parents and staff. Wouldn't want my kids to go anywhere else. I would question the last 'rater' - what problem was happening? Was it just that they didn't get the 'exact' teacher they had hoped for? What problems? The principal is fair and addresses things quickly. Many parents insist at the school and don't teach their kids how to adjust to different (teacher) personalities. Interesting...
This school rates high academically and has a gorgeous large field by the playground, surrounded by trees and forest. The classrooms are nice, with big windows, and afterschool classes such as cheerleading or art are offered. Parents are very involved, and the PTA sponsors music, art, and computer classes during the school day. There are only two downsides. The typical student at this school lives in a $5 million home and has 3 different game systems. This makes your child feel discontent if he lives in a normal house and has a normal amount of toys. Secondly, this school will not let you change teachers if there is a problem. Because the principal would not let us change teachers, we had to change schools, and this was very disruptive to my son's life.