This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
California Virtual Academy @ San Mateo School1
Posted November 07, 2013
- a parent
CAVA--San Joaquin. DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO THIS HIGH SCHOOL. This "school" does not inform parents upon enrollment that their child's courses will not get them into California state universities. We moved to CA from the east coast two months ago, enrolled our child in CAVA, and just discovered these requirements. We are now removing our child and enrolling in another school. And though our child has spent time earning A's and A+'s at CAVA, our child now will start the year over so as to remove these useless classes from her transcript. If this school is representative of California's public schools, the system is a joke.
DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO CAVA OR ANY OTHER ONLINE SCHOOL IF YOUR CHILD HAS GOALS TO ATTEND A UNIVERSITY STRAIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT A-G APPROVED. FOR CA STUDENTS, CHECK DOORWAYS WHICH LIST SCHOOLS AND THEIR COURSES THAT ARE QUALIFIED FOR UC AND CSU SCHOOLS. MY SON TOOK BIOLOGY AND WORLD HISTORY. THESE COURSE ARE WASC ACCREIDTED AND GOOD FOR HIM TO GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL BUT NOT FOR A UNIVERSITY. ITS WORSE WITH INSIGHTS, THAT SCHOOL ISNT ON THE LIST PERIOD. CAVA AND OTHER ONLINE SCHOOL WORK GREAT FOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADS ONLY. PLEASE DO YOUR HOMEWORK MOM'S AND DAD'S. GOOD LUCK, MOM
CAVA California Virtual Academies was a huge mistake. I wish I had never heard of it. My daughters teacher allowed me to believe she was doing very well, then I get a report card that says her work was unsatisfactory and all D's. Now I have to take her summer away from her and send her to summer school. Booo on CAVA for doing nothing to help and having terrible customer care when there is a problem. My kid could get a better education in Darpur.
My son began at this school to remove him from the abusive environment he endured in the "traditional public schools" around where we live. He had been scoring so poorly in regular school, and was assaulted weekly due to his medical issues, and the school provided no support for him even disregarding when one teacher would verbally abuse him during classes. So I decided to try CAVA, and we were placed in CAVA-San Mateo district last school year. This program gave me back my child. We had freedom to work on his medical treatments, no lapses in his education during hospital stays, doctor's appointments didn't mean he missed any lessons, and his attitude changed so much. I had a happy child again, who smiled freely and had no reason to fear bullies anymore. His grades improved drastically and his test scores shot back up. This was the best thing that happened to my son's education in years. And his teacher has been beyond amazing, supportive, and so helpful. I even loved that when our area was transferred to CAVA-San Joaquin this year, that he got to keep the same teacher. This was the best academic choice ever for him. I'm so grateful for this school program.
Our kids were in this program for only 3 months this fall but we had to pull them out because they were becoming starved for the company of other kids. So my review is based on that little time. We LOVED the curriculum and the technology. Homeschooling is a complicated process and it's done for a variety of reasons so CAVA can't possibly meet everyone's needs. So please view this as a critique, and not criticism. We thought there was just too much work being assigned. We're smart, educated people. Our kids are smart little bookworms. But it took every minute of our day to get through all of the assignments. We went from not enough science, art, and history in public school, to WAY TOO MUCH. My kids loved the courses (except for music, which we all agreed was really lame) but they became burned out on always being behind and always playing catchup. Also, the teacher was very disorganized and inexperienced. She had never taught public school before. She was inadequately trained on the school website/learning system and I found myself having to explain to her how some stuff worked. She had poor communication skills, which led to a lot of parent confusion.
I have been with this school for going on the 6th year. My kids LOVE the program. We like the teachers they give us to help us out as needed. I do have to say that this year we have had more issues with the program than in the past 5 yrs. We are going into our 3rd teacher for my oldest child because of the school changing the grades each teacher is assigned to, and with each change different assignments are expected as the quarterly samples. I have called the head office and haven't had any luck in getting a response as to who our new teacher is going to be or when they are assigning us one. So far one week with no assigned teacher. NOT GOOD!
We started with CAVA San Mateo this fall after removing our kids from the local school. It is wonderful! The teachers and administrative staff are so responsive I feel like they are in the room with me answering questions immediately. My kids are so happy and challenged - the hard part is slowing them down so they don't do school stuff all day long. It is an absolutely fabulous curriculum and we have the best teacher we have ever had in my kids' schooling experience. There are advanced programs for kids above grade level and the whole program is so flexible its amazing! There are lots and lots of social activities that allow the kids to meet others in the program. The only challenge is the ammount of work required by the parent, but for us its totally worth it to give our kids the kind of education we wish for them.
I recently found out that many students are not scoring well on standardized tests and there is a huge push to get children at grade-level. This could be good, but if your child is not testing-age (2nd-12th) they are completely ignored. Also, there is very little concern about making sure your kids are soaking up the information. The emphasis is on making sure you log daily attendance rather than true education. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this school. There are a myriad of homeschool options out there. Look into them.
I would NOT recommend this school, specifically for summer coursework. There is no oversight and it's hard to find assistance when problems arise. My student had technical issues from the 1st day of enrolling in CAVA summer school. She was booted out of CAVA a few days after enrolling during a system dump. Then the entire system crashed causing all students to lose the work they'd done. Subsequently, my niece was told she had to redo all the work she'd completed. To fix their mistake, her instructor excused her from some of her work & told her to complete exams only but she was locked out of all exams. The teacher said not to worry as she was getting a D-. My niece said she didnt want a D & was told that's all she could get due to the excused work. The technical problems were CAVA's & work was excused as a result, but the teacher ended up giving her 0's for the excused work. The administration said there was nothing they could do about it. This was a waste of time & $150. DONT REPEAT OUR MISTAKE.