Until Common Core crept in changing focus to taking tests and achieving test scores that allegedly show proficiency from learning in depth long term understanding, my son I we're very happy and blessed to a part of Vallejo Charter community of students and family. Unfortunately the school had to step back from the expeditionary model it was founded on, where competition is only in terms of ones own self to a competition against the city, state, and nation for high test scores making teachers worthy of pay increases and the school worthy of funding. Our last year here and I pulled my son mid year and put him in private school out of town.
The kids are babied a lot. Middle School kids are still required to walk in line like elementary school kids. They are spoon-fed until maybe seventh or eighth grade. Once they are in that position, they are smacked right back into the real world, trying to get the right high school courses for their level. I think one way to prevent this is to be hard on your kid, but out of love. Living in reality is the best way to live. Other than that, the kids are taught about perseverance and compassion, which is huge while growing up. It's just having the child know that education is the most important thing they have going for them. Staff is also very loving, and want to see the children succeed.
Both my children have been at VCS for years and love it. They have the opportunity to take art, dance, choir.. They go on many interesting field trips. They participate in community service. The school puts on amazing festivals and have movie nights. Parents are very involved. It's far better than the first school my daughter attended where there were no extra classes or field trips and most parents were of the criminal variety.
My son has been at VCS since kindergarten and although all his years have been great, he had his best year ever in middle school. He learned a lot from his dedicated 6th grade teachers who got to know him and truly care. We have some exceptional teachers in 7th and 8th grade too. I'm looking forward to 2 more great years at VCS.
VCS is a great school for the elementary school years, but completely falls apart for middle school due to the constant teacher turnover. VCS has a lot of very dedicated parents that help keep the school going, and some great teachers, and the school would be a great school if only it were allowed to fully teach using the EL method, but being a VCUSD dependent charter, it isn't allowed to do so, as VCUSD gets in the way of its success.
Vallejo Charter School Wow, great school what a change. We have two children at Vallejo Charter. One went to another primary school last year, and struggled. This year has been a complete change for the better. The parents are motivated and involved, which helps student motivation and discipline. Teachers and principal have been outstanding in our experience. Really, the only drawback is the campus infrastructure. The location is great (surrounded by park) but the facilities are old and showing the wear.
I love this community based school my son looks forward to going everyday! I get a message from the school almost every night just keeping me up to speed on things. I feel welcome everytime I step foot on campus . The principal is always interacting with students . It seems to me that all adults parents or staff is envolved with students and I think that is very important! I know I made a great choice sending my son to this school!
I disagree with that last poster, however the principal has announced she is leaving, so the 2012-2013 school year will have another new principal, which is hard on the school. But working in an Expeditionary Learning Charter School is very hard work, so I hope the next principal understands that and is willing to stay for the long haul. I love the school as does my student. I think it is the best public school option in Vallejo because of the Expeditionary Learning model, the family volunteer component and the art and dance program, which our families fundraise for each year. I also love the sense of community at VCS.
The principal was ABSOLUTELY deficient in leadership and social skills. Most of the teachers appeared to be proficient but they were demoralized and frustrated by an overbearing and tone-deaf principal (I had the misfortune of landing in the classroom of the two worst teachers for my child's grade level). Parent participation was forced, mandatory, and quite cliqueish-I would show up, sign in, and leave after my presence had been noted-I WAS MISERABLE! I pulled my child out of that school as fast as I could run after one year-I would have left at the end of the first month if it had been possible and there were several other parents who followed suit. Due to GreatSchools Rules of Use I can not name the principal & teacher who contributed to the miserable experience that I and a few other parents suffered through but I will say that we were there during the 2010-2011 school year-WHAT AN UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE!!!
LOve this school , great teachers, great principle, my son has been at VCS since it opened, would go to no other school. As he says," I love it " . Also has great after school programs and regular art and dance classes.