I feel they are mostly effective. A couple of them do not seem to be use to teaching high schoolers (expect them to 'know' things already instead of teaching them the material) and we have heard of a lot of 'teachers rambling off topic' which while may be a tactic to keeping some students interested, for others its HUGELY annoying! Our son has ADHD and it is all he can do to keep from tearing his hair out sitting in class, add on top of that the teacher going off topic and 'wasting time' has been a source of irritation for us. A couple of our kids have lost their textbooks, when asking the teacher what they can do to get a replacement book (to pay for or borrow) the teacher said there was nothing to be done and has allowed them to pretty much fail his class because they don't have the text book. While yes, its the students fault losing the book (some other students took it at school) I do not feel having a capable child fail a class due to a lost text book is the answer, not to mention bringing down the schools overall grades when these children are in the top 20% of their year is fair to anyone.
One child comes home with heaps! The two other can mostly finish all their assignments in class time provided, except for special projects. Overall, I feel the homework load is ok, though I would LOVE to see students NEVER come home with homework! They have 7 hours in school to 'work', let them engage in other subjects of interest after hours PLEASE!!!
I feel the sports program (track/cross country is the only one we have experience in) has done wonders for our son's persistence and determination. However, his already poor grades have suffered further, due to the extended amount of time put into practice.
We have 3 children attending Ventura High this year as Freshmen and a Sophomore. In general we liked this school over our assigned school (Buena) and chose to have our kids transfer here (I would rate it a 'Average' Star). Mrs. Frias (our kids counselor) has been very helpful and always gets back to us promptly regarding our questions and we feel she definitely is a concerned advocate for our kids at school (I would rate her a 'Great' star). From what our kids have told us, the restrooms in particular are filthy. Our kids will not use them at all at school and prefer to hold it all day! And that is messy teenaged boys talking, so that can't be good. (Obviously, on this I would vote a 'Terrible' star) I wish they had more summer school opportunities for kids trying to get extra credits. Instead we are having to go elsewhere to provide this for our kids. (A 'Bad' star) Finally, commenting on what another parent mentioned below, I'm not happy with the focus on the sexuality 'celebrations'/support either. I have no problem with supporting ALL of our students and encouraging their success in life but school is not the venue for personal and private issues of this nature. (I would vote a 'Terrible' star on this one too) And yeah, they don't seem to have any faith-based (or maybe its just not Christian) clubs/groups. (I would vote this a 'Bad' star)
My two daughters were bullied everyday and came home crying every day. I though it was only them being emotional because they were becoming teens. One day I looked at one my daughters twitter when she left it up, and many girls in her grade were posting pictures of her and cruel text messages sent to one another. She obviously was being bullied at school and through the media. I went to talk to the school councillors about this issue and all they had to say was that kids are just getting older...okay? So its OK for students to bully others. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
The councillors are absolutely terrible and are extremely disorganized. My Son took online classes which were supposedly UC approved but his councillor forgot to mention that it was outdated and no longer UC approved when assigning him the online classes. He had to redo the courses he took. Just things like this constantly occurred. His English teachers were ridiculous, with poor education from state schools, and with severely insufficient morals. His teacher wouldn't give him an A, no because he didn't deserve it by working over 4 hours on English homework, but because she believed no one deserved an A in the class. The cleanliness of the school is absolutely disgusting. There are rodents and roaches on school grounds, trash and food everywhere, and the desks never are cleaned. Many student at school were getting impetigo because of the filth they were exposed to.
When picking my child up from school, I see student being bullied, shoved, or even just crying. The ASB and leadership program does not display any of these traits, the children involved in the program are rude, and do not include other based on a sport another student partakes in or club another student is involved in. It is no a fair vote when voting for queen, kings, princesses for football games and dances because the votes are invalid and consist of people only in ASB or who have close connections with ASB members-enough to change a ballet or 2. I personally know this because my son was in ASB this year and saw many of the students changing the names of the votes or making new voting cards. He said none of the "winners" for prom, senior ball, homecoming were voted for fairly.