I know there has been some problems with high administrative turnover and confusion in the past. This is clearly PAST. My child is thriving at this school and it is clearly evident that everyone at the school cares deeply about an individual's child development. I especially appreciate the differentiated learning opportunities. We are so happy with our experience here and the possibilities that exist within regular D20 that we dis-enrolled our youngest from (one size fits all) TCA in order for him to attend TdVA. As the previous post stated, this is a wonderful environment that caters to all styles. It is clear that the school continues to nurture my child's love of learning. My child cannot wait to go to school in the morning to learn more and to spend time at TdVA.
When our kids started at TdVA 2 years ago we were apprehensive. It is our neighborhood school and, new to the county, had no idea about choice enrollment. Had we, our children would have missed out on this incredible school. From the moment you walk into this school a sense of warmth and community abounds. The front desk staff is spectacular and teachers are passionate and devoted. The CURRENT administration is out of this world. I am here multiple times per week volunteering and am able to witness firsthand the wonders of this school. As an art integrated school, the arts is a primary focus but it doesn't take the place of core academic learning and I think that is a point that should be stressed as there have been misconceptions as to the mission of this school. Core academics are reiterated through the arts. TdVA's not PERFECT. IE staff turnaround is high. I feel the current principal is going to stick around awhile (which is fabulous because so is she) and I I could see the revolving door trend end because of the stable administration. Foreign language program is disappointing. And they call PE movement. Wonderful academic school that caters to ALL learning styles
We moved from a D-49 Charter school to a home in D-20 in 2011. My daughter is wait listed at TCA and while waiting for her wait list to clear we enrolled her at DaVinci for the 2011-2012 school year in 2nd grade. I was concerned about DaVinci since I had received some bad feedback from other parents I know, however I have to say we have been pleasantly surprised. I love her teacher, and she asks me how my daughter is liking school when I am in the classroom volunteering. My daughter seems to really enjoy school and is disappointed if she is sick or there is a snow day on days when she has a special class like drama or art. I enjoy the diversity of subjects that are discussed in the classroom and the fact that holidays are still recognized such as Christmas and Halloween. I am very impressed with the pick up/drop off line and the priority of safety placed on the children during this process. I have found the administration to be professional and courteous. I am convinced that my daughter is thriving in this school because of the type of learning style encouraged. Students are encouraged to be responsible for their own work. We are pleased and might just keep her here.
My child has attended this school for 4 years. In the 4 years we have seen tremendous changes, good & not so great, & a revolving door in administration (3rd principal now). We've seen some great teachers that have been absolutely incredible for our child's learning, and some that we wonder if they got their license and degree online from an outsourced trade school. While we were dazzled (our child & us as parents) by what da Vinci encompassed when our child began, we have seen our child removed from TAG and special advanced opportunities even though he scores higher than the other children in all areas of testing including the CSAP. They do not have enough qualified teachers to work with gifted kids. Expect no communication from science as to why your child gets the grade s/he gets - no matter how many requests, messages or calls left. If your child doesn't fit "the mold", expect them to lose special opportunities no matter how high they score on tests, homework or treat others with respect. Expect mountains of homework. The art program is great. Kathy, at the front keeps the school in tact. Great school if your kid is average & not needing/wanting much structure or challenge
My 3 kids have attended this school and so far it's been great. We have been with this school since it first opened so we have seen alot of change. Our oldest has started middle school at a different school and continues to excel. Again, it's not for everyone but all the teachers and administrators know my 3 kids names. it's a welcoming, learning and caring environment.
Since it appears no one had reviewed TdVA in a while, I'd like to speak to current conditions. We had administrative turnover...again...in both principal and AP postions, and frankly, it was for the best. As a volunteer parent, I feel the tone of the building is more happy and relaxed. Our teachers have always been awesome, but they seem so much more upbeat now. There is a previous review by a parent upset that ESL students are directed to TdVA. I have no idea why they think that's a negative point. A student learning English is not a "bad" student. A student learning English can be gift to students who don't see alot of cultural diversity. I see no negative impact whatsover to my child or any others. To sum it up: DaVinci is school which has gone through a great deal of leadership (and management style) change; arts integration is still a focus, but I see greater emphasis on collecting student data to drive instruction over the past few years; I'm personally very happy with all my childrens' teachers and their academic growth. This isn't the school for everyone...(open classrooms etc.), but some of us think it's a fantastic place for our kids to grow.
Coming into District 20 from out of state last year we didn't have much choice and ended up at da Vinci because of our proximity to the school from our neighborhood. We were impressed with the concept, but soon found that our son was placed with a new young teacher, who was very unorganized and I believe he struggled because of that. The front administration seemed helpful and courteous. The principal always seemed overwhelmed and never took time to say Hi as the other staff would... in fact without prior knowledge I would have never even known her role at the school. Beware that in May 2010 they announced da Vinci will be another ESL school !! They announced this AFTER open enrollment making it next to impossible to move your child to a non-ESL school. UGH!!!
The first year we were at da Vinci, we loved it. Since the new administration has taken over, the whole building seems to be in chaos. We are never sure from day to day what teachers will be walked out or what changes will occur. There is very little consistency in the classrooms and building wide. It has caused my children to become unwilling to go to school. Even they feel the tension. In addition, I totally agree with other reviews about parent involvement. If you are not a stay-at-home parent, forget about involvement. It is very hard to "break" into the soccer mom clique. They want nothing to do with "those kind" of moms, ie ones that wanted a career and a family. We are actively pursuing other educational opportunities for our children. I am sick at the thought of sending them back to that school.
A private school for free! What a great concept (supported wholeheartedly by administrators, parents and staff) to allow children to learn in a multitude of ways. My children are completing their second year and are flourishing. I am a fan of this school that cares about kids growth and academic achievement. The new administrators are a blessing and have moved TdVA to a truly distinctive arts integration school that proves academic success can go hand-in-hand with emphasis on the arts!!!
We just love this school. The creative learning environment is amazing. My kids have totally flourished here.
The da Vinci Academy is a great school! The administration and staff do a fabulous job of balancing arts integration with a challenging curriculum. My kids have a blast at school and they're learning. The neighborhood around the school is also top-notch. I highly recommend this school.
The only reason I rate this school at a two is the administration. The principal has some sort of personal vendetta against several of the teachers, and for two years on a row has found a way to remove teachers, with no explanation or communication with parents during the school year. These actions have disrupted our children's performance academically, and has left them asking many questions none of the parents can answer. If you can tolerate the politics you will find that most of the teachers are wonderful. They give their all to help every student succeed. The extracurricular activities are abundant. If given the choice, my children would not attend this school next year. Looking into homeschooling, because at least I can't be dismissed 3/4 of the way through the school year.
My children attended TdVA from K-3rd. We moved to AZ this school year and are paying considerably for our kids to attend a private school just to get close to the academics we received in CO. Our teachers at the private school in AZ said that whatever our school (TdVA) did in CO, they did it right because BOTH of my kids are in the highest levels of math and reading and still receiving an A+ grade. So, thank you to TdVA for the investment you made in my kids. They are very well rounded learners. I find that they embrace new lessons very enthusiastically and I credit TdVA for laying that foundation in them.
This is a great school! We are a military family and this school has been so fantastic for my family. There were some issues last year with the new administration but I felt that the academics needed improvement and this administration is dedicated to improving academics. The arts are integrated wonderfully but a kid who is not super artistic will still thrive and love this school. This environment makes children love school because they are learning in a fun, creative atmosphere. I am devistated that we're leaving next year.
School to home communication is very much lacking and not much help for new families. My kids' teachers are nice enough but leave much to be desired in the way of supporting my children and 'challenging' them academically. For example, leaving spelling words on the board during the spelling tests and doing math that my daughter did the year before. Being new to the district we didn't quite get the 'art based school' philosophy and when I asked the principal's secretary what an art based school is she literally shrugged her shoulders and wouldn't give me any info. I've tried to volunteer and build a rapport with the staff but no no avail. The school staff in general is very cold, unwelcoming, and I felt like an outsider that couldn't break in. We will not be returning next year.
We have teachers that love our children, however the new admistration is taking away from what made daVinci great. Focus on test scores and not whole education. Less arts intergrated learning and dictatorship style of leadership. Our children are attending another school next year.
Buyer beware! Was a wonderful school while the district allowed them to follow its mission focus of integration of arts and sciences. Has become a standardized test factory. Environment tone set by administration is hostile and lacks integrity. School is no different from any other school in district, eliminating any real choice for parents. Many great teachers are prevented from doing what they do best. Some bad apples that look better with the heavy emphasis on standardized curriculum. If you want your child to learn the bare minimum of factual knowledge , but no creative thinking or cognitive development, this school would work fine for you. signed-Five year veteran parent.
This was a wonderful school until the present administration changed the focus into a standardized test academy. It is sad the lack of arts integration this school once had is no longer a priority.
I have had students in the school since the day it opened. My kids have had great teachers and lazy teachers, and I'm very happy that we finally have leadership in place that wants to bring consistency to the quality of education! The arts are still being integrated through the encores and the great teachers can work with any curriculum to bring a creative flair to their lessons. We are blessed to have an art teacher, music teachers, drama, language through singing- while so many other schools do not have ANY arts teachers! I have been a volunteer there for years and have always been welcomed into the school. The only negative there is the group of parents that want control to make it a school only focused on children who learn best through the visual spatial construct- all students should be able to thrive here!
I thought this school was horrible. My child went to all day Kindergarten and I felt he finished the school year no more knowledgeable than when he started. In fact we moved the kids to a different school and my children are getting a better education. Also, if you are not a stay at home mom you might as well forget about being involved cause everything is scheduled during the day.
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