This school is amazing! The best academics, dance, art, music programs. Our principal and teachers are pure quality, creative, and determine to create success to their students! My daughter loves her school, and so does her mommy and daddy! The PTA board rocks too!
We decided to give ADV a chance after the board of directors ousted the best principal in the ADV history by making false claims of incompetence. I am saddened by what has become of the once spectacular ADV. Academie daVinci offered a unique learning experience with all of the support any child could ever need, now it is run by a puppet mastered by Terry Davis and the board of directors. The board does not have any contact with the parents and couldn't care less what the parents or students need. Ms. Foran, the new principal, is not serious as previous reviews have suggested, in reality she has zero experience with elementary aged children! ! She does not like young children which is obvious as the children who once danced down the hallways are forced into silence in the place where fun has gone to die. I couldn't care less that my childs school no longer gives dogs treats, i do care that the school for the arts no longer promotes creativity, individuality, or uniqueness. As many have said, it's just sad.
My daughter loved it here since she arrived a few years ago - but this past year has really changed our shared perspective. The arts focus was such an attraction, as was the previous principal who beamed with enthusiasm. As with any culture, it starts with the top. Once Dr. Ray left (or was forced out?), the change has been dramatic. The loss of teachers has been shocking, the loss of culture is more and more shocking. But even more, is the lack of focus on helping students learn is more "helping students focus on the next standardized test". To be fair, there is alot of growing/changing pains and perhaps ADV can weather the storm? But all signs are pointing to that being a longer term hope than a near-term reality. . It's become impersonal and just another school vs. a school that was once more of a treasure. The morale is dwindling with both the parents and the teachers. My daughter is on her 5th teacher in 3 years. That is not a good thing. Sadly, this school that previously inspired, was warm, had both teachers and families on board, and was once heading in a positive direction has continued to decline.
Our child has attended this school their entire elementary career and we have historically been very happy. While I agree with the majority of the comments about the new principal's lack of interaction with the parents, what concerns me more is the view that my child has expressed. When a child comes home disappointed because the principal does not respond to a child's greeting something is obviously wrong. However, the issues that have come up this year are not the sole responsibility of the principal and should lie mostly only the board of directors. I have personally attended meetings where we have been told that we do not have a say in what happens and that we can leave at any point in time that we wish as they have a waiting list a mile long. The board of directors, by their own design, is out of touch with the parents of the school. I never dreamed that I would be so excited for our child to move on from this school. I am even more saddened that we have decided to send our younger child to another school. What used to be a GREAT school has become mediocre at best, and that is what saddens me the most. . Very very sad!
ADV is a great school! We've been at ADV for several years and love how it has educated our child. Being a charter school, it relies on parent involvement and encourages it. There are many clubs and activities that make it a great place to get an education. Safe, nurturing, challenging. Everything you want in an elementary school. I was shocked when I saw that some a couple of parents decided to spread false rumors and lies to trash their own children's school. Why? I assume because they were 'friends' with the previous principal and can't handle change. Did the school used to have a principal that everyone loved? Yes. Did she know how to run a school? No. She was an educator and did not possess the skills necessary to run a school. She moved on when that became glaringly obvious to anyone who didn't have their head in the sand. The new principal is less touchy-feely, but that's OK. She has extensive knowledge of running a school and that's obvious. The school is financially sound. The teachers recently got health insurance coverage and I heard the other day the board approved a pay raise. Teachers are happy. Kids love it here.
I see students skipping and singing up and down hallways just as they have done at this school forever. These children come into school eager to learn every day. Smiles on little faces, children laughing, learning and performing. That is what I see everyday.
I completely disagree with the people who are trashing the new principal. Ms. Foran is a wonderful woman who is excited to be at ADV. Is she serious? Yes. Is she committed to getting the school back to financial stability? Yes. Does she want our children to succeed? Yes. Does she give out dog biscuits and have dance parties at lunch? No. But those are things that were uniquely Dr. Ray. Does the board serve because of some social status goals? Uh, no. If they were looking for social status, they'd be serving on Boards that get local recognition. Dr. Ray built a great school and has moved on to new great things. I think she would be disappointed to see parents trashing the school - and by extension, teachers - that she cared so much about. I think everyone needs to embrace change and stop with this nastiness!
I remember meeting Dr. Ray; she was the main reason we wanted our child to go to this school. Unfortunately the rug was pulled out from underneath us; she was fired just prior to the school year starting. In regards to the new principal, I am shocked by her "deer in the headlight" look on her face, lack of social skills, and experience. I hope my wife and I did not make a mistake. Regardless of the principal my child's primary teacher is fantastic; but, when the head of the school is broken the rest will soon fall.
I to use to be so proud of ADV before. I am VERY DISAPPOINTED about the school this year. The new principle can't even say morning to a parent and/or talk to the kids.. she lack of people skills. Academy Cafe is gone (no more singing at lunch time) !!! I hate the way the board is handling things. Administrative personnel can't even put two and two together.... I sent money for my son's lunch and he doesn't get it !!!!!. Grades are lower than even in the story of the school. I don't even want to participate in the school's activities any more. Thanks a lot Board of Directors. Now I am searching for a new school for next year.
The previous comments are exactly right. This used to be the best elementary school in pinellas county, with the most caring principal in the world. The school was an extension of our family. The board cares nothing about our children, and only cares about their social status. They fired the principal and hired a puppet for themselves. We and many more families will not be returning next year.