Great choice for arts areas -parental booster support is lagging at times...not for the timid student,but a wonderful opportunity for the creative ones to grow their talents. Parents need to monitor schoolwork as with any academic program.
Band program is superb; many levels of instruction offered in academic areas. Kind, capable teachers. Nice students. Students who don't do assignments and fail may be asked to return to neighborhood schools.
My child's art is creative writing. So far she really likes school and most of her teachers. Been on one field trip already this school year. I've only paid $40 for the yearly activity fees.
I have been very happy with both the academic courses and arts courses for my daughter at LaVilla. I attend almost every concert and performance and I have to keep reminding myself that I am watching or listening to middle school children. The orchestra and jazz band are amazing! They sound professional. The fall musical was the best middle school performance ever. The gifted teachers are the smartest, most caring ones a child could have. The administrators listen. My only negative comments are: the pe program is leaves a lot to be desired, and there are no sport teams. The school is so crowded, your child may not get their first or even second choices in arts classes. The arts teachers are not always fair in the levels that they assign the kids.
My daughter is going to LaVilla now (2002-2005) and she loves it. I have had a couple of minor teacher issues, but the Principal is great and addresses issues promptly. My daughter has learning disabilities and her counseler and most of the teachers help her with what she needs. Overall I am very pleased with LaVilla.
There is no limit to the wonderful things that I have to say about this scool. The Acdemic Department and the Preforming Arts Departments truely work together to better the school and the learning enviroment in both areas. I am impressed with the Vocal Department that my child is in. The professionalism that Mr. Smith and Mr. Pendry demonstrate to the children is a guide for them to live by!! A special thank you to the school for making this opportunity available for my child. Thanks.
My daughter just finished her third year at Lavilla and loved it.The school is much better with the new principle.The kids seem much happier with her.Some of the teachers are really bad about returning phone calls.In some cases one teacher never returned any.One math teacher does not allow make up work in her class, so beware. It really hurt my daughters grade in the end even though she brought her grade up two letter grades.The teacher refused to work with me or my daughter. Overall except for two teachers in three years this school was an excellent experience for her. I know you know of all the good at Lavilla,sometimes we just need to hear what to steer clear of. I still give the schhol an A.
I am so proud that my daughter is able to attend LaVilla. It is an amazing school. This has been wonderful for my daughter. I know Mrs. Skinner from another school and am so glad she is here at LaVilla with my daughter again.
The Guidance Department, Mrs. Sheard, is tops. My two sons middle school experience was a great experience. It really helps your children have a safe learning environment without a lot of behavioral disruptions. It's a small and friendly environment with state of the art facilities. Office Staff is great. ESE Dept needs a review in my opinion and I will leave it at that. As a whole it was a great experience for my sons. My sons have utilized some ESE/AP Classes (tough) and reg. education. The arts are serious, so prepare your student for a serious course of study. But my son's trip to NYC was great!
LASOTA is the best school for my children that are interested in Art. My son is now in 10th grade at DASOTA and my daughter is in 8th grade at Lasota gearing for DASOTA. I want to thank all the staff, teachers and especially the Vice-Principal for their support to my children. They ensure that I am notified when both of my children started back sliding in one or two academic subjects.The teachers are our support team to achieve our goals for our children. My youngest son is in Kirby-Smith 6th grade. I support our teachers, the education system by taking responsibility for our children future. Thank you.
LaVilla is the place for middle school students who care about the arts in Jacksonville. My daughter attended for three years and is now at Douglas Anderson. She loved school at LaVilla and the teachers provided her with excellent challenging material in almost every class.
I found the faculty, staff and administration to be very helpful and most concerned about the well-being and success of my children...and they are in two separate arts areas! They both have grown so much, and are so motivated to succeed. Academically, I find that the teachers constantly challenge their students, and push for their very best, but they also incorporate their own love of the arts to accomplish these goals. I would not have wanted my children to be any where else for Middle School. There is so much opportunity at LaVilla for parents to volunteer and be involved. Even though I am a single mother with a very full time career, there has always been something that I could find to help with - and a smiling face to welcome my participation. I think that my involvement has kept me up to date on what is happening in the school in general, and has helped me to stay on top of my own childrens' academic & arts performance in a way that was not resented by my kids. That is a difficult thing to balance in Middle School. I would highly recommend LaVilla School of the Arts - and with an enrollment of over 1000 students, and a waiting list of over 2000, I think that their results, both academically and in each arts area, speak for themselves!
LaVilla has a new principal this year (thank goodness). As for the guidance office, I have found them to be generally useless as a mediation tool between the student in trouble and the teacher. This could also be a function of the former principal, and could be better in the future, we'll see. The emphasis is on the arts, which on the surface sounds great, but the pressure to get into Douglass Anderson is almost too much. My child is now in 8th grade, so we'll see how the 'guidance' to other high schools goes. All I can say it's a good thing I contacted the teachers myself, because no one initiates contact, not the teacher; not the guidance office. They think that the progress report is that contact. You cannot trust them to do the best for you child, because it's like a political party - they do what's best for the school. They want to keep that 'A', which I don't really blame them for, but it seems like they focus on the students that will keep them there. It is a difficult environment academically for those who struggle with their assigments, in that there is no individual assistance. As a parent of a child who was in danger of failing, I called all of my child's teachers to monitor assignments/progress. It did not feel like the teachers welcomed my involvement. Most of them I had to call several times before I spoke to them, even getting the principal involved because they would not call me back within 24 hours (as policy states.) Some of them are rude. A parent has to really be on top of things there.
Initially, I thought this was a great school, but I later found out it is insensitive to minorities and to students that have learning problems. The school is not parent friendly at all, teachers do not communicate well at all with parents. This is one school that I hate that my daughter ever attended.
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