My oldest son has been in the band program for 7th and 8th grade. I have been very pleased with the school, minus interactions with one teacher that I wish my child didn't have. Other teachers have more then made up for it. I think that happens at just about any school though. The band program has been great. Parental involvement is welcomed and encouraged. We like it so much that we are hoping that our younger children end up at LaVilla, too.
according to my friend this school has way to much homework he is unsatisfied thats why i go to lakeshore
Overall, I'm very pleased with Lavilla! It is a wonderful school, with terrific arts area teachers! My child was in the Vocal department, and she received wonderful instruction. Mr. Pendry ( a vocal teacher ) is super nice, and his students adore him! Pros; It was great to have the bussing back this upcoming year, and MOST of the academic teachers are great. Cons; The administration lacks patience when dealing with their students, and they are un-cooperative. Generally, I would like to see and hear more of the principal. Of course, just like any other school, the lunches are nothing pretty. :) BUT I loved this school, and had a wonderful experience with it!!! Recommend it? YES. :)
i forgot to add periods on my last reveiw. but this school is not all the hype and there always asking kids for money. how are you going to be the best in duval when you should get money for doing your best and if your asking us for money how did they get the money to take the kids to france and let the school see bill cosby
The odds of getting into this school are practically nil! I don't know why the Duval County School Board doesn't publish kids chances of getting into this school if they are not in one of the feeder schools? My child took private art lessons and was encouraged to audition. After a grueling 3 hour audition and months of waiting we find out he was not selected. After speaking with other parents, I find out there are really only about 10 slots available for non-feeder school kids (there were probably 200 kids auditioning for art). It is my understanding that, years ago, before there were all these feeder schools, other kids had a better chance of getting in. What a waste of time and getting my child's hopes up. Again, publish the chances of one's child being selected and save everyone the hassle.
I have to say that I was really very hopeful when my son began school here. Now after one quarter I now know how children can graduate and still not be able to read. The academics at the school are awful! The arts piano area, at least for this year, is also awful! There is no instruction. The teacher doesn't actually "teach" the children! They just get access to a keyboard for 1 1/2 hours 2x's a week and are assigned pieces to perfect on their own in that time. The teachers are very disorganized and provide no help. The school has perfected the art of turning pick-up in the afternoon into a competition. I have to say again-very unorganized! I had high hopes and maybe a little to high of expectations. My child is in all advanced classes and is so bored he can barely pay attention. The school is really very over-rated. I truly feel as though the school may at one time been great-but great it no longer is! I will end with saying one positive thing; the kids at the school are very nice. There really doesn't seem to be any behavioral problems. I think the kids all really want to be there; including mine-but education is important too-it is not just all about the arts.
Both my children are in LaVilla this year (6th and 8th grade). THey are both advanced academically and the school has been appropriately challenging in these areas. I have been impressed with the arts training in their area and a high number of them ultimately make it in to Douglas Anderson, the audition-only high school arts school. The school is no more or less "organized" than other middle schools when comparing experiences to my friends with kids in other schools so I don't know what the other reviewers are talking about. If you are thinking about an arts-centered school for your child, realize that as a parent, you must be more involved than in a regular school so be prepared. I am very pleased overall.
I'm an art student, and I'm on my final year at LaVilla! I LOVE this school. It's great. You can express yourself without being judged. I'm going to miss it so much when the eighth grade is over! X( The teachers really helped me improve a lot. I used to think I'd be the best at everything, but they helped me see what I did wrong, and I became much better. Sure at first, I thought they were just being mean. But now that I look back, I realized I needed their words. I went from not gettting anything into the gallery during the sixth grade, to getting in three pieces in during the seventh! This year, I'm striving to get in more artwork into the gallery. Sure the teachers critique you, but they aren't doing it to be mean. They actually want you to improve! And school work isn't that bad. I mean, it usually depends on which teacher you get. I got homework almost everyday, but nothing too hard. Overall, this school is great. -From, a weird eighth grader
Many people i feel judge the school by its cover, but when you take the time to look deeper this is an AMAZING school to send your child to. We are a family at Lavilla everyone is looking out for each other its what we do. We have exceptional arts areas and academics as well. Everyone there has some sort of love for the arts, WE ARE ALL PERFORMERS!!! sure the teachers may be consistant in the classroom but they are striving to make us better at what we do! But if you must know one thing about this school...... its that it leaves memories (good ones) :) I'm certain you will not forget Lavilla ITS AMAZING! ~Bryanna M~ Former Lavillian~
I am about to enter the seventh grade and I love it there. The faculty is great, even though I have had a few run ins with a few teachers. I am there for creative writing and this year I'm starting a class of drama. I am so excited!!! My arts area teachers are amazing and I feel like I'm getting an amazing education. I came from a montessori school so I thought the move to LaVilla would be hard but the teachers make it so easy to forget to be nervous. I can't wait for school to start again and orientation. I LOVE LAVILLA!!!! -Current student of LaVilla School of the Arts
This school has VERY sterotypical teachers, Especially in the Drama Department. All of them pick favorites. Especially the more obese one. The obese one got a divorce recently and has been targeting male students and causing them trouble and not advancing them to a higher class when they should be. Everything else is great except for the teachers' favoritism
My son was fortunate enough to go to LaVilla twice! He went his 6th grade year then to the neighborhood school, Mandarin Middle his 7th (due to the change in busing). I was so disappointed with the neighborhood school that I made sure to attend the audition for his 8th grade year. He was accepted (again) and we were so happy. I found the administration at LaVilla to be top notch - very responsive and attentive. It is an excellent school with outstanding teachers that really give 100% to the students. I am very fortunate that my son was able to attend!
This school has really failed my son as a learning experience. They have taken a bright, talented sixth grader and destroyed his self-esteem and desire to achieve. His teachers are petty and prone to say rude and hurtful things in front of the rest of the class. There is NO one on one help. The administration is weak.
We couldn't be happier with our choice of Lavilla over our neighborhood school!! After three years of Lavilla we are proud to say our daughter went there.
I have 2 kids that have attended Lavilla. One has been through the school and another who is an 8th grader. My overall experience as a parent has been decent. It is a good school if you are just sending your children for an enriching education. However, with both of them I have found they do not prepare them well for the arts areas they are in for. One was in the Band program and the other is in Drama. One of the goals of the schools is to prepare for Douglas Anderson HS. Well, I haven't found that prep to be adequate. The one in band did get into Douglas Anderson, but with much work to get him there through the audition process. We discovered from his first audition there was a technique issue that the middle school never told us of, which almost cost him getting into the HS. The other child wasn't accepted into the Drama program at Douglas Anderson. We were not told of any issues or problems with her arts area. I feel there is a lack of attentiveness to each individual students art area. She tried out for several things and didn't get the parts without a reason why. If you are planning on your child making a career of this - LaVilla may not be the best choice.
My son attended LaVilla for seventh-eighth grades and has had a very positive experience. As an alumni of a fine arts magnet myself, I have to say that LaVilla Middle has met most of our expectations. The vocal music staff in particular is amazing!
i am a student here at lavilla and i have to say, it is an exceptional school. the administration i have no problem with... so far. the academics are astonishing and the arts areas are fabulous. i play in the band and the kids there at lavilla could definitely use a language adjustment. there are good kids there with clean mouths, you just have to know how to find them.
I agree with the last review. Beyond the 1 class of art in your child's area of interest and a couple of teachers that do have it together, this is probably the worst school overall in our experience we've ever been to. The adminstration is very disorganized and more than half of the teachers my child has, seemed to be thrown into their teaching area with little or no experience. Academics aren't important here. Teachers get confused on a daily basis on which class was taught what material. Guidance is little to no help at all, if there is a need. They don't want to deal with any parent issues. Don't bother wasting all your energy auditioning, unless you know for a fact your child is going to make a career out of their arts area. Paying for private lessons would benefit you more with a lot less headache.
This school looks great on paper and has some really wonderful teachers. However, the administration is AWFUL!!! DO NOT send your child here if he or she might require any extra help or guidance. The administration makes it clear that they only want to deal with "mainstream", well-behaved, "normal" children. They are difficult, agressive, patronizing, and just plain awful to interact with. Requesting services our child was legally entitled to felt like we were asking the principal to donate one of her kidneys! We removed our child from this school. Placing our child at LaVilla was our worst parental decision to date.
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