My daughter went to private schools 2 years prior to starting Kindergarten at Bay Vista last year. We were very leary about public schools and we are thrilled with our experience with Bay Vista. Mrs. Moyer is a wonderful Kindergarten teacher and really supported our daughter with amazing kindness and affection. The principal, Mrs. Sulte, really does know every child's name and is extremely competent in her role. Bay Vista has a great atmosphere and feels like a much smaller school because everyone is so engaged.
All fundamental schools are not created equal! When we discuss our experince with parents from other fundamental schools it helps us to realize how good we have it.This is our fifth year at Bay Vista and our overall experiences have been great, we appreciate the almost family like community within the school. When the principal, teachers, and guidance counselor and all the staff are in cynch,they work like a well oiled education machine.They seem to be working out the few glyches that remain and if they do this, they will become by far the standard for all elementary schools to follow.
The principal, Kris Sulte, is an amazing woman. She has brought much positive change to the school and knows she has little to prove as the school's reputation speaks for itself. Every teacher my children have had have been wonderful. We keep getting new teachers and apart from not knowing all of the 'fundamental' policies perfectly for the first few weeks of school, the energy the new teachers bring is amazing. I have had one bad interaction with one teacher. Parental involvement is what we as parents are drawn to when choosing a fundamental school. I don't think there could be more involvement at any other school. Our parents are the best...many can afford private schools, but choose to stay with the fundamental program. We love it!
This is our third year at Bay Vista, and we now have two children there. Our kids did not attend when Mr. Kizner was principal, but let me be clear: Principal Kris Sulte is an amazing asset to this school. She is highly visible to the students, callls each of them by name, and knows their backgrounds, challenges, opportunities, etc. She motivates her faculty and as a result, they are fully engaged in helping each and every child advance. Bay Vista is NOT a gifted / prep school. We have children with varying levels of academic abilities. The tie that binds us together is a common commitment by parents, teachers, and administrators to actively work together for the highest quality education for our children. We moved our son from a well-regarded private school in Pinellas County after having already paid for the full year, and we couldn't be happier.
I have a child in Kindergarten at Bay Vista, so this is our first year w/the school. We have had a great experience so far and I believe it is because of my son's teacher-Mrs.Moyer. She is a very dedicated teacher, who has taught our son to begin reading at an already advanced level-as well as many other new skills. She is available when we need to speak with her and she genuinely shows concerns for the children in her class. She recognized our son as potentially gifted, so suggested we have him tested. We were pleased that w/all she has to do, she recognized a child out of a class of 20 who may be available for the program. We pray that we love our son's teach next year as much as we do this year!
We kept wondering where the 'great' was when we had our children in Bay Vista. It appears that your experience is highly dependent upon getting a good teacher. A couple average teachers in a row cured us and sent us looking elsewhere. I will say that Mrs. Lorraine Bates taught my second child in Kindergarten and was an absolutely fantastic educator who instilled exceptionally high reading skills that provided a strong academic basis for years (he is now in 4th grade). Also Mrs. Deegan, gifted teacher, showed excellent understanding of teaching gifted kids, especially boys, and was very open minded and 'gifted'. If all the teachers and staff were of the same quality, we would have most definately stayed there. Unfortunately, there are few really good choices in St. Petersburg for consistent excellent public schools.