It is not how bad Vanderlyn is, it is how much mothers talk it up for nothing. My kids were set back about a year academically at this school (we moved to another state and my A student at Vanderlyn turned out to be a year behind at our new school). Socially there are a million issues. Over all not a nice experience. There are a few involved moms that do absolutely all of the PTA work at the school while most of the mothers sit back and enjoy the ride! Just awful.
Vanderlyn is an excellent school with a strong principal. Mr. Maloof has moved away from sending home CRCT practice packets that were so common with the previous principal. Instead, we have a new leveled reading library to boost literacy for children of ALL abilities; math automaticity is his next focus. The building is so much cleaner than it was before AND the new A/C, Heating, and Lighting make the bldg much more pleasant. Hopefully the redistricting will allow us to get rid of the trailers and modulars. The PTA raises almost $100K each year, and is transparent about where the money goes (organic garden, leveled reading library, active boards, etc).
I recommend Vanderlyn to certain demographics only with certain income levels. My third year with Vanderlyn and I am still waiting to see the goodness everyone speaks of about the school. My Child has learned very little from the school. He was expected to already know everything when he began kindergarten so that the teacher could focus on school plays gatherings etc. My son is still behind for his grade level. Thank Goodness I found Kumon who has taught my son more in 2 months than Vanderlyn has in 3 years. Also the Teachers I have had the experience of meeting are very snobby with grumpy faces. "You can pay people to teach but you cannot pay them to care" This is at the entrance of the school....So true, but why they have it in that school is beyond me at this point.
I was not impressed with Vanderlyn. My child came home with CRCT study guides that were met with blank stares. It should have been a refresher. I also found that my child was not nearly as prepared as my other child was at their old school (in a 100 different ways). The number of trailers really bothers me. This is a growing community and yet we are saying it's ok that the children don't fit in the school. Moving the 4th and 5th is not enough. A parent tried to tell me that we should feel fortunate to have a mobile campus. Are you kidding me! Let's be real here. I also thought the principal participated in some really corny activities. Every child deserves a solid education. We unfortunately, didn't get that at Vanderlyn. Vanderlyn seriously needs some evaluating. It was not what I considered "premier" at all.
Vanderlyn continues to excel.. The new principal, Mr. Maloof, is bright, able, energetic and conscientious. My 2 daughters have attended Vanderlyn, they youngest being a rising third grader. Yes, there is emphasis on standardized testing and I am okay with that. Such tests will not go away and the ability to do well on them will pay off in the future along with the solid academic foundation. It already has for our 6th grader who is exceling in a gifted/magnet program. Vanderlyn has always had superior art, music, dance, etc. teachers. No school is perfect. Although Austin recently fared better in test performance, the long-term track record favors Vanderlyn. Let's see the results this year now that the overcrowding has been relieved by the opening of Dunwoody E. S. for 4th and 5th graders. Increase creativity @ home & thr. programs.
Vanderlyn school has been a bad experience for our family. The emphasis seems to be on taking a state standardized test and not on thinking and learning. I would not recommend this school to anyone.
Great School! My 1st grader is loving life, if not the homework! He is my second child to attend Vanderlyn, and we didn't know how good we had it until my eldest child started middle school...what a difference it is compared to the tight Vanderlyn community! Yes, the building is old and small, but we have a brand new school that relieved Vanderlyn of much overcrowding... highly recommended!
The school is great no doubt about it. The atmosphere is nice. Its true students in the trailer, not the most convenient option. But those can be adjusted with. Only Issue I see is with the Gifted Program. I am not too well versed with state regulations on gifted program and school's responsibilities. Except in Grade1 - that's also in Ms. Patricks class - where I felt my child was learning something. Apart from that, there has no separate emphasis on the subjects for gifted student. The school need to rethink, elevate the standards and curriculum for gifted student and ensure they get something out of it.
a decent school, but way too crowded. the building is old and too small for the population. air conditioning often does not work. gifted education meets the bare minimum set by the county, but is inadequate.
Well it has finally been confirmed. Mrs. Burger is leaving at the end of the school year. I just don't like the way that it was handled. The parents and the staff knew before she did. Mrs. Burger is leaving a great staff that can handle it if the parents would just let them do their job!!!!!
There is no information that the principal is leaving, only rumors and speculation. While many parents wish she would leave, they will all fall apart when a new principal comes in who wants a more well rounded school. Test scores are everything in this community. It is all about protecting property values (which are inflated because of the school district.) We are so disappointed in both the leadership of the school and the parental community that we are leaving, selling our home to move into a less desirable but more child centered school district. We made a terrible mistake buying before researching the underlying philosophy of the school. We followed the pack mentality and relied on test scores alone. Never again.
We are fairly happy with this school. Yet, we feel that the curriculum and pedagogy lack creativity compared to our children's former school. The principal seems to be driving this lack of creativity and seems to promote an atmosphere where only test scores matter. Thankfully, she is leaving so we are looking forward to improvement.
I'm the parent of first and second graders at Vanderlyn. My kids have friends that are indian, asian, black, and white. The gifted class last year, which strongly encouraged parent involvement, centered around hands-on creations of working science experiments, not 'busy work'. The post below is a classic disgruntled parent who blames her kid's 'stress' and 'boredom' on the school rather than seeking a solution from the very hands on and attentive administration. Yes, we're horribly overcrowded, you can thank Dekalb County for that and we've been working hard to make our voices heard. The rest of Dekalb county has had their overcrowding addressed, we are the top school in the county and yet the last to be attended to in terms of overcrowding. The classes are not overcrowded-17 & 19 kids. Expect to volunteer and participate, PTA is strong!
Vanderlyn prides itself on being the best. The reason it tests well is based on the most strict disiciple in an all white upper class community that simply teaches / coaches the students on how to take standardized tests. These scores are not indicative of the students experience. If you are only looking for high pressure education and high test scores, visit vanderlyn. If you are looking for a diverse, student focused, open minded broad circulum don't visit this place. Clearly this fish is rotting from the head as the administration furthers this 'performance is the only thing that matters' attitude. We won't miss this school the only good thing about it is the property values from people who don't know yet. This is the Stepford School of Georgia, all style, no substance on the inside.
Very academic. Good Solid school. Big foucus on testing. One of the top schools int he state.
Our experience with Vanderlyn was not good. So..... yep, they are the top school in the state according to test scores - things like that are meaningless to me. My son is in the gifted program and an 'A' student, but he was bored and stressed out (yes, both at the same time) by the constant barrage of timed drills and meaningless busy work - all assigned with an eye on those beloved test scores. He thought school was boring and meaningless. We finally moved to Decatur to get out of this situation and have been very happy there. P.S. We don't miss ridiculous number of trailers either!
Vanderlyn Elementary is consistently ranked as one of the top 5 public elementary schools in the state of Georgia, and currently ranked #1. Even though the schools enrollment far exceeds its limit, the faculty, academic programs, parent involvement (PTA 100%) keeps Vanderlyn the school all others compare too. As a parent of a 3rd grader and an 11th grader who also attended Vanderlyn, I am and have been more than satisfied with Vanderlyn's consistency in every possible aspect, except for overcrowding. Redistricting is long overdue. It was mentioned 11 years ago and still (only) mentioned. When our son attended Vanderlyn enrollment was under 500 students, today almost 900. Why DeKalb county prefers to add trailers/modular units instead of properly expanding the school only denotes the failure to properly govern and is a waste of tax payers money.
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