My child has attended Valwood for the past two years. As a college educator, I believe the school offers a rigerous curriculum that challenges students and prepares them for post-secondary education. After talking to students at other schools in the area, I am confident that Valwood's academic standards and expectations exceed those of surrounding schools. The teachers and administrators are caring, compassionate, and take great interest in my child's well-being and success; however, grades are earned (no grade inflation here). The majority of students are sweet and are just trying to navigate that difficult path to adulthood (my child is in 7th grade). The sports offerings are fantastic, and every child has a chance to participate. Also, 20% of the students receive financial assistance. So, Valwood is not just for "rich kids". Finally, I am very impressed with the Headmaster and the middle school dean. The Headmaster is energetic and forward thinking and continues to improve the school each year. He strives to admit kids with good character and who have a variety of interests. The dean is caring yet commands respect and is receptive to parents' concerns.
I was a student at Valwood from pre-k to 9th grade. This is a terrible school. Everyone here is snobby and very rude. There is a lot a bully that goes on that teachers purposely ignore. In the class room, the teachers have no idea what they are taking about, and the ones that did do not teach at Valwood anymore. All they do in class is read off a powerpoints, which some teachers don't even make. I watch classmates cheat on tests all the time, and even when the teacher sees it, no one does anything about it. And the amount of homework given is outrageous, way to much to be able to to finish in time. Do not attend Valwood, you will regret it.
I've been a Valwood parent for over nine years. Currently, I have three children at Valwood. I have kids in the middle and lower schools. My husband and I chose Valwood because of its reputation for high academic standards, safe environment and small class sizes. We have been extremely pleased with the school in every area. The academic standards are very high. The work level can be challenging but our children have had absolutely no problem managing the workload. They have consistently maintained As in their classes and have scored above the 95th percentile on all nationally standardized tests. The middle school sports program is fantastic. My children have been able to participate in multiple sports; something they would have a much harder time doing in the local public systems. The teachers and administration have been knowledgeable, approachable and cooperative over the years. The new interim headmaster is fabulous and I understand he will have a lot of input on the choice for the permanent headmaster. All in all, I cannot recommend Valwood highly enough.
I have been a Valwood parent for over ten years and feel my children are truly receiving a great education. I also know that what my children learn is tied to their efforts both in the classroom and in extra curricular activities. Valwood offers the opportunities both in the classroom and out of the classroom but it is up to the students and parents to grab those opportunities and run.
My children attended this school for a partial year before moving to another private school in the area. The kids (and some teachers) were so snotty. My children hated it there. I think the curriculum is a tad above average. They would like to believe they are on par with Bolles in Jax. But this is FAR from the case. Definately not worth the costs associated with this school. The kids in the elementary level grades have a boat load of homework every night! If you plan to attend here, don't associate A LOT of work with a quality school.
I just enrolled my son at Valwood recently. It seems to be a really caring and nurturing environment. My son does have a lot more scholwork and testing then he had at his previous school, but I definitely think that this school has a lot more to offer academically. The only thing the school is lacking is diversity among student's and staff member's. Obviously in the real world you are going to deal with all types of peple, so a little more diversity I think would help teach tolerance and understanding for all! Overall, excellent school and i'm glad we made the choice.
Great school for the kids that need to be challenged. My son really enjoys Valwood and now looks forward to attending all classes. If your considering a school where you son or daughter has the abilty to handle the class work challenges. And would like to be with a group of athelics that like the oppurtunties to be competitive against the competiton, Valwood is not the place. Tution, is higher than the schools in its class. Investigate tution cost against test scores, college placement, etc to the other schools of this caliber. Tution cost cannot be justified.