We chose this neighborhood primarily for the school and community feeling; even transferring our child from the private Catholic school as a result of the rave reviews. We have two children at this school and could not be happier with the engagement of the staff and teachers, the excitement my children have to go to school each day, the endless activities that are available, the resources, etc, etc as the list could go on and on! The principal has extremely strong communication skills and is approachable at all times; she is very present at all school activities! Parents are very active and encouraged to participate in classroom events, parties, drop in for lunch and more! We've love the PTA sponsored events such as Read A thon events, Carnival, Math Nights - the newsletters from the PTA in addition to the weekly Sunday night phone calls are so helpful for busy families! The school does a fabulous job with "Peace Tokens" to promote their values, the Fine Line Award and Fine Dining program to promote positive behavior. We hear all about Flower Valley each night at dinner and couldn't' be more proud to be parents of Fireflies!
We were pleased to find a house within the Flower Valley ES attendance zone because of the school's reputation for being a place with lots of parental involvement, dedicated staff, and happy kids. We are now in the middle of our third year at FVES and have found everything we'd heard to be true.
Parents are encouraged to come to the school to volunteer and engage, and the administration/teachers/staff are welcoming when they do. The school has a tangible "community" feel which goes a long way in creating an environment where both children and adults feel comfortable.
Each of my child's teachers, over all 3 years, has been responsive via email when I've asked questions/raised concerns, and I know the administration places great emphasis on communication between staff and parents. The school leadership is also focused on making sure that instructional delivery helps all students achieve, and the strategies and technology employed to this end are ever-evolving and improving.
My child sometimes talks about wanting to move to a "different house"-- but he's always quick to say that he wouldn't want to leave Flower Valley ES!
There is a certain degree of liberal elitism at play with the neighborhood parents and it seems that they have taught it to their children. This had led to these children exhibiting elitist attitudes by bullying other children, and the faculty turns a blind eye to it. This school has a DHOH program, but I am not sure that this school is a good fit for the DHOH program. The Principal treats DHOH students as second class and as after thoughts at best. Often forgetting to address their needs in newsletters and/or verbal speeches. This is unfair to the children in the DHOH and other special education programs. Flower Valley needs to institute a weekly Peace/Anti-bullying rally as it seems to be a major issue at this school, especially the bullying of DHOH and other special education students. This trend must be stopped. Otherwise the I have no complaints. The afterschool program is great.
I have three current students at this school. I have been more than pleased with all of their teachers so far, and I am so grateful that the community is so welcoming and friendly. I went to Catholic school as a child, and originally thought I'd love to send my children as well. But now I'm glad we couldn't afford it:) FVES has so many great opportunities for their students - both because of the active PTA and because the school staff is committed to the students. The only things that bother me are not because of the school but because of the county/state regulations (testing, class size, calendar - let's vote out that BOE;)).
We are planning on moving soon - but will definitely stay in boundary so that our children can stay at their beloved school.
I am a first year parent at FVES and the experience has been excellent. The teachers are war and welcoming and they have genuine concern for the children's education and well being. They have an organized and structured curriculum and in school after and before care programs. Which beats some other schools by having to bus the children off to another facility. They also offer multiple languages and have extensive technology in the school. They recently built and added new playground equipment and have a very involved and active PTA. I think this school is doing it right and I am very happy with it.
I have two children currently attending Flower Valley Elementary (FVES), and I d strongly recommend it. At FVES, my children have received a top-notch rigorous academic education in a peaceful learning environment where school leaders and staff teach children to respect and celebrate diversity. I love the diversity of the staff and students at FVES, and appreciate that students learn and recite a daily "Peace Pledge." Most significantly, however, I am impressed with the rigorous academic instruction and nurturing learning environment that my children have received. I can honestly say that my children have always felt that their FVES teachers truly cared about them, loved teaching, and were committed to making a difference. And, as a parent, I believe that my children have received an excellent elementary education and are well-prepared for middle school and beyond. I have found that the current principal and other leaders of the school are consummate professionals who are extremely responsive to parent questions and concerns. The PTA is very involved. In sum, I strongly recommend FVES and will be sad when my children graduate and move onto middle school.
I too have had a very difficult experience at this school. My child was in the deaf program. She came home with bruises (bullying). When I took it up with the school asking why the teacher in charge allowed this to occur, they fought me vehemently. I pulled my kid out of the school as I could not afford attorney fees. The teacher in question is still at the school
If you have a child with special needs, be very wary. The IEP process is rigidly controlled and your rights as a parent, if contrary to the school's decision, ultimately may not be regarded. The school is very driven by liability (they say safety), and there is high degree of liberal elitism at play. Otherwise, the level of education provided was very good and my child's needs were addressed. But your decisions as a parent will be overridden if they decide to the contrary.