I completely agree with the three most recent reviews. I wish that all who have left the school could get together. An incredible amount of suffering has and I am sure will continue to occur as a result of the administrations's total denial of the bullying problem at the school. I think that Maria Montessori would be horrified to see the disrespect towards children done in her name. Is the "Montessori way" to let bullying thrive because it is not seen? That's the RVCS way.
We finally transferred our daughter out of river valley charter school due to very poor math teaching and complete failure by administration to address seventh grade bullying - it was unbelievable. My son did fine here but he is a highly motivated, independent learner and in hindsight we wish both my son and daughter went to the traditional public school instead of this one. In fairness there are a couple outstanding middle school teachers. The assistant director's complete inability to recognize bullying is alarming and the director goes along with whatever she decides. When we finally decided to tour the traditional public school in town there was a shockingly large number of students wanting to transfer from River Valley charter school. We were also extremely disappointed in the IEP program – they might as well not have one since it is completely unhelpful. We are thrilled to be out of that school!!!!
My daughter attended RVCS from Kindergarten through grade 6. Her Kinderhaus through E-1 experience was very good. But her E-2 experience was absolutely horrific!, especially the last few months. The treatment she received from her two teachers bordered on bullying. She was treated with extreme disrespect and harassed by her teachers on a regular basis. No matter how hard we tried to work through any issues, there was absolutely no desire to resolve the problems and an outright refusal to follow my daughter's 504 plan. The teachers' excuse being "that's not the Montessori way." It was so refreshing when my daughter started 7th grade at a "traditional" public school and the attitude was, "How can we make this work?" I would never recommend this school.
My child entered E2 and was bullied immediately. The child that left the opening for my child left for the same reason. I came to realize Bullying at this school exists because the administration and teachers refuse to see it and address it properly.. Many other parents I met had similar experience , we all agree that the 3 year program contribute to creating a 'pecking order' in the class. Each classroom is it's own island. translating Montessori as they please.This makes moving children around very difficult (if there is a harassment problem).It's easier to ignore it than move children into different classrooms (at least for the teachers and administration). As well, special education is virtually non existent because the teachers and admin. do not back or support the Sped. Dept. I chose to fight the school via the state. The process continues. The State has found the school in violation of State and Federal Bullying Laws. It is now on the school to show a change. I will continue to fight for change concerning Sped. at the school. At this moment, I would just like prospective parents to be aware of these shortcomings. I was not. Now I know and my child paid dearly.
Our two children have attended River Valley for the past four years. They are thriving here and love to go to school. Students are allowed to learn and develop at their own pace, so our kids have stayed engaged and their self-esteem has flourished. Our wonderful teachers are involved both academically and in the social learning that is so important in these years. While performance on state tests is not the driving focus of our school, students do better on the state tests the longer they attend the school. Note that Great Schools ranks River Valley an 8 for grades 5 - 8. Our middle school transitions students from Montessori to a more traditional school environment to prepare students for high school. We are lucky to have this educational option available to our five local communities.
RVCS is an exceptional community of students, teachers, staff, parents and grandparents working together to demonstrate by example as well as by academic discipline what it means to be a thinking, caring and working member of a world beset with environmental, economic, and dysfunction. It is a great school and it is a pleasure to volunteer there. FZGoldberg
We are the first public charter Montessori school in our state. We have shown that alternative education can be powerful and successful. We have demonstrated our success through test scores and happy, well-informed students. We have shown active commitment to our community. Hurray for RVCS!
River valley Charter school allows children to be themselves. My children have not lost their natural curiosity, creativity and zest for life while still loving school and all that it has to offer. We are also a very caring community, where the entire family is a member.