My son is an amazing musician and loves theater as well. He has often been misunderstood in public school. He is on the spectrum and teachers often made him a target and an outcast. That is until PVPA. This school is amazing. He has never been happier in his life. For the first time ever, he loves school.
My son goes to PVPA. The academics and Performing Arts are great in the school. My complaint is the teachers that are activists. A lot of the teachers are from the Amherst area and so are the students/parents. My child is there to learn academically and to do performing Arts. He is not there to do walkouts such as the Black Lives Matter walkout. He is not there to discuss peoples gender preferences which ends up going into religion beliefs. The teachers need to keep their activism out of the school because the children are not there to be used for their tools in activism. This school is starting to get a bad name from people that I have spoken with. The bullying policy is great..zero tolerance. The school is extremely liberal so really think it out before you send your child there. They do push their way of thinking on the children and anyone that says they don't is saying it because they are liberal like most of the teachers. Dress code is very lax in the school. They make it clear not to wear anything on shirts that could be offensive to other students which is great. But, what about the girls that wear halter tops and shorter than short shorts etc. This is the only school in the area I've seen where the girls can wear whatever they want. School needs to have a stricter dress code for the students. Don't need to be showing that much skin at that age. Can't believe the parents let some of their daughters dress so provocative. Like I said this is a school you really have to think about before sending your child to it. It's not just about academics and performing arts. I wish I did more research before putting my child on the list to go there. I should have prayed to the Lord for guidance beforehand. Ooops! that statement is not acceptable there either.
My rating is bitter-sweet. Although I find the school to be very good when it comes to academics I do not feel the same way toward the Performing Arts program at PVPA. I have a daughter majoring in acting and the other in dancing and both have had some issues getting into plays, dance groups, etc. PVPA strives on "Not everyone gets into show business" and they claim kids have to keep trying out for things in order to get in but I thought that is why I was sending my kids to PVPA, so they can "LEARN" techniques and how to become a successful actor and how to land an audition and so on. In my opinion if your child does not fit the mold of an actress or dancer without curves, never mind talent, passion, and desire! PVPA is not Broadway or Beverly Hills. They are supposed to be teaching our kids on what to do before they get out into the real world of let downs of the real world. I just hope it doesn't continue because then they will have more kids thinking they are not good enough and lose hope for the future.
PVPA was my home for six years. After a brief stint at a local public school while my mother was in treatment for cancer, I returned to open arms and loving hearts. I've met people I consider my family at this school. To debate some parent's concerns that PVPA does not offer rigorous academic courses, I quite enjoyed the classes I took. They weren't easy, certainly. PVPA had some of the hardest courses I'd ever taken and I loved all of them. I learned more than I ever had. I appreciated the fact that students could choose their own classes in later years, since I was able to approach learning as something I wanted to do and not just vague memorization of characters from history. In the year since I've graduated, I've visited twice, and each time, I come back to the most loving community I've ever been a part of. I feel more accepted there than I have anywhere.
I honestly can't imagine going to any other school. I went in with not that much interest in the performing arts and expecting to leave after middle school, but I'm still here going into my junior year, and have fallen in love with theater. This school has allowed me to grow in ways I never would've imagined, and has made me who I am.
We love PVPA because they support the freedom and ability of each child to learn without anxiety. Traditionally, my child disliked going to school. Since the 2nd grade each day has been a battle to get her there. Now that she attends PVPA, she cant wait for the weekend to be over so that she can go back. Her homework is done without tears and is taught in a meaningful way in which she is actually retaining the information. Definately a positive experience for all of us!
Lacking fundamentals your child will know how to speak with an foreign accent, but will not be able to explain the Great Depression or even the Civil War. This school offers classes on Jazz and Hip Hop but not a speck of opera or classical music Dance is all modern (20th Century). The local area is rich with former residents such as Jonathan Edwards (and what about the witch hanged, she was from here?)and John Brown. Literature has no use for: Abigail Adams, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Samuel Adams, A. Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Fred Allen, Susan Brownell Anthony, Clara Barton, Louis D. Brandeis, William Cullen Bryant, John Cheever, Lydia M. Child, E. E. Cummings, W. E. B. Du Bois, Will Durant,Mary Baker Eddy, Ralph Emerson, Robert Frost. Civics is woeful, with no conception on how Shays' Rebellion is connected creation of the United States Constitution.