I like the small class sizes which are typically no larger than 22 students. I also like the large number of para-educators and classroom volunteers. Many times I have witnessed a teacher, two paras & a parent volunteer in a classroom of 21 students! The teachers & staff really seem to care about the students not only academically but in all ways. I have felt like I could go to the principal & teachers about any issues quite easily & with positive outcomes. Most teachers my kids have had hold Masters degrees & endorsements which I believe makes a difference in teacher-quality. My only complaint is that there are programs & staff to help those students who have trouble keeping up but on the contrary, not so much for those students who excel & need a more challenging curricula. That is left up to the individual teacher & I have found that it takes some effort on the parent's part to ensure that happens. In general, I think Valparaiso Elementary is an excellent choice. I know a number of families who have chosen Valparaiso over the larger Lincoln schools & have been quite happy with the results. I am pleased we have such an excellent school in our district.
It's a good school overall, but there are some systemic problems. When children report inappropriate behavior, they are questioned to the point they feel as if they have done something wrong (this complaint was echoed by 2 other parents with a similar experience to mine). The administration is more interested in protocol than what is best for students. When I asked to be at a meeting my child was in, they held the meeting without telling me. After that, they refused to guarantee notification for future meetings, even though my child has health issues. I was told that the current Nebraska school board is not 'parent friendly,' and, in my experience, that is certainly true.