Our son currently attends Valley High School. The honors program teachers are well prepared and provide academic challenges to the students. The topics they teach are contemporary and encourage the students to think and express themselves. Although not perfect, the school is safe and not as crowded as the West side school in our district. The Administration has always returned our phone calls and has been helpful in resolving issues. There are a minority of teachers who do the minimal amount of instruction, but we have been able to schedule classes around those teachers. Similar to what we did at the crowded West side school. All in all, we are think the school is preparing our son for college. We recommend taking the honors courses. That is where the best teachers are.
My children attended VHS and both did extremely well. I would say almost all their teachers gave 150%, and the few that didn't were so digusted with the adminstartion that they were quitting. The Academy was wonderful although I must admit that I did think the program was much better under the orginial staff member. I am sure as a parent stated that there are gang bangers at Valley but I hate to tell the parent they are at every school! The after school programs at VHS are wonderful and are staffed by dedicated VHS teachers. The ROTC program under went many changes and some disruptions (that the adminstration did not handle well at all, in fact they created most of the problems) but now with two dedicated ROTC instructors the program is well on its way to being one of the best in the city like it once was!!
I just recently graduated from Valley In 07'. There are a bunch of wannabe 'gang members' who just try to fit in with the high school scene along with the stereotype groups (jocks, populars, ethnics, nerds, outcasts, etc). The administrative system wasnt all that great and all the counselors took 'power lunches', (which basically means a two hour lunch). The english department is lacking teachers. A lot of programs i thought were underfunded which is really unfair for all the students. It was really hard getting a teacher that actually knew what s/he was teaching, most teachers seemed like they really didnt like their job. A good third of the teachers there seemed to really not like their job and it only seemed as if they only taught there because it was the last school to be hiring and all they needed was a paycheck every two weeks.
My daughter graduated from Valley two years ago and for the most part she had some very good teachers. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the administration. This administration has got to be one of the worst in the city - unresponsive, uncaring, and naive about what's going on in the school. Phone calls are not returned, there are major discipline issues! I currently have a 9th grader enrolled at Valley, and nothing has changed - in fact, it's gotten worse! I will be transferring my son out of Valley for the second semester, never to return.
My daughter attended VHS last year and it was the biggest mistake we ever made. The principal failed to return several phone calls regarding my daughter. The Vally Academy is a farce. The Academy means nothing. For those parents thinking about sending your chldren to Valley, stop before it is too late. You may be better off home schooling your child.
I went to Valley along with many family members and I wanted my kids to go to Valley. Nothing but problems. I've been to the office four times regarding threats and fights. I didn't realize that gangs were such a problem there. My son is an A student, in sports and in the Academy. He was involved in a fight at school and the security and admin didn't have a clue that this happened. The academy doesn't assist the student with college or any mentoring like it advertises. The admin doesn't know what they are doing.
I graduated from Valley a year ago. Yes, there were some positive aspects of this school but I mostly have negative things to say. Like most people said, the administration was terrible. Most teacher's don't care how well you do in their class, it was very rare to be in a class with a teacher that would go out of his/her way to help the students. Valley did almost nothing to prepare me for college, not even the 'Valley Academy'- program.
Over the years I have had one son graduate from Valley and 2 children attending now, I see and hear about how children that want to learn are teaching themselves due to lack of support from the staff and teachers. Valley has had some great teachers but have since lost them due to the Valley administration. We have APS rules to adhere by and they do not seem to be enforced at VHS anymore.
I graduated from Valley High in 2004, and while I did well, I think it was mostly due to my own motivation. I was rarely helped by the support staff or the administration. When I was applying to colleges, my counselor couldn't even remember my name and I had to write my own recommendation. I was a member of the Valley Academy as well as the National Honor Society, both of which turned out to be hyped and worthless. They neither prepared me for college, nor helped me to become engaged in the community. The good teachers are few and far between because the administration has driven most of the good ones off. I am sad to say Valley High is in need of some serious reform mostly in terms of how the school is run. Frankly, when I attended, I felt like I was a prisoner, not a student.