I wish I had better news to report because I do not like to leave bad reviews but this school is very bad. They cling though test scores but they force children who do not meet their standards out by making the parent's life miserable! They call you consistently and require that parents send their children to after school tutoring programs after getting out of school at 4:30!! The days are long for these children already not to mention the school requiring all of this extra tutoring just so that the school can look good on paper. It's pretty terrible and I would caution anyone who is looking into this school to turn and walk away.
My son attended VOICE from Kindergarten to Third grade. We definetly stayed two years too long.
Before I get into my issues, I want to say that my child always came home happy and always looked forward to going to VOICE. They are very safe, and treat all kids equally and do not tolerate bullying.
Kindergarten and half of 1st grade were great; however, the school did not live up to its mission statement. My son struggled in writing and they did absolutely nothing for him. In the 4 years at VOICE, I only saw 1 test because I demanded it. And to see that test I had to go in during business hours and sit in front of the asst principal and then hand her back the test (so I wouldn't steal this 2nd grade test or something) Below is my feedback:
1. Lack of communication: I was left in absolute darkness except when it came time to review the report card twice a year. There were no notebooks, exams, results or progress notes.
2. The school is extremely strict and has dozens of inexperienced frightened staff. They lack empathy for the parents and have a response already prepared before they hear you speak.
3. In 2nd grade around April my son got a notice stating if he didn't go to summer school he could not return. They use intimidation tactics that are tacky and premature. I asked them how can to u assume that he will not improve in 2 more months? They didn't seem to care.
4. Never got tests, but got reminders to pay the lunch bill timely. If only they put more effort into communicating with the parents about actual academics.
Overall, the school was ok, not as good academically as I would have hoped. I am concerned that my child will be behind when he starts 4th grade in another school.
If you have children with special needs, don't even think about sending them to this school. As another commenter noted, their main tactics are to isolate and suspend. There were days when my son spent more time in the "recovery" room than he did in the classroom. They do not have the resources to work with kids who are struggling I feel much more supported at our local public school (PS 166). Even if my son had been able to adapt to Voice, I think he would have been happier at a well-run public school. Voice is a bad combination of rigid and disorganized. The school day is long and tiring for kindergarteners, with an emphasis on formal instruction. There are no extracurriculars. Communication often misses its mark, and school events rarely run smoothly. The teachers (young, earnest, trained in progressive methods) mean well, the principal is well-spoken and pleasant, but they are caught up in a system that does the opposite of what it claims to do: stifle creativity.
Yes they are academically rigorous but they are very militant and often lack empathy with the children. They pressure children to perform in the state tests and the children feel very stressed out. They over emphasize state testing and under emphasize effort. If your child is really giving their best effort and if that does not translate into high enough scores, the school will be pressuring you at every turn.. Not recommended at all to any parent who is looking for a school that maintains a healthy balance between academic rigor and a caring environment for children.
My school is VOICE. I have two children in the school and I am very pleased at how much they have learned and how cooperative and supportive the teachers and staff are. They are all very involved and make the success of the children, their number one priority. I have always felt that they are interested in working with the parent as an integral member of their team. They have daily music classes, art classes and PE a few times a week and the kids are engaged.