This school has potential. What is holding this charter school back is the lack of motivation from the administration and staff. Instead of feeding on encouragement, the students feed off of what consequences can occur if they slip slightly. This is my child s second year at LVA and is just seems to get worse. I was promised support for my child in all levels of education, mental stability and security. The school also claims 'no tolerance for bullying, failing grades and misbehavior. I yet am waiting to see the school live up to their claims. The school staff has more control over what is going on in the school than what the administration has. One administrator in particular holds their position within the school as All mighty and uses their position as means of authority. This school lacks communication. The lunch program and the lunchtime allotted are unacceptable. Needless to say, my child would not be attending next year.
We were involved with the school from the beginning; unfortunately it has not lived up to the expectations we and others had for it. After hanging in there for 4 yrs we pulled our kids out and enrolled in the local HS and MS. What we found is that LVA prepares kids to stay at LVA they are not prepared to follow the expectations of any other system. Both kids were a bit overwhelmed at the increased responsibility they were required to hold in the public schools. Contrary to the charter school publicity, they are not advanced compared even to BASD. The kids are coddled and too much time is allotted for 'projects' versus learning the basics that are necessary for a proper education. They also need more experienced faculty and administration, it is all well and good to have fresh grads but should have some balance with seasoned pros.
LVA is a great place for kids to learn. The teachers are excellent and know their subject areas. They are always there to challenge and communicate with the student and to communicate with the parents. I have a student at the high school level, and I highly impressed by the caliber of the teachers and staff. My child is very happy here, and I couldn't imagine him or her attending another school.
We have 2 children at LVA (3rd &8th). We have been here since it opened with our older child. Elementary level is good, but long school day. Spanish program is not impressive. The middle school needs a lot of work. It is hard to communicate with the teachers and there are very few there that are great. The good ones do not stick around. We are pulling our children out next year because we are not satisfied with where the school is going. It has not been worth the inconvenience when we have very good public schools where we live.
I have two children at LVA, one in first grade, the other in fourth. The staff involvement and parental involvement is unmatched. As a former education student in college, I have not only enjoyed conferences with the teachers, but feel as though my children are not just another statistic to the staff. Compared to the education I received at their age, I feel my children are far and away more advanced than I at the same point in my development. I credit the leadership for using their resources wisely and hiring a diverse crop of educators, each bringing his or her own methods to the table. Kudos. My only concern is extracurricular activity in the junior and senior high school levels. However, I am confident that these things will be addressed as enrollment increases.
I have had my child in the school since Kindergarten (now in 3rd grade). They get new grads but don't keep the teachers. The Art and Music program is lacking. The IB curriculum is very good. But, it is a long school day for students. There is no gifted program. The spanish instruction is just OK. My child should know more spanish by now. I am pulling my child out of the school next year.
Both of my children attend LVA and the staff and curriculum are excellent! The IB program is far more advanced than the curriculums followed by regular public schools. Parental involvement is emphasized and encouraged. After school activities are increasing yearly, and the Spanish language component is excellent! Great school!
Level of parental involvement: Extremely High Availability of music, art, second language: Excellent Availability of sports, other extracurriculars: Good, still growing (2006) Quality of academic programs: Excellent. They have a lot of individual attention and teach subjects in a variety of teaching methods, not just one; small population, high level of control, mostly positive reinforcement. Spanish starts at Kindergarten. Kindergarten is full day. Longer school days than most. IB Diploma when completed, more advanced than just PA State diploma. Pushes kids academically without many apologies, but gets a lot more out of them than you would think! I have two elementary age children there. They both have different personalities, both have blossomed very well there. Would recommend. Lottery system for entrance. Check with school in January for how to get in lottery...
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