We moved her 5 years ago when my children were half way through the school year. My kindergartener was reading at a 4th grade level and knew and could spell all his sight words. By the end if kindergarten, he hated to read because he was forced to read grade level books. He was forced to "dissect" every book and write what he thought the book mean. He no longer read for pleasure as he used to. It only got worse through the fourth grade. The staff and principal are useless and if the child doesn't for their mold, they are pointed at to be the scapegoat in everything that happens. They also turn a blind eye to bullying because a bully to them, is blatant and easily picked out. A bully is never subtle, or sneaky. If the staff doesn't SEE it, it isn't happening. I fear for the future of the children in the UCS school district.
We just moved here and we picked our home because of this school and the middle and high school. We visited many in the state and we finally settled here (even knowing my husband would have a longer commute to work). We have been very satisfied with my daughter's education. I do like the combined grades in one class. It offers a range for a child to work within. My daughter is being challenged at her level and not at the level of the class as a whole (or the slowest). She is looked upon as an individual and given work that reflects that. I volunteer in her class just like many other parents do. My daughter is involved in some of the extracurricular activities, although I would like to see a few more offered. We tend to do other community activities instead.
Four of my children attended UCS. When my first two moved on to middle school they were academically unprepared to meet their new challenges. I spent the next three years helping them with math, history, reading,spelling and grammar. My second two fared no better. They were exposed to whole language, new-new math and lots of new-age socialization/experimentation. Out of frustration and fear for their academic future I removed them from UCS and successfully homeschooled them.
I've had experience with many elementary schools all over the country as a parent who moved frequently before coming to Vermont. This is the finest school you could possibly imagine and should be a model for all other elementary public schools as far as I am concerned. The staff is outstanding, teachers sensitive and caring, your child will blossom to her/his fullest potential. Each child moves at the pace most comfortable for her/him. Any problems are addressed professionally and with careful consideration. I am a great fan of this school and was deeply saddened that my child eventually had to graduate for the middle school (a very different experience). At least she had K-4 for a wonderful start!