I chose Mount Vernon Community School because it has a dual language program. My daughter speaks both English and Spanish and I feel it is important to reinforce her Spanish fluency. I drive 20+ minutes every day and that does not bother me at all--I feel we have to give our children the most tools for them to be successful. I am really happy to have found a school where I want my daughter to grow and learn and that school is MVCS! The communication with the parents is wonderful, the PTA is outstanding and the leadership of the school principal, teachers and staff is remarkable. We would be even better if we did not have some very negative parents who seem to object to just about everything--from policies to uniforms. Nevertheless we are really happy to be part of the community of Mount Vernon Community School.
We did our research and decided not to ditch Alexandria City once our daughter was school age and we're so glad/relieved/appreciative we didn't make a mad dash for the suburbs! She just finished her kindergarten year in the Spanish immersion program and we could not have dreamed up better teachers and not just for her, we found that the teachers really brought out the strengths in all of the students. This school really is a real-deal community school with the parents and administration harmoniously involved. Coming from a co-operative preschool, we understand how important community involvement is for our children. It takes a village!
This school is undergoing a lot of change, but has a very dedicated and enthusiastic staff. The principal is very engaged and has a clear vision of where he wants to go, while involving parents and the community in the decision-making.
I am very favorably impressed with the dedication of the schools principal, teachers and other staff members, and also a critical mass of parents and local elected officials. Everybody pulls together to help, and this is especially important because of the year-round calendar. My only concern is with the lack of space to store materials for some of the staff members and for the PTA. My son is doing well, academically and socially, after learning some essential social skills in the early grades.
The comment posted May 25, 2010 could have been written by me. My daughter is flourishing, despite having some personal issues last year that staff were very helpful with. I look forward to my son starting next year. The dual language and intersession programs are both terrific. I'm not a big believer that test scores tell all -- still, I'd like to see the scores for the subgroups getting better. I know they work at it, but clearly haven't found the answers yet.
Mount Vernon is a terrific school, with excellent staff and program. When my daughter had some anxiety and attention issues in her class, the teachers and counselors were very responsive and it didn't take long to get the situation turned around. As befits a "community school," there is a great feeling of community and a lot of reaching out. I can't say enough good things about the intersession program, allowing kids to explore favorite or new areas in a more relaxed setting. I do feel (and if you talk to the older students, they'll reinforce this) that principal leadership, especially as an instructional leader, is average. But a new principal will be arriving this summer, so I'll be back with an update.
Our school offers much more than test scores can measure. Intersession classes (5 weeks extra enrichment/remediation) build on the interests and talents that each student brings! World languages are offered to all students through traditional or dual language programs. MVCS teachers are highly qualified; 80 percent have post-graduate degrees. The staff knows and cares about each student. Our principals are true instructional leaders, dedicated to continuous improvement. After school, there are PTA-sponsored clubs and after school care options connecting students to the community. Many students speak another language at home - which is sometimes reflected in our test scores (as it takes 5-7 years to acquire academic test language); however, we view this rich language environment as an asset to our goal of helping children become responsible, self-reliant, contributing citizens of a changing world. Please visit our school so you can experience everything MVCS has to offer!