Excellent. We've been so impressed by the dedication and motivation of teachers and principal. When we moved to Cville mid year, my son's teacher made a house visit to introduce herself. He has advanced beyond expectations both socially and academically. Every morning, teachers and principal are outside the school to greet students. The teachers are motivated, and I think that's in part because of engaged leadership. There is a refreshing lack of cliques or bullying. My only misgivings would be that there are few after-school organized sports (there is however gym-based PE, as well as music and arts classes) and I think the cafeteria could be improved.
My daughter attended the 2008-09 school year. Being a military parent, I rely on great schools.net to find a school for my daughter. I originally wanted an Albemarle County school (Hollymeade), but they do not offer before/after school program. Charlottesville City Schools offer a before and after school program called CLASS. After moving to Charlottesville, I met two different parents in the city parks. Both had their children in Venable, but moved to the County and now regret it. Venable is that good. As I went through the school year, I met many more parents who pay the out-of-district tuition to put their child in Venable. Venable is that good. Venable is an academically-advanced school where they really push their students. My daughter struggled academically. For first grade she had an hour of homework each night, and over 15 hours of homework over spring break. Nevertheless, I would still keep my daughter at Venable had the military not moved me. They have lots of activities for the children, assemblies, and concerts the children participate in. The activities are more for the older students, than the K-3 it appears. The PTO is real active. The teachers even stay late after school to help the children. The library is well stock, the art program has money. The music teacher floats between schools, but there is a music program. And gym is three times a week. I would recommend Venable as the best choice for elementary aged children in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
I completely disagree with the previous comment. My daughter has been at Venable for 3 years and she and I love it. The teachres are very involved in students individually. The new principal makes sure there is not just teaching to the test. The parents and the teachres are very involved in all aspects of the school. This school recived awards for being health conscious. They have a whole wheat products program in the lunchroom. They don't sell any kind of candy or food items for fundraisers. My daughter is in 4th grade and we will truly miss the Venable community!!
Despite some commendable teachers Venable operates like a student factory where teaching is uninspired, heavily bureaucratic and unfriendly to students needing anything beyond the average. It's unfortunate, but the school slavishly puts 'the tests' above all. Venable is probably not too far below average.