SVES has an incredible faculty. For many years there had been a significant leadership problem there, but that has worked itself out. With the retirement of the prior administrator the school looks to be back on track.
This is a passably good elementary school drawing children mostly from fairly well-to-do neighborhoods. Discipline problems are practically unheard of. Teachers are friendly and competent, For the most part. The art teacher , unfortunately, does seem to lack basic classroom management skills and spends the majority of class time yelling at students. The is doubly unfortunate because students will be exposed to that year after year, in a class they really should be enjoying. On the brightside, the schoolis a center for AAP and the school does a great job of integrating the AAP students/classes with the Gen Ed students/classes so that any differences are really not noticeable. The school has a great Physical Education program and the teachers of that program really stand out. The library is exceptional. The extra-curricular activities are pretty good. Overall, I would recommend this school.
Looking at the negative comments, they must be written by the same people repeatedly. They use the same words. Anyway, these negative comments are obviously a couple people who had difficulty for whatever reason. Sometimes when a kid has an academic or behavioral problem people get defensive and become aggressive. We have probably all been there to some degree. Unfortunately, these few were unkind and kind of scary. SVES has been great for my kids. We have no complaints. They all love the music program and have been in band and strings. PE could be longer or more days. It would be nice if all kids were pushed and challenged more in math so they might be ready for Algebra in 7th grade. My kids have done well in math though and seem like they know more than I did in 6th grade. Reading is super important but writing could be a greater focus. Technology is used a lot although some of the laptops are extremely slow, according to the kids. The community events are fun although there do not seem to be enough. What happened to the fun fair? There are lots of clubs for kids - Girls on the Run is a great one. There is chess club and champions. Teachers are well liked.
Great school!. Relatively small school with a great sense of community. Every student matters and the kids feel it as do the parents. Teachers are responsive. Kids are happy in school which says a lot. There are many clubs and leadership opportunities for the students. Could not ask for a better school for my kids to go to. We chose this area because of the good school system and we selected Sunrise Valley in particular. Our kids are almost done with SVES and will be moving on to LHMS and I know they wwill be ready.
We pulled our children out of SVES due to 1) the "teacher is first" instead of student first attitude, 2) the leadership loving her running of a bureaucracy and 3) the bias toward the GT (now AAP) teachers and kids. Woe to the parent whose child is in general education classes - the curriculum is "teach down to the SOL's". Very little critical thinking taught.
Sunrise Valley ES is hands down one of the finest elementary schools in FCPS. All members of its learning community including administrators, teachers, and parents strive to support the learning, social, and emotional needs of students. After a great deal of research when finding out that we were moving into the area, we specifically selected Sunrise Valley ES. We could not be more pleased.
SVES is a real disappointment. Teaching is bureaucratic, as is the attitude of the principal. We pull our child out of the school. His math was going downhill, he had no projects, no homework, and he wasn't learning anything in depth. When I met with other parents, they reported that their older children had done more - and that the school was going downhill. The last straw was that a neighbor who teaches at Hughes Middle School reported that SVES students are not as well prepared as those from Forest Edge. I never once heard my son say he was excited about class.
I am a junior at SLHS now and am grateful for the time I had at Sunrise Valley. SVES prepared me to participate in the IB program. I have a strong backgroound in the basics - reading, writing, math, but I also learned to think, create, and solve problems. These are all things I use in my IB classes. I also appreciate the close friendships I made at SVES. It was a close and caring community. The teachers were awesome too. SVES rocks!!!!!!
We simply couldn't be happier with our family's experience at Sunrise Valley! Both of our children have received a wonderful education and rewarding enrichment experiences. SVES is a truly remarkable, cooperative community consisting of the highest quality dedicated teachers, administrators and staff, active and caring parents, and terrific students. My oldest child left SVES more than well-prepared for the rigors and challenges of middle school and beyond. In middle school, she, herself, commented that SVES kids were better prepared than many students from other elementary schools. She is currently thriving in pre-IB classes at South Lakes HS. My youngest child is currently at SVES, and has enjoyed teachers every year who celebrate his uniqueness and encourage and foster his passion for learning and artistic expression. I encourage families to come see for themselves!
I give SVES the top rating. Both my kids came to SVES after attending another school. They were both gen ed kids and excelled. I thought their general ed teachers were excellent. In both cases, my kids' teachers recognized their strengths and weaknesses and worked with us. One child was pulled out for advanced math with the GT kids, and the other received speech therapy, within a month of starting at SVES. Our older child is now working on his IB diploma at SLHS, and our younger child is excelling in pre-IB classes at SLHS. I believe they received a good grounding at SVES. Please check out the test scores and come and visit the school yourself.
It is without reservation that I give SVES the top rating. If you are thinking about sending your child(ren) to SVES, check out the test scores and come to the school and see it for youself. The teachers, parents, and principal have created a vibrant learning environment for all children. By way of reference, our youngest child just completed SVES and is at LHMS. Our older child is at SLHS. Like many other raters on this site, our children went to two elementary schools. I've been impressed with the ability of the teachers to provide individualized attention to our children. I also appreciate the way the principal will take on new and exciting opportunities for our kids (e.g., Show What You Know; Habit of Learning, among others). SVES is a gem in Fairfax County.
SVES set my children up for success in middle school, high school, and college. SVES is a relatively small community where teachers, administrators, and parents ensure that all children are included, feel safe, supported and challenged. My kids are all very different with one in GT, one not, and one receiving special services. They all had amazing teachers whether in GT or not. The best teachers we had were ones who love their profession and the majority of the teachers at SVES love their profession. The principal feels that all kids are gifted in different ways and she knows these kids. If you ever stand in the lobby at dismissal, you will see how many children she knows by name, which is quite a lot. As to learning, SVES has prepared my kids to excel at LHMS in honors/GT classes, to participate in the IB program at SLHS, and for success in college. SVES earned the Governor's Excellance Award which few schools get and is based on test scores, so the kids in this school learn. If you ever sit through a SLHS graduation, you will hear a large number of kids from SVES receive the IB diploma. We are very grateful to SVES for building that strong foundation for our kids' futures.
I attended Sunrise Valley and now I have gone on into middle school. I was in Sunrise Valley from kindergarten through sixth grade. I learned a LOT! :) I've learned about American History, Ancient civilizations, SO much about math, parts of speech, persuasive writing, poetry, how to read, and a lot more. I have learned so many things in Sunrise Valley. Also all of the students are really nice. I made a lot of friends there. The principals were great and really connected with the students. Almost everyday I saw the principals walking around checking up on classrooms and the students. Sunrise Valley is a GREAT Elementary School! It was a great experience!
The excellent reputation of this school in the community got me interested in volunteering, even though my kids are grown. My own three kids went through six different Fairfax elementary schools, but none compared to the advanced learning in place at Sunrise Valley. The principal is a forward thinker, preparing students for the world they will actually live in. Too many principals are hanging on to the "old school" basics ,such as minimal-competency testing (SOLs), which are passe in light of the digital revolution. Her focus is always on the children. Her mantra is "this is not a happiness club for adults," which I imagine has prompted some of the "less than five star" reviews here. Rather than cater to adults who would rather get their way, she makes all decisions based on the long-term future of the students. The best way to rate an elementary school principal is to know her former students when they're in high school. And that's where Sunrise Valley kids really shine. SVES alumni who are now at South Lakes HS students rate their elementary education as FIRST RATE!
I went to Sunrise Valley Elementary and I excelled in middle school, as well as high school. SVES prepared me, as well as ALL of my other elementary school classmates, for the rigorous IB program at South Lakes. Once your child gets to South Lakes, they will find that the majority of the students undertaking the IB diploma will have come from SVES. I honestly can't even take these negative posts seriously because everyone knows that Sunrise Valley is the best :)
Sunrise Valley has gone down hill in the past decade. The classrooms have become very overcrowded. Grades are combined so that no the number of teachers hired can be kept to a minimum. PTA moms rule the school. Students are not taught basic math skills, and spelling is ignored.s
I am extremely surprized by some of these reviews. They were obviously written by some bitter and unhappy people. My children have all attended or are attending Sunrise Valley. It is an AAP school and that makes for division at times and not something the school asked for but it is an AAP center. The school has made a point of combining the classes and mixing kids up as much as possible. I have had children both in GT and gen ed. If you go to LHMS or SLHS the kids that are in IB and honors are SVES kids (gen ed and GT). The teachers work all hours. I will send an email and they will respond late at night or on the weekend and obviously care. The administration has always been responsive and involved with the well being, academic & social, of all of the kids. In particular, students with disabilities receive lots of time with other students and also attention from the staff and the principal is always at meetings and genuinely cares. I think it is a shame that a few people who obviously have some sort of personal issue, write negative reviews. The vast majority are thrilled with SVES and don't think to write because they are thrilled. We feel lucky to live in the SVES area.
Wait until you see how far behind your kids are when you get to the new school where standards will be hirer. You will wish you had made the switch earlier in your child's life. Good luck
We have come to realize over the years at SVES that the General Education students, probably 85-90%, are assigned the worst teachers, yet the "Gifted and Talented" kids, 5-10%, are assigned the best teachers and best curriculum. This has made a division of have-nots and haves -- the GT kids don't play or talk to the GE kids, and vice versa. Elite vs Peasants, I guess. No textbooks are provided to the children -- just a lot of worksheets - so forget looking ahead to help your child. But the most disappointing aspect of the school is the Principal. She is a bully and is condescending to parents who may have a complaint. Everything is "just wonderful" at her school, when it is clearly not. We have decided to send our children to private school starting Fall 2011. This will be a hardship for us, but we cannot justify sending our children to a school with subpar teaching and a leader who no one respects or likes.
My son attended another Reston school before coming to SVES. Overall, we have found fewer afterschool programs, clubs, academic activities for him at SVES. We have found the school lacks any academic competition - like Math Counts, Math Olympics, or parent-led programs like Odyssey of the Mind. There is no proper science fair, just a "show what you know". Without competition - no one learns to loose or win. The math is inferior to what our son was learning in his other school. On the whole, we are disappointed and he is bored.The overall feeling in the school is everything is great...it could be better!
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