THOSE ARE OLD REVIEWS DNT LISTEN!!!!. I just got back from this school recently and it was actually really hard. Due to a new Headmaster who is very strict, everything was top notch. It was very clean and taught me something that i could never learn somewhere else. I leaned to be an independent individual and i am so glad i came to this school. I graduated there 2010 and they even recently had more renovations done a friend from there told me. Currently i attend UCLA and i am so thankful for attending. Before this i had 2.0, now at UCLA im passing all my classes and have a 3.5
The truth about SVA.
You should read the teacher's account for a more detailed account of things that are bad about SVA. There is no care for the student's growth or academic achievment, etc...
The good thing, however, is that relationships form in this environment that wouldn't anywhere else. The type of student is a 'problem child'. Now imagine 70 of them in close quarters for a year. Cus nearly no one stays longer. The result is astounding. You discover things about yourself you never knew before, and achieve heights of personal growth that would not have been possible. Without the people, and without the terrible system and school. Paradox, but true. Out of bad comes some good.
Don't go there.
Squaw Valley Academy is a disgrace to private education!.
Squaw Valley Academy is a total disgrace to private education. I was a teacher here during regular semesters and I am ashamed to have been a part of this school. I pride myself in no longer teaching for Squaw Valley Academy. They only care about the number of students and tuition, the focus is not on education.
There are no teaching supplies, no computers, no projectors, and outdated (if any) textbooks. Some classrooms are separated by partitions so noise is always an issue. The photographs on the website are outdated, the student computer room does not exist, and some classrooms are created out of storage rooms.
Admissions places non-English speaking foreign students into classes that are English speaking only, which leaves all students unable to learn. Although there is wireless internet on campus, it rarely works, and students and teachers are unable to use WIFI in classrooms or dorms. Other teachers would use school vans and take their classes to Starbucks to get internet access. This created coffee time and face-booking, rather than actual class.
Teachers are expected to pass all students, regardless of scores, and admissions and owners will pressure teachers to provide multiple make-up exams, extensions, and extra-credit. Squaw Valley Academy does not provide what it advertises which creates never ending administration and teacher turnover.
The school did not provide standardized testing, placement testing, and most students slept through SAT's. The students placed in AP (Advanced Placement) classes would earn very high grades at SVA but then would fail the National AP standardized tests, showing the grades provided are not reflective of AP National standards. I observed another teacher allowing a student to use a calculator on a AP Calculus examination and reported this to the AP Board. Teachers are pressured to pass students, at all costs, and many teacher fear the loss of their jobs.
SVA placed students in classes based on class availability, not based on student needs. I got a call from a previous students parent who was furious their son took 3 years worth of social science during his two years at SVA. When her son returned to public school he did not graduate on time because he had wasted time taking social science classes he did not need.
Many of my fellow teachers did not have teaching credentials, became friends with the students, and some went on vacation with students during school breaks. Apparently, there was a teacher-student sex scandal that made the papers just before my time at SVA. Most of the dorm staff only take the job to be live close to Squaw Valley. The dorm staff that do care are pressured to overlook dangerous students until full tuition is paid. The off-campus dorms became party houses and these students were always late to class.
I could go on and on about the disgrace of Squaw Valley Academy, but I will leave it at this:
1. Read all the YELP(dot com) reviews, including those filtered.
2. Spend as much time as you can on campus, in classrooms, with admissions and administration.
3. Talk to locals.
4. Attend classes before you enroll your child.
5. Visit both dorms and not just the "mock" dorm rooms. Ask to see multiple rooms that you choose during the walk through, not just those shown to you. Ask to see dorm parent rooms. Talk with dorm parents.
6. Ask to see actual credentials of teachers, administration, and staff.
7. Meet with the owner and Headmaster, ask to see his credentials and education history.
8. Ask to see standardized test scores, actual college acceptance letters, and student percentage rates.
9. Ask about student, teacher, staff, and administrative retention rates.
10. Pay attention to the bill of goods you are being sold, ask yourself if you think its real, or just want it to be real.