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Ocotillo Ridge Elementary School9

Vail, AZ | Pima County

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November 6, 2014


(I am a former student) I am utterly stunned at how pathetic this school is. I was in ELP (extended learning program). Which was intended to enhance the advanced students' experience, but instead just slowed me down. If one kid didn't push themselves to finish a project on time (at the rare chance we were challenged) they weren't punished. So there isn't an incentive to do ANYTHING. Instead, we got to play board games. Certainly not the way I want to spend my time when I am supposed to be learning. I was bullied, but that depends on the person so I can't complain about that, not the school...although they handle it poorly...almost like it's accepted. At any account, we (my peers an I) were trained to test. Everything that we learned was always on the test. (Test: Benchmarks and AIMS) As a result many kids were not well rounded, just "book-smart". There are about 31+ kids per classroom. They got rid of great teachers. Teachers are not personalized at all. IDK how this school averages 4 stars. Gosh. Students are a reflection of the teacher's teachings, so if the teachers are so great, WHY are students unhappy and struggling?! Someone's lying to keep their ranks high.

February 13, 2014


Can you say no child left behind BUT don't push them ahead either? Just make sure you get the scores as they need and you'll be good. Not into clicky adult groups? Your child will become an outcast. Want to enjoy lunch with friends? No way! Silence and seating arrangements are for all grades. Get there early for a performance? Well the best seat you will get is center since they are all reserved. Like a teacher and wish for them for another one of your kids? Don't count on it, they go through teachers like paper and hire new ones out of school all the time. How many kids can you cram into a tiny classroom with one teacher? A ridiculous amount. Want to have some sort of field trip or hands on fun? No way again. No celebrating anything and no field trips due to budget. Are you a 5th grader? Count on them running out of food many times and get whatever is left of the main course "choices" Want to say hello to the principal? She doesn't see you if you aren't part of the click.

Submitted by a parent

August 23, 2013


My child is a 2nd grader currently at ORE, and we couldn't be happier with the academic results she is showing so early in the year. I volunteer a couple times in the school year just so I can be a fly on the wall and see what methods the teachers are practicing, and so far, I am very pleased with their knowledge and effective teaching skills.

Submitted by a parent

May 8, 2013


Cookie cutter boiler plate education system with mediocre education results at best. Build a few housing developments and schools then over glorify yourselves about your neighborhood schools for self gratification to sleep better at night.....The facts remain, the statistics do not lie, there are much better education options for children than Vail school district available in Tucson and throughout the state. In the state with the lowest education ratings in the US....it really is nothing to gloat about to be ranked number 53......the ratings and scores of the Vail school district have steadily declined since the year it opened.....down down down down, where it stops nobody knows. This is typical for newer communities though in all fairness. Vail is an old area but this recent growth in the last 15 years shows it's main population is newer to the area and the brand new schools and new people are losing their shine. The homepage for the district reads like a sales pitch, it's sad. Not to mention the untruth throughout, such as the claim of being the best school district in the state and such.

Submitted by a parent

March 25, 2013


Ocotillo Ridge is an excellent school. There is alot of parent involvement in the school. The teachers are amazing and on the ball. They are great with the students and communicate well with parents. Your child will definitively thrive in this school. High quality education.

Submitted by a parent

November 25, 2012


We LOVE Ocotillo Ridge Elementary School. When we moved to the Tucson area, my family took the time to research the best school district in the state. We chose to build our house and move to Vail, AZ because we consistently received feedback that Vail was one of the best districts in the state. We have not been disappointed. My two children have attended Ocotillo Ridge since Kindergarten and they both love the school. Great teachers, great administration, great students and friends. The neighborhoods are very friendly around the school and this area is perfect for young families. We love being a part of the school and community and feel very safe. Students can walk or ride their bikes to and from school from the surrounding Rancho del Lago neighborhoods. Our kids are constantly challenged and are motivated by the teaching staff to continue learning. The PTA is highly involved and there are numerous fun activities and planned family events. Their are a lot of after school programs to excel in leadership and extra-curricular activities as well as school sponsored field trips. We would not choose any other school or district in the state of Arizona.

Submitted by a parent

November 14, 2012


ORE is a GREAT school!! I have been a parent with ORE since it opened almost 7 years ago. My two children have had amazing teachers that really care about their education as well as them personally. I volunteer as much as I can and everytime I do I feel so welcome & appreciated by the staff, teachers & principal. Our principal Mrs Holt is always around smiling & talking to the children. She leads the school well & you can tell that every decision she makes is to help make ORE even better. The parent & community involvement is very impressive. Its nice to see so many parents on campus on a day to day basis. It saddens me to see so many negitive comments about our school. I would strongly encourage those parents to come & spend the day with their child & get involved. Quit bashing & start helping!!!!!!

Submitted by a parent

November 12, 2012


We are very happy with ORE! My three children have all attended this elementary school and I have been very happy with the education they have received. I am on the Site Council of the school, and have worked with the previous principal as well as our new one. They both exude professionalism, and have worked amazingly well with the children, staff and parents. I have been impressed with how quickly resources are pulled to help individual issues to correct and resume progress. I have been a room parent for 5 years and have volunteered in their classrooms once a week. If you want to know what is going on in your child's classroom and how and what their teacher is teaching, you need to be in there. I realize not everyone is able to come in regularly, but you can take a day off once in a while (especially at the beginning of the year) and get to know your teacher and observe how your child works in that environment. We could definitely use more parent/volunteer help (complaining from an arm chair is no help!!). Our PTA is incredible and really work hard to involve parents to meet our teachers' and school's needs. It's a well-run school, by an amazing community of teachers and parents.

Submitted by a parent

November 12, 2012


I have been pleased with my experience at ORE. So far my daughter has had excellent teachers and a positive classroom experience. This year she has been pushed as part of the Advanced Math program. There are always those who liked a former principal more or less, and transition to a new one can be difficult. But, sometimes I think parents need to be patient as everyone learns their roles. I see my role as a supporting parent. I help in the classroom on a regular basis, volunteer with PTA, and try to support anything I think is beneficial to our students. I've met so many positive people by putting myself out there. There will always be teachers that are better than others, leaders I "click" with more than others, but that's real life.

Submitted by a parent

November 11, 2012


My children have attended this school since it opened five years ago. We have been very pleased each year. Each of my four children have had excellent teachers who have helped prepare them for the future. There is a strong sense of community and school pride on campus. The leadership provides support to students, parents and teachers. I am proud to be an ORE parent. I would strongly suggest this school if you are looking to move to Vail.

Submitted by a parent

November 6, 2012


We have been at ORE for 5 yrs now and would not go anywhere else! The teachers are exceptional, the leadership is amazing and parent involvement is fantastic! There will always be unhappy people everywhere you go, but I agree with the last parent, over 90 % of the families at ORE are very pleased with the education their kids receive. As for the 3rd grade team, you will be hard pressed to find a better team anywhere. People need to understand if there is a problem with your child and their learning, it needs to start in the home. Parents need to step up and take ownership for their children, including their education.

Submitted by a parent

November 4, 2012


Funny to read the stories of the 5 bitter parents in the school. Please remember that there are over 600 kids at ORE and well over 90% of the parents and kids are very happy and proud to call ORE their community school! ORE, like all of the Vail Schools, are the best in the state. If you care about having high caliber teachers and if you want your kid challenged, then Vail and ORE are right for you. If you want teachers to fix your problem child and demand that teachers fix your neglected child because you are too lazy to help them at home, then you need to get your own house in order first before you start throwing rocks. The few problem parents and problem kids are well known in the school. They are the loudest ones that squeal about any perceived injustice to them or their child. Get over it. This is ELEMENTARY school. Don't be so dramatic and start being a good parent. Read to your kids. Help them with the basics. And quit your continual complaining about these top notch teachers. This is a great school!

Submitted by a parent

November 3, 2012


I cannot recommend Ocotillo Ridge Elementary School. They teach to the test, teach to the benchmarks, teach to a point that the administrators have data to mull over.. ugh. Over the years our children have gone through the school, there have been many times I have had to overcome, redirect, and work on our child's self esteen when the adults at the school, from teachers and "parent helpers" have made cruel and/or harmful comments to or about my children or other children. I have observed others who bring forth obvous and terrible issues of the school's failures from bullying to teacher interactions, and several other issues. They kill the messenger, the person who has been victimized is effectively turned into the problem.. I just hate that. I really do. So, I learned a few years ago, to SHUT UP! Deal with whatever problem you have with the school when you get home, or get out of the VSD completely.

Submitted by a parent

August 7, 2012


I am highly disappointed in ORE. My daughter is in the third grade there, she has been having problems with math and reading since the beginning of school last year. She was alot slower than the other kids and she was aware of it, due to the teacher always making comments to her. We were only told she was having problems when she had her teacher conferences. It was always the same thing, we needed to work on certain things at home and to get a tutor. I mean aren't they the teachers. She told me several times she didn't have the time to help her in class,since she had 29 kids in the classroom. She told me they don't get paid for staying after school to tutor, that's why they need the parent's help. I feel like this is total B.S.! They are the teacher's! NOT the parent's!! My daughter hates the school, she was bullied on the playground by a few other girls, she would go to the sooooo called MONITORS and they don't do anything! All they do is stand there and gossip! She is now in her third week of school and is already crying because she doesn't want to go to school. She says they aren't learning anything all they do is test, test and more tests! I would not recommend this scho

Submitted by a teacher

May 17, 2012


An 8-year-old girl act Ocotillo Ridge Elementary School in Vail, AZ was, and is, an advanced reader. As is customary with all advanced readers in this school there are rewards for being academically astute. However this 8 year-old girl was informed she would not be able to participate. Why? You ask, well this student transferred to this school in the middle of the year, explains the principal. There are some questions, I have, in regard to leadership, but I hope the school addresses their prejudices, which may avert potential racism and exclusivity.

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