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School Profile

Lavilla School of the Arts
501 N Davis St
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 633-6069
See Homes For Sale in the Area
public | 6-8
County: Duval


  School Head OfficialYear
  Students Getting Free LunchYear
10/19/2012parentI have to say that I was really very hopeful when my son began school here. Now after one quarter I now know how children can graduate and still not be able to read. The academics at the school are awful! The arts piano area, at least for this year, is also awful! There is no instruction. The teacher doesn't actually "teach" the children! They just get access to a keyboard for 1 1/2 hours 2x's a week and are assigned pieces to perfect on their own in that time. The teachers are very disorganized and provide no help. The school has perfected the art of turning pick-up in the afternoon into a competition. I have to say again-very unorganized! I had high hopes and maybe a little to high of expectations. My child is in all advanced classes and is so bored he can barely pay attention. The school is really very over-rated. I truly feel as though the school may at one time been great-but great it no longer is! I will end with saying one positive thing; the kids at the school are very nice. There really doesn't seem to be any behavioral problems. I think the kids all really want to be there; including mine-but education is important too-it is not just all about the arts.
8/23/2012parentBoth my children are in LaVilla this year (6th and 8th grade). THey are both advanced academically and the school has been appropriately challenging in these areas. I have been impressed with the arts training in their area and a high number of them ultimately make it in to Douglas Anderson, the audition-only high school arts school. The school is no more or less "organized" than other middle schools when comparing experiences to my friends with kids in other schools so I don't know what the other reviewers are talking about. If you are thinking about an arts-centered school for your child, realize that as a parent, you must be more involved than in a regular school so be prepared. I am very pleased overall.
8/15/2012otherI'm an art student, and I'm on my final year at LaVilla! I LOVE this school. It's great. You can express yourself without being judged. I'm going to miss it so much when the eighth grade is over! X( The teachers really helped me improve a lot. I used to think I'd be the best at everything, but they helped me see what I did wrong, and I became much better. Sure at first, I thought they were just being mean. But now that I look back, I realized I needed their words. I went from not gettting anything into the gallery during the sixth grade, to getting in three pieces in during the seventh! This year, I'm striving to get in more artwork into the gallery. Sure the teachers critique you, but they aren't doing it to be mean. They actually want you to improve! And school work isn't that bad. I mean, it usually depends on which teacher you get. I got homework almost everyday, but nothing too hard. Overall, this school is great. -From, a weird eighth grader
7/24/2012otherMany people i feel judge the school by its cover, but when you take the time to look deeper this is an AMAZING school to send your child to. We are a family at Lavilla everyone is looking out for each other its what we do. We have exceptional arts areas and academics as well. Everyone there has some sort of love for the arts, WE ARE ALL PERFORMERS!!! sure the teachers may be consistant in the classroom but they are striving to make us better at what we do! But if you must know one thing about this school...... its that it leaves memories (good ones) :) I'm certain you will not forget Lavilla ITS AMAZING! ~Bryanna M~ Former Lavillian~
7/23/2012otherI am about to enter the seventh grade and I love it there. The faculty is great, even though I have had a few run ins with a few teachers. I am there for creative writing and this year I'm starting a class of drama. I am so excited!!! My arts area teachers are amazing and I feel like I'm getting an amazing education. I came from a montessori school so I thought the move to LaVilla would be hard but the teachers make it so easy to forget to be nervous. I can't wait for school to start again and orientation. I LOVE LAVILLA!!!! -Current student of LaVilla School of the Arts
6/21/2011otherThis school has VERY sterotypical teachers, Especially in the Drama Department. All of them pick favorites. Especially the more obese one. The obese one got a divorce recently and has been targeting male students and causing them trouble and not advancing them to a higher class when they should be. Everything else is great except for the teachers' favoritism
6/6/2011parentMy son was fortunate enough to go to LaVilla twice! He went his 6th grade year then to the neighborhood school, Mandarin Middle his 7th (due to the change in busing). I was so disappointed with the neighborhood school that I made sure to attend the audition for his 8th grade year. He was accepted (again) and we were so happy. I found the administration at LaVilla to be top notch - very responsive and attentive. It is an excellent school with outstanding teachers that really give 100% to the students. I am very fortunate that my son was able to attend!
4/27/2011parentThis school has really failed my son as a learning experience. They have taken a bright, talented sixth grader and destroyed his self-esteem and desire to achieve. His teachers are petty and prone to say rude and hurtful things in front of the rest of the class. There is NO one on one help. The administration is weak.
3/22/2011parentWe couldn't be happier with our choice of Lavilla over our neighborhood school!! After three years of Lavilla we are proud to say our daughter went there.
3/12/2011parentI have 2 kids that have attended Lavilla. One has been through the school and another who is an 8th grader. My overall experience as a parent has been decent. It is a good school if you are just sending your children for an enriching education. However, with both of them I have found they do not prepare them well for the arts areas they are in for. One was in the Band program and the other is in Drama. One of the goals of the schools is to prepare for Douglas Anderson HS. Well, I haven't found that prep to be adequate. The one in band did get into Douglas Anderson, but with much work to get him there through the audition process. We discovered from his first audition there was a technique issue that the middle school never told us of, which almost cost him getting into the HS. The other child wasn't accepted into the Drama program at Douglas Anderson. We were not told of any issues or problems with her arts area. I feel there is a lack of attentiveness to each individual students art area. She tried out for several things and didn't get the parts without a reason why. If you are planning on your child making a career of this - LaVilla may not be the best choice.
3/1/2011parentMy son attended LaVilla for seventh-eighth grades and has had a very positive experience. As an alumni of a fine arts magnet myself, I have to say that LaVilla Middle has met most of our expectations. The vocal music staff in particular is amazing!
2/10/2011otheri am a student here at lavilla and i have to say, it is an exceptional school. the administration i have no problem with... so far. the academics are astonishing and the arts areas are fabulous. i play in the band and the kids there at lavilla could definitely use a language adjustment. there are good kids there with clean mouths, you just have to know how to find them.
2/9/2011parentI agree with the last review. Beyond the 1 class of art in your child's area of interest and a couple of teachers that do have it together, this is probably the worst school overall in our experience we've ever been to. The adminstration is very disorganized and more than half of the teachers my child has, seemed to be thrown into their teaching area with little or no experience. Academics aren't important here. Teachers get confused on a daily basis on which class was taught what material. Guidance is little to no help at all, if there is a need. They don't want to deal with any parent issues. Don't bother wasting all your energy auditioning, unless you know for a fact your child is going to make a career out of their arts area. Paying for private lessons would benefit you more with a lot less headache.
12/7/2010parentThis school looks great on paper and has some really wonderful teachers. However, the administration is AWFUL!!! DO NOT send your child here if he or she might require any extra help or guidance. The administration makes it clear that they only want to deal with "mainstream", well-behaved, "normal" children. They are difficult, agressive, patronizing, and just plain awful to interact with. Requesting services our child was legally entitled to felt like we were asking the principal to donate one of her kidneys! We removed our child from this school. Placing our child at LaVilla was our worst parental decision to date.
10/15/2010parentAmazing arts program and great academics too!
9/1/2010parentMy daughter just started the 6th grade at La Villa, and I have to say that even though that was our first choice, after reading the reviews I'm reassure that we made the right one. I'm so happy that my daughter can use her spirited personality in such a positive way. Her imagination have no limits and the creative writing area is the perfect fit for her.
4/30/2010parentLaVilla is a fabulous school! We love it!
4/27/2010parentMy daughter started the 6th grade at LaVilla this year and LOVES it! She has excelled in her visual arts area with the exceptional guidance of her instructors.
4/9/2010studentI now attend LaVilla at the moment, in 8th grade, and I feel so very grateful that I get to go to a school with such passion for everything. There is your regular middle school drama chock full of cliques and trying to fit in, but it's great, because at LaVilla, we tend to understand differences more, and can work out our problems by using our talent and spirit. I will never forget this achieving school!
3/20/2010studentThe school is awsome for children hungry for knowledge about the arts.I got accepted!!! I never knew that i would. I didnt know anything about that school until MLK Elementry told me.
12/9/2009studentthis school is an excellent school! im in 8th grade here and my overall experience here has been great. its best of both worlds becasue you get the great acedemics and you also get to do what you love to do! the teachers and administrators here really care about how you learn and what youre doing. its just a great school. its also nice that they have high standards here too. you have to really have a passion for what you're doing to excell.
11/25/2009studentI am in 11th grade at DA now, but I went to LaVilla for 6th-8th grade and I loved it! Mrs.Griffin is an amazing director and she helped me improve a lot on violin! =D
10/29/2009parentBest feeling of community. Best participation by parents/kids/teachers. Great School~
10/19/2009studentim a 7th grader there an it i just way to many students there this year and we only have fou minutes to get to class and it would be cooler if we had sports at our school but its still a pretty good school because we have arts and that can get yo a long way
9/26/2009studentI am a 7th grader at lavilla and i loooove it! ms.griffin the orch. teacher is soo nice! Any one who wants to go to this school has made a great choice.
9/9/2009studenti LOVE La Villa!!i am in 6th and there is a fair amount of homework but its not bad. my chorus teacher mr.pendry is BRILLIANT! the kids are really nice and i have friends that are in 6th grade, 7th grade, AND 8th grade!! if you love the arts and our willing to WORK then La Villa is perfect!
6/2/2009parentI was excited but nervous when my child was accepted to attened lasota. She has an IEP , but that didn't change anyting . Im not saying it was the easiest school year she worked harder than she has ever had to. she was in all standard classes with 'average' kids and if needed to leave the class to go take a test then she could.I am extremelly thankful to her guidence coun. Mrs Sheard, her math teacher Mrs Wilson , (Mrs Smith who came in to toutor her 4 days a week for 5 months with math) and Mrs Lunger 4 her patience. These woman have contibuted themselves to my daughters succsess at this great school! Great kids, teacers ,faculty, guidence, custodians (love u Mrs daniels) lunch ladies ( thank u for feedin my baby!) and police officer that dirrects trafic makes 4 a great school.
5/24/2009parenti give it all five stars because its a great eand has very high expectations for students needs and learning.
5/4/2009studenti love lavilla it is so great i will go their intill the 8th grade. i am in band and i think it is so fun.we have a preformance coming up and i can't stop thinking about it.we have been practicing and practicing.sometimes lavilla can be tough but itis easy to catch up.other times every one is fun and energized like me. i just love it.
4/25/2009studentI love Lavilla.I'm in the 7th grade and take chorus and drama.I love Mr.Pendry(chorus teacher).He is funny and nice.This school is very clean,there are nice people here so it is easy to make friends.I would definetly recommend this school cuz you can show your true talents and live ur dream.
2/9/2009studentI love LaVilla. It is a great school. I'm a dancer there and the environment is great. You get all the help you need and you can sign up for after school help if you need it. I would recommend this school to someone who loves the Arts. So many great opportunities come from being here at LaVilla, I love it here. (:
12/30/2008studentIm in 8th grade for singing and i absoplutly hate this school, Way to much stress! I have hours and hours of homework ever night, and thats not added with the rehearsal time! A majority of the people their are materialistic and can be rude. Even some of the teachers are rude. I was looking forward to going to this school, and now i cant wait to leave.
11/21/2008studentI go to lavilla for visual arts and it is an AMAZING school. the cafetiria food isn't all that great, but you get used to it. btw, this is a shoutout to Mr.Lux!!
9/4/2008parentI love this school my child gets what she needs in everything . She loves the teachers and administration. I love this school
8/7/2008studenti luv lavilla . i am going into my third year there and i have learned so much in my academic calses and my art area(s)-band -keyboard. if u are still you are thinking of having your child or if they want to come here it would be a good oppurtunity.
7/27/2008studentLaVilla was by far the best school i have ever attended. i went all three years and as the years went on i loved it more and more. at lavilla you are free to express yourself through your arts area and you get to hang ut with people that have the same intrests as you.i learned so much through my arts area teachers, especilly my technical theatre class and costume design class. the academic teachers there are also amazing. they take time to individualy talk ablout problems and struggles you are going through in class. this school does an amazing job at preparring you for your next step in life, highschool. through lavilla i learned more than enough skills to get accepted into douglas anderson school of the arts. i love this school and i recommend it to any one and everyone dedicated to academics and thier arts areas.
7/14/2008studenti absolutly love this school.here your in an environment where you can express who you are.the teachers are amazing, you can talk to them as if they were one of your friends.this is the best school ever!
7/8/2008studentLavilla is a great school for artistic middle schoolers. Whether its academics or arts areas lavilla has it under control. I am currently going into the 8th grade and every year Lavilla has gone above and beyond expectations. I am happy to go to Lavilla!
6/25/2008parentLaVilla Scholl of the Arts is an elite magent school. A vast majority of students are at LaVilla due to the excellence of their audition. This school has phenomenal academics which is key to maintain high standards at every level. (students must perform well in academics as well as their chosen arts area). This school prepares students to enter Douglas Anderson High School of the Arts. This high school is filled by audition only. I can think of no better place for my student to flourish as she explores her God-given talents and abilities.
5/20/2008parentlavilla school of the arts is the best there is....I sent my son to private school all through elementry..I personally the education was as good as any private school in the city. My son found his nitch at Lavilla, his self-esteem was able to flower. By the far the best middle school in Jacksonville.
4/11/2008studentI have been going to lavilla for 3 years now. lavilla rocks! lavilla has all you will ever need.
2/24/2008studentI love this school. I have been going to it since I was in 6th grade and now I am in 8th and going Douglas Anderson School of the arts. And I love the fact that I can do my art (dancing) and keep up with my academics. So instead of working one side of the brain and can work both. Which makes you a much more well rounded person and have alot more career options in your life.
2/13/2008studentThe school and population are very amazing. I'm always exciting to be a part of such a talented group of people. But the administration seem to get overwhelmed sometimes and it makes things harder to get done. So they have to rush situations that take time. That is not always the case thought. It rarely ever happens, but when it does, stress levels are high around campus.
2/11/2008studentThis school is an excellent school and has a lot of academic help and has a lot of after school stuff like team up, tutoring.Grade recovery and many more
1/17/2008studentit's a freaking awesome school and i'm proud to go there!!!!
12/29/2007studentIt as an awsome I school!!!!!!! I love it their!!!!!! I don't want to leave for D.A.!!!!!
12/22/2007studentI love LaVilla, it is great 4 every kind of person, it is a great program for talented kids.
12/12/2007studentIt is a great school the teachers and students are wonderful.
12/8/2007studentIve been a student at lavilla for three years now and i think its ok. If you really love your arts area, you should go here. I have been in art, drama, chorus, and my major, creative writing. The math and language arts teachers are very good. The arts area teachers are ok, often if you try to contact them, they will not anwser you back. Great school to go to if you want to go to douglus anderson high school ( lavilla's feeder school). I personally am going to attend stanton college prep because i found myself growing bored of attending classes for my arts area for three years in row and dont want to go to da for another 4 years of it. If you go to lavilla, make sure you love your arts area. Best school ive ever attended. Horriable school lunches. Hehe. No uniform is great!
8/23/2007parentLaVilla is 10 in my book for middle schools. It is well funded, an 'A' school, has excellent arts area teachers and great academic teachers. It has a dedicated staff who work hard to make the school not only academically, but artistically and to help the students well rounded individuals.
8/12/2007parentMy daughter has been going to LaVilla Middle School for two years now...Best choice we made !! Good school, good teachers.....for good students.
4/10/2007parentMy son has been going to Lasota for 2 years now. I must say that this year has been the worst year. If your child has any type of behaviour problems this is not the school for them. I feel like my child gets referrals for breathing the wrong way. They look for my son to get in trouble. As far as the academics,teachers do not contact you. I initially was very happy when he was accepted here but I do not think he will go here next year.
7/14/2006parentMy daughter has attended LaVilla for three years and it saddens me to see her leave such a special school. She was in the gifted program where all of her teachers were incredibly pleasant and challenging for the students. My daughter also branched socially outside of the gifted program; meeting friends through art or PE classes. Though the physical education program lacked proper resources, it was perfectly adaptable and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed it. The student body of course has its differences, but I found the kids could all connect through their art. LaVilla is a school full of normal kids that enjoy music, or dance, etc. Its the best place to go if you are serious about your arts area, but you shouldn't feel intimidated. My daughter has many friends that take beginner courses and love it. LaVilla was the best choice.
5/20/2006parentWonderful arts electives, interesting and insightful academic courses. Great parent involvment. Would like to see a greater celebration of diversity, as American art is so very rich due to the contributions from such a diverse poplulation.
5/3/2006parentTeachers really care about the kids. Strong arts classes. Can be difficult to balance academics and arts schedule for the student and parent. Minimal gym class and no sports at all.
3/9/2006parentGreat choice for arts areas -parental booster support is lagging at times...not for the timid student,but a wonderful opportunity for the creative ones to grow their talents. Parents need to monitor schoolwork as with any academic program.
1/30/2006parentNice students and competent teachers. Terrific arts programs
12/21/2005parentBand program is superb; many levels of instruction offered in academic areas. Kind, capable teachers. Nice students. Students who don't do assignments and fail may be asked to return to neighborhood schools.
10/1/2005parentMy child's art is creative writing. So far she really likes school and most of her teachers. Been on one field trip already this school year. I've only paid $40 for the yearly activity fees.
4/28/2005parentI have been very happy with both the academic courses and arts courses for my daughter at LaVilla. I attend almost every concert and performance and I have to keep reminding myself that I am watching or listening to middle school children. The orchestra and jazz band are amazing! They sound professional. The fall musical was the best middle school performance ever. The gifted teachers are the smartest, most caring ones a child could have. The administrators listen. My only negative comments are: the pe program is leaves a lot to be desired, and there are no sport teams. The school is so crowded, your child may not get their first or even second choices in arts classes. The arts teachers are not always fair in the levels that they assign the kids.
11/28/2004parentMy daughter is going to LaVilla now (2002-2005) and she loves it. I have had a couple of minor teacher issues, but the Principal is great and addresses issues promptly. My daughter has learning disabilities and her counseler and most of the teachers help her with what she needs. Overall I am very pleased with LaVilla.
9/14/2004parentThere is no limit to the wonderful things that I have to say about this scool. The Acdemic Department and the Preforming Arts Departments truely work together to better the school and the learning enviroment in both areas. I am impressed with the Vocal Department that my child is in. The professionalism that Mr. Smith and Mr. Pendry demonstrate to the children is a guide for them to live by!! A special thank you to the school for making this opportunity available for my child. Thanks.
5/29/2004parentMy daughter just finished her third year at Lavilla and loved it.The school is much better with the new principle.The kids seem much happier with her.Some of the teachers are really bad about returning phone calls.In some cases one teacher never returned any.One math teacher does not allow make up work in her class, so beware. It really hurt my daughters grade in the end even though she brought her grade up two letter grades.The teacher refused to work with me or my daughter. Overall except for two teachers in three years this school was an excellent experience for her. I know you know of all the good at Lavilla,sometimes we just need to hear what to steer clear of. I still give the schhol an A.
4/7/2004parentI am so proud that my daughter is able to attend LaVilla. It is an amazing school. This has been wonderful for my daughter. I know Mrs. Skinner from another school and am so glad she is here at LaVilla with my daughter again.
1/10/2004parentThe Guidance Department, Mrs. Sheard, is tops. My two sons middle school experience was a great experience. It really helps your children have a safe learning environment without a lot of behavioral disruptions. It's a small and friendly environment with state of the art facilities. Office Staff is great. ESE Dept needs a review in my opinion and I will leave it at that. As a whole it was a great experience for my sons. My sons have utilized some ESE/AP Classes (tough) and reg. education. The arts are serious, so prepare your student for a serious course of study. But my son's trip to NYC was great!
10/6/2003parentLASOTA is the best school for my children that are interested in Art. My son is now in 10th grade at DASOTA and my daughter is in 8th grade at Lasota gearing for DASOTA. I want to thank all the staff, teachers and especially the Vice-Principal for their support to my children. They ensure that I am notified when both of my children started back sliding in one or two academic subjects.The teachers are our support team to achieve our goals for our children. My youngest son is in Kirby-Smith 6th grade. I support our teachers, the education system by taking responsibility for our children future. Thank you.
9/16/2003parentLaVilla is the place for middle school students who care about the arts in Jacksonville. My daughter attended for three years and is now at Douglas Anderson. She loved school at LaVilla and the teachers provided her with excellent challenging material in almost every class.
8/26/2003parentI found the faculty, staff and administration to be very helpful and most concerned about the well-being and success of my children...and they are in two separate arts areas! They both have grown so much, and are so motivated to succeed. Academically, I find that the teachers constantly challenge their students, and push for their very best, but they also incorporate their own love of the arts to accomplish these goals. I would not have wanted my children to be any where else for Middle School. There is so much opportunity at LaVilla for parents to volunteer and be involved. Even though I am a single mother with a very full time career, there has always been something that I could find to help with - and a smiling face to welcome my participation. I think that my involvement has kept me up to date on what is happening in the school in general, and has helped me to stay on top of my own childrens' academic & arts performance in a way that was not resented by my kids. That is a difficult thing to balance in Middle School. I would highly recommend LaVilla School of the Arts - and with an enrollment of over 1000 students, and a waiting list of over 2000, I think that their results, both academically and in each arts area, speak for themselves!
8/4/2003parentLaVilla has a new principal this year (thank goodness). As for the guidance office, I have found them to be generally useless as a mediation tool between the student in trouble and the teacher. This could also be a function of the former principal, and could be better in the future, we'll see. The emphasis is on the arts, which on the surface sounds great, but the pressure to get into Douglass Anderson is almost too much. My child is now in 8th grade, so we'll see how the 'guidance' to other high schools goes. All I can say it's a good thing I contacted the teachers myself, because no one initiates contact, not the teacher; not the guidance office. They think that the progress report is that contact. You cannot trust them to do the best for you child, because it's like a political party - they do what's best for the school. They want to keep that 'A', which I don't really blame them for, but it seems like they focus on the students that will keep them there. It is a difficult environment academically for those who struggle with their assigments, in that there is no individual assistance. As a parent of a child who was in danger of failing, I called all of my child's teachers to monitor assignments/progress. It did not feel like the teachers welcomed my involvement. Most of them I had to call several times before I spoke to them, even getting the principal involved because they would not call me back within 24 hours (as policy states.) Some of them are rude. A parent has to really be on top of things there.
7/14/2003parent Initially, I thought this was a great school, but I later found out it is insensitive to minorities and to students that have learning problems. The school is not parent friendly at all, teachers do not communicate well at all with parents. This is one school that I hate that my daughter ever attended.

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