I have 4 children that attend Excel Academy in Arvada, CO. the school itself is small (525 students) for k-8.
we came to the school with 504's that I had to fight to get in my home public school. after just a few short months I was INVITED to have iep's for my kids. they embrace the love and logic techniques.
The ESS room is small, quiet, and equipped with all kinds of things. fidget toys, special seating, lots of brain breaks, lots of positive reinforcement, treasure chests for rewards, ipads, computers, headsets, mp3s with just music, a "cave" (a bean bag underneath a table equipped with books to just chill when you need it.) different types of timers, lots of field trips. they break things down into smaller more manageable pieces. visual cues, and lots of one on one help.
I shopped around for 2 years looking for a school to best fit my kids needs. I am extremely blessed to have such a gem of a school close enough and without having to pay for it.
I have only been disappointed one time when they tried having the kids do a computer math program (aleks) with no help from a teacher. I wasn't made aware that they were going to try this.
My children have attended Excel Academy since 2008. I will have to say that with a few exceptions the teachers have been wonderful. The learning experience has been great and I feel that both of my children have received an excellent education. There was a time when I would have highly recommended this school to anyone. Sadly that is no longer the case. The Middle School curriculum is extremely limited at best. The administration is dictatorial and non responsive. There are serious bullying problems at the school that are for the most part ignored by the administration. Their main concern is to protect the reputation of the school, not the students attending Excel. The parents are not kept in the dark regarding the problems that occur at the school. Many of the teachers have children that attend Excel Academy. The teacher's children are given special treatment and their behavior is not a good example for the other students attending the school. My children have become very aware of the role that politics plays in our society thanks to Excel Academy.
We just finished our last year at Excel and I wonder if our next steps will ever measure up to what we have had and experienced over the six years we have been at Excel..... Great teachers, great administration and very nice facility. We will miss "our" school very much. Thank you for being great for my family.
What a special school for my kids! The multi-age format is great, the teachers are wonderful, the Principal has been very helpful to our family as we have worked hard to bring one of our children up to grade level. I have been very impressed with the overall administration of the school and found a lot to brag about when it relates to super extended activities for learning. A very friendly place. Thanks to all for your hard work!
This is a wonderful school for my children. The educational plan is well thought out. The Administration of the school is caring and wise. Policies are strong and directive which I like very much. My kids love it here and so do I.
This school is awesome. Proud mom of a graduating kindergarten.My child is getting an awesome education. Do watchout for parents that do not have a clue and like to spread negative insults about administration. If they do not attend school board meetings and stay until it ends they are uninformed and just spread negativity. This is a good school and you will be amazed how much your kids excels.
Excel may have once been a great school, but leadership seems to be riding on the coattails of that past reputation. What happened to a principal being visible/approachable? She has never responded to our communications. The director s portion of the school newsletters often chastises parents and she hasn't reached out to build a positive relationship. Some staff members have been unfriendly and ill-mannered. What happened to valuing the clientele? With the exception of an outstanding front desk staff and a few staff members, good manners can't be found here. The teachers have so many duties and are stretched so thin, it is no wonder there is negativism. How can a school attract/keep seasoned, talented teachers when educators are pushed to do so much above the call of duty? Bullying is an on-going problem. Coverage in the lunchroom and on the playground is minimal at best. The school requires 80 volunteer hours, but there are some teachers who aren't conducive to utilizing help within the classroom. The curriculum director is so busy pushing teachers to get students to the next level, based on research , solid findings of developmental stages are often ignored. Run before walking.
I couldn't agree more with the two comments below mine. The first two years my son and I were blessed with an amazing teach, who actually communicated with me almost daily. This year has been horrific. I found out on the SECOND set of conferences that my son wasn't doing well on turning in his work. Which in no means is the teachers fault.... But we all came up with a game plan to communicate more. I have heard from her maybe 3 times. Emails, notes etc. go un-answered for days, some even over a week. She even said in the conferences "I let him fail to see where the problems were." Which I could even halfway understand if this was at the beginning of the year, NOT April! When homework is missing, he is made to stand at the front of the class. To me this is almost a form of bullying. She is very intimidating towards him, even in front of me, and i am not against disciplining. When taken up with the assistant principal, she is rude and insulting. Once you bring something up to her, your children are almost branded. We have had this happen with both my son and daughter. Good luck on even trying to talk to the main principle. We are in the process of switching school for both kids
We are very disappointed w/ Excel. * I am only referring to our experience, which obviously doesn't involve the majority of the staff.* Be prepared to fill a "teacher" role. Parents must volunteer 80 hrs/year - marking, reading w/ students, sorting/distributing assignments etc.- yet teachers are too busy to fulfil normal teaching duties. Why? The classroom is cluttered & disorganized - which may explain why the teacher is the same. The grading & reporting method is a joke. The communication between teachers & parents is automated through TeacherEase - which might work (to a degree) if everyone used it properly & regularly! What happened to calling parents or at the very least, sending a personal email? No consistency in reporting student incidents or consequences. Nothing seems to be dealt with at a school level w/ consistency. Our children are not problematic & what I would describe as above average in their marks. I have been involved w/ my children in school for over 15 years & have never come across such a mess. I cannot say enough about how frustrating this school is & there is not enough space here to adequately express our disappointment. Just be forewarned.
Edu: 5 Teachers: 3 Staff: 4 Admin: 1 Supportive: 1 The education here is stellar, your child will walk out the doors with a wealth of knowledge. HOWEVER, teaching and communication with parents is inconsistent. The front desk staff is very polite and helpful. If they do not have answers, they will find them. HOWEVER, the administration of this school is a dictatorship, with the principal making decisions where it is absolutely NOT her place to do so. This school is primarily wealthy, to such an extent that students have been known to tell others "you don't fit in because you're poor". Free and reduced lunch is provided (by Jefferson County) Monday through Thursday, but Exel only provides pizza on Friday as a "fundraiser" that students are required to pay for, although they have more than enough left over to feed the free and reduced students. Further, from 5th grade on there are expensive class trips, up to $1400 with few fundraising opportunites for those who need them. This school disgusts me with their treatment of those who have not been as blessed as the majority of their population, but they do provide a great education.
We are new to Excel this year. So far it has been a great experience. The school meets children's individual needs. The communication between home and school is excellent. After being told at our last school that they could not help us, Excel has been a breath of fresh air!
Fantastic School. I am a very proud Excel Academy parent. Core Knowledge curriculum, sprials with conbined k/1, 2/3, 4/5 classrooms. amazing yearly fieldtrips at each grade level.
I am not a parent of a current Excel student but I've been in the front office for over twenty years of private, charter and public schools. From my years of experience I can honestly say that Excel Academy is the BEST operated school that I have ever worked for! Your children are cared for by an incredible group of highly qualified teachers, their learning environment is "sacred" and they are loved by not only their teachers but the entire staff. The best way to sum up the experience your child will have at Excel is that it is a private education on public tax dollars!
I can't say enough great things about this school! The teachers are all so dedicated and up-beat. They truly make learning fun.
My daughter has just started at Excel and I feel that her K teacher is amazing. She is compassionate and hardworking with my daughter and if I have a question or concern it is addressed in a timely manner. The PTO and athletic program are growing and becoming strong and the teachers are amazing! The principal is present and involved. I can't wait for my other two children to attend!
Quality teachers at Excel. However, they are driven away by lack of support from the administration, poor leadership, poor communication and being unsafe to give feedback/suggestions. It's a toxic environment. I have to believe that does or will affect the quality of the education.
At first I was happy for kids to attend Excel. Working with my kids and helping in the classroom is were I should have stopped!! Excel rewards the bad kids by paying them off if they are good leaving the good kids to want to be bad to get money. The administration talks down to the kids and the parents leaving them feeling aweful! The principal won't stand up for anyone leaving the school a huge mess. Don't send kids here unless you have a bad kid you want to get paid!
I have a third grader and a 5th grader this year and even though our kids have only gone to this school for 2 years I know this was a great move.
I love Excel. The teachers are great. The curriculum is challenging and uses best practice techniques with consistancy.
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