Advertisement
Advertisement

GreatSchools Rating

Ponderosa Elementary School

Public | PK-5 | 755 students

 

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Sweep tile
No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 1, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 on April 30, 2014 (the “Promotion Period”). Open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C., 13 years and older. Each school that receives a new, published review will get one (1) entry into the sweepstakes, up to ten (10) entries throughout the Promotion Period. See the Official Rules for details. Sponsor: GreatSchools, 1999 Harrison St., Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612.

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

16 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amazed that this is a "blue ribbon school." My second d grader is considered a "high performer," but spends a lot of her time doing busy work like alphabetization of a vegetable list while the teacher gets the rest of her students up to speed for the standardized testing. I'm looking for a new school to keep my child's growth from stagnating.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 13, 2014

I find it hard to believe that the last post to this school was over 2 years ago. This is now a blue ribbon school of excellence and it has improved under the reign of the current principal. As with any school, the parent must become involved with the staff to get the best accountability from them, let's face it, if the teacher is doing her job then your kid is learning what the curriculum indicates. If you're communicating and showing concern then the teacher will probably do a little more because they're being held accountable. So, my kid is learning but It's partly due to the fact that I'm always asking questions and making sure they know there are parents that care. I'm posting this to see if there's anyone else looking at this school, are you??
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2012

My daughter has been there since the middle of last year and now she is in 1st grade. This is a great school. She is learning so much and has had great teachers! We planned on moving next year, but because of this school we are going to stay in this area just so she can attend Ponderosa Elementary.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 25, 2012

This is a fantastic school. The student body has really blossomed under principal Sloan's leadership. They have an outstanding Math and Science program that has been inspiring the students as evidenced by the incredible increase in test scores over the last two years. More parent involvement would really help, but there is only so much schools can do about that.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 6, 2012

Best school ever!Gt is great!The principal needs more activities with students,and teachers need to give more learning activities with students!


Posted January 27, 2012

I've crossed quite a few teachers who seem unenthusiastic, generally agitated with even the better behaved children. I'm not so sure about academic strengths because I don't see my child advancing too far but he seemed to be much further ahead to begin with. There do seem to be some friendly staff members here and there but they are the minority and they even seem a little defeated. I met the principal and I liked what she stands for but for my student who was sad for sick days in his previous school reports little inspiration or encouragement from his primary teacher. I'm concerned about the lack luster attitudes of some of the teachers because I think they have an influence on my child's attitude about school. I'd like to know that children are inspired by a positive learning environment but the negative forces are apparently taking over in this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 27, 2011

I love this school I personally went there as a kid and it was the best elementary school ever. The teachers are great as well as the activities. The reading and writing program is a big help to people who have trouble .If your looking for an elementary school this is definitely the school you want your kids to go to.


Posted August 9, 2011

The best of both worlds-- a Cherry Creek School District Education and diversity you won't find elsewhere. My children have thrived at this school under the amazing direction of Elizabeth Sloan and her great staff of teachers. No one cares more for their students than this group of educators
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 7, 2011

My 15-month-old-daughter was attacked physical instructor from Ponderosa Elementary School. This teacher made her crying because baby was playing with ball near school s entrance. Next time I will call to police if teachers from this school touch my baby without my consent.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2009

Ponderosa Elementary is a secret gem. The teachers are fantastic and the principal is forward thinking and fast moving. The special ed department is especially hard working.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 5, 2008

I absolutely love this school! My youngest just started kindergarten this year but my oldest son is in 2nd grade and has attended since kindergarten as well. I love their reading recovery program it helped my son out so much! The diversity is great. I've had great experiences with the teachers so far and this year am hoping to get to know other moms so that I can keep up with everything going on!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 10, 2007

This school is amazing, I love it. They teach me so much and everyone is really nice. I've been here sice kindergarten and I'm sad to say that I'm going to middle school next year and leaving Ponderosa. But, it was a fantastic and a great influence to me.
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 30, 2006

we have had many positive experiences and wonderful teachers at Ponderosa. The diversity is amazing. We'd love to see some more stabiltiy with the teaching staff.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 9, 2006

Great school. Lousy support from the district. Cherry Creek has decided that schools in minority-heavy neighborhoods (more than 5% non-white) should not need advanced classes to the degree that white-based neighborhood schools do. It's completely racist and disgusting. Ponderosa did a great job considering the support they have from the district. Even the new Cherry Creek newsletter describes the
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 15, 2004

Both of my children have attended Ponderosa Elementary since they were in kindergarten. The teachers are very hardworking, and the principle, Gigi Dodson, is a great leader and motivator. Two of the things that make Ponderosa great are the dedication of the PTCO and the inclusion of music, PE, technology and Art in the curriculum. The PTCO ensures there is money to have a TA for each grade level and some of the special programs, and provides countless services that would otherwise disappear for lack of funding. The elective programs and teachers provide intramural sports, choir, computer club and art club where the kids can develop skills beyond traditional academics. The children are divided in the classroom by ability in reading and math, so they are always challenged. The atmosphere is safe and positive. The school has a fairly diverse population for Cherry Creek schools, and everyone is accepted.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 29, 2004

Many of the teachers at this school are excellent. A few are average and teach to the bottom of the class. If your child has special needs, the school appears to have good programs, however, if your child is gifted, the program is iffy. They keep cutting the programs for the smart kids and do not individualize enough, giving the excuse that there are too many children for them to be able to individualize. Many of the advanced children become bored out of their heads and when they ask advanced questions are often told that they will 'get to that subject in a few years' rather than encouraging the questions and either finding out the answers in order to answer the student, or encouraging the student to find the answer himself. This school has had about 4 or 5 principals in about ten years.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 72% in 2013.

118 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
73%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

115 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
57%

2012

 
 
70%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 51% in 2013.

117 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
30%

2012

 
 
42%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The TCAP replaced the CSAP as Colorado's state assessment program effective for the 2011-2012 school year.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 72% in 2013.

133 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
64%

2012

 
 
66%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 68% in 2013.

133 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
60%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

133 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
47%

2012

 
 
49%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The TCAP replaced the CSAP as Colorado's state assessment program effective for the 2011-2012 school year.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

114 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
67%

2012

 
 
70%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 70% in 2013.

114 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
69%

2012

 
 
64%
Science

The state average for Science was 49% in 2013.

114 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
34%

2012

 
 
44%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 57% in 2013.

114 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
54%

2012

 
 
58%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The TCAP replaced the CSAP as Colorado's state assessment program effective for the 2011-2012 school year.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

Math

All Students65%
Female60%
Male69%
Black (not Hispanic)58%
Asiann/a
Hispanic62%
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)77%
Free lunch eligible60%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch77%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities70%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)50%
Proficient in English72%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant65%

Reading

All Students57%
Female58%
Male56%
Black (not Hispanic)58%
Asiann/a
Hispanic48%
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)68%
Free lunch eligible46%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch77%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities62%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)30%
Proficient in English69%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant57%

Writing

All Students30%
Female34%
Male27%
Black (not Hispanic)23%
Asiann/a
Hispanic27%
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)50%
Free lunch eligible26%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch39%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities33%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)11%
Proficient in English36%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant30%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The TCAP replaced the CSAP as Colorado's state assessment program effective for the 2011-2012 school year.

The different student groups are identified by the Colorado Department of Education. If there are fewer than 16 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

Math

All Students64%
Female59%
Male68%
Black (not Hispanic)65%
Asiann/a
Hispanic63%
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)58%
Free lunch eligible59%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch74%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities70%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)55%
Proficient in English62%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant64%

Reading

All Students59%
Female59%
Male60%
Black (not Hispanic)62%
Asiann/a
Hispanic58%
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)58%
Free lunch eligible53%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch77%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities65%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)41%
Proficient in English62%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant59%

Writing

All Students47%
Female56%
Male39%
Black (not Hispanic)51%
Asiann/a
Hispanic38%
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)55%
Free lunch eligible37%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch67%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities50%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)30%
Proficient in English48%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant47%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The TCAP replaced the CSAP as Colorado's state assessment program effective for the 2011-2012 school year.

The different student groups are identified by the Colorado Department of Education. If there are fewer than 16 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

Math

All Students67%
Female71%
Male62%
Black (not Hispanic)51%
Asiann/a
Hispanic63%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)83%
Free lunch eligible59%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch76%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities71%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)58%
Proficient in English63%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant66%

Reading

All Students69%
Female77%
Male62%
Black (not Hispanic)63%
Asiann/a
Hispanic56%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)96%
Free lunch eligible63%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch76%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities73%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)50%
Proficient in English72%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant70%

Science

All Students34%
Female34%
Male35%
Black (not Hispanic)23%
Asiann/a
Hispanic30%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)54%
Free lunch eligible27%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch46%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities36%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)12%
Proficient in English41%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant34%

Writing

All Students54%
Female57%
Male52%
Black (not Hispanic)54%
Asiann/a
Hispanic40%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian or Alaskan Nativen/a
White (not Hispanic)71%
Free lunch eligible46%
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Not eligible for free/reduced price lunch67%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
Students without disabilities56%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)27%
Proficient in English57%
Immigrantn/a
Neither migrant nor immigrant55%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The TCAP replaced the CSAP as Colorado's state assessment program effective for the 2011-2012 school year.

The different student groups are identified by the Colorado Department of Education. If there are fewer than 16 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

 
Average

Test score rating
Student growth rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average

 

How schools in the state rate:

23%
of schools in the state are Below average
52%
of schools in the state are Average
24%
of schools in the state are Above average

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

The graphs below compare this school's results in each area to other schools in the district and state.

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests compared with other schools in Colorado. Test scores are based on 2012-13 TCAP results from the state of Colorado.

Close
This school
District
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Student growth rating 20132What's this?

Student growth rating measures whether students at this school are making academic progress over time. Specifically, the rating looks at how much progress individual students have made on reading and math assessments during the past year or more.

Close
This school
District
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Math growth at this school

Above average

Reading growth at this school

Average


1 Test scores are based on 2012-13 TCAP results from the state of Colorado.

2 This rating is based on 2011-12 and 2012-13 Median Growth Percentiles in Math, English Language Arts, and Writing from the state of Colorado.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 37% 32%
Black 32% 5%
White 21% 57%
Asian 6% 3%
Two or more races 3% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 62%N/A40%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School Leader's name
  • Gigi Whalen

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
Searching for school events...
Date
Title
  • {{date}}
    {{title}}
Export calendar
Outlook.com
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...
POWERED BY
Tandem

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

1885 South Lima St
Aurora, CO 80012
Website: Click here
Phone: (720) 747-2800

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools




Challenge School
Denver, CO




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT