There are a few good teachers at this school and then some very poor teachers who even after more training could re-think their career paths. Tenure for teachers is not always a good thing for the students. We are finding third grade to be particularly of a low standard and disappointing. The neighborhood is charming and the PTO is diligent, well funded and work very hard. The principle loves the kids, but isn't always making the right choices for them in terms of teachers. He has a reputation for over promising and under-delivering. We are hoping to open enrolling into another school, as others have done also.
This school has the makings of a real gem and could be with just a bit more input into hiring of teachers with more skills and dedication. If you don't care about academics or strong foundational skills you will probably be fine here. The principle is kind with a strong work ethic and wants every child to succeed but he has a reputation for promising more than he can deliver and backing teachers who are really under performing. The school is proud of it's long serving staff i.e para's etc people who are meant to be dedicated, we found some of them to be more dedicated to the cliquy environment and status quo of barely good enough. The teaching atmosphere seems to be one of just get to the end of the year and where they are just getting by. Exceptions are the excellent music teacher and some teachers in 1st, 4th, 5th G. But these better teachers are the exception rather that the rule. Even the front desk admin is spotty, sometimes nice, often not. If you have a child with any special need, do not consider this school in the year this review is written or the next- unless things turn around dramatically. The PTO are strong fundraisers but could look at educational consistency.
Flat irons is a place full of exploration and encouragement. My son has truly blossomed while at flat irons. I have seen him gain enormous confidence, self awareness and reliability but the most amazing part of all is the seeds they have planted in him giving him the spark that makes him want to learn. He can not wait to do his work, participate and learn new things. I attribute this to the amazing faculty and staff at Flatirons elementary school. We are very lucky to be here.
We have been extremely happy with our experience at Flatirons. Like one of the previous reviewers, we moved here from out-of-state. We found the school community to be very welcoming and inclusive. Everyone from the teachers & staff to the kids & parents seem genuinely happy to be part of the community and work together toward shared goals. Could not be happier here.
My daughters attended Flatirons for 3rd-5th and 1st-5th grade and loved the school, the teachers, the parents and their fellow students. It's a sweet neighborhood school with a true sense of community where students feel welcome and safe. For students with special needs, Flatirons is really good at including them in the classroom and giving them support as well. My daughters learn to love learning there and always wanted to go to school.
We switched to Flatirons after 2 years of paying for a private education. We have been impresed. The principal does an amazing job of relating to students. The teachers have created a great team of students all learning together. The community supporting Flatirons is amazing. There aways seem to be parents in the classrooms - and the teachers take the time to train them so they are actually helpful. We recently attended the Fall Festival and loved the opportunity to meet other parents in such a social setting. The playground was remodeled over the summer with great equipment that helps develop physically strong kids. We are grateful to get to be part of such a great school.
I am not impressed, though I think the status quote is being met some what. The lack of concern for safety is my biggest complaint. I notified the front office about the way a school bus would park ( with front angled towards the street ) blocking the view of a crosswalk sigh making northbound traffic unaware of the cross walk ( only one ). Most schools I've seen have a crossing guard with a sign, Flatirons does not!!! as of may-5-2009. I was told my child was behind in her reading a year and a half after she had already been attending, I requested a different literacy teacher but they did not have the resources to do so. I am letting my child finish third grade there, but that's it! I am moving her to a school that has a better track record. My child was doing great before Flatirons!!!
Our experience relates indirectly to Flatirons and indirectly to all of the elementary schools in the district. If you are relocating to Boulder, visit the schools and do your research. In general we found the attitude of the school environment (including district, school and parents) to be complacent. Safety and security are not top priority the way they are at other schools we have experienced in other regions. The playgrounds are full of hazards. The academics are not strong. Not that we are pushy in that area, but I often felt that my child was being given busy work. I also found it very difficult to find opportunities to volunteer both in the classroom and in the school. To be fair, Boulder has a unique community mindset. We moved from out-of-town and found it difficult to assimilate.
Our 2nd grade experience included excellent personalized attention from a fantastic teacher, some great creative activities in the classroom, and an environment that fosters personal academic growth, improved social skills, and good discipline. We wouldn't recommend this school nor it's sponsored after-school programs for children with lots of creativity; we have had to search outside of the school for this outlet.