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3995 East Aurora Ave
Boulder, CO 80303

(720) 561-6500
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Map of High Peaks Elementary School address.

September 25, 2015
High Peaks caters to mediocrity. It advertises itself as high-achieving so that bright students will open enroll. High-achieving at High Peaks means helping 95% of the kids enrolled be average/proficient; a high percentage are molded into mediocrity. The more able students are marking time and are used to improve school stats while their understanding of their abilities and self-esteem suffers. The gifted program previously built by Michelle Eckstein (who is now at Peak to Peak) has changed; it is run with a repetition and consolidation mindset characteristic of low expectations. The staff lack professional development with regard to how they can serve intelligent minds. We've been through 3 teachers. They just would not go beyond their narrow curriculum. Presumably, it is not encouraged. High Peaks boasts about its Niche Ranking- this is an uncredentialled ranking service and parents who don't understand the proficiency ratings game on state tests or ranking methodologies are failing their children by sending them here. The sad thing is that this school has potential, it has capable minds, it lacks vision and leadership.

- submitted by a parent
Grateful to: Staff member
September 25, 2015
Registrar- kind and cheerful person. Registrar- kind and cheerful person. Registrar- kind and cheerful person.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Ineffective
September 25, 2015
A school that attracts highly able students through open enrollment and then merely achieves 95% proficiency rather than 95% advanced on a substandard CSAP/TCAP (colorado state tests inflate scores compared to the naep) is resting on its students laurels rather than supporting them.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Not enough
September 25, 2015
Homework is a repetition of what they do in class. Parents become the teachers who actually teach during homework in a 1 on 1 setting. The teachers primarily present and distribute the material that the students will then learn and experience at home.

- submitted by a parent
Develops grit: Strongly disagree
September 25, 2015
It aims for mediocrity. When the bar is set low, when critical thinking and feeling are not encouraged, there is very little room to develop grit.

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Strongly disagree
September 25, 2015
It disrespects its students needs and abilities, demands mindless compliance and inculcates similar disrespect in them.

- submitted by a parent

December 03, 2014
I'd HIGHLY recommend HIGH PEAKS! I have 3 children, each with different learning styles & abilities. My oldest went to Middle School this year & has tested into advance classes because of the education he received at High Peaks. My other 2 are in 2nd & 4th grades. The teachers are absolutely wonderful & child centered. The curriculum is outstanding! They don't stress the kids over learning, they make it fun. High Peaks is a Core Knowledge school, so they get more in depth instruction than in a neighborhood school. They tailor lessons to each student's ability & have small groups to help students succeed. The Principal is Lora de la Cruz. We have found her to be very welcoming. She is extremely caring & has been available whenever we've had a concern or issue with our children. She has been instrumental in getting our 2nd grader the help she needs. I can't say enough about the school. From the Principal to the Teachers to the Staff, this school really cares about children & their families.

- submitted by a parent

November 12, 2014
I have been a parent for 8 years at High Peaks. Our Core Knowledge focus school attracts a highly engaged community of students and parents who thrive on learning. Our family's experience been overwhelmingly positive and my two children have thrived there. My middle schooler was more than prepared for middle school after graduating High Peaks. High Peaks is a warm, supportive environment where the teachers and principal truly go above and beyond for students. We feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful community.

- submitted by a parent

May 12, 2014
We have had a very positive experience at High Peaks. Excellent teachers, many of whom are National Board Certified, and an engaging, interesting curriculum that is a perfect fit for my child who always wants to learn more. Having spent years at our neighborhood school, where the curriculum was very bare-bones, it is wonderful to see that there is a public school in Boulder that does more than teach to the minimal standards and has high expectations for all students.

- submitted by a parent

April 17, 2014
Pay attention to the negative reviews. When several different people all note the same things it means they are real issues. Here are the things that I am unhappy with about the school and they all just happen to be noted in the other unhappy reviews: -No warmth, lack of care and concern for the whole child -Principal is not supportive of parents, it's her way or you can leave -Very rigid and inflexible environment and curriculum Like another review said. I'm sorry we ever set foot in this school and I would strongly recommend my friends to not send their children there. I am disappointed that I wasted our first choice for open enrollment on High Peaks.

- submitted by a parent

March 13, 2014
High Peaks is all business, not warm and fuzzy. It has a reputation for being Academic which I found confusing because it is a school, so of course it s academic. I think a better description would be Highly Structured and Strict . I am disappointed by the lack of warmth and honest communication from the teachers. I would like to see more trust and connection between teachers and students. I would like them to care about my whole child and not only show concern about her academic progress and obedience in class. I would like more warmth, empathy and flexibility from the teachers and principal. The TAG program is pretty good, but isn t as individualized as we had hoped. If High Peaks had a parenting style it would definitely be Authoritarian (Strict rules and expectations. Very demanding, but not responsive. Don't express much warmth or nurturing. Utilize punishments with little or no explanation. Don't give children choices or options.) From my experience as a High Peaks parent, and also from talking with some other parents, it is my opinion that children who are intense, sensitive, creative thinkers, or who like to have choices, would probably not thrive at this school.

- submitted by a parent

September 05, 2013
I have two children at High Peaks and I could not be happier with our experience. Both my kids love going to school and most importantly love learning. This was not always the case, and I credit the teachers, other students & principal at HP for this development. The principal's involvement with every aspect of the school is truly impressive and contagious to the community. We feel truly blessed to be apart of such a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent

September 04, 2013
Our children have absolutely THRIVED at High Peaks. It is a wonderfully engaging and rich environment. The kids have learned so much and the teachers have been fantastic. I also strongly disagree with the review about the principal - we have found her to be very willing to listen and work with us to find solutions on issues of concern for our kids. She has gone above and beyond what we even expected to provide support for one of our kids when a creative solution was needed recently. I really can't express how lucky we feel to have found HP and gotten all 3 of our kids in!

- submitted by a parent

September 03, 2013
Most of the teachers that work at HP are great. The principal has been there for a few years and isn't truly supportive of parents. She certainly acts engaged but approaches everything with a business-like attitude and then does it her way after all. The TAG program is very elitist and does not include kids who are more than capable of participating and it is exclusive for the kids who are in the program. Unfortunately, there is a strong lack of care in this school environment and the administrators constantly are asking parents for more money with all the fundraisers that parents are pressured to support. I think that this used to be a good school which is why I originally searched for it, but has moved a different path with the newer principal over the last few years.

- submitted by a parent

March 17, 2013
I have three kids at High Peaks (K, 2, and 4). My 2nd and 4th graders are in the TAG program. We have been very happy with how accommodating the school has been with the needs of the kids for new challenges (For example both of those kids needed to move up a grade in math and were allowed to join the next grade level during their math time). The TAG coordinator at the school is very motivating, supportive and encouraging. The kids do great projects and units in their classrooms as well. The teachers are fantastic and the school is warm and close-knit. We couldn't be happier with our choice!!

- submitted by a parent

May 30, 2012
Our child has been at High Peaks for three years. I was drawn to the idea of core knowledge learning and impressed by how the staff seemed to work together. However it has not been a good fit for us. The community is very competitive and elite. I feel like it is too rigid and there isn't room for discovery. My child is very anxious about school and always worries about getting things "wrong". I can only concur that this has been reinforced at school because we do not function that way at home. The model at HP is 2 weeks on a particular subject and the assessment. So there is constantly a push to get the information and then test - test -test. It's too much. There is warmth and happiness missing at that school, unfortunately.

- submitted by a parent

May 21, 2012
High Peaks just keeps getting better and better. The staff is focused on making sure that students feel good about school and become lifelong learners. There are many extracurricular offerings for students, teachers are always looking for how to improve, and the school community seems very positive. What a gem right here in Boulder!

- submitted by a community member

May 18, 2012
I can't say enough good words about High Peaks. If you are serious about your children's education, that's the school for them. It provides very solid elementary school foundation that eases the transition to middle and ultimately to high school. The curriculum is very engaging and rigorous (not too much though) for the elementary school level. The teaching staff for the most part (with a few exceptions) is excellent. The TAG program is very good too. The social environment is very welcoming. I have my second child at High Peaks and it is just getting better and better. It is one of the best elementary schools in Boulder.

- submitted by a parent

January 24, 2012
Great, caring staff! Awesome curriculum! Fantastic experience that prepares students for middle school, high school, and beyond!

- submitted by a parent

August 24, 2011
High Peaks has top scores, but I urge you to avoid it if you care about your child's emotional and social development. I had two children who attended, and they became anxious and angry every school year. Although there are many good parents, many are ridiculously over ambitious on their children's behalf. Now that both are in more emotionally healthy schools, there has been a complete turnaround in their attitudes. I am sorry we ever set foot in this school.

- submitted by a parent

August 10, 2003
This is a wonderful core curriculum school. The atmosphere is very conducive to learning. They are supportive to the children and encourage parental involment. My daughter loves going to school. Each child progresses at their own level.

- submitted by a parent
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High Peaks Elementary School
3995 East Aurora Ave, Boulder, CO  80303
(720) 561-6500
Last modified High Peaks Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
High Peaks Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 24 reviews. Top