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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!