This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
High Peaks Elementary School4
Posted November 12, 2014
- a parent
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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!