Our family had more negative than positive experiences at Horizons. Our child was placed in a class room with numerous children that should have been receiving special services, but that Horizons could not (or would not) offer. We had a terrible start to Kindergarten due to the mix of students in the class, inability of the teacher to cope, and unwillingness of the principal to take action. Resources go to "specials" such as winter-sports, retreats for teachers, outdoor education for students, and other interesting projects, but we have been told numerous times that the school does not have "resources" for 2E, TAG, or children with SPD. This is born out by the school inappropriately placing these kids in the classroom and distracting from the education of others, or by asking the kids to leave after a failed trial at mainstream. In addition, we have personally experienced: mismanagement of time and resources; too much screen-time in the classroom; lack of supervision at recess (even with 6-8 graders on the playground); and poor communication with the principal.
I see more unkind behavior from Horizons kids than I thought possible. The junior high kids have no respect for the younger children. The older the kids are, the more we have observed a negative attitude.
We currently have 3 kids enrolled at Horizons and absolutely love the school! The teachers are great and really go out of their way to teach to the needs of each child. It is a very positive learning environment and everyone I have talked to that has had students move on to High School has commented on how well prepared they were. The school size is just right, with small enough classes (~40 students/year) to not be overwhelming, and still enough peers to find good friends.
We left this school because we moved out of state. Prior to our move, we debated pulling our child out if we were going to remain local. I agree with the negative reviews regarding how well my child learned here. Teacher communication is POOR which is not good if you have a struggling child. You are not aware there are issues. They spend a great deal of time on worldly projects, which are nice in small doses, but my child couldn't do math! There are small class sizes with paras; but it didn't do anything for my child. We now go to an excellent neighborhood school and my child has THRIVED in the traditional setting; he also has more friends and comes home happier. The school touts community but I didn't get that from the parents, only rude looks, condescending attitudes, and daily attempts to hit my car at drop off/pick up. The administration is well intentioned and the teachers are wonderfully sweet, but it just did not work well for us. Really examine the school and what you are getting into; especially if it will work for your child. Don't just rely on the NO. 1 status and reputation.
Others have said on here that "parent involvement is extremely high". It's true: Horizons is run by the parents who are pretty much calling the shots. The trouble is that these parents aren't educators. They don't know about how to educate kids and this results in skewed priorities. Even the 1-4th graders have "projects" on things like Egypt and Nelson Mandela. Which is nice except that Horizons doesn't care much about things like reading, writing, spelling and math skills. My kid has really failed to learn much of anything practical - and this is a common problem as I understand it. Lesson learned: high-strung Boulder parents are not qualified to operate a school. If you care about your child's future, get him/her into a real school and leave Horizons for the freakish helicopter parents and their children, you'll be so glad you did.