My kids are both thriving at American Academy's Parker campus. I couldn't ask for a better school for each of them. It is more rigorous than the school we came from but I know this will pay off for them in the long run. I am so thankful that this school opened in our town. We absolutely love it!
The reason why there are so many reviews on AA - you either love it or hate it. Some great teachers. PTO is over the top, raises tremendous amounts of $, every kid 5th grade & above has a computer - with a very large amount of quality programs loaded, that they rent. Love History & Foss science is hands on and interesting. There are some really poor, grumpy teachers - turnover is high. The spelling/phonics program (Spaulding) is confusing & not effective. Your whole family will be impacted by the stress associated with the school. You kid will cry about homework & stress. Even good students will break down and cry, at some point, in the upper grades. Kids cry about missing a day of school b/c of the amount of homework. A boot camp for middle school. So many parents love it up to 3rd grade... And then it is a real struggle. Expectations are high - but not always at a healthy positive level. Make sure you think about how this will impact you & your family before signing up - and if you have a child that struggles with school - run! We have been there over 5 years & I don't know if I would recommend it to anyone - unless the child is above average & organized.
My children have attended AA since the first year it opened, when my son was in 1st grade, he graduated 8th grade last year. I currently have 1 in middle school & 1 in elementary. It is very hard to rate AA. There are so many positives and a few, very important, negatives. The teachers & staff are very committed & caring. BUT, parents talk and lately most of us are talking about the often 3-4 hour a night homework load, especially 5th grade on. It is almost abusive and the "late work" policy, which marks of 20% off first date late, 50% off 2nd day late and 0 credit on 3rd day, makes for lots of stress, poor self-esteem and the school forced barring of kids form school extra- curricular activities. On the plus side, my children do learn time management, and a no-excuses to getting your work done mindset. I recommend AA- CP campus, but with reservations. If your child struggles or quite frankly is very bright but will challenge the idea of doing lots of homework just for the sake of "rigor", you may want to pass on AA. As the school has become larger, the administration seems to be less concerned about the well being of the students and more concerned with their "ratings".
I'm a little confused by the negative comments below, because it almost sounds like my kids (grades 2 & 4) are going to a different school! We were beyond thrilled when our kids were accepted at the new American Academy - Parker campus last spring and it's been one great day after another there. The front office is amazing - they manage a school of around 600 students every day with a great deal of professionalism and grace and good humor (I laugh almost every time I come in!). The carpool process is still a little creaky, but I know from experience with other schools that this will iron out with time and other parents figuring out the right behavior for carpool (I'm referring to the parents who think that the whole line should wait for them to personally guide their little darlings into the waiting arms of their teachers). The academics are rigorous compared to the other schools we've attended and both my son and daughter are loving their teachers and the school atmosphere. We've even had one experience with bullying that we felt was handled REALLY well, and everyone is doing much better! I recommend American Academy whole-heartedly!
I am a parent of a child that attends American Academy PKR. I am nothing but pleased and ecstatic with what my daughter has learned in this short amount time. She is challenged everyday and the teachers are so amazing. I am blessed that we were given the opportunity to move schools. I also have to say the staff at AA-PKR are amazing and willing to go the extra mile to accommodate whatever the need may be. Parent
I cannot believe how unprofessional the co-founder of this school is. As a parent, I was talking with her about the school and their expectations. I was still in the middle of the conversation when she told me thank you anyway for your concern and slammed the phone in my hear. I cannot believe how unprofessional her and some of the other staff memebers are at this Parker School! They are suppose to be teaching respect to our children. I have immediately pulled my 3 children from AA. We are back at our neighborhood school and loving it!
Education is important but kids also need to feel good about walking through the school doors every morning. I was ecstatic when my student was accepted into the Parker American Academy, now my heart breaks and I hold my breath until the end of the day. I believe teachers choose to ignore the bullying. American Academy boast of teaching/enforcing the essential 23 guidelines for manners and behaviors but often my student comes home upset by the way they are treated by other students. Teachers only communicate with you when they have something to say. I have written emails with concerns or questions that have never been answered. It is almost impossible to really know what is going on with your student because the teachers don't want to be bothered by parents. If you are looking for a school who treats your child like a statistical robot and not an individual this is the school for you. As a parent you will be put in your place very quickly which is not as a partner in our child's education. My child will not be going back next year.
Wonderful school! We have had trouble getting our son excited about school previously and now he can't wait to go! He was also a kid that depended heavily on a dedicated teacher and we have finally found that ever year here. The parent communication still amazes me and has made our split household actually work when it's always been a fight. Best choice we could have EVER made.
This school is all I wanted for my child. I have student in Parker campus. There is a great balance between hands on, book and/or memorization learning. My child ( 3rd grader) learned how to study and take notes. I see great improvement in all areas (and we came from pretty good charter school). School days are interesting and -believe or not-every day the question "What did you learn today" are answered with long and excited story and not like previously with "nothing". All that is happening because of the fantastic teachers! Those teachers are the best they can be. They work so very hard ( evenings, Saturdays- I have proof), they love their job. They care for the students and their success. The office/carpool staff are the nicest people I've ever met. They are nice, kind and helpful every day! The music department is great. Communication with parents is superb. The only hard part is when your child misses school. It is very hard to make up the assignments when they pail up with current ones. Be prepared for hard but interesting work and good organization. My child has a lot of ECA's so it's doable but not easy. I hope nothing will change.
I have never worked with such amazing and dedicated students and parents. My job is terrific. I feel like I come in and make a difference everyday. I have excellent resources, proven curriculum and supportive administration and parents. I have worked in another highly rated district, as well as Denver's inner city. AA is the best.
My kids are at American Academy's new Parker campus. We absolutely love it - such an improvement over our neighborhood school! They are thriving with the challenging curriculum and ability grouping. We are very impressed with the leadership and staff. Can't say enough about this wonderful school!
My kids LOVE this school! Been at AA since 2008. Both of my kids have had exceptional teachers every year. My son went from being in supported reading and math in kindie to being in grade level math and advanced reading. His testing scores show he's advanced in all subjects. My daughter has been consistently advanced all her 4 years. My kids really enjoy the environment. I was unhappy when we moved into the permanent facility in 2009 and class size went from 16 to 28. But my kids have still thrived with the increase in class size. The homework at times can be overwhelming, but I really think it's an individual issue. My son can make a 30 min assignment last 2 hours. It's not as strict as some of the reviews say, yes you need to wear the uniform and may get a color change or write up but I've never seen anyone get any sort of discipline for an off color hair band(that's stretching it a bit). Every child learns differently and this school may not be for everyone, but its been phenomenal for my kids and I feel they will be prepared for HS. I must add that my family isn't super wealthy and doesn't donate thousands and I've never felt that my kids were treated any lesser.
I couldn't have found a better school for my children several years ago. They were terribly bored at one of the neighborhood public schools. We opted to join the AA family when the school was still located in Lone Tree. My kids have graduated AA by now. They have had the best preparation for High School and are both way ahead of their classmates in all subjects. I strongly disagree with opinions regarding the current principal. We always found an open ear. For us things changed for the better with the new leadership a few years ago. Problems finally got addressed and solved.
This school implements ability groupings in a more effective way than I have seen at another local school that claimed that to be a strength. This school integrates technology across its curriculum, truly accelerating learning and preparing students for our changing world. This school embraces excellence and empowers their students with sustainable skills sets that will serve students throughout their lives.
Really great school! When my older son transferred in to AA, he was behind in some writing skills and had to work hard to catch up (yes, even in 1st grade). I blame that mostly on the fact that even in kindergarten, this school challenges the kids to really learn and grow. My younger son started here in kindergarten and learned at least 3 times as much as my other one did at our local school. No school is perfect, but we have found that the teachers have been responsive to our concerns and we could resolve placement issues in a timely and constructive manner. Homework in the early grades depends on the individual teacher and the student's ability -- what takes some kids 5 minutes can take others 45 minutes. But kids know what is expected of them and the standards are high. And we love the opportunities that are offered here: in the curriculum, in the field trips, in the extracurriculars. The work load has not stopped my kids from doing competitive sports, just forced us to be very efficient and organized. We have not seen any favoritism or felt that donations have altered how individual students are treated. If you come, be prepared to work and you can thrive
I am overall very happy with our school! My children are very different academically and I am so pleased that they have ability grouping. The one thing that I am not happy about is transportation for student field trips. I believe that the students should be riding a bus to a field trip not in someone's parents car where I have no idea what their driving record is like or whether or not they are texting (especially if the student is 7 or younger and should still be in booster). Other than that it has been a great experience for us!
Sadly this school has changed so much in the past few years, for the worse! Since the current head of school (can't be called principal because she has no background in education and forcefully pushed out the principal who was loved) took over the school has lost sight of its mission. Love of learning is gone. Now it is just like a military academy. The disciplie is unfairly administered and children are intimidated openly when not completing the hours and hours of homework. Parents are asked to volunteer - but only in certain areas like the lunchroom and playgroud. They are otherwise banned from the classroom stating that they are 'a distraction' Class size is actually between 28-33 (16 is listed on this website). Teachers and administration are not held to any dress code yet students are written up for not wearing a belt or having the wrong colored hair rubberband. If a student does not fit the exact mold for the straight A student who doesn't want to be involved in any other activity other than school and homework they are treated like they just are not smart enough. If parents are not donating thousands of dollars yearly students are singled out and not treated well.
This school tries their best to push out children with special needs. They ignore bullying issues and favoritism lies with the children whose parents contribute the most money to their fundraising. The principal does not have any education background and does not bother attending IEP meetings- nor does she advocate for students struggling when teachers don't follow the IEP. The students come from upper income households for the most part and many of the kids hold an elitist attitude due to this. The school makes it apparent who has money and doesn't, as their library barely has any books and kids need a Kindle to check out books (online). They also are discussing each parent buying a laptop for their student as part of the school fees. Our other child was placed in a group that didn't match her ability and was left to flounder for weeks until we finally were able to get her reevaluated. We were told that evaluations are only quarterly, so she would be stuck until then. Often, she comes home with 3-10 worksheets a night to complete- yes I said 10. Their policy for field trips is to not pay for buses, so they let any parent that wants to transport the students do so. Unsafe.
Stay away from this school if you have common sense. The teachers assign worksheets non-stop instead of hands-on, involved teaching. My daughter in kindergarten comes home with 3-4 worksheets a night for homework in Math and 1 hour of Reading worksheets, as well. The work doesn't get graded in a timely manner- her last graded paper was 1 month ago. When you reach out to the principal with concerns, she reminds you of the chain of communication- aka: Don't bother me. We are moving on and will be returning to our neighborhood school. One more thing: They let everyone park all over the the school grounds- blocking people in at the end of the day so you can't leave. 2013 school year can't come soon enough!
My family was so excited for our children to attend this school due to the excellent Core Knowledge Curriculum, Uniform/Conduct Standards, and Ability Grouping. These aspects worked for our students. The homework can be excessive but does prepare them well for time management issues in High School. The downside is it can create family stress. The teacher turnover is high and the administration will not admit it. More than double the percent last reported. There does not seem to be a plan to correct this issue. The conduct standards have been inaccurately and unfairly used against some students in the Middle School. There has been a large issue with the Middle School boys. It seems better with the girls. I your son is very bright, inquisitive, and challenges any the rules in Middle School (Ie , noise in the lunchroom, uniform rules etc., recess rules,study hall rules) this may create more resentment from your child . While the academic standards of the school are great the structure is such that you may run into problems with the administration or teachers. There is often no way to resolve these because the board and administrators are protecting each other.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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