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.
Want a school where parents can boss around the admin, intimidate the teachers and try to mold the rules around their personal agenda? Then PLEASE don't bother taking up space on the AA waitlist. You'll be miserable here and you won't get far. Want a school where expectations are high for students AND teachers? Where improvements are expected of every student every year at every level of ability, and where the testing actually serves the purpose of measuring those improvements and then applying the data to better support or challenge individual students? Where teachers are also held accountable for student improvement and success, and are rewarded for it, or fired for the lack of it (let's hear it for TURNOVER!). Whose leadership is steady and thoughtful to not be easily pushed around by entitled or perpetually unhappy parents. Where students are asked to take some personal responsibility for their work, their character, choices, failures and successes? If all that sounds good to you, then thank the one-star folks here for clearing out a few spots at the school. I look forward to having you join my kids at the best PUBLIC (anyone can attend for FREE) school in Douglas County!!
Think long and hard before accepting enrollment to this school. It needs discipline, hard work, focus, respect and high expectations of oneself - and is obviously not everyone's cup of tea. Most of us parents don't pay any attention to this during the open house and also do not pull our kids out of school when it does not suit them - so the easy street is denial and criticism. In the last four years my daughter is thriving and we love it here - although we are not connected to any school committee. The myth about zero extra curricular activities is also incorrect since some of the other kids are state swimming champions and doing fine in the school at the same time. The school is not perfect but for my kid it is a great blessing. You have to make the right call for your kid since no school is perfect for everybody and can please everyone all the time. From what I understand, hard work pays. And the consistent results from this school shows. But what I like most is how it prepares kids for the future. Hats off to the many dedicated and unsung teachers, administrators and amazing PTO.
Think long and hard before accepting enrollment to this school. If you and your children are Type A personalities than you will survive the very, very rigorous academic structure and pace. Academic pace starts to increase noticibly at 3rd grade level and by the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels, count on 3 1/2 - 4 hours of nightly homework. The culture at this school is bad, very elitist . Your children will be squeezed out if they do not fit into the culture and it's "invisible" parameters...you will beg for your neighborhood school to give your child back their spot...as AA has now become your "home" school. Leadership is marginal. Special treatment for kids whose parents are connected to the school. Problems with bullying. Have a happy family life and stick with your neighborhood school, your child will recieve a very good education and be well rounded and well adjusted. This school looks great from the outside and on paper, but it is rotten on the inside.
Leadership wants more schools. Cannot even keep their website up and operational. Disappointed with admin. Teachers are good but turn over is high. Parents are VERY involved with school. Lots of homework for the kiddos.
We had a horrible experience with this school and I would never wish what happened to them to happen to any other children. My children were not welcome as new students and there was no attempt by the teachers to give them any guidance or support - it was sink or swim. I invite any parent reading these reviews that has had an unfavorable experience to band together and report their offenses,. There is power in numbers and this school needs to be held accountable.
American Academy is a fantastic school with amazing leadership. The American Academy Board of Directors and current Head of School are some of the most passionate, dedicated and effective individuals to work in public schools. American Academy offers an extensive educational experience for their student population as they foster the next generation of scientists and world leaders. This is a school that cares about and provides support for all members of the student population. They have amazing teachers who are constantly going above and beyond for their students and the overall school community. There are many extracurricular options that help to create the culture that makes this school different from the other options available. The teachers are excited to teach the administrators are enthusiastic to lead. American Academy is the best!!
This school is as good as it gets for our area. If you want to sit back and enjoy the ride think again about enrolling your kids here. Parents are required to put in 40 hours per school year. The academics are definitely rigorous and the culture of the school is composed of "intense" predominantly "type A" personalities. If you are looking for a more laid back and relaxed school then I would not recommend it. This school has an amazing fine arts and music department. There are a multitude of extra curricular activities including Spanish, typing, writing workshops and robotics to name a few. A big improvement for this year will be in- house special educators including speech, psychologist and social worker.
Great STEM school with a great curriculum! Students, parents and teachers are all very involved in a rigorous environment. The uniforms keeps everyone on task.
My husband's and my favorite part about AA is the flexible grouping system. Students are tested all year long to gauge their current ability levels and to identify learning gaps. For example, my son, an early reader and a quick student, had fallen behind this last year in comprehension skills. Instead of keeping him in the advanced group, he was moved to the standard group for more support. He's getting the attention he needs at the level he needs right now, and he's doing great. Maybe next year he'll be in advanced again, maybe not, but he's being taught according to his NEEDS. How many schools can say they identify and then address and accommodate each student at that level of detail? Not many I imagine. We are thrilled by the school's determination and ability to make "challenging each student at their level" a priority and a possibility.
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