My kids have attended AIES for all their primary years. We have been extremely pleased with their education and they have developed a joy for learning. Every teacher we have had has been extremely supportive, friendly and helpful. They communicate with us, and you can tell they love what they do. My son struggled with reading and his teacher and aids bent over backwards to direct and support him as needed. The class sizes are large, but the teachers do amazing considering, and the school is laid out well that it still seems small. The office staff and administrators are in fact helpful and open. I like that they know each student. The parent involvement is welcomed and a good community. We have been grateful for the French immersion opportunity and the IB curriculum. There is a culturally diverse student body and we like that our kids are learning what it means to be good global citizens, that they are not the center of the world. I really can't say enough good things about our experience at AIES. Of course it's important to consider what's best for your child and their style of learning, since there are so many options out there. For us, AIES has been a wonderful choice!
This school is amazing. My children are both excelling in every aspect, to include foreign language. The homework is more intense than a traditional public school, but welcomed in this household as it challenges them more. I choiced them in out of district and will keep them here, long drive and all...
Very disappointed with AIES. We were looking forward to attending our neighborhood school but disappointed by the lack of friendliness of the teachers and staff. The school was very cold, and left you feeling like an intruder. One of our children's teachers treated them as if they were in college and ridiculed them for asking a question. We have since switched our children to another neighboring school and the difference is incredible. My suggestion for any family thinking of attending AIES is to tour a few other schools and the compare the difference from the first meeting in the office.
I never cease to be amazed at the wonderful things happening at my daughter's school. From the inquiry-based learning with an international focus to the interactive and fun ways that her first grade immersion teacher makes French an accessible and enjoyable part of her life. My daughter has excelled this year and she comes home with great ideas and wonderings to share. I couldn't be more impressed with the staff or the involved PTO that helps keep parents in the loop.
Class sizes are large - 25 - 30 children which is difficult for teachers. There seems to be more opportunity for the Talented And Gifted, however not so much for the child performing in the mid to lower range. Those children not performing at a high level are quickly identified and talks and excessive meetings begin with the Administration for ILP and IEP requests. This also helps with school funding for additional resources to accommodate the programs for supplemental reading, etc. It's unfortunate that there has not been more focus on how this type of funding can be used to reduce class size so that children aren't pulled from class instruction. Don't be mislead by the words (IB Attitudes) on the wall in the gym since these were apparently put there by earlier Administration.
We chose this school for our daughter for two primary reasons - challenging and inclusive IB Curriculum and French Immersion Program. We have been very satisfied not only with her academic progress but also the overall personality development. It is such a joy to see her thriving at this school. Teachers are awesome and staff is friendly. I find the front office staff professional and efficient. That may explain their "business like" perception but to me, that's a good thing. Parents involvement is outstanding. Diversity here seems to be in-the- eyes-of-beholder as I see plenty of diversity at least among the students, if not teachers and staff. We have been wanting to move to Parker area for a variety of reasons but as great as Douglas County Schools are, we seems to be having a great difficulty in finding as "wholesome" of a school as AIES in that area. So, seems like we will be staying put for now.
My daughter is now in 5th grade and has attended since Kindergarten. My son is a 2nd grader. Both of our children have had fantastic experiences at the school. The TAG teachers are well qualified and work diligently with the students to keep challenging them. Our children have had great classroom teachers from Kindergarten through 5th grade. I am an involved parent and I find that the school has wonderful parental support. It has been an all around great experience for us.
I love this school. We transferred to this school because we had a negative experience at our neighborhood school only two blocks away from us. Immediately upon transferring to this school, my daughter got her smile back, her confidence and began to thrive. This school provides an environment where children can feel safe and comfortable. Her Kindergarten teacher and First grade teachers have been very nurturing. The parents and children here are wholesome and endorse high moral standards. This is a great school, surrounded by a great community. I'm sad as my husband's commute to Denver may force us to leave this school in order to move closer to work. I only hope I can find something this good, but I am dragging my feet and we are enduring the commute as long as we can. I can't see anything comparing.
We moved here in the middle of my son's first grade year. He had a hard time transitioning, and I am so impressed on how out-of-the-box thinking his teacher was in helping him with his struggles. He is now in third grade, sister is in kindergarten, and we have had an excellent experience. The teachers are committed, the staff is kind, and they have so many opportunities at AIES. French, art, music, PE, a fabulous library, amazing technology program. Parent are VERY involved here and that effort shows. The PTO does extensive fundraising, and the school benefits from so many extras that way. We also have a very diverse student body.
First, I agree with some of the negative comments. The school does come off as business-like. I would love for it to be a warmer environment. Second, there is a fourth grade teacher who is negative and shouldn't be teaching children. Finally, the front desk may be the least welcoming place in the school. That is a shame. Onto the positive. First, the curriculm is challenging and engaging. My oldest has been in three different schools in three states. I think the IB program is fantastic! My youngest is in the immersion program. It is a wonderful opportunity. As for the teachers, I've mentioned one bad teacher, but otherwise my children have had fabulous teachers. Teachers that have gone far above what they are expected to do. In addition, my child is facing a serious mental health challenge. I was worried about how the school would react since many schools do not handle these issues well. The school staff has been so supportive and helpful during a very difficult time. This to me is the most important thing. You can add the bonus of numerous extracurricular activities and you have a great school. I gave 4 out of five because I think the school could work to feel more welcoming.
Our children attended AIES for a combined total of eight years, yet we changed schools during the last semester of my son s fifth-grade year. It was a much-needed, radical move. The teachers had the heart but not the skills to teach our children. Although our children received intervention in reading from the school for a combined 7 years, the school was not using materials or trained professionals that are effective with dyslexic students (approximately 15% of the population). Additionally, the school s RTI practices did not follow federal or state guidelines. Once we identified a learning disability and turned to the school for further help through an IEP, we were thoroughly disappointed by their lack of knowledge, experience and resources. I hope that Academy International improves through knowledge, training and equipping teachers, improving their RTI process, and implementing scientifically-proven effective practices. Until then, I would discourage anyone from attending this school unless they are sure their child does not have a learning disability. Unfortunately, most parents are not aware of these challenges until well into elementary school.
We moved our son out of AIES after a semester long horrific bullying issue while he attended Kindergarten. I was shocked at how dismissive his teacher was during the entire episode. We ended up going over her head and dealing with the principal. We went thru all the correct channels and finally after much frustration and dissallusionment, we ended up moving him out of the school. In addition, we always felt unwelcome. This is not the case at his new school.
Unfortunately I'm moving my children out of AIES. I had heard and read all of these great things and I don't know what you're all seeing but I was very disappointed. From the top to the bottom, the administration, office staff, teachers, no one is friendly or fun like I think elementary school staff should be. Teachers hate their jobs and are stressed out and grouchy. Office staff is not helpful and they are snotty. Administration is unprofessional and unsupportive. I wasn't all that impressed with IB or immersion either. I feel bad for students at this school, if they aren't head of the class, they are left behind.
As a military family we've moved around quite a bit. When other schools have said they were at grade level, this school said-let's give her some extra help. When other schools are doing away with or minimizing specials-this school has the kids half of the day in "specials" and uses that time to keep working on what is important. All of my children have improved as students here, are challenged, and the teachers are so positive and nurturing. They understand the importance of balancing work with play and different paths to learning. I really enjoy the team here and feel that we are a part of the community. My kids love this school!
My child has attended AIES since Kindergarten. I cannot say enough positive about the academically rigorous and diverse educational experience he has received. As a professional working in public education, I researched state and national rankings and reviews for this school and am continually impressed. My child loves this school and it is truly one of the best decisions I have ever made.
After my experience with this school, which for some reason has a great reputation, I highly recommend NOT choosing this school for your child. The staff is unhappy and overworked, negative and unfriendly. Worse than the teachers is the current administration. They have no idea what's going on, they show no approachability, no understanding, they don't do what's right for kids. There are parents in this school that are uppety and rude. I don't know why people think this school is great. Maybe it used to be, but it definitely isn't now!
My child attended this school, but is now in another school within District 20. Unfortunately, AIES fell very short to what we expected. As some other reviewer mentioned, the environment felt 'business-like' and competitive and not truly caring for the children. It seemed as if children that didn't fit their 'perfect' student poster picture were seen as a nuisance and were not treated equally. The staff was not the friendliest, sometimes even rude, and our child's teacher seemed very inexperienced and lacked classroom management skills. On the bright side, there was good PTO involvement and the choices for extracurricular activities were great.
AIES touts they are the best school in District 20, but my daughter attended AIES this year, and as a former teacher from AZ, I was very uhappy with her school experience. The school environment is very business-like, not at all like a normal elementary school, and the office staff are curt and rather unfriendly. Her teacher recommended her for speech in mid-October, she wasn't even tested until late December and didn't begin to receive services until early February! She lost nearly FOUR MONTHS! There are many other reasons we are taking her out of AIES after this year is over, but the biggest one is that AIES seems to treat students who are not TOP PERFORMERS differently. She did well academically, but was not the top of her class. I was extremely annoyed by the difference in treatment.
When my children entered AIES as kindergarteners, the school's non-janitorial staff was 100% white. When they graduated and moved on, the school was still 100% white. I don't see that changing, so let's not speak of diversity in the same sentence with AIES. My children and I loved all teachers they've had except one 4th grade teacher who really should retire as it's quite evident that she doesn't love the kids and she certainly doesn't love teaching. The overall quality of the school is highly satisfying with some weak spots. The school had a music teacher who didn't know what 'Heifetz' was that my then 8 year old child had to teacher her 'who' that was. The non-Immersion French is non-progressive. What you got at 5th Grade, you learned years before. We changed to Spanish since graduating. No school's perfect, but I feel AIES is one of the best there is.
Outstanding school. pro-Diversity and pro-Inclusion. Excellent focus on all-round development of students.
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