This is an excellent school as the French teaching staff is top-notch. I can't comment as to the other language tracks so I'll stick to our experience with the French program. My child has been in the ECE and Kindergarten classes, and speaks French fluently. My 5 year old child also reads in French and English, and can do math problems (addition / subtraction) above grade level. Teachers are very dedicated and focus on foundational skills every day. Detailed, date-stamped workbooks sent home to parents prove that curriculum is taught to students and practiced daily until mastered. Our family does supplement with additional English and math curriculum at home. Families who supplement with younger children (10-15 minutes per day in both English and Math) seem to fare better with long-term academics at the school. Two suggestions for the school would be to implement and execute a structured English program, and to supplement conceptual math with daily rote practice in class. The school is dedicated to community-building, and it is filled with very welcoming, open-minded families. It is a growing school and getting IB certification in its Middle School. Great overall!
DMIS is an awesome place - the middle school is fantastic - my daughter will be graduating from 8th grade this year, speaking both French and Mandarin, and being an IB self-directed learner. The excellent and dedicated teachers, coupled with the amazing and diverse students and parents make it, I believe, one of the best schools in the country.
I visited this school and I honestly would not send my children here. Beacon county has a far more superior education. They teach french and the kids seem to be better prepared for high school.
We have been at the school for 4 years and have experienced the ECE program as well as Kindergarten through 4th grade with multiple children. The teachers are the biggest asset, the teaching staff is tremendous, an internal survey of parents attests to this with 99% of parents agreeing. Curriculum is well defined and clearly stated and teachers are accessible to discuss students progress. I only speak English so it is critical to have confidence in the teachers and to have open communications channels. Student teacher ratios are low. The administration has seen little or no turnover in the past 6 years. If you are considering the school please reach out to any of the school's board members for a unique and honest parental perspective When considering other language immersion schools I would encourage thorough research including; financials, staff turnover and posted meeting minutes. Language immersion education is a once in a lifetime opportunity. With this opportunity it is important to understand the short term sacrifices you are making that lead to long term enrichment. We are confident that we our kids are getting the best language immersion experience in Denver.
The best school I could ever hope for!! DMIS is a small school where the emphasis is placed on creativity and the stimulation of thought and imagination. There is a very international atmosphere at DMIS, and you'll hear Spanish, French and Chinese just walking down the hallway. DMIS is a comfortable, fun and stimulating environment for children. The Spanish curriculum is accredited through Spain and the US. My son, who is in the Spanish program, speaks Spanish with a native Spanish accent. His English reading and writing is very academic as well! And there is an impressive selection of optional after-school activities available, such as Judo, Fencing, Dance, Music and Chess. The administration is ALWAYS available to talk, and makes a point of knowing each family and child individually. They strive to provide the best possible academic situation for EACH family, and will even call you at home to let you know that your child is doing WELL! ...not just when there's a problem. Hands-down the best school in Denver!
My daughter is in the 3 year old Spanish class at DMIS. It is our first year but, so far, we could not be more pleased. The foreign language component is what first drew us to the school, but our daughter has gotten so much more out of the program than language exposure. Here teachers, across the board, are caring, kind and extraordinarily knowledgeable on early childhood education. Her skills and her love of learning are growing daily. She loves school so much she asks to go on the weekends! Moreover, she is learning Spanish rapidly and with a native sounding accent. We ve discovered that learning a language is not only giving her and her friends a skill and a way to communicate with more people; it is also opening their minds to the diversity of the world in a way that is remarkable to see in 3 year old children.
I have watched the school go through ups and downs over the past 10 years. This is my son's third year at the school and it is amazing how far they have come just in the past three years. The school is growing and thriving in all areas - student academics, administration, communication, parent involvement, grounds improvement, social events, school events, etc. There have definitely been some growing pains since they moved to the new campus, but I feel that the administration has been working hard to keep parents in the loop and the kids continue to receive a top-notch multilingual education. I have been totally impressed with my son's teachers and what he has learned in the ECE program. I am excited to watch him grow academically as he enters the elementary grades and hope to see him continue in the IB Middle School that was just added.
In response to the last post, I'd like to clarify that Denver Montclair International School (DMIS) is far more than a language school. Offering a rigorous and well-rounded curriculum that emphasizes art, English, history, math, music, physical education, science and social studies, the DMIS curriculum is divided into four Learning Cycles to correspond with student development: (1) Immersion, (2) Solidifying the Knowledge Base, (3) Expanding the Knowledge Base and the Introduction of a Third Language and (4) Becoming Responsible Citizens. The students begin with full-immersion in the target language -- French, Mandarin or Spanish -- and the amount of English instruction steadily increases as they progress through the cycles. Science and social studies, along with all traditional school subjects, are introduced in the target language as early as 3-years-old, so the claim that there is zero science or social studies is incorrect. If anyone has questions about the curriculum offered at DMIS, I strongly recommend that they contact our Academic Director at 303.340.3647.
This is our daughters third year in the Mandarin program and I can not imagine a better education for my daughter. She is reading and writing very well in both English and Mandarin. Her teachers are ALL exceptional - English, Mandarin, PE, Music, Art, Math, Science - and their enthusiasm for teaching encourages a life-long love of learning. I find the administration approachable, engaged and responsive. The curriculum encourages a global view of the world and a level cultural awareness that is invaluable. The very low student/teacher ratio allows students to progress at their own pace, with very personalized attention. Finally, the tuition, at under $12,000, is a true gift.
As a parent of a student in the Spanish program, I could not be more pleased with my daughter's progress and the education she is receiving at DMIS. She is fluently reading and writing in both English and Spanish. She has tremendous enthusiasm for learning and for interacting and understanding other cultures. Her learning is a direct reflection of the skills, culture and excitement for learning brought to the program by the teachers and staff. The parent community is committed and involved. I would differ in opinion with those parents that have posted regarding the weakness of the curriculum and administration. I have found the administration, while not perfect to be thoughtful and concerned with any issues that I have brought to their attention. The curriculum encourages creativity, communication and cultural awareness which will be essential skills for the future. I truly believe the environment is nurturing a lifelong love of learning in my child. The tuition, at under $12,000 is one of the lowest for private (non-parochial) schools in the Denver area.
Not great. Some of the teachers are good but the professional development is horrible and many of the teachers are very young and very inexperienced. THe administration is also not great. It is TOTALLY run like a French school. The curriculum is also very weak. Many of the kids that graduate struggle with middle school. The school has tremendous potential but will never live up to it with such a weak administration.
My daughter started the French program in Kindergarten at age 4. Her French is amazing and she can hold conversations with other French speaking adults after only 5 months. This is a wonderful alternative to 'Gifted and Talented' programs, since many do not live up to that classification.
My daughters both attend the French program and have been since the age of 3. I have been extremely impressed with the quality of the teaching staff. Not only are they very competent but they add a real sense of community and connection with the children. The staff is great and the directors are very open and proactive on all matters. My girls are thriving there!
My daughter is in her second year at DMIS in French and I cannot say enough good things about our experience here. Her language skills are amazing, her accent impeccaable due to the native only teachers and her global awareness is inspiring. I love walking down the halls and absorbing the multi-cultural atmosphere with kids, parents and teachers all speaking multiple languages. Neither my husband, nor myself speak another language, but this has not hampered out daughter's ability to learn one at all. Now in Kindergarten, she is relatively fluent in French and is already showing interest in and picking up some Spanish and Mandarin. The art, music and PE programs are first-rate as well and my daughter looks forward to these immensely. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who wants to give their child another language, espeicially since it is so rare in the U.S.
An amazing school/curriculum! The teachers are so caring and the low student:teacher ratio has such a positive impact on the learning aspect for these children. The administration is so caring and attentive. I feel very fortunate to be able to have my child attend. There is no other school that is focusing on the future of our children's education in this diverse world. This school's focus for our children to become future leaders and be able to be exposed to the international world market place will been nothing shy of completely beneficial in which these children will become a great asset in life. Proven facts that these children learning a second language (french, mandarin or spanish) pose higher self esteems, better troubleshooting skills, have higher levels of cognitive skills, and much more. The positives go on an don. This school is worth every penny spent for my childs education.
DIS is an outstanding school and we thrilled to have our daughter enrolled in the French program. I would caution parents to not consider the summer camp as an indicator of the quality of the school. The two are separate entities and should be evaluated independent of each other. I have found the school's administration to be very hands on and professional. We are lucky to have such a quality school here in Denver and our children will reap the benefits of an international education
My daughter has been at DIS since they began the 3-year-old program in Jan. '07. She just entered Kindergarten and absolutely loves the school. I speak Spanish to her at home and my husband speaks English, so she has been bilingual since birth. The school has been a wonderful complement to our bicultural home--not only the language immersion aspect, but the fact that she is growing into a global citizen to whom it is not only normal but expected that others should speak multiple languages. The administration did go through some growing pains but are doing significantly better. This year they've adopted the Spanish national curriculum, emulating the French and Mandarin programs, both of which follow the curricula of those countries. As a result, they have hired new teachers from Spain. We are very excited about this new school year and the impending merger with Montclair Academy next year.
Our daughter has been at DIS for a year now. She loves it and so do we. The teachers are all held to strict standards in teaching and also in dealing with behaviour of the children. Adam, the Director, is very open and active with parents. I have had a few discussions with him and he has always listened and responded thoughtfully and fairly. He is very involved in every aspect of the school and it makes a positive difference. Neither my husband nor I speak French but our daughter has learned an incredible amount of French as well as general skills (writing, reading) that she should at her age. And she is aware and curious about the world - other languages, people, countries, etc. That is important to us. It is a great experience for anyone!
My 5 year old daughter is enrolled the DIS Summer Camp, and she loves it. My experience with the administration has been the complete opposite of that of a previous poster - I have been struck by their friendliness, professionalism and obvious dedication to the students.
I was very excited to have my 3 year old in a Spanish Camp this summer, however as a teacher myself I have never seen an administration so disorganized, unkind and unprofessional in any other school in the Denver area. This is no Colorado Academy. The only plus would be the teacher. She is kind and nurturing. Hmm.
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