This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Denver Montclair International School5
Posted November 26, 2013
- a parent
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.
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.