This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Denver Montclair International School5
Posted March 31, 2015
- a parent
This school is truly amazing. Our daughter is enrolled in the ECE Mandarin program and we don't have anything negative to say about our experience this year. We lived in France prior to this where our daughter attended two different International schools, the last of which was IB Middle Years certified and while it was a decent school, I can say that ISD is lightyears ahead of it in almost every respect. The teachers are caring and truly dedicated to the students' educational and emotional needs. With very small classroom sizes (14 total students), the teachers can truly cater to the individual needs, providing more assistance for those kids struggling in an area and giving more advanced work to those who are ready. Curriculum is challenging and you can truly see your child learning, not only the chosen language, but all areas of academics; arts, music, math, science, English. The focus on cultural immersion, not just language, is impressive. The communication to parents from the administration is outstanding and the parent-involvement is impressive. I would recommend this school to anyone who wants to give their child the gift of an international education and bilingualism.
I totally agree with the parent who submitted his/her post back in 2011. "It is 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 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." All of this is spot on. If only I was proactive enough and had carefully read the reviews before enrolling our 2 kids.
Not a safe place for your kids. Make sure you ask these questions before you enroll: 1- how many injuries that requested ER intervention happened so far? 2- Are your caregivers qualified? What degrees/experience do they have? 3- How do you prevent the bad safety accidents from happening again? The answer to these questions is blahblah. They just do lip service without documents you can look at.
I visited this school because I thought the idea was interesting but it it is glaringly obvious that the school needs much growth. The answers I received for questions about academics were vague and not thoughtful. I felt the school mirrored a start up school not one that has been around for 40 years. Underwhelmed by my experience.
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.