I am a Denver Academy alum and I was surprised to see some negative reviews. I struggle with executive functioning (organization, planning, long-term memory etc.). Think ADD. I attended Denver Academy from fourth grade through high school. I went to, and was successful in, college. I now have a master's degree and have embarked on a career that I love. If the Denver Academy today is anything like the Denver Academy of my youth then I can not imagine a better place for a student with learning differences.
My son went to 1 top public & 2 private schools before attending DA. He has finally found a home. He is dyslexic & exceptional and has excelled at DA. Kids aren't stupid; they only feel good about themselves if they feel academically challenged and have real friendships. My son has been at DA for 1 year & is happy. Kids that have behavior issues might want to look elsewhere. This school is geared towards kids that have dyslexia or other learning issues. As far as teachers having advanced degrees, our teacher has a Master's in Ed. One thing that I didn't expect is that the teachers are kind of alternative in a good way, the kids love them. We left a top public school because of the teacher's rigid styles. The teachers are smart and intuitive and clearly well trained. My son loves his teacher, & had made friends. A parent needs to be realistic about where his child is academically - it's hard. The student will get there at DA, it might not be at the pace that the previous parent was looking for. It is a difficult thing to do, but once you embrace your child he will be mentally and academically strong, at his pace. Going to DA will change your child's life - go to DA.
I can't say enough good things about Denver Academy. My son began school at DA in the middle of the 9th grade. He is severely dyslexic and a slow processor who was failing in a Douglas County high school with a GPA below 1.0. After moving him to DA he has excelled. He is in the 10th grade now on honor roll and a GPA in the high 3's. His self esteem is beginning to elevate after years of poor grades and teachers who did not understand him or have the patience to teach him. I love DA and plan to send my 2nd child there next year to begin the 9th grade. DA has been a safe haven for my son and my family. It is very difficult to find a school when your child does not fit the mold of most children. I would recommend DA to anyone who does not feel public education is working for their child.
Our granddaughter had been in special education in public school before going to DA and was on a downward spiral. She cried every morning and found excuse after excuse not to go to school. She had been diagnosed with ADHD and was really struggling. She started DA in the middle of 7th grade and is now a senior. From day one at DA she loved going to school and rarely missed. Keeping her there has financially been very difficult! However, it has been worth every cent we've all spent because she has become a self assured lovely young women with a positive future. How can anyone put a price on that?
Buyer beware! Your student may feel better emotionally after a bad time at another school, but do not expect your child to receive an education. DA's review does not belong in "Great Schools" - it is far from "great." They are far from experts in the area of special ed. The teachers are hired based on other criteria and are in way over their head. Even with guidance, from you the parent, about what works for your child, they will not get it and their is no accountability. Do not trust their in house test scores. My child, when tested appropriately in order to leave and go public, was a full 2 years below what they had found in their testing. Run, run, run!! save your kids future. If you plan to have them re-enter public setting be prepared because your student is academically very far behind.
Denver Academy has been my child's first happy experience with school. He is a slow processor and needs a small, safe environment in which to learn. The school allows the kids the time they need to complete projects, on their own, at school. The homework is appropriate to the lessons and short enough to be easily accomplished by the student. After years at another private school, where homework was lengthy and often unrelated to the days lesson, and projects came home which were developmentally unrealistic and consequently completed mostly by the parents, I find Denver Academy a very refreshing experience. They have put emphasis on the areas this population of kids need and are motivated by. They have an excellent library with a kind and educated librarian to encourage reading. The arts departments are strong and the kids are encouraged to find their individual strengths. The graduation ceremony at the end of the year celebrates each student, in each grade, in an individual and personal way. I was under the impression that my child, not having a diagnosed issue would be unable to attend DA. That unfortunate misimpression on my part, cost us years of of unhappy schooling.
Denver Academy does not have the core services that one would expect from an institution that charges between $22,000 and $26,000 per year. Fundamentals are missing including speech and occupational therapy as well as other proven techniques to help students with learning differences. The principals and head master are somewhat arrogant and not interested in hearing input that includes a critical assessment of what is missing. Further the staff is not educated appropriately to handle these students. I believe there are few if any master degrees amongst the teachers. Finally, behavior is a big issue as DA has a relaxed behaviorial admission requirements. Behavior in the primary school was a big problem for our child and the school/principals failed to address this in an effective manner.
Denver Academy has made a positive impact in my child's life: she's learning self-esteem, social appropriateness and mental stimulation. She really enjoys school, now. This makes her happy (and her family!). Denver Academy has built a great staff, a great environment and great resources - thank you DA for all you do.
This beautiful, caring school has made a world of difference in my granddaughters life. The instructors make school fun and learning a challenge. They also teach kindness and understanding. The small classes give the teachers a chance to know each child. It is a wonderful educational experience for all who are lucky enough to go there.
DA has been a gift to our son who has ADD and has a very unique learning profile. He had a wonderful middle school experience. He stepped away for the first semester of 9th grade, but wanted to go back to DA, where he felt smart and capable, after two months. I have found the teachers to be very good and dedicated to the success of each student. It's such a gift to have a teacher actually know your child and his abilities and how to motivate him to do his best.
We have tried others, but came back to Denver Academy. This is a great school for students who have learning differences or need more time to process information. The school provides many opportunities to excel. My son is not coddled at DA, he is expected to work to his potential and articulate his difficulties so the teachers can help him help himself. 5 star in my opinion.
Denver Academy may work for some students who learn differently but it does not work for all. My child has ADD, struggles in public school and is fairly smart. My child struggles because of learning differences compounded by ADD. DA was unable to teach my child. They were unable to provide an environment where my child felt safe and accepted. Most of the teachers did not understand nor have the patience and maybe the interest to work with my child. Noneof the teachers we had had a background or education in working with students who have ADD and learn differently. Also most did not have a degree in the subject they taught. Which was really surprising. We were disappoiinted with our experience at Denver Academy. The curriculum seemed too easy and our child did not excel.
Denver Academy is an amazing private school for students with learning differences or students who just learn better with more one-on-one attention. Class sizes are generally around 13 students with 1 teacher and generally 1 teaching assistant. Teachers address all learning styles so that all types of learners are able to succeed in this environment.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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