Polaris at Ebert is a a fantastic school celebrating creativity with core curriculum and arts with science. I love that the school's community is comprised of many diverse and talented parents as well.
Our eldest daughter graduated last fall and we are thrilled with how Polaris has prepared her for Middle School. She is a product of both the founding principal and the current principal, as well as past and current teacher. We credit her own efforts and the fabulously passionate teachers and current Principal for their hard work and educational values. Polaris is not always an easy place to learn because it is intense, yet we are so glad that our children have had the opportunity to learn there. Kudos to Polaris for not teaching for tests and for teaching for the better development of the children. We are so glad our younger daughter has two more years at Polaris!
My son is not "high acheiving," he struggles to get all his great ideas down on paper. I wish he felt more valued and included at Polaris. He feels bad that his test scores don't match what is "expected." I was warned about the changing leadership before we enrolled our boys here, but also heard a lot of great things too. I think if you have well-behaved children, and especially still quiet girls, you will be a better fit at Polaris. Loud, active, unruly boys that are hard to get a good finished product out of may have a harder time connecting with the administration.
I must rave about Polaris, and I have read a few of the below comments and want to address them. I have found the new(er) principal to be quite approachable, supportive, professional, and engaging. She is a very strong leader. I understand that she took over leadership from the original founder and visionary of the school, but that the original vision was not able to be executed (too idealistic?) and the current vision for the school is very clear- teaching to high achieving and gifted kids, not squashing but rather keeping space for creativity, and establishing an incredible community with a strong parent base and love of learning. The school is a lovely old building with many great updates, the classrooms feel like traditional public school classrooms but with flairs of each teacher's own interests/passions. Polaris has the highest test scores of any school in DPS, but the kids don't seem to be taught to the test. Kids get help for learning differences when needed (although this might not be as extensive as at other schools). If many good teachers have left, many others have come that are just wonderful. This school makes it possible to feel totally at rest as a mom.
Ebert is the best school in the metro area. Having come from other school(s) my husband and I feel like our children have found a safe haven that is nurturing and challenging to their intellectual and emotional needs. The teachers are exceptional, well trained and simply loving. The principal is a lovely person. She is open-minded, has an open door and heart for these children. The curriculum is cohesive and the electives are cherished by our kids! THANK YOU EBERT!!!
The Polaris program at Ebert Elementary provides the best elementary school education in Denver. I've looked at Edison, Steck, Bromwell, Cory and Park Hill, but none of them compare.
My child felt like an outcast at other schools. We were hoping that at Polaris, she would finally have a group of peers whom she would feel accepted and understood her. Polaris has been the answer to our prayers. Highly gifted children have very special and specific social needs, and Polaris is Denver's expert at addressing these needs. This is not a school that will push advanced academics, like certain private schools for the gifted. Instead, Polaris focuses on nurturing the childrens' creative side, and helping them to be responsible, friendly, happy children with the skills to be successful in the world they will one day venture into.
While certainly still the best of DPS , I feel the new direction that Polaris has taken is decidedly less optimistic than it was 4 years ago. The new principal is very concerned with awards, test scores and appearances. I am concerned that the joyfulness of teaching and the of learning, are being dismissed. A majority of the very best teachers that Dr Howard had worked with are now working elsewhere, and every year more will quit. While the teachers that remain are dedicated, hard working teachers, the principal is unapproachable. The kindness, warmth, and nurturing that attracted us to Polaris in the first place seems to be dissolving into thin air. I hope that I am wrong and that next year I will see a a different atmosphere. But for the last couple of years, our family has really struggled with the change in leadership. We are thankful for the teachers that carry on and for the great parental involvement.
Ebert is by far the best elementary school in DPS and you should send your kids there if they test in. However be aware that the quality of the program and teachers is slipping. Too many good teachers have left in the last 3 years. We were thrilled with K-3rd grade but 4th and 5th grades were a disappointment. With one outstanding exception parents are unhappy with the teachers in those grades. Also it's a school that values the arts above all else and does very little to nurture a passion for math or science. The Friday electives program (parent run) is beloved by all.
Since October seems to be the month to rate Polaris, I might as well join the throng. The great thing about the school is that you have all these bright, inquisitive, high-achieving kids, who don't feel ashamed or self-conscious about their gifts, who are encouraged to be normal, regular kids, explore what they want to explore, have fun and learn in a joyful, free, kid-friendly environment. My husband was gifted, went to his local, public school and always felt like the odd-ball, the weird, smart, different kid. I am thankful that my two gifted kids don't have to go through that - they can be smart and it's totally normal and accepted. Shouts out to the great teachers, great parent volunteers, great arts and science curriculum. Now if only we could shrink the class size (of all DPS schools) to maybe 20-21, life would be just about perfect.
We love the hands-on opportunities for the children, focus on community, empathy and building rounded children, the challenging curriculum and teachers trained to differentiate, the smaller size and intimate atmosphere, and integration of science and the arts. This is a school that is trying to engage children and challenge them to do their very best.
this school encourages children to think globally. Children think creatively how to solve typical problems.
An incredible school - the best elementary in Denver, hands down. Excellent teachers, caring principal, global curriculum - all focused on the needs of gifted learners.
The children experience educational freedom - they have choices and make decisions on their own much of the time...
One word describes this school: Joy. You see it in the faces of the children, the staff, and the families. We are there all the time, helping out wherever possible because we all believe in the mission of the school and love being there, in this atmosphere of joy! My children start every day with a smile, heading off to school. Better yet, they seem to believe every day was "the best day ever!" when I ask them about their day...how much more could a parent want?
Amazing school that let's kids learn for the passion and joy of learning, not learn to take tests!
It is a school where kids can be kids. They are encouraged to grow and to stretch their intellectual boundaries while being encouraged to revel in their silly kid selves. Even the kids themselves seem to recognize this school as a special place where they can be themselves and they allow other kids to be themselves as well (as much as kids can - with the support of the teaching staff). The kids act their ages - and I love that my children have the freedom to enjoy their childhood.
Teaching the whole child to challenge the mind and think outside the box, integrating the arts and science into everything they do!
It has been a huge blessing to my children. Our neighborhood school has been low performing and although we tried to make it work by getting involved at the school. Their performance, however, was way ahead and they were not being challenged. I felt my daughter in particular would have held herself back to keep from having to keep going up in grade level early (she was already one grade ahead). Now they can achieve as high as they want and there are no limits!
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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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