I concur with the reviewer below about the Carson classrooms and teacher absenteeism (in some cases). The school is becoming more popular because the neighborhood is drawing a more affluent and educated crowd hence the overcrowding. The admin should not let out of bounds students enroll during choice until the registration numbers are confirmed. Moreover, the admin needs to think about the curriculum more thoroughly and strive to unify this highly divided school. The constituency of bright, high achieving neighborhood students in "traditional" classrooms is underserved due to the separation of the HGT program, even when most of the traditional students are advanced themselves. HGT students get better curricula, more commitment from teachers / students, and higher expectations resulting in better grades. The HGT students have an air of superiority, telling the traditional students that they are smarter, more "talented", and deserve better treatment (like being first to lunch, etc). Yes, there is a huge division between the traditional and HGT programs, and it is unclear why the administration needs to continue this course. Historically, the HGT program was put in place to keep neighborhood children in the school but now it serves as a discriminatory tool pitting neighbor against neighbor. As George removed barriers to their IB Diploma program so too should Carson. Of course, HGT parents will insist on their entitlement by reserving Carson's advanced coursework to the few, but it is the right thing to open up the program for all to access. HGT and all related monikers are programs designed to track students thus limiting non-HGT students' exposure and ultimately limiting their opportunity. It's not in keeping with great neighborhood schools (see Steck and Bromwell), and Carson needs to adjust accordingly. Besides, Carson scores lower than Steck and Bromwell on DPS assessments yet the student demographics are identical so clearly having high expectations for only the few leads to a lesser oucome overall. Choicing into nearby Steck / Bromwell is impossible so the neighborhood is stuck with this discriminatory school. Generally, a raw deal for this fantastic neighborhood.
Character education is the best thing going at Carson. The (new) administration has been a disappointment. Emphasis on rewarding teachers for mostly mediocre performance. Schoolwide attendance initiative should include teachers, not just students. The advertised student/teacher ratio is misleading since all classrooms are taken into account- DHH and some HGT classrooms are small while many traditional classrooms are overcrowded. Behavioral issues in the classroom take away from learning time. The school has a lot of potential given the involved parents, but leadership from the top down needs to be stronger.
Very out of touch with the needs of the students.
Focus is on patting teachers on the back and donating towards monetary rewards for the teachers.
No individualized help.
Admin is horrible.
Very dedicated towards student "fun days" which are just extra work for parents while students required to make homemade projects and try to sell them to the other students.
Do not recommend at all.
Carson is a well-regarded elementary school in the Hilltop area. There are tons of active families, pleasant children, committed teachers, and ample extracurricular / after school activities. It has a fabulous character ed program that really differentiates it from other programs. On the whole, it's a very safe, fun and enriching place to attend elementary school in Denver. There is room for improvement around specific teacher communication to parents (responding to emails, giving class updates, for example). There is very little window into what is going on in class, the current topics of study, etc, as very little homework is sent home with students (which is a good thing). My child has mentioned that math is "not real math", and says that students are directed to make up their own formulas (in geometry), investigate problems in teams (with no solutions), and the tests are nonsensical with poor wording and confusing directions. The school uses Everyday Mathematics currently, and is switching to Bridges, another discovery math program where teachers do not direct instruction using traditional math procedures. As most of the area schools have some form of discovery, teamwork math program, it's not a reason to not select this school but it's a weakness.
Very disappointing school. This school has high teacher turnover, we have lost two teachers during the school year. I am a full-time working parent and communication is terrible, no lead time to make any plans for child care, school parties, picking up school supplies, etc. if I had to do it over again, I would never have enrolled my child at this school.
My son started Carson in 3rd grade and it has been a terrific experience. The staff is wonderful, his teachers have his best interests at heart. The parental involvement is outstanding and I am so happy that I chose Carson for my son. I was worried because of all the bad you hear about Denver Public Schools, but this school is amazing and I would not change a thing. The character education that they have at Carson falls right in line with how I raise my son and the small class sizes mean that each child does not get overlooked. I would recommend Carson to any parent looking for a great learning environment for their child!
Carson is a terrific school. The teachers and school leadership are exceptional. The academic level is advanced. I feel fortunate to have my child attending the school. Very impressed. I would also like to highlight the kindergarten program, it's excellent.
Carson is fantastic! I observed the school before sending my kids there and recommend you do the same before making a choice. The positive atmosphere inspires my children to want to learn. I couldn't imagine sending my kids anywhere else.
The other reviews of this school clearly reflect a "group think" perspective and not the reality of the performance of this school. The families at this school are great but the teachers and administration at this school are very much sub par. Of the 1st through 5th grade teachers (i.e. 9 teachers) only 2 have a passion for teaching. The rest are typical public school under achievers. If your kids aren't in the HG program, the academic expectations of students are extremely low. Classroom discipline is a joke. Problem children are sent to the neighboring classroom for "time outs" so they can disrupt two classrooms instead of effective discipline being metered by the principal and the parents. In fact I have never known of parents being notified of their problem child(ren) even after two years of constant classroom misbehavior. My kids are shell-shocked by the clowns in their classrooms. The principal is nice and "available" but has done nothing to raise the performance of teachers or students. The teachers she has hired are big-time status quo under-performers. Even with the HG program Carson scores 20 points below Steck which is a mile away with similar demographics.