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K-6
Public charter
Denver, CO
Students enrolled: 600
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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451 Newport St
Denver, CO 80220

School website
(303) 468-3228
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Denver Language School address.

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December 28, 2014
Underwhelming! Third grade English teacher is a previous secretary at the school that got promoted to being an English teacher without any prior schooling in education or English. She told our daughter's class she was too busy with her child and laundry that she couldn't correct spelling tests for a week. New principal has a history of not staying with a school for more than a couple years and has been fired as principal. Chinese teacher gave me the results of my child's STAR test. I asked what the test was about and the teacher said she had no idea. You may think this is a great school, but that's if your expectations are low and you've never attended somewhere great. Keeping my fingers crossed that a better Mandarin immersion school comes into town.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2014
Wow...giving dls a one star, that's completely unfair and inaccurate. Dls has provided my child now in 6th grade with an outstanding education and it still does. The new math teacher is doing a great job and has strengthened, not weakened the program. I'm not sure what other parents are so "livid" about. The 5th and 6th grade share teachers and are considered part of the middle school. Teachers are great and truly care. My child is happy with school resources, activities and absolutely loves learning a third language this year. The principal is working hard trying to communicate to parents all the changes and improvements in the program. Unfortunately parents are not showing up to the latest informational meetings and are making wrong assumptions. We will definitely stay and enjoy everything that this wonderful school has to offer.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2014
K-5 is running smoothly, but the middle school is a train wreck. This year is the first year for the middle school with two 6th grade classes and they just weren't ready for it. It's just like another year of elementary school. There are 600 kids at the school, but only about 30 in middle school. All the middle school teachers also work in the K-5 program and they teach accordingly. One teacher has been using the same material for 6th grade as for her 5th grade class. Math has been weakened by staff changes (we find out soon if the 6th grade will have their 3rd math teacher for this year or if they will stick with the 2nd one). Science is currently being "taught" by an English lit graduate. My child in 6th grade gets less homework than my child grades below does. There are no after-school programs aimed at the middle school. There's widespread worry that the school is not focused on preparing students to go to high school. Parents of 6th grade kids are livid. Some (like us) are using outside tutoring to compensate for the lack of rigor. The school is finally now trying to respond, but I'm certain that many 6th grade parents will enter the school choice lottery... just in case.

- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2014
All teachers in this particular school must be "highly qualified." The teachers at Denver Language School are required to take and pass the Praxis II exam. When the school first started not all teachers had taken and passed this exam. Teachers who did not pass the exam by summer of 2012 were not retained. As a parent of a student with extreme emotional needs I know that students with social-psychological issues receive a ton of support. But it's up to us parents to ensure that our students are ready for school, capable of abiding by school rules and receiving what other help they need outside of school. We are also responsible for making those decisions best for our students which at times may involve waiting a year to start school (red-shirting), taking time off school or even changing to schools which offer a deeper level of emotional support. I myself may have my child attend an HGT program but only because that's what's best for this particular child and is not reflection on the school. My child's teacher differentiates as best as possible but a several-year span on abilities is difficult for any school to achieve in a single classroom.

- submitted by a parent
October 20, 2014
DLS is very good at teaching Math and language and they have an amazing art and gym teacher. For students who learn well in teacher centered classrooms DLS is a good option. There are a lot of wonderful supportive families in this community. DLS has a long way to go to develop a philosophy and a practice of teaching the whole child and of creating a caring warm culture. There is a lot of bullying and shaming that happens at DLS from both students and teachers, which has plagued the school since it opened. Very few of the Mandarin teachers (I can't speak for the Spanish program) are licensed educators so they lack the skills or the knowledge to respond to the social emotional needs of kids. There is a new principal who is very good, but she has a difficult job reforming the culture of the school and teaching teachers about good quality instructional practices. If you have a child who is emotionally fragile or has any learning or behavior difficulties this is probably not a good fit. The new leadership team, may be able to create a school that is about more than just teaching language, but it is going to take several years.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2014
We are a new family to Denver Language School. So far we are really impressed. We have had our children in language immersion at an area private school before getting into DLS, and I can say that we are so impressed with the school, the management, the curriculum, the support services, the wonderful cohort of students and parents, and the safe and exciting atmosphere of the school. Most importantly, my kids love it. They are so happy with the switch. We look forward to seeing how the school year unfolds. For parents considering language immersion as an option for elementary or middle school, it's totally worthwhile to check out DLS. No need to pay for a private school tuition if you are able to get into DLS. The faculty are well-trained and have their acts together. The communication between the administration, principles and parents has so far been awesome, and the after school activities and fun clubs are nearly identical private school we were attending before. The PTA is supportive and also very communicative. DLS has a lot going on, and it's a breath of fresh air to see it all. I am very pleased and thankful that we found a place there.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2014
Great school. Solid academics and wonderful teachers. They have a new principal who seems extremely qualified.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2014
What a joke! Can't keep a Principal for their life and now another one, GREAT! Ran as fast as I could- Lasted one year and in Feb. found out that my sons Chinese teacher isn't even CERTIFIED! Yikes- Good luck. The reason this schools gets the rating it does is because of the demographics of the school, no culture just plain white bread.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2014
Where to start... I absolutely love the concept, vision and curriculum of DLS. Teachers care, kids are learning and thriving in both languages. Parents are a little too much involved...everyone with their opinion on how things should run. Unfortunately I think that takes time and effort away from the admin to focus on more important things. I feel admin is always too busy dealing with parents, never see them in the classrooms with the kids. But the school is amazing, the teachers are great and we are very happy that we chose Dls for our kids.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2013
Some parents freak out about this school because it is academically rigorous, focused and "not what they experienced growing up." But, once I got over the unfamiliarity of my children learning in a foreign language, I could see what's so wonderful about this school. I am so impressed with everything my children are learning; and I have every confidence that our early investment in immersion will pay enormous dividends in cultural appreciation and academic prowess down the road. I only wish there could be more schools like DLS.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2013
We are SO PLEASED with DLS! We have had our kids enrolled at DLS since inception. They are now in 4th and 5th grade Mandarin. Both of our girls are thriving in both English and Mandarin. We have been so impressed by the new principal, Dr. Sara Amodio. She is very responsive and is passionate about giving the kids a great learning foundation!

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2013
I understand that everyone has their own experiences with the DLS administration, but I must say that I have been very happy with the follow up that my concerns received earlier this year: my kindergartener was being bullied by a peer in her classroom. When I emailed the principal about it, she replied within an hour, and followed that up with a phone call later that afternoon. She was appropriately concerned and explained to me what was being done to ameliorate the problem. She also encouraged me to contact her again any time in the future with any other concerns I might have. Since this conversation, my daughter has reported no more problems with this peer.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2013
We fully embrace full immersion education for our children and the teachers we have had have been great. The art, gym and music programs are fantastic. Unfortunately, the current administration does not have strong leadership skills, does not know how to delegate tasks or support teachers from different cultures. Instead of having a conversation with parents, the principal's technique is to yell at them or ignore them when they have an issue or concern. We are happy with what happens in the classroom but not what happens outside of it.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2013
I am a parent of a first grade Mandarin student and am thankful every day that my son has the opportunity to attend DLS. Both our kindergarten and first grade teachers have been wonderful - academically strong, nurturing, supportive and everything that I would look for in a teacher. The bond among the students is strong, and the school does a wonderful job of encouraging students to think and act like global citizens. The specials teachers are incredible and the quality of instruction in Art, PE and Music has far exceeded my expectations. The new principal has made great strides in open communication and organization. Most importantly, my son is sad every time there is a day off school as he loves it that much. That, to me, is a testiment to the culture, the teachers, and the overall ambience of the school. Thanks to the work of the dedicated parents, the skilled staff and the involvement of the students/families the school will only continue to get better and better.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2013
This is our 2nd year at DLS & we couldn't be happier! Our child is conversationally 'fluent' in speaking Mandarin, can read age appropriate books & is learning to write characters. The Singapore math model that is used is excellent, as are the science & social studies curriculums. Her teachers are kind, loving & truly care about their students. Differentiation occurs in the class, so small groups w/i 1 class are getting more individualized instruction. Class sizes range from 23 to 30, w/ 2 full time teachers in each class at all times. The PE & art teachers are amazing! The parent body is very involved, including a great & active PTA. Our excellent new principal has hit the ground running this year & has made some great changes. She is very supportive & truly has the school's best interest in mind. I do feel like people have to remember that DLS is just in it's 3rd year & yes, it does have some growing pains. But the administration is very aware of the issues & is tackling problems & making improvements everyday. There are many ways for parents to be involved too, even if you don't speak the target language. I highly recommend DLS & look forward to sending my 2nd child there.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2013
We have two kids at DLS, in first and fourth grade Spanish. We are truly amazed at how quickly they picked up a second language. They're both reading and speaking fluently in Spanish. We love all the extras-- music, PE, art, as well as many after-school enrichment classes offered by the teachers. We also love the diversity in the student population-- much more diverse than our neighborhood school. Teachers are animated, creative, and caring, and great at meeting the needs of all students in each class, including the highly gifted kids as well as the kids with IEPs. There are many opportunities for parents to volunteer in and out of the classroom and parent support is greatly appreciated. Every year the school gets stronger, and the new principal has made many positive changes since starting last summer, including great communication between administration and parents. We hope the school can move to a larger facility soon so we can grow into a full ECE-8th grade.

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2013
Wholeheartedly agree with the recent poor reviews and the points raised in each of them. We were ecstatic about sending our child to this school. However, our experience was in sharp contrast with what we were told and observed when we toured the school last year. That said, our child learned a lot of the target language and otherwise, thrived academically. We left mid-year because we couldn't justify staying after hearing our child's reports of what takes place in the classroom. These reports were confirmed through our own observations as well as multiple, independent accounts from other parents and their children. The administration refused to listen, acknowledge, or address these concerns. The reputation of the staff as unfriendly and resting on its laurels of the school's reputation from its first few years, IMO, is well deserved. There ARE a few gems in this school, but they lack the power to effect systemic change. The one star is for these gems.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2012
I am a parent/former DPS educator. This is our second yr at DLS. We were hopeful that with another yr under its belt and a new administrator, students and teachers would be better supported. Unfortunately this is not our experience. We shared our concerns/suggestions with the board of directors & the principal. There was no attempt to follow up. We will be leaving mid year. Areas of concern for Spanish kgarten (imo): class size of 30+, excessive amount of worksheet/desk time, punitive demerit behavior system, recess withheld for all students as form of punishment, papers thrown in trash when incorrectly executed, children urinating in pants due to denial of bathroom access, excessive time spent in behavior management vs teaching due to class size, inadequate small group time, little time spent speaking the target language due to noise level/control of large class, children being "labeled" as bad vs behaviors being labeled, I sincerely hope that at least some of these concerns will be addressed for the other children who remain at this school. That said, the parental involvement is robust and the teachers seem to want to make a difference....they just don't have the power.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2012
Every day I feel fortunate that my children can attend DLS, the 2012 #1 school of choice in the district. I am proud of Denver for supporting the vision that kids raised here will be ready for life in a global economy. Having fluency skills in a second language not only opens the door to opportunity in the workplace, but expands the way one can understand and enjoy another culture. Our family chose a language immersion program because the research stated that the earlier a child is exposed to a second language the better. After nine months in Shirley Li s DLS kindergarten, our daughter was able to write and present a four minute speech in Mandarin Chinese. It was only after being a part of DLS did we learn that kids in immersion programs test higher than their peers in all subjects after 5th grade. Researchers attribute the scores to an increase brain development of 20% because of the bi-literacy. DLS is an amazing place. We can't wait to learn Spanish next.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2012
We are so glad our child attends DLS. We loved the teachers dedication and their effort. There are so many parent volunteers, everybody wants to make the school not just good but great. I think that some of the customer service at the front desk could be better and it is being addressed. We are happy to have art, physical education, and music plus many extracurricular activities. Some activities we have to pay for but some are just created by parents like classroom book clubs which help support English proficiency. Also, the 2012 tcap results for 3rd grade were amazing!!!

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2012
Great concept but there is no mechanism in place for handling kids that don't fit their model. They wait until the child is in total meltdown and then determine that special education is needed. My son was MISERABLE, the assistant teacher didn't treat him fairly (this according to the primary class teacher). Instead of ensuring that the adults in the classroom treated children appropriately, my son suffered greatly. The school psychologist suggest I pull my son out as the school doesn't seem to notice they have created an issue. It has taken months for my son to get back to what was close to normal for him. Unless leadership changes I would steer clear. Great parental involvement. I think the teachers are well meaning but completely lacking in self awareness.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2012
I like DLS. The education is good and the goal is better. However I do feel their kindergarten requirements are high which is great but the student teacher ratio is not adequate so when the staff notices a child has a problem and is sent to the so-called specialist they are not helpful either. I think the teachers were nice and curriculum is good but there is just not enought attention being paid to students who need extra help to succeed. Half of an entire kindergarten class gets held back that is not good. My children will return because one is doing exceptional but he also had teachers who are no longer there when he started. So if my daughter does do better this go-round maybe the immersion process is just not for her. Good school for kids to learn a new language overall.

- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2012
In response to the post from an administrator, I also stated that the staff was very unwilling to help when it came to the process. I had to ask the Registrar if the Principal was available before she got out of her chair to help us. I am not blaiming DLS, I am stating a fact as to what happened to myself, my husband and our children with the registrartion process. I hold firm that there is poor customer service. I am very happy that Denver area students are doing well.

- submitted by a parent
January 02, 2012
In contrast to the other reviews, we have not had a great experience at this school. The families who attend are very committed and involved, and make a great community. However, on the classroom level, we have not been so pleased. It may be that it is just not a good match for our child's needs.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2011
What a great school to call home! I am a teacher at DLS and I truly leave school with a smile on my face, giving thanks for being able to be a part of such a positive, creative, and innovative educational community. The students are picking the target language naturally and quickly and make me laugh daily with the things they say and do. The parents are amazing - supportive, generous, down to earth and friendly. The staff are wonderful and inspiring to work with. I look forward to being a part of the DLS family for years to come.

- submitted by a teacher
October 04, 2011
We are thrilled with DLS. The art and PE programs are outstanding. The energy of the school is extremely positive. My child is excited to go to school every day.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2011
My daughter just finished her first year in Mandarin Kindergarten. She absolutely LOVES school, her teachers and all the new friends she made there. The classes are lively, energetic and full of songs and dramatic learning. My daughter has learned a great deal of Mandarin already and basically sings and talks in chinese at home (I have no clue what she is saying though!) She is even teaching her 3 year old brother who can now count to 20 in mandarin. The teachers are amazing and easily approachable. The parents are very involved and our PTO fundraising efforts are incredible for a school that has only 3 grades so far! We are very happy with our school. As for Brian, he is exactly what a start up needed and has been instrumental in generating funds for the school and planning its future. He has two incredible Program heads (CHinese and Mandarin) who are more than adequately experienced in running the educational programs. Love it!

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2011
My child is receiving a wonderful education here, we couldn't be happier. As a volunteer, I've worked with every staff member and they all have something to bring to the table. It really shows how much they enjoy their job and really do care about the kids. We have such a wonderful group of parents too. A BIG thanks, to the two founding parents and the man who said "yes", to create DLS.

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2011
We love Denver Language School!! We feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful community. The teachers are fantastic, the staff is great and the curriculum is challenging. My son is receiving a great education. He is already speaking Spanish and it's only been 8 months. He loves learning Spanish and looks forward to going to school every morning. He is very happy at Denver Language School and so are we!

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2011
During Denver Language School's inaugural year, our daughter has been a student in their Mandarin program. The director who oversees that program sets the bar high and my daughter, who is only in Kindergarten, can now read and write Chinese characters, and speak in full complicated Mandarin sentences! I knew going into the school year, there would be some bumps in the road, as it is a brand new charter school. However, the administration has shown dedication and perseverance to do what they believe is best for the school community. Some parents may have reservations about public charter schools, but the academic curriculum demands excellence and the after school enrichment programs range from music, sports, art, cultural classes and more to support my daughter's growth in various areas. She looks forward to school every morning and is almost always smiling when I come to pick her up in the afternoon. I look forward to watching my child grow and learn in this school environment for many years to come.

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2011
This is the first year of the school's existence, and my child is in the Mandarin Kindergarten class. I am very pleased with the education received, the accessibility and expertise of the program director, and the quality of our teacher. With no Mandarin experience prior to starting DLS, my child is speaking some simple Chinese sentences, reading Chinese characters, doing addition, subtraction and less/more than, and equally important, loving school every day. While there are things the school can do to improve further, this has been a very impressive first year start. We feel SO fortunate to have this wonderful and unique educational opportunity in a public charter setting.

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: December 28, 2014

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Denver Language School
451 Newport St, Denver, CO  80220
(303) 468-3228
Last modified Denver Language School is a Charter school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Denver Language School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 31 reviews. Top