Underwhelming! I am posting again after having my first honest review removed. After attending an amazing language immersion school, this school is not academically rigorous is any way. The school lacks discipline and consistently good teachers. We have had a couple good ones, but the majority are not good. Our daughter's teacher just told us that a 15/40 on a test and that she was doing well.
Many of our friends are seeking tutoring so you may expect that expense. The English program at the school is so bad that parents are paying out of pocket to teach their children.
As an observation of school leadership:
A male administrator has repeatedly been going in the female bathroom. This male administrator also took our daughter into his office and closed the door. There were no other adults present. Scary? We think so!
My child was bullied daily. She also witnessed bullying of other children. The teacher will do nothing until a parent lets them know you'll be documenting every altercation and their lack of discipline.
We've been incredibly pleased with Denver Language School. Our daughter has been there for three years now and our son will start kindergarten in the fall, both in the Spanish program. The school really supports the whole kid - it's not just teaching to the test. She's not only becoming completely fluent in another language, she's learning how to think critically, to be a leader and a global citizen, and to problem solve. The teachers and administration are very communicative and helpful any time I have any questions, and I love how proactive they are about creative a positive learning environment and providing for my daughter's needs before I even know she has them. I highly and without reservation recommend Denver Language School to any parent looking for a language immersion experience in the Denver area. I can't wait for the kids to learn Chinese in the 5th grade - I may have to step up and learn it myself!
I was/am attracted to DLS’ greatschools.com rating and to some of the existing parent’s reviews, and by the opportunities that will surely come from my kid learning a language – but, I've also found myself asking, at what cost? My personal experience is that DLS may not be a good fit if your kid doesn't already speak the language; if you are sensitive about your kid’s emotional wellbeing and safety, and/or if you get bothered by a headmaster's poor response rate to things like safety.
Safety is most important. My child got injured at this charter school, his foot bone broken in the PE class before 10am, teacher and all other teachers at this school, ignored his pain and suffering, didn't even give him a hand, no any concern, no any attention. Just let him hop around and walk that differently in pain for whole day. The school didnot call or inform parents, just let my son in such a pain for whole day. My child had cast for 6 weeks, when the cast removed, his right leg muscle was thin and soft, hardly to walk normally. It took long time to get recovered
For the academic thing, I dont know how the rating gets calculated. Daily bully here, school doesn't do anything help to the parents and the classroom teacher.
Teachers at public schools all have the teaching license and get all the necessary professional training. But not for this kind of charter school. Most teachers have no teaching license, very rarely have the license.
students have the behavior problems, school just ignored and let the bully happen everyday in the classroom.
Once anything bad happened, Denver public school district has no power to handle this school, this kind of charter school is just a business. Be aware!
We have been at DLS for going on four years now. While I cannot speak for the Spanish program, our experience in the Mandarin program has been really wonderful. I do agree that if you have a child who has trouble with a highly academic, structured school environment, this is probably not the school for them. DLS expects a very high level of academic achievement from the students, and this shows up in their test scores. My daughter, who has just average ability in math (takes after me, unfortunately) is testing at a year above grade level due to the math instruction at DLS. Yes, parents are asked to read with their children in English for twenty minutes per night, but if you deliberately choose to place your child in a full-immersion language school, I believe that that is part of the commitment for which you are signing up. I don't feel that I have been "homeschooling" my kids in English, but we do commit to the nightly reading time, and they are now (in 1st and 3rd grade) both reading at grade level in English. The "specials" are great, especially art and music, and all the teachers my kids have had are very caring and rigorous instructors. We couldn't be happier with our experience at DLS.
DLS is not perfect but what school is? I believe that we need to give schools time to implement all the feedback given. I know this is true because I've been a public school educator for 15 year, 4 of which have been in DPS. The parent community is active at DLS and they offer many opinions. I found the leadership of Kathy and her team to be top notch. They have slowly but very thoughtfully implemented the feedback given to them. After all, they're the experts in language immersion, NOT parents. Rome was not built in a day, people. Let's leave the instruction and running of a school to the people who are experts.
This is my third year as a parent of a child in the Mandarin immersion program. As with any new school, there were bumps in the road at DLS--a few poor administrators and some disorganization. However, our experience has been overwhelmingly positive. My child has made slow but steady progress in Chinese and she has excelled in math. The art program is top-notch and we appreciate the cultural education aspects of the school. Another great thing about the school is the friendly community of parents. I predict that this school will get better and better over time! I am thankful for the opportunity to enroll my daughter in an immersion program.