This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
George Washington High School2
Posted June 22, 2014
- a parent
I am also unimpressed by the current principal. But I blame DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg and his rubber-stamp school board for the destructive changes at GW. This is "school reform" politics, pure and simple.
I agree with last post. Administration 1 star and IB program 5 star. Yes, there is a clear division between IB and traditional, but I believe the biggest rift is caused by the lack of rules. It is no wonder students are leaving this school for other schools; there is a serious discipline problem here. My son will not even dare walk into the cafeteria for plastic ware if he forgets to pack a fork for his lunch. There is obscene language, obscene music, at every turn. Another issue, the new principal will destroy a 30 year tradition of Colorado s best and most rigorous IB program in the next couple years. Last year, I would have given it a 5 star review, but moving forward, with this principal, I can only give this school, as a whole, 2 stars. Our second child will NOT be attending this school. Why stay if the great teachers will leave? Such a shame what one man can do.
GW really is 2 schools in one, although there is a lot of overlap in sports and some of the activities. There are pockets of a great community in sports and on the debate team, but otherwise it is fairly fragmented. I have had 2 kids in the IB program, one is still there. It is a great program for the right kid, but it is not right for everyone. My older child struggled with the rigidity of the program. My younger child fits right in. I would rank it higher, but for the second time, DPS has chosen a principal who is authoritarian, unresponsive to parents, and teachers. Many of the faculty are leaving because of his management style. He is making radical changes to the IB program, and never once consulted with the IB parents association or the IB representatives on the Collaborative School Committee. He didn't even discuss it with IB staff until the last moment. I give the IB program 5 stars for the right student, but the administration 1 star at best.
As a student at GW, particularly in the IB program, I believe the school is great. There are many claims that it is "two schools in one," yet there are going to be different programs in any school, and are not unique to GW. If students are feeling that they are completely segregated by program, it is their own fault. I am great friends with people in and out of the IB program, showing that it does not limit students' ability to co-mingle. Although some students in the IB program are seemingly pretentious and uptight, they make up a minuscule percent of the population. There was a period of time where the school had a transitional principle who was trying to assimilate the school in a disastrous way, but the current administration is doing an excellent job at breaking down the barriers between the programs. Overall, the learning atmosphere is embracing and allows students to thrive, giving the best possible results. The school is great and has many bad rumors giving it a bad rep, but as a student, I can discount them by saying it is a great school with a nurturing environment full of assimilation. Hope this Helps!!
My daughter is a hard working freshman in the IB program. This is a good fit for her. She has met wonderful students that share a common interest in academics, sports and speech and debate. Her friends are ethnically diverse. My daughter and her friends appears to be thriving here.
This school is two schools in one after having two of my children shadow. They were not impressed by the outside/inside appearance of the school. Nor were they impressed by the lack of welcoming vibe that the school lacks as a community. George Washington unfortunately is our home school but we will choice into another high school that is more welcoming to everyone. This school lacks character development and has two different schools because of its IB program that segregates the students. Both of my kids would be in the IB program and don't want to be segregated by the school.
Unfortunately, it really is two schools. I have two children currently attending, one in IB the other in traditional but doing AP/honors courses. The IB program is good academically but according to the IB child, most students are almost actively demeaning/dismissive of traditional students. On occasions when parents of the IB students are together, many of the parents, too, have the same demeaning/dismissive attitude. I think many other IB parents were hoping for a well balanced progressive education experience that the students could benefit from a diverse environment...I truly think that, as it is now, you might be doing the opposite. In addition, the traditional school AP and Honors courses are *not* up to par relative to other DPS high schools....a real problem, for obvious reasons. In all, the school is dysfunctional and the traditional program is likely below average for the district.
I'm not sure why a parent has to diss on a student's opinion and call it a shame and wonder why s/he is bitter, but as a student in the IB program, i can say that the student saying that many, *not all* of the IB students being pretentious is absolutely correct. I have claimed heard quite a few conversations from my classmates talking about how dumb tradition kids are, how they don't work as hard as them, and other derogatory things. Having a brother and many good friends in the traditional program, this hit close to home. I feel like many of the problems dealing with the school happens to be the segregation between both programs and it needs to be dealt with before they lose a majority of their students to other schools. Also, many of the teachers here, especially in the traditional program from what i have heard, are extremely unsatisfactory, especially in the core subjects like science, math, and english. They need to get their teachers checked out in both programs.
George Washington in an amazing school that presents many opportunities unavailable in most high schools. GW have an amazing academic program with both IB and AP classes as well as 5A athletics. Another great aspect of George is the multitude of clubs and extracurricular activities. The Speech and Debate team recently sent 13 people to nationals and won an award that only 17 of the over 350 schools won. Furthermore, a team recently won first place at the Tournament of Champions, one of the hardest competitions of the year. in addition, there are many clubs aimed at diversity such as Asian Culture Club and IB Black Organization. In refutation of the division between the traditional and IB programs, i must point out that often the clubs are very diverse, and one easily makes friends in different programs. The teachers are very informed, with some, like Dr. More, who stopped teaching college classes in order to teacher chemistry at GW. Overall, George Washington presents a diverse group of students that have many opportunities and are prepared for college when they leave.
GWHS is really two very different schools. The IB Program can be an incredible opportunity for the right student. My first child went through the program and is doing very well in college. If, however, your child doesn't fit the IB box perfectly, it can be a nightmare. There is little tolerance for different learning styles. The IB Program is run very distinctly from the traditional programs and is rather autonomous. Also, while the school is overall diverse, it is a very segregated school. The IB Program is extremely white and the rest of the school is very minority. The two groups rarely interact. The school needs a strong principal who can unite the two programs.