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6-8
Public district
Denver, CO
Students enrolled: 875
Before care: No
 

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451 Clermont St
Denver, CO 80220

School website
(720) 423-9680
(720) 423-9705
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Hill Campus Of Arts And Sciences address.

June 18, 2015
My child is happy, the parents are nice and the teachers are great. I think the school is going in a positive direction.

- submitted by a parent

June 18, 2015
This is simply a warning to anyone thinking of working at this school for the first time. Basically, all the teachers who want to work in a good, honest, positive environment have left (at least 80% in the past year and a half). The few who are staying are the ones, and there are always a few in every company, who believe that they are favorited and protected by admin for whatever reason. I taught at this school for several years and never would have chosen to leave if it wasn't unbearable to work with the current administration. The students are basically good and, for a DPS middle school, it's a good school. However, the administration is the worst I've ever seen. They are dishonest, demoralizing, ruthless, condescending, and they lack communication and people skills. However, the principal is such a great salesman that you won't believe these things at first. Give it time, however, and you will see what I'm talking about. Heed this warning and try to work somewhere else. Hill is not a good place to be right now.

- submitted by a teacher

June 11, 2015
Please do not accept a job offer from this school, especially if you live out of state. As someone who has done so, I want to caution others against upheaving their lives for what will likely be the most unpleasant experience of your teaching career. The turnover over the last 1.5 years is all the evidence you need.

- submitted by a parent

June 09, 2015
Hill is a great school! It is by far one of the best traditional middle schools in DPS. The leadership team has great vision and enthusiasm. The entire building staff (not just teachers) truly cares about students and creating an environment that is challenging, nurturing, safe & fun. Change can be challenging for the entire community, and not without it's positives and negatives. Hill has historically been a good school, continues to be a good school, and will be a GREAT school under the new administration.

- submitted by a teacher

June 04, 2015
The principal painted all the walls but then my teachers couldn't make copies because they didnt have enough money for paper. Where did all the money for the paint come from? They play the worst music ever for announcements and i'm pretty sure its a religoius song because they talk about being a twinkle in gods eye which i think isnt cool

- submitted by a student
Amount of homework: Not enough
June 04, 2015
This school is too easy. Dont tell anyone i said that but i don't Feel like it challenges me enough

- submitted by a student
Develops respect: Disagree
June 04, 2015
Everyone talks about how much they hate the school and the principal. The teachers for the most part are good, some are bad, and some are just okay.

- submitted by a student
Develops empathy: Disagree
June 04, 2015
Kids curse out teachers and very little gets done. We get put in ISIR where we just fill out packets so that way we look like we attended school if we get in trouble.

- submitted by a student
Develops empathy: Strongly disagree
June 03, 2015
I think the teachers in the building care deeply about creating this kind of mindset, but when your teaching staff is demoralized and frustrated it makes it difficult to model this behavior for students 100% of the time.

- submitted by a teacher
Develops honesty: Strongly disagree
June 03, 2015
When your administration is full of bullies your students emulate that behavior. The administration only cares about certain students and this creates favoritism that is obvious to everyone observing. When you have a person who is not a good person at the helm, you cannot have good leadership and modeling of behavior.

- submitted by a teacher

June 03, 2015
If I were in my first, second, or third year in the district I would never work in this building. The administration is vindictive and uses the thought of non-renewal as a way to keep teachers from speaking up when administration mistreats them. They constantly are telling staff members not to create a negative work environment by sharing how they are treated by admin, and if you do share your experiences they tell you that you are unprofessional and that this could negatively impact your standing in the school. This tactic is used to isolate teachers, keep them afraid, and keep them quiet. The environment is completely demoralizing, especially if you are a young teacher, because it creates an environment that makes you feel trapped. If you seek other positions, your loyalty is questioned. Administration has been known to give poor references to keep teachers from finding other employment, which teachers are desperately trying to do in order to save their careers. With at least 50% turn over from this year to next (and likely to increase over the summer), I think it is clear that this building is not a place where careers are grown, but rather stifled and stunted.

- submitted by a teacher

June 03, 2015
The teacher comment stating that the "three 5-star comments comments written on June 1 were written by admin" is clearly true. As a parent at Hill, I've heard this exact language ("talking points") used by the the principal during parent meetings. It seems very clear that something is terribly wrong behind-the-scenes at Hill -- and that the administration has created a fear-based and stressful work environment for the teachers. I'm very sad to see so many teachers leaving. That said, I have to praise the teachers even more because they didn't let their stress and disenchantment impact the students. My daughter had a fantastic year with some amazing and energetic teachers (and I know from talking to other parents that many other kids did too). Very admirable. I would encourage families not to flee the school, but to stick around and try to help improve it. We need to support teachers and help change the way the administration treats them.

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Strongly disagree
June 03, 2015
If you're thinking of working here, turn and run the other way. If you're thinking of sending your child here, turn and run the other way. I wouldn't recommend this school to anyone. The new administration is absolutely the worst. PS - The three 5-star comments comments written on June 1 were written by admin to try to boost the school's score on here. Absolutely NO teacher in the building would write such things.

- submitted by a teacher
Develops empathy: Strongly disagree
June 03, 2015
The teachers are so disenchanted because of how they are treated by administration. This, in turn, is obvious to students and undoubted affects them as well.

- submitted by a teacher
Develops honesty: Strongly disagree
June 03, 2015
This school cannot possibly develop honesty, integrity, and fairness in its students because it's leadership does not model honesty, integrity, and fairness. Quite the opposite, actually.

- submitted by a teacher

June 02, 2015
Rampant drug use. Teachers leaving in droves. Demoralized students. Inexperienced admin who are inflexible and make mistake after mistake. Discipline is nonexistent

- submitted by a parent

June 01, 2015
I am a teacher at Hill and couldn't be happier to work there! I know the school has gone through significant changes in the past year or two, but that is expected under new administration. I have worked at other schools in the district and feel so fortunate to have landed at Hill! I have the privilege to work and learn from an amazing group of teachers and students. To be able to work somewhere where you grow as an educator and as a person is really all you can ask for! I have read the other reviews, and I feel it is unfortunate that specific circumstantial incidences have taken precedence over what the staff at Hill strives to achieve. Our students and their success is why we are there, why we push ourselves, and why we work as hard as we do. I would not hesitate to say that Hill is one, if not the best, middle school in DPS.

- submitted by a teacher

June 01, 2015
Having worked in several middles schools in the district, I can say that Hill is at the forefront of positive change. Gone are the days where teachers went to their rooms and shut their doors only to see admin once or twice a year. At Hill, teachers constantly collaborate and are given coaching. Teachers work together to make each other better. It can be uncomfortable at first (if you are new to it), but we do it for the students; EVERY child deserves an excellent education and educator who is willing to grow and model for students what a growth mindset looks like. With this change, Hill is seeing all children succeed, and that is what it's about. I would not hesitate to send my own here one day.

- submitted by a teacher

June 01, 2015
After years of enrollment decline, underperformance and a student culture that was out of control, we have a new principal that cares deeply about ALL students. After just over one year the enrollment is back up, they are outperforming all of the other middle schools and the school is much safer. We could not be more happy!

- submitted by a community member

June 01, 2015
DPS: WAKE UP!!!! What was once a premier middle school for the district has all but evaporated into thin air. Doesn't ANYONE at the district or in the administration read any of these comments? Our son, who was a top performing student, attended 6th & 7th grade here. After the first few months of 8th grade w Kavanaugh at the helm it was clear his cronies at DPS had put him in place and Hill would never be the same. We made the right choice at the time, moving our son to another school and saw many others leave Hill afterward. It is a very sad situation as many families do not have the ability to change as we did and their children are suffering for it. What an injustice to have such a lowered standard for all....what exactly are they trying to teach here when everyone must move at the same pace and teachers have no autonomy to be creative? I thought censorship and leveling was done away with after the '60s but it is alive and well at Hill Middle School. If mediocrity or less is what seek, you can find it here with Kavanaugh and his methods.

- submitted by a parent

May 27, 2015
HUGE staff turnover continues for the 2nd year in a row for 2015-16. Even many of the ‘new’ staff from this year are leaving. 6 of the 8 eighth grade teachers will not return next yr- some by choice, some not. Another 50%+ staff will not be returning. The principal is openly pleased with the turnover rate he has managed to achieve in such a short period of time. DPS: are you paying attention? Teachers do NOT have the autonomy to incorporate any creativity in their instruction. Last year, one of our child's teachers had the students acquire a well-regarded nonfiction book about social thinking and the elements that turn small ideas into big ideas. The class started to read the book and there was excitement for the discussion and exchange of ideas it would generate. The principal halted the book from being read, & the class had to switch to the same fiction book that every other student was reading in that grade. The plot had something to do with a mystery about who blinded a child with spray paint. Everyone had to read at exactly the same pace and no one was allowed to bring the book home or read ahead. Some days they had to have the book read aloud to them during class time. Our child witnessed open verbal disagreements with the principal & some teachers in the hallways before and after classes. One teacher offered an after school creative writing project/club for a number of students. The project started and ended up being nixed because the principal repeatedly made mandatory staff meeting times to coincide with the project/club time. It was disappointing for everyone involved . Regarding math: the principal owns a company that touts a better method to teach math and he is literally selling ideas and products to schools and districts. To incorporate this program in one's own public school is a conflict of interest. Comments about his salesmanship I agree with: fast talk and high energy. A book sitting on his office shelf, "Work Like You're Showing Off" says it all.... well, maybe not all......

- submitted by a community member

May 07, 2015
After 1.5 years with the new principal, Hill has become an entirely different school. To start with, almost all of the staff has turned over. The new administration is primarily concerned with putting "yes" men in place that will agree to his mandates, no matter how outrageous the order. Teachers are leaving in droves, and if teachers wanted to stay, they are forced out of the building and district through nonrenewal of their teaching contracts. Parents, you will be impressed and amazed by the principal's ability to convince you to come to his school. Take note, he is a wonderful salesman and a terrible, terrible school leader. The people who work for him are leaving as soon as they can, and that's the main reflection of his leadership that you should be concerned with. Hopefully in a few years a new leader will be put in place that can restore Hill's place as one of the premier middle schools in Denver Public Schools. Until then though, avoid this sinking ship!

- submitted by a community member

April 27, 2015
We moved to Denver a year ago and he was new to Hill Middle School, as he just started 6th grade this year. All year we have been dealing with my son being bullied by different kids in school. I want to make you very aware of what is happening. He has been teased for being a bigger kid. He has had students offer him a snack and then tell him they rubbed it in their pants once he took a bite. He has had a student push the chair out from under him in the auditorium. He has been pushed into walls and down stairs. I know about some of these issues, as I was witness to a couple of them. I have attempted to call the school, left messages, and even spoke to one staff member on one occasion. Nothing has been done. My son has told me he has filled out so many reports he is just tired of writing them. My son, who is only 11 years old, was overheard saying he was going to commit suicide. He said no one at the school would care or miss him if he did. He wasn't just talking about the students. He feels the teachers and all administration wouldn't care either. In an age where bullying is so prevalent, I am befuddled at how this can go unnoticed even after the parent (me) has reached out.

- submitted by a parent

March 24, 2015
We held an 8th grade assembly last week to discuss the requirements for Continuation. Students must have 95% attendance, a minimum 2.5 GPA . What about all the kids who pass 8th grade? Don't they deserve to celebrate their accomplishment. New principal does not treat all kids fairly. Only cares about his numbers. Teachers however are terrific.

- submitted by a parent

January 09, 2015
The new principal is attempting to clean house regarding faculty in staff, and is bringing in under qualified "teachers" to replace experienced staff. As a community member, I've witnessed the Denver police repeatedly on campus, and would not feel comfortable sending my student to Hill.

- submitted by a community member

January 09, 2015
This school has gone downhill since the new principal has come into leadership. The school caters to specific students and is more worried about attendance/disciplinary rates, rather than student and faculty morale. Just for the record, I am not sending my next child to Hill.

- submitted by a parent

December 05, 2014
I've had a child at Hill since 2010. Hill has become a great school under Principal Kavanaugh's leadership. Great teachers and great energy!! I highly recommend Hill!

- submitted by a parent

November 23, 2014
Lots going on academically & socially that is good. Concerned that the importance of the mind-body developement is not being given attention. Children are getting almost no encoutagment to be physically active on a daily basis, this is a serious problem. Everychild should have at a minimum 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity every day. Heart rates up and all of that. They should be exploring fun ways to be active every day, for the rest of their lives. Pysical health literally feeds a smarter brain and is needed for a long & productive life. The Greeks knew this as does our Frist Lady. Invite Michelle to come and speak at Hill. She believes in exercising every day. Even with a very busy schedule she makes time to exercise. Test scores go up when student get their heart rates up for an extended period of time, every day. If you are basicallly only interested in raising the academic test scores for Common Core, get going and find a way that ALL of your students can be physically active, and not sedentary. I know you can do this. Other schools have. Look to them for guidance.

- submitted by a community member

May 17, 2014
The new principal previously turned around an underperforming DPS school filled with primarily ESL students. Now he is taking a school that for years had inherited the GT & HGT students from the high performing Carson Elementary and turning it into a school like the one where he previously worked. It is clear he has an agenda but the students' best interest is NOT IT. When you dumb down honors programs and slow down the teaching to allow "everyone to be taught the same," it is doing a disservice to the students and community. This was once a school to be proud of, but no more. Parents are taking their children elsewhere while teachers are leaving to find a community with a rich, supportive learning environment, not one that paints that halls in rainbows to distract from the real issues. If you are truly considering this school, PLEASE ask parents of 8th grade students would had the benefit of Don Roy as principal and can give you a fair assessment. The teachers cannot speak freely and newbies have nothing to compare. A good education is at stark here - don't waste an opportunity to find a superior option.

- submitted by a parent

May 16, 2014
Run for the hills parents!! Huge numbers of parents are pulling their 6th graders out of Hill after experiencing the new principal for a semester. Both teachers and students are leaving in big numbers. The numbers don't quite reflect the damage yet as many teachers have not yet announced their decision to leave and parents are clamoring to find other options. Teaching environment is awful and teachers are afraid of the principal. The principal is acting unilaterally, making big changes to the honors program without consulting with the teachers. It is the honors student families that are leaving in big numbers. He removed Visual Arts from the curriculum without consulting with parents and decided to pull in martial arts. Say What?? Parents supporting this don't really understand what is going on as teachers are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. Parents take a closer look at this school and make sure to speak with other parents before making a decision. The Principal is all about the standardized testing as well. Your students will spend more time testing here than at any other school.

- submitted by a parent

March 13, 2014
Waited to observe the changes others were quick to condemn (I know - change is hard) and I have to say, I am THRILLED. The new principal's interaction with families and kids is outstanding. He hosts coffees once a month and has been part of dessert events to talk with parents and hear their concerns and address questions. My kids and I have already talked with him far more than the former principal - he knows my kids! Yes, he is amping up the academics offered at the mid and lower academic levels, but that shouldn't negatively impact the GT program, only making the talent pool in the entire school stronger. His goal is to get more kids to the advanced level, not just close the achievement gap! Improvement in any area makes Hill an even better school - and we love it!

- submitted by a parent

February 12, 2014
This is because the school is excellent in every way. I am a honors level 8th grader at this school and have been here for almost three years. Every year has been a blast with great staff and great teachers! I feel like I am being challenged but also getting great support from all my teachers, even though I hate history my history teacher makes it all worth while. All in all this school is a great place for having fun while learning.

- submitted by a community member

January 26, 2014
The new principal & change in the way the curriculum is taught is fraught with problems and inefficiencies which have either been ignored, addressed at a superficial level or simply given lip service with no plan of action reviewed with or explained to parents. What was once a strong school with a tiered system for learning is now a school bent on teaching to the middle to close the achievement gap. DPS is doing a disservice to the community and students with this "new" way of educating. The general consensus from high achieving students & parents is it will take time, perhaps a few years, for this school to get back on track. Very disappointing.

- submitted by a parent

October 06, 2013
The school is going through a transition of principals. The new principal is a breath of fresh air and we have seen so many improvements to the culture this year. The school has seen a drop in enrollment and data - a change was needed. I fully support the new principal and know he will return Hill to being a great school.

- submitted by a parent

October 06, 2013
I went to Hill a few years ago, and it was wonderful. i was in the Honors Program, and it prepared me for high school perfectly. However, I have heard and observed through the current students at Hill, that there have been a few changes. These changes must have good intentions, but the results are nothing but negative. First of all, they can't leave the lunchroom during lunch. This is strange for me to think about; I spent many of my lunches at Hill in my teachers' classrooms getting help if I didn't completely, 100% understand the lesson from the last class. Knowing that this is an option has helped me tremendously through high school, and I'm not afraid to ask for help now. Secondly, they are required to wear huge, yellow safety vests to the bathroom. Can I just say: who knows the population of Hill that has hand-washing as a regular habit? This is RE-VOLT-ING. Most importantly, the Honors program is changing. Of course having different levels of classes is going to be controversial. But being with kids at your exact pace was such a relief after going through elementary school with everyone mixed together. *Dear Mr. New Principal, please don't change the Honors Program one bit.*

- submitted by a community member

October 05, 2013
Parents should think twice about this school now. The quality of the outgoing principal compared to the incoming principal is painful to watch.

- submitted by a community member

October 03, 2013
Hill Campus is undergoing significant program changes to be in effect Fall 2014. (In all fairness, check with the school for details.) First off, this school has some phenomenal teachers who we are fortunate our kids have been exposed to. It's a safe, clean and pleasantly busy environment. Academically, the school has an Honor's Program which is tiered so kids are grouped with similar achievers. Prior to this year, the different levels could cover material quicker or slower based how the students grasped it. It left time for other learning/projects that could supplement the core. Our first child that attended Hill was exposed to some amazing instruction in writing, math, woodshop, etc. that knocked outsiders' socks off... "She learned THAT in public school?" Apparently, the leveling system opened up students looking at where they were compared to others and it created challenges. So next year, there will be two learning tracks- kids who are higher achievers and kids who will hopefully be high achievers some day. All will go at the same pace now. I wonder if such a significant change of course is the only option to deal with social/academic comparisons.

- submitted by a parent

July 21, 2011
I am a teacher with Hill Campus and I'm entering my 6th year with the faculty, administration and students of this wonderful school! Students have so many excellent opportunities to grow and be challenged here. We have strong and positive discipline standards, and maintain a high standard of academic excellence for all students. I can also say students have FUN at our school! There are so many extracurricular choices (after school), and in-school ways to explore their burgeoning personalities: Student council, sports, arts competitions, brain-bowl, mathletics, National History Day, School Store...! I love the climate at Hill and absolutely recommend this middle school among its peers in DPS.

- submitted by a teacher

June 06, 2011
First year at Hill and my son overall had a good year. Lot's to get involved in at school. Found some good and dedicated teachers. I believe he was academically challenged this year. There were other challenges but the school handled well.

- submitted by a parent

September 19, 2009
Great school. Fabulous teachers, great administration.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
September 16, 2009
This is the most amazing middle school! Great teachers, great staff, great principal, and great kids.

- submitted by a parent

August 19, 2009
i had my first day today and it was great!!!! all of the teachers are pleasent and i love it!! All the kids are great all in all i love it!!

- submitted by a student

August 10, 2008
I have had a daughter for two years at Hill and her experience has been extraordinary. The school is well-organized, the teachers are motivated, and it is a nice mix of students. The gifted and talented program is particularly strong and the energy the program is generating is almost palpable.

- submitted by a parent

May 16, 2008
this is because most of the kids don't give a care and feel like there already loosers why try any more. i'm an honors student in 7th grade, for 6th grade i was in traditional and that is how almost all the kids act. the school isn't very clean and dosen't lister to the kids very well (nocomunication) kids get in trouble way to often and the education is not at all chalenging. wich is another reson this school dose so badly, the kids think they already know half the stuff they are given and think why waste time doing something i already know how to do???

- submitted by a student

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Last modified: June 18, 2015

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Hill Campus Of Arts And Sciences
451 Clermont St, Denver, CO  80220
(720) 423-9680
Last modified Hill Campus Of Arts And Sciences is a Public school that serves grades 6-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Hill Campus Of Arts And Sciences Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 88 reviews. Top