This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Hill Campus Of Arts And Sciences1
Posted January 09, 2015
- a community member
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.