This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Park Hill School5
Posted January 14, 2015
- a parent
My daughter is in Kindergarten at Park Hill. It is our neighborhood school and I feel extremely lucky that this is so! The school does an amazing job of differentiating instruction, while still forming a happy, motivated group of learners. In my daughter's classroom there are SIX reading groups! Some students are already approaching second grade level reading, while some others are just getting where they need to be for their age in school (this is only a small group though). As a former educator myself, I'm amazed at what can be done to close the achievement gap in the (about 20%) kids that started a bit "behind." Her classroom is a manageable size of only 22 students, with a teacher as well as an aid (who happens to be a certified teacher herself). The specials (music, art, gym, and library) are all very engaging, and supports the well rounded education we were hoping for. The after school enrichment program offerings are also amazing, as is the parent involvement both inside and outside the classroom (PTA, etc.) My child wakes up excited each day to go to school, has her passion for learning fulfilled, and is smiling when I pick her up at the end of the day!
I have been a PHE parent for 4 years and couldn't be more pleased. My children could both read before entering K and we had no problem sending them there. While certain we could have tested into Polaris, we wanted our children to be part of a community, something hard to find in a large city. We chose not to be part of the crowd outsourcing education for the convenience of dropping off our children downtown. The parental involvement is amazing!. I have no opinion on Dr. Potts as I have had little interaction with her, but I have never heard anything bad on the playground. What most of the reviewers on here lack the courage to say is that there are several kids in every classroom that may require a little more attention as their home situation is less than desirable. Yes, there are minorities who attend Park Hill who don't live on Montview. Yes, there are 7 year olds who have trouble reading because they didn't see a book until their 1st day of school. I will gladly spend a little time with my kids so these children can get an education. In summary, if you think you children should be at a 8th grade after 5th grade, then PHE is not for you.
This is an ok school in a great neighborhood. The curriculum is heavily focused on prepping kids for the state standardized tests and very little is done to differentiate in the classroom for gifted students. Class sizes are large and there is a wide disparity of learning abilities in each class. Park Hill teaches to the middle. If your child is highly motivated and working above grade level, don't count on this school to adequately meet their needs.
Park Hill is a great school for families who are looking for an "in the box" option. It is a test-heavy, traditional elementary school. Worksheets are a regular at night. Creativity is squelched by a heavy requirement to follow dictated curriculum. I would agree with the other reviewers in terms of the principal. She's average and isn't particularly good with individual concerns. Not seeing she is a good listener when there is a need. This means it is a good school for some, not good for others - thus the average rating. It is a fantastic neighborhood and a good option for a neighborhood school - parents are certainly involved. Heard another parent comment that the principal cultivates parent relationships who become "groupies" and those parents create an environment that can be good for all kids - the parents work very hard to be inclusive and aware. LOTS of amazing enrichment and after school activities.
This is a great school with a wonderful community. Lots of parent involvement leads to a great school and Park Hill has this. My student is in 2nd grade and he enjoys his teacher. She is in tune to his strengths and weaknesses. In his weaker areas she has provided helpful advice and work for us to do at home to accompany his work at school. My child's teachers have been accessible and helpful over the past few years. Park Hill has a great music, PE and Art dept as well as a well stocked library. After school there are lots of kids around playing together and making friends.
I agree about this school being very average. It's location in this particular neighborhood can't be beat. The hometown feel is very nice. There are some really good teachers here- each grade has one (sometimes two) stand out teachers and if you're smart enough and lucky enough, request your child have them. If you have problems, admin can be less than helpful- the squeeky wheel saying doesn't necessary apply here.
This school has really been turned around in the past couple of years by the principal, Tonda Potts. She has improved the teachers and overall feeling at the school. The parent involvement has grown enormously and improving every day.
I think this school is average. Considering the neighborhood, the amount of volunteers, education level of the parents and their incomes, it should be exceptional. Our daughter went there through 3rd grade. The teachers are alright but I agree that the leadership is not. We dealt with some bullying type issues and I felt like I got a bunch of lip service. I felt like Dr. Potts did what she had to do to not get into trouble legally but really did not want to be bothered or do any follow up. If you have a kid that needs extra help, you will get it. If you have a middle performing child I think you will be pleased, but if you have a high achieving or bored child, this is not the place. If you are fortunate enough to easily test into a stronger academic school, you will see the difference between average and exceptional.
I've had 2 children that have gone through Park Hill. The teachers overall were very good, a few teachers were exceptional. Concerning my last child that had attended Park Hill, I kept thinking that we should change schools but I kept holding out for things to get better. I felt like the boys were treated poorly at Park Hill. It seemed as though they assumed that the boys would be doing all the negative behaviors and many a girls behavior were overlooked. My other concern was that the administration was too quick to bring in the police. I felt like some of the african-american students were treated as if they were criminals. It seemed as though during the last few years that the environment was not up to the previous years. Both my children had there ups and downs at Park Hill. Some of the negative experiences at Park Hill pushed them into choosing schools that they were interested in and in the end motivated them to find an environment that works better for them. I feel fortunate that DPS allows for choice in finding a school that fits.
Have to agree with recent posts. Too many concerns about the rigor here. Administration does not do enough to differentiate for higher performing kids. Due to "no child left behind," the higher performing kids get left behind. And don't bother trying to express your concern to the principal here. It won't matter. I so wanted to support my neighborhood school! Sad. The best thing about this school is the wonderful people in the neighborhood.