Steele is a great school and we have been very impressed. Our daughter has attended 1st through 4th (her current) grade.
Strengths: 1) GREAT Principal in Kevin Greeley - he is responsive, makes helpful changes, and very engaged. 2) By-and-large a really good roster of primary teachers and it gets better every year as turnover occurs. 3) Incredibly engaged parent body that does a good job with fund raising and special events. 4) Fantastic location and classic (and cool) building near Washington Park (the school often uses the park in the fall and spring for things like 'field day.')
Weaknesses: 1) A handful of 'specials' teachers could be better. 2) The school is not overly diverse (but this has more to do with it being in demand as a neighborhood school in a generally white and affluent neighborhood).
A couple other thoughts: it seems like the two consistent negative comments you read here are: diversity and students with special needs (either highly talented or those with special concerns). I've already spoken to the diversity issue and with regards to HG&T and special needs all I can say is that the school really tries hard to accommodate all kids. Without overstating my position, it seems that one consistent critique of most schools is "this school just doesn't know how to deal with my little Jimmy or Jane because (really) s/he is just misunderstood." In my experience (I teach and work in higher ed) when parents comment in this way about K-12 school (or a college) the problem is (most often) their kid NOT the school. I'm not saying that is the case with all the comments on this board, but I am explicitly stating that this is often the case with people who have a gripe.
Steele is not perfect but a truly outstanding '10' school that we have been really happy with. We highly recommend and commend it.
I've watched the school only improve since our new principal came on board. The staff knows all the children really well and what their needs are. They strive to support all kids at all levels. It's been great. My only complaint is that they combined the K/1 classes. I don't think that first graders and kindergarteners should share a classroom, at least for the first part of the year. Still, they made sure that my kids were learning and having fun. The support from the community makes it a very special school.
We had our child enrolled at a well regarded private school but Steele contacted us a little over a week prior to the start date to let us know they had a spot for our child. We had to forefeit one full year of tuition to opt with Steele which we ended up doing and have been pleased. There is a high degree of parental involvement and much success with fund-raiding which means the kids have access to amenities they might not otherwise (including a second teacher in every room). As is the case with any environment, there are flaws. But my child now has an enthusiasm for learning that she never had in several years of pre-school and every day she looks forward to school. Worth it at any price.
We have choiced this school 2 years ago for my 2 boys. I've never been pleased before like I was when they were at Steele. I am very sorry that we had to leave the school because we moved to another district. Teachers are very friendly, they welcome each parent as if they have known you for years, very responsive to parent's questions. Very friendly environment. We loved the British classrooms, it has been very helpful for my kids. Really for us it was a super school.
the school has lack of diversity and poor special education services. we live here but have tried to choice out for a couple of years running. the school is great for the average kid but lacks creativity in helping the child that lands outside of the box to thrive.
The PTA is very involved and raises enough money to help provide a second educator in every single classroom at Steele, cutting down the teacher to student ratio. This is unheard of in almost any other school in Denver. There are wonderful teachers, a successful dedicated leader in Principal Boyer, and combined age classrooms (ie-1/2 and 3/4/5) in the British Primary classrooms and the contemporary classrooms. And the school's innovative and award winning garden program provides healthy eating options in the cafeteria. The enrichment options are endless: healthy cooking, sports camp, dance, running programs, drawing and art, science, 4H, and Spanish. As parents, we have been very happy with the social and academic education our child is receiving at Steele.
I choiced into Steele Elementary about 8 years ago, and I really liked it. I had a lot of great friends, and great teachers. I also was very prepared for Middle School, even though I am in the IPM program at Hamilton. I think this was mainly because of the homework I got in third through fifth grades. While it wasn't much compared to the amount I get now, my teacher's style forced us to plan our time wisely, making it much easier to finish the assignments well that I get in Middle School. Also, my teachers cared for the students and did their best to give their students the best opportunities. For example, if you excel at spelling, you may get spelling words from online sources like the Scripps National Spelling bee instead of from the other students' sources. Overall, I was very pleased with Steele, and I felt it was a great choice that my family and I made when deciding to choice in there.
We choices into Steele 5 years ago and our daughter has been very happy. if it is any testament to Steele our daughter was just excepted to the advanced IPM program at Hamilton middle school, she also got inTo Morey high strides and GALS. As with all schools it's the teacher that matters most. We have had a couple issues but overall she has done very well. We were contemporary for one year and BP for four. Both programs are great and equally represented in the school. Chef Andy and the seed to table program are truly awesome- we even got a salad bar which we supplement with our own garden produce put into our cafeteria! It is true that Steele has had way too many principals but this was due to a voracious parent population which was both positive and negative- we have one of the strongest PTAs and are able to fund extra educators in every classroom reducing the student teacher ratio because of parent involvement. Overall I would send my child here again and will be sad to leave at the end of this fifth grade year!