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August 13, 2015
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The principal, Jessica Rose Downs, leaves much to be desired. She may talk a good game but she doesn't practice what she preaches. The community that supports the school is wonderful. Many families give generously to the school and voluntarily serve on various committees benefiting the students and teachers. There has been a lot of staff turnover during Ms. Downs' time as principal. Many excellent educators have moved to other assignments in no small part because they couldn't work with Ms. Downs. This could be a superlative school if not for her lack of leadership and her poor management. Other Denver Public Schools with similar demographics and, perhaps, less community are outperforming Teller on the DPS School Performance Framework.
This is our 3rd year at Teller, with 2 children, and we have had wonderful experiences with the teachers. We love the "extras" that our kids get at Teller, including music, art, PE and a trip to the library every week. The PTA and community involvement is pretty amazing. If it weren't for the difficulties we have experienced with leadership, particularly the principal, this rating would be great rather than good.
This is my 5th year at Teller and I feel very fortunate to send my two children here. Our school has the most amazing staff and we are fortunate to have a huge music program, awesome arts and PE and also the best librarian around. The kids are encouraged and rewarded for good behavior, taught valuable character traits weekly, they have monthly pep rallys, every grade performs on stage, I can go on and on. The teachers and parents are very involved, it is a wonderful community to belong to. We are so lucky to live in this great neighborhood and go to Teller Elementary!!!!
One teacher in the fourth grade is verbally abusive to students she does not like. I have witnessed her negatively label students she does not care for in front of classmates. Her affect is strange and abrasive. My child did not initially report comments she was hearing, but when she did I was appalled. I witnessed some of the comments on the playground after school as well.
I have witnessed biases that did not feel morally right. I think the principle needs more training on the power imbalance between special needs students and typical students. She does not practice what she preaches.
Bullying is subtle and not handled appropriately by staff, especially the principle. Lots of lip service that they are addressing bullying, but not enough training given so that teachers can quickly recognize the deeper, underlying issues and imbalances amongst students.
We've had a child here for several years now, and I can't imagine a better experience. The teaching staff communicates well with the parents, and the PTA is a strong and positive force. The single instance of bullying that we're aware of was handled quickly, appropriately, and respectfully. The librarian at Teller is the most amazing man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He has created a world-class children's library and he is deeply engaged with all the children in the school. We have other children who will be attending when they're older, and it's a comfort to know that they will be going to Teller.