As a parent of two children (a boy and a girl) on her 10th year at Slavens, I can say without reservation that Slavens is a unique and wonderful school. The parental involvement is off the charts, and various fundraising mechanisms allow this school to have all the "extras" associated with private schools, including paras in all elementary school classrooms, an arts program, a brand new STEM lab (2013-2014 year), and thanks to the DPS Bond offering, a new building wing with a large gym, cafeteria, library, band room and more. At the same time, the school only has 3 classrooms per grade (including in Middle School), so that is a nice bonus. The only downside is that it is not very socio-economically or ethnically/racially diverse.
My niece moved to Denver last year and we were so excited for her to go to Slavens because that is where my siblings and I went. However, she has had a terrible time there. The school is very elitist and if you are not in the clique, you don't count. She has been bullied to the point that she doesn't want to go back. Her mother is looking for another school for her. The academics are O.K., but the atmosphere breeds snobbery and condescending attitudes among the children. Something we certainly don't need anymore of in this world!
I went to Slavens from kindergarten all the way through 8th grade and although the education side is fantastic the teachers, parents, and even the children have this sense of "entitlement." My brother was bullied quite a lot by the kids because of his learning disabilities and the administration didn't do anything to see that this was no longer an issue. Hardly any diversity and there's a "no liberal" think attitude towards anyone that isn't a rich, white republican that has some kind of title on the school board and this is exactly the sort of thing that makes kids that transfer school enjoy their new school better. Overall, great school but too conservative in their thinking.
We are relocating back to Denver, and I have made three attempts to contact the staff to schedule a tour and to find out how the middle school transition works. The office staff is not welcoming and seems to have a sense of entitlement, I suppose because of the school's reputation. Calls do not get transferred properly, so I have yet to successfully reach or leave a message for the administrative staff. These communication failures by the frontline staff are very concerning because, since they are being tolerated and perpetuated, it signals that there are communications breakdowns that run much deeper, likely from the top down. The impression I get is that this is a school that is riding on coattails of prior performance and that genuine caring and continuous improvement efforts are dwindling. I also get the impression that this school is over-burdened because everyone is trying to funnel into the best dpsk12 schools. There are just not enough "excellent" schools to accommodate the population expecting strong education options. I am not impressed with what I have experienced despite the scores and reputation.
My son is in the fourth grade and has attended since Kindergarten. We are extremely pleased with the teachers, environment, and classmates at Slavens. Slavens was recently won an "Excellent" rating by DPS for both elementary and middle school, as well as the prestigious National Blue Ribbon, given to only 269 school in the nation. In addition, they've recently added on to the school's buildings and infrastructure. As for the teachers, I'm constantly amazed how engaged, productive, and available they are. They do amazing work. The parents are super-involved, which, despite the naysayers, is a good thing. Better to be too involved than not enough. In summary, we're very pleased with Slavens. I feel that my son is getting an excellent education, in a healthy environment, with a good bunch of kids.
We have two children at this school. Our oldest child struggled to learn to read in Kindergarten and by 1st grade the teachers suggested a school reading specialist pull her out to help her get to grade level. She continued with this reading and writing specialist and by the end of second grade she was on grade level in reading. Her math struggles were so severe that she entered special ed for math in the second grade with the introduction of an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). She was so far behind in math in 2nd and 3rd grade, but she made progress at a speed that was comfortable for her, meaning she did not follow the same curriculum as the rest of her grade. Now she is in 4th grade and because of the specialized attention from her special ed teacher, she is now doing the same work as the rest of the class and has gained a tremendous amount of confidence. Slavens is a community of families who care about the quality of the education provided to its' children. Fundraising is a necessary part of this process. The school is growing with the addition of classroom space, new gym, new art room, new music room and new library, and in 2013-14 a STEM lab.
I agree that my children received a great education here, but that is because they are both HGT. When my youngest was struggling in math, I repeatedly contacted the teacher, only to be told not to worry. There was no extra help for the kids who were having trouble in any subject. Another issue we had was with the rampant elitism in the school. This is a small school in a rich neighborhood and if you aren't rolling in it, the only reason to send your kid here is to toughen them up. You will be asked to donate every other month, but the money goes to enrichment programs that few other schools have. The school has a policy on bullying that is not enforced; I saw a boy get bullied for being gay that got to the point his parents had to transfer him to another school because the bullies were never sanctioned. Be prepared: the parents run the school. Because the FOSS brings in so much money, the administration lets them. In summary: Educational opportunities are great here, but at a cost.
Consistently highly rated as the top and Distinguished K-8 school in Denver.
I have 2 children that attend Slavens. The sense of community is very strong. I feel that my kids are fourishing at this school. The parental support is what makes this school a great school. On any given day, you will see many parents volunteering their time in some fashion. Fundraising is an intrigal part of keeping this school in all the offerings that many schools must cut for budgetary reasons. We have fabulous teachers and paras. I am thrilled to have my kids at this school.
Slavens is an amazing school. They have music, drama, art physical education and more every day. DPS doesn't normally offer this so Slavens holds fund raisers to be able to pay for all these extra perks. I have two boys going there now, previously they went to a Montessori school at which they did not accelerate as well as they do at Slavens.
Two problems at this school: 1. Teachers are split and it's getting worse - those who really care and those who don't want to help the square pegs or those who need extra help. And getting extra help(accomodations or special ed) for a child is almost unheard of there - they prefer 'those' children leave. Also after second grade the whole child approach is abandoned. 2. They are test-obsessed - even more than other public schools because of the pressure from parents. Slavens is great for some kids - the round pegs - it's disappointing to waste such potential and shows poor leadership.
Our kids receive a fantastic education there - including music, drama, art, physical education every day, and a whole host of other perks Denver has cut from most of its public schools. All this is possible because of the generosity of the parent community at Slavens.
We are sending our daughter off to high school after 9 years at Slavens. I can't say enough about how pleased I am with her progress both academically and as a young lady. The school works on all aspects of a childs education, not just the academics. Art, music, athletics, and community are all important aspects of this school community.
My son was gets As and Bs at his old school. He came to slavens and is now getting D's at this school because it is so advanced. He complains about how they have to much homework and is not treated fair compaired to the other students.
The teachers at this school are excellent. Your child will never get lost in the shuffle here..they do everything they can to make sure that your child continuously improves and the expectations are high. They also communicate with parents quite well and involve them in the strategies they are using in class, so parents can reinforce them at home. We are TOTALLY IMPRESSED by the experience we have had so far. Thank you Slavens staff - you rock!
Slavens is a great envionment, and it is a great way begin Middle School. My very Favorite school! ~Ashlyn Herd
Great small public school k-8 with ~ 150 kids in the middle school makes for great teacher insight to the kids and an intimate setting. The kids do get sick of each other by 8th grade, but dating is limited due to size of class!! Great sports participation and overhwhelming parent involvement with a high precentage of kids from the neighborhood.
Excellent school and environment for my children. 2007/2008 was the first year for both my children. I am not only impressed with their progress (both academically and socially), I am also impressed with the teachers, the education processes and methods, and the attitude/mentoring capabilities of the staff. My spouse and I made a commitment to the nurturing and growth of our childrens education and self-esteem ... and schools play a major role in upholding that commitment. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for parents to be involed. Needless to say, we are proud to have our children at Slavens.
Slavens is a good school! So keep it up Mrs. Hatchet and Mr. Sebolt! Be cool and stay in school young ones!!!
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