Something is amiss with the math program at DSA... I've had more and more parents confide that their kids are taking math online because the quality of teaching is just not present. Two thoughts come to mind; (i) at least my kid is not the outlier student struggling, and (ii) it sure is nice for DSA is able to present high academic achievement when a large portion of their students are piggy-backing on online education, which not only creates yet another financial expense for parents but also adds a financial burden on the district and online program that ultimately does not get the credit for their level of effort and student success! :-/
Denver School of the Arts response to my requests for assistance (because I m not an education professional and I really have no idea what to do) was my child meeting with the school psychologist a couple of times, one academic probation meeting (a gauntlet panel that included every single teacher, the guidance counselor, the social worker, and the vice principal telling the kid to just get organized ) and then nothing. The next step from DSA came in the form of a letter sent certified mail that said, Dear Student, you are not allowed to return to DSA in the fall; we suggest you register at your home school for the 2014-15 school year. Does your child have a learning disability? If so, run in the opposite direction from this school and preserve your child s self-esteem. It was really a terrible, terrible experience.
I cannot emphasize enough how important this school is to me. I am surrounded by driven, intelligent, creative people who truly care about their art and their futures. Do not go to this school if you are not truly passionate and devoted to your art form. DSA has allowed me to excel socially and academically, both of which are vital to success in college and in our careers beyond. I am inspired on a daily basis by the passion and talent that I am surrounded by, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to attend such a unique school.
As a four year student attending DSA in the Visual Arts department, I strongly recomend this school. If you are a person who has a passion for an art and a desire to strengthen that love then more than likely this is the place for you. However, if you at the school simply because you are good at the art rather than truly loving it, you may find that the school isn't for you. You need to understand that EVERY day you work in that art form for 90 minutes, and if you aren't totally happy with the major you will not enjoy the school environment. Inside the school itself there are very few cases with bullying and every teacher is compelled to teaching the group of kids. True, there may be the few teachers who could use a bit of improvement, but I'm sure that there is no school without that. In terms of homework, the amounts increase as you advance in grade (middle school has less and high school has loads more). The kids here are so kind and there isn't a day I go that I would wish to undo my decision to attend DSA. If you are contemplating coming to the school, talk with other student and former students, become a shadow (which is often kinda hectic), and visit the school.
I wanted to love this school- and so did my son. He spent a year in it and began another year and we just had to get him out. The teaching really isn't great and the communication from teachers is even worse. For such a highly regarded school I had expectations for higher quality education and more personalized attention. I love the idea of different majors, unfortunately it creates a pretty significant clique problem at the school, I had heard this before my son started at DSA but it was very apparent right away. Socializing isn't everything but when you see the Stagecraft program basically being janitors for the Theater program you can see how the cliques happen. At any rate, after spending the first three months cleaning this year, and seeing that stagecraft was not what my son thought it was going to be, we are happy to move on to a school with a better fit. Pay attention to the reviews on here, this school may not be all it's cracked up to be.
At the beginning of each school year, I hold my breath with hopeful anticipation that this year will be the year of my kid s Great Art School Experience and by this time each year I feel once again that I made a terrible, terrible choice in sending my child to Denver School of the Arts. While I realize many kids do have a great experience, please parents of prospective students do not think simply by default of gaining entrance that your child will have a great experience. One art major s faculty is not the same as the other arts majors faculty members so analyze carefully during the audition process as to whether the environment being presented is accurate and whether it is the right fit for your child. If Denver School of the Arts feels like a bad fit, then heed your instincts and seek another school. My experience is the fit will not get better and in fact, it will probably get worse and wear down your kid s spirit. It is difficult to pry a kid away from the only social circle they know so for this parent, Denver School of the Arts is an exercise in passing time and hoping for the best.
The academics are geared towards teaching to the test in order to increase test scores/school ratings and technology courses are non-existent. The school administration is aloof and out-of-reach and with their like it or lump it attitude with everything from class scheduling to academic guidance, be prepared to be frustrated. In addition, unless a school event is high profile, the teachers have the responsibility of keeping all the activities that fall outside of the school hours going with nary an administrator in sight.
I continue to be amazed at how highly this school is rated even with the incredible crutch of an awful culture, horrible management and mostly horrible teachers. Simply amazing. Truly this school should get about a 3. Not three starts. 3 out of 10.
This is daughter's first year and she loves the school. I have been very impressed with the way the teachers not in the major areas find ways to connect with these creative students. The school is very focused on developing the students not only artistically but academically as well to prepare them. They support involvement of the parents as well which I believe is part of the success to this school.