This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Denver School Of The Arts1
Posted December 02, 2014
- a parent
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.
As a theatre major at DSA I can vouch for the fact that it is an amazing school. Yes there are some cliques between majors because we spend so much time in our own major, but for the most part there is less bullying for us crazy art students who wouldn't really fit in at another school. I get to do what I love every day, and I am so thankful for that. The academic teachers are mostly pretty good and academics and test scores at this school are phenomenal. The major departments are amazing as well. In theatre we are learning college level acting techniques, which is probably why we earned a total of 13 million dollars in college scholarships last year. DSA has helped and will continue to help amazing kids go far in life.
I have to say we have had a very different experience that those posted below. DSA has been a great school for my daughter and she has excelled there. She went to another middle school before transferring to DSA and DSA has fewer issues with the population than the other school. We have not had bullying experience and our class and major has been great. Academics over all are great, with a few teachers we didn't care for in middle school and the teachers do pick favorites or have a favorite class on occasion. Starting high school this year and looking forward to the next four years. This school has been nourishing and encouraging with the children able to be who they are and be accepted, in our experience. Overall, this has been a great experience and I am glad our daughter went here, rather than our local home school.
This school is hardly elitist. There are families from all economic levels in this school. Auditions are held blindly. The art dept heads do not know the district or zip code the auditionees are coming from when they make their selections. As far as bullying goes, I have seen a swift actions from the staff on what I would consider very mild infractions. Parents and kids were sat down in an immediate conference. Bullying in this school is so much less then at our old school in Jefferson county I am thankful every time I read my daughter's facebook page and see what her old classmates are up to. I seriously thank my lucky stars we found this school. This is a school where kids are seen as individuals in every class and don't get overlooked. In the first month of my daughters advanced math class, the teacher identified her unusual learning style and offered additional insight and suggested she get longer time for testing. I asked how he recognized her learning style and he said he spends a lot of time in the beginning really looking at each and every student and their needs. Students need to learn to be self motivated and disciplined to be successful here.
This school is elitist. The kids are elitist. The teachers are elitist. The parents are elitist. Bullying is very prevalent and the administration will only marginally address if it is a boy bullying a girl, girls bullying boys and girls bullying girls are ignored. My daughter was bullied for over a year before we finally pulled her from this school. My son still goes there, but probably not for long. Finally, the teachers pick their favorites and ignore the rest. Very disappointing. Very frustrating. Stay away. Let your kids excel somewhere else and keep them out of this horrible environment.
My two sons attend this school, in different majors and grades. We have had an overall good experience for my first son and just an ok with my second son. Most of the teachers are great and the all students are amazing in their various arts. I would love to see more kids from ethnic backgrounds represented because the lack of diversity is disturbing. If DSA could bring together more races it would be a truly special kind of place.
I also have two children that attend DSA, unfortunately I can't give this school anything more than one star. I want to first state that there are a few very caring teachers who go over and beyond. A very few is not enough though. Both of my kids have been bullied and discriminated against by not only students but specific teachers as well. The administration and staff are so busy tooting their own horn that they are completely disconnected about what truly goes on there. There are a handful of students who get all the attention and the rest are casually left to fall in the cracks. Both my children were so excited to attend DSA. They were both passionate about their majors, and now they are both begging my husband and I to put them in another school. Don't believe this school when they speak about how diverse they strive to be, the hallways are proof alone that it is nothing close to representing the demographics of Denver. Basically, if I would have known 4 years ago what I know now I would have never subjected my kids to such an elitist school. Its too bad administration could care less. I agree with the summed up review before mine.....TOXIC!