I love the learning model - kids get to be curious and creative while still getting the core subjects. They get to really get into experiencing the history! I also love that the Arts are integrated into the Social Studies so that the kids are getting the art, music, and culture of the periods - really helps learning retention! My kids are doing great in Reading and Math and especially creative writing. They have done well every year in the science fair and having to do the science projects has really stimulated their curiosity. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the longer school day and school year - helps learning, retention, and childcare.
TPAAK offers my daughter so many opportunities to learn and grow. The elementary school band, choir, drama, and art opportunities are numerous. Children have the chance to preform and take on new challenges often. We find the Paragon instruction (a mixture of history, social studies, and art unique to TPAAK) to be a great piece of the overall education puzzle. I want my children to be great at science, math, and literacy but I am also trying to raise global citizens with cultural literacy and Paragon is a key to that. The teachers and administration are hard working, caring, and immensely talented. The board and PTLO work tirelessly to support the students, staff, and greater TPAAK community. I especially appreciate that the PTLO and Board insulate students from fundraising. My daughter has never been asked to sell or peddle anything as happens so often at other school. At times the school day and year seem a bit long, but I know my child is benefiting from the additional time at school learning, creating, and engaging with her peers. TPAAK students are excelling. Students have made great showings in art competitions, science fairs, OM competitions, band and drama opportunities.
TPAAK offers an educational opportunity for students who need the individualized instruction and personal care that a smaller school setting can give. The principal and staff show genuine concern about children, academically and personally. Character education is included as an integral part of the curriculum. Teachers within the same grade level collaborate and the support staff (special education) also works with the general education faculty to provide meaningful instruction to students. The school is currently expanding the Gifted Education program. If your child does not fit the "one size" educational experience offered at many schools, take a tour of TR Paul Academy and talk to the staff!
Extremely unprofessional working environment. There is very little collaboration across grade levels and the 2 monthly staff meetings are often cancelled. Leadership is weak and consists of inconsistencies, threats and gossip. On an upside, parent involvement is strong and T.R. Paul's parent organization is probably the best part of the school. While many of the teachers at the school are extremely talented, they are not supported, and spread very thin. This leads to a high turnover rate due to a lack of support and respect. Long hours and low pay...strongly discourage teachers to subject themselves to such a discouraging place of employment.
Not only is there a lack of leadership in the administration, but they encourage non-collaboration amongst their staff. Meanwhile, they ostracize the good teachers who have been teaching for years, making great strides in the classroom through literacy, math, & science performance. They focus way too much on Paragon, which quite frankly is NOT needed in the real world. Is my daughter going to be tested on Bali or Egypt anytime soon? She's 5! What she needed was penmanship & literacy. They boast themselves to be this great art school & yet they have only 45 minutes of art per week. The teachers don't do art projects- they're too busy trying to teach Paragon. If you're unfamiliar with this curriculum, I encourage you to look it up, as it has nothing to do with common CORE that is taught at every other school in the nation. TPAAK could improve by getting better teachers, (ones who don't pop balloons behind kid's heads to get their attention), better administrators (with administration education, experience, leadership skills), a different curriculum where they teach life skills such as writing and reading rather than focus half the day on the Renaissance.
Every school has its positive and negative reviews. To be honest, my son is in Kindergarten, so we have not experienced the turn over in administration. His teacher is wonderful, and the principle seems to be truly dedicated to the school and its philosphy. There is wide ethnic diversity within the school which is also very important to us. Our family moved to Fort Collins from out of state, and we were looking for a school that would be challenge our son and teach him to respect himself and others. The fundraisers are completely optional, and we have opted out of several. However, that money is used to continuously develop TPAAK's programs. For such a small school, the students are constantly being recognized for high achievements, which I can only attribute to a combination of strong curriculum, parent participation, unique academic opportunities, and adminstrative involvement. I work in the public school system and naturally compare the education and resources available to my child to that which I see at other schools. I am happy we have chosen to enroll in TPAAK to give him a strong foundation academically, socially, and emotionally.
I reviewed the school two years ago, and feel I must update. The current principal taught here for years before becoming principal and really understands it, which is such a great help to the school. I am a thinking, involved parent--like all of us reading this site--I would not keep my kids in a school I had any misgivings about. TR Paul is the best thing to ever happen to my daughter, period. She marches to her own beat and has been able to be herself here and make friends. It's an arts school (which is exactly why we chose it), and art is offered daily: drama, visual art, and music. We have one of the best (maybe the only?) elementary-school bands in town. Plus, the Paragon curriculum really rounds out their cultural learning. Both my kids have learned things I wasn't exposed to until high school--even college. Not everyone will be happy with every school, and some parents won't be happy with ANY school. Some of the complaints seem to be written by someone who doesn't actually have a child at the school; that's how little sense it makes. TR Paul is diverse, it is welcoming, and it offers what my kids need. Visit yourself and see why--don't take someone else's word for it.
My children have been there for 6 years and are THRIVING! I have seen 3 principals in the years we have attended, and if you ask teachers, they are currently VERY happy with the principal. Test scores for the grades have improved each year if you look at a history of scores from the beginning. As for Art, our students are excelling over and above any school in the area. Recently, in a statewide contest for the Department of Wildlife, 15 TPAAK students placed for the 28 spots available.My children know much more about the technicality of art than even I know. The music teacher has done a fabulous job creating the only elementary band around. The confidence my children have gained because of the one and only elementary level drama class offered in Northern Colorado is spectacular.The board and PTLO have done a fabulous job in the last 6 years minimizing the number of large fundraisers. It has been limited to 2 large events each year. There are many other fun events but those are just extra events for the kids, not driven to raise extra money. We LOVE TPAAK and say thank you to the teachers and staff for all of your wonderful commitment to the education of our kids!
This is my students 1st year at TPAAK after wonderful experiences out of state. Her confidence level and enjoyment of school has plummeted. The quality of teachers is inconsistent. Some are very supportive and positive. But her primary teacher is incredibly negative leading to many families leaving mid school year. The principal is impersonal and controlling (driving away good teachers). 80% of communication is to recruit new students or make money (TPAAK has 100+ fundraisers). The other 20% is complaining to parents. My disappointment with this "Art" school is the lack artwork. The work sent home is mostly below grade level work sheets - NEVER artwork. The art teacher is great but very limited by lack of materials. My daughter knows da Vinci - but hasn't progressed beyond stick figures. TPAAK scores well in early grades when students transfer there. Then scores decline the longer they are at the school. They even killed the MS because the scores and number of students were so low. We were stupid to already pay for re-enrollment for next year - but smart enough to forego the money and find a new school. Do not send your student to this sinking ship!
I am a parent at TRPaul. My son is in Kindergarten now. His teacher Mrs Van Horn is wonderful. She as a Master Degree in education, but what's more important is that she is a very caring teacher and teaches really well (not only literacy and math, but also dancing, music, art). All kids love her and she loves all her students (according to my son and my observation). Other teachers including PE, Art, Music, Drama and Spanish teachers are great as well. I also like their Champion afterschool program. Teachers (Mr Brad and Ms Hannah) interact with kids all the time. Plenty of activities to keep the kids relaxing and learning. I like paragon night. Every student gets to perform every month, in their classroom if not on stage. I also talk to a second grade teacher and she talked to me about 30 minutes about how they do things at this school, very patiently. They have special tutoring classes in small groups (if not individually) for students who are behind academically so that no one left behind. I also like the new principle Mrs Nak who seems to be very dedicated to the school. All kids have good manners and are so lovely. No bullying was reported from my son.
The concept of this school is fabulous but the actual implementation of its mission with tangible results as seen through its' students achievements is so disappointing. I was also willing to wait several years for promised improvements believing that changes in administration and increased parental involvement and commitment would make a difference in the long run but how long do your children have? I made decisions to keep my kids at TR Paul during a time when they should have been gaining critical foundations for learning. It was not until after putting them both in another school that I learned how behind TR Paul really left them. The longer school days did not really go toward extra learning. It felt like a glorified child care center frequently. We are playing catch up now academically but I am so glad we finally decided to "cut" our losses out of the sake of loyalty to the school and instead switched our loyalty to our children. What was I thinking?
I changed my daughter to a new school this year and it ended up being a wrong decision. The school was not a good fit for her and she was doing the total opposite of achieving. So I thought it would be best to send her back to her old school where she had been for five years and did well. So after withdrawing her from the school that was a bad idea to send her to, I went to her old school and asked if they had room in the 7th grade class for a new student. I was told that they did have plenty of room. So feeling very confident I was then directed to speak to the new principal. I told the new principal how my daughter had gone to the school for five years prior and how the school was a good fit for her. I admitted my mistake of changing her out of the school. And the principal proceeded to let me know that since the October count had past this last week on the 1st that they would be unable to re enroll here there. I am angered that first of all that money is a greater value then a chills education to this school and second that they are penalizing my child for my mistake of my decision to have her try a new school. Why should dollar signs mean more? How unfair.
some of theser reviews are based off tours-not actual parents of students. my children currently attend T.R Paul an i can say things good and bad. Reasons i chose this school is because of the security. many schools have less teachers than they do students especially at recess. i like that the doors are locked to prevent kidnappings, assaults, etc. The incorrect part on another comment that they are 2 grade levels behind. ummm no. All their grade levels are learning at 1-2 grades ahead. my daughter is in kindergarten and is doing addition and subtraction, learning about mass and matter, studies a different culture/country every month and presents on it. The education values are excellent as well as the art inrichment they offer. i also enjoy how multicultural it truly is. BUT i am having issues with this school. the uniforms are not cheap and have very strict guidelines with accessories, hair, etc which is a bit ridiculous. they are always asking you to attend fundraisers to pay for this for the school and that for the school-seriously its EVERY WEEK. theres bullying as well as favoritism with higher class families. THE PARKING LOT IS ATROCIOUS/dangerous! theres maybe 20 spots.
I have a child that recently left TPAAK to attend middle school. In that school, he has been moved up a grade level in math, being advanced and passing the district year-end test before the year even started. In addition, he is accelerated in science and English. Finally, in geography, he was given the year end test at the beginning of the year, and received the highest possible score. Obviously, this school is doing something really well, and I am extremely glad that my children have received such an amazing education!
As a parent of a child at TPAAK, I truly felt the need to respond to the previous post. The testing referred to is always requested by the parents not the school. The school also has a preschool for children that don't meet the cut-off. The books were most likely donated for the book sale, not for the students. They are moved out daily by our parent volunteers. Also, the library has no key. Each classroom is locked with a code for security. The teachers and administration here are amazing. I have been a teacher and a parent in many schools. TPAAK has some of the most creative, innovative, caring, dedicated staff who truly care about each and every child in the building. The principal is frequently IN classrooms, and not always available for tours during the school day. My child gets science and social studies EVERY DAY, not once or twice a week. The curriculum is amazing, and the arts focus is truly one-of-a-kind. What a wonderful school!!!!! Thanks TPAAK!
My kids attended TPAAK during its first two years. Fortunately we were able to get out and into a good school in the district. Now four years later, I am talking with a teacher who was not even aware that my children attended this school and she mentioned that she had a couple of students last year that needed much tutoring. We were visiting about them in respects to the extra time she was putting in and she said that they needed so much help with math, they were nearly two years behind district standards. I asked her what school they had been at previously and it was TPAAK. Could be the kind of math that is used or the way it is presented but it reaffirmed our experience and my instinct about this school. It was not then nor is it now what you wish for your child. All this tme later and Great Schools still sends me notices and I chuckle when I read a positive review about how " my child gets science and social studies EVERY DAY" because our core knowledge elementary school teaches the same stuff. Maybe every other day but it is the exact same material by the end of the year in total. There are much better schools for family than this one-in every way.
School has just started again and my kids are so excited. They have come home every day chattering about what a great day they had and how happy they are to be back at school. I am loving the progression of the arts curriculum in the upper grades (3-8)- it is going to be a fun school year! Looking forward to seeing the performances and art work that comes out of this. If you've got a kid who loves the arts- this is the place to be. I too am a picky parent, and did a lot of research before choosing this curriculum for my kids, and it has been well worth it. We love it here!
My comment from this morning disappeared (surprise) so I wanted to be sure that visitors on this site know that I am a very proactive parent at TRPaul and I can tell you that all the negative comments on this site (I read through about half) ARE true. My children will not go back to this school another year. I've been waiting for a REAL change to happen at my children's expense. It gets worse every year. Ask about ALL the principals and staff changes. And yep, the lunches are from PSD, but are only partial items that my children cannot eat. There is no real kitchen facility so by the time the lunches arrive at TRPaul they are cold and gross and they cost more than PSD.This is just one of the MANY things that make this school undesirable.Organization IS a serious problem. Teachers are let go and shifted around due to failing budgets. One week there will be a middle school and the next week there won't. One week they will have yearbooks, the next they won't. Things change on a dime. If you can live like this, then you have found your school. INVESTIGATE, PLEASE.
TPAAK is a horrific school. I am shocked the are still open considering eveyone who has left speaks so strongly about their bad experiences. I know schools have growing pains, but how many principals have they had since they've started? (Be honest...at least 7 in 6 years.)
If you have any other option whatsoever, Leavenworth, Alcatraz...you get the message, please don't subject your child to this school. Everything changes on a day to day basis, the principal, the teachers, the subjects, the lunches (which are awful, btw). The school has a morgue like atmosphere and look. Don't be fooled by their very misleading tours or false information. They are an accident waiting to happen and your children deserve better. Stability is NOT in their scope. Just because it is a "charter" school doesn't mean that it is a place your child should feel priveleged to attend. IT IS NOT! Pay attention to the reviews and heed the warnings. I've read through them and they are spot on! Just do your research for your child's sake. Charter + small school does NOT equal better.
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