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.
I love the way TPAAK incorporates art and history into everyday learning. My son is able to understand more when he can relate it to something. I love the way they are teaching my child.
If you're looking for a "great school," don't stop here. Bungle after bungle of the administration, coupled with a HUGE budget shortfall and an overworked/underworked staff make this place an intolerable and even hostile learning environment. Mosaica, Inc. is a FOR-Profit company, that takes our tax-dollars and leaves our students scrambling for supplies. There is a reason why this is the only charter school in the town that was not approved by PSD.
As I read all these reviews I am reminded that the teaching staff can only do so much. As a parent it is my job to be as involved as necessary. We have had few issues with TPAAK....we love this school. I have to wonder if the parents that have had issues within the school used all the resources available....the chain of command goes much higher than the CAO. IT was my experience that bullying was taken very seriously last year and all efforts were made to eliminate it. My daughter has excelled at TPAAK because the teachers are able to use more abstract methods of teaching than public schools can.
We love this school, have two kids there. Kids wear uniforms, enter in an orderly fashion, taught to respect each other. Parents are invited in every 6-8 weeks (or so) to see the kids do a skit on what they have been learning and show parents their stuff on the wall. High degree of ethnic diversity of students across a lot of cultures, this was very important to us moving from East Coast. School year starts a few weeks early, ends a few late and school day is longer than public schools, which means about a month more class time and less work taken home (it gets done during school hours). Also have a good before and after school program if you have two parents working. They challenge kids a lot. GOOD SCHOOL if you are an engaged parent, want ethnicity, structure, are actively engaged in your kids education. NOT FOR YOU unless you are actively engaged in your kids educatioin and you want to be part of a school community.
I recommend you check this school out before sending your child to any other school in Fort Collins. TPAAK focuses on Arts, Science, Technology, and Math using a hands on curriculum. They also have more arts based classes than other schools that i have seen including Dance, Drama, PE and Art.
This school was one of the worst schools I've ever been too. Slower students that go there in hopes of improving actually get worse. Sure, the pe, art, drama and music are really good, but did anyone think about literature and math? Why are 5th graders still learning about one digit math? And reading books reserved for 2nd graders? After your kids come out of this school, they will have no idea what the other schools are talking about. So if you are relying on a football, music, art, or drama scholarship, you should come here and hope for the "best". But if you want your child to have a chance in life, send them somewhere else.
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