This school has gone downhill, which breaks my heart. The relatively new principal, Michele DeAndrea-Austin is in over her head, lacks real leadership and does not connect with most of the parents, children or community. Her "my way or the highway" mentality is all fine and good, although would be beneficial if SHE actually knew "her way". It seems to change daily. Kyffin does have some great teachers, unfortunately we are losing some of them. Sure, some will blame what is happening in Jeffco for that, but best to examine what is happening inside the building before anyone jumps to that conclusion. What was once a truly great school, I can no longer recommend.
The teachers that my child has had at Kyffin have been inspiring, dedicated, effective, and communicative. My child loves going to school and being a part of this positive learning environment. I credit the teachers, staff, and principal. Parent involvement is awesome and vital. Thank you Kyffin community! I highly recommend this school.
What was once a great school is now on a huge decline. After two years with a brand new principal, she has proven completely ineffective in leading/inspiring great kids to reach their potential. Instead of allowing kids to think for themselves, the administration creates a new school-wide rule almost monthly. It's all about testing, test-prep, how Kyffin looks on a graph and the principal making herself look grand. If you were even thinking about driving your kids to this "Blue Ribbon" school, don't bother. The administration has allowed bullies to run Kyffin without consequences. If your child has a challenge and you need help from the administration, they will back their own (forget about it). Go ahead and mark this school off your list and stay at Mitchell, Shelton or your neighborhood school. So sad to see this school go down so very fast.
Okay, so there is a traffic problem... and there are parent and teacher volunteers out early in the sometimes freezing cold every morning to serve the parents who don't even have to get out of their car. Yes, my child is in the GT program, and I am not rich. I don't work and I do occasionally volunteer at the school. The parental presence is beneficial for all children. :) I choose some economic hardship over the knowledge that I will seriously regret not being there when my children are grown. Kyffin is an opportunity for my children to attend an excellent school, and I am thankful for that. I am also grateful for the police that enforce rules that are designed to protect the children. Whatever inconveniences are caused by the GT program temporarily well be outweighed over time by the contribution to society those kids will make. Kids have different needs and people would never stand for special ed kids being talked about the way the GT kids sometimes are. Different is good. :) GT kids are just on the opposite side of the spectrum.
We will NOT be returning next year even though this is our home school. The GT program has caused overcrowding (twice what the school was built for) from kids outside the district (and their siblings) causing student conflicts and traffic backups for blocks. I agree with previous post about antagonizing cops who should be directing traffic instead of pulling parents over for petty reasons. The neighborhood needs to reclaim its school. Although there are some great teachers, we had a number of teachers with poor attendance and so much wasted time during the school day. We know a number of other families who are leaving next year. The administration needs to take the focus off GT and put it back on the student body and serve the neighborhood it was built for.
The positive aspects of the school include: parent involvement is outstanding good reading and writing program Areas needing improvement: The math program is disliked by students, parents and teachers, Students never learn the basics and it forces parents to tutor them at home. Students are forced to move on to new units in math before they ever master the previous information The school has an anti-bullying program, but specific incidences reported to administration do not receive proper follow through The GT program is considered an asset by the school, but it has created a number of problems. Most of the kids in GT are from outside the neighborhood and it creates an "us-them" divide among the rest of the student body. The GT program seems to breed an attitude of "were smarter than you" and the program seems to be a hotbed of misbehavior. Traffic at the school is horrible made worse by all the GT program kids being driven in from outside the neighborhood. Traffic is also made worse by local police intimidating parents by constantly pulling them over during peak traffic times. Major back-ups and unsafe conditions result with kids darting through traffic
At Kyffin we strive to reach every child, no matter what their need may be. We collect data through assessments, use results to identify specific needs in reading, writing or math, then add interventions to build needed skills. We have both grade-level and school-wide processes in place to make sure that every child is getting the support they need in and out of the classroom. We have thoughtful, team-based discussions about grouping students to address similar needs, while keeping the whole child in mind for social/emotional matching. We regularly reinforce positive, respectful, responsible and safe behavior, but we also create and implement individualized behavior progress plans for students who need to build skills in this area (attentional issues included). We work closely with parents to communicate progress in all areas and welcome student ideas and feedback, so they are accountable in the process of their own progress. My school is amazing, the community is amazing, I truly love the students and families that I work with. I am proud to be a teacher at Kyffin Elementary School.
Kyffin is a GreaT school....if you are part of the Gifted and Talented "click". If you are not, you are looked down on, made fun of, and treated like a second class citizen by the staff, the parents (of the GT kids), and the GT kids themselves - who mostly come from outside the school boundaries. If you don't have enough money to buy your child the most epensive and latest cell phone your child is made fun of. Some say that opportunities to volunteer are great, but again, only if you are a part of the click - who are fortunate enough to not have to work outside the home. Its sad that the staff cares more about their reputation as an "in demand" school by putting so much into the GT program, while skipping over the average to below average students making them feel inferior.
Splendid school! One semester in kindergarten so far and we are extremely satisfied with our kid s development. There are great opportunities to volunteer and get hands-on involvement in the education process. All the teachers we met so far are truly dedicated.
My son is completing his first year in the GT program at Kyffin. It is the first time [and four schools later] where we cannot find anything substantially negative to comment about a school. This is not your typical neighborhood school. Parents are very involved in the school. Teachers and staff appear to really care about each child. The principal is approachable and will hear & listen to your concerns. Our son's 1st grade GT teacher was quick to address any concerns or issues we might have had and kept you in the loop of your child's progress throughout the school year with general weekly letters to all parents and relevant and personalized comments in the weekly Friday Folder comments. Our son has been extremely happy at Kyffin and although he is working 1-2 years above grade level isn't burnt out and still loves school. His teacher really understands and respects the educational boundaries of each child and encourages parents in the classroom and welcomes their ideas.
I have 2 children at Kyffin, and have to say it is a remarkable school. Both kiddos have different strengths academically and socially, but both are flourishing at Kyffin. Academics are emphasized, but every child has opportunity be it with the regular program, or additional activities like Chess Club, Science Fair, or Artistic activities to be successful and motivated. The Principal and teachers are first class, and the parent support for the school outstanding. This is an excellent school.
As a parent of two Kyffin kids I cannot say enough good things about this school. I had a very shy little girl who lacked confidence, she has been in this school for 2 years now and I have seen leaps and bounds in her confidence level! I think alot of credit goes to the staff at this school for her improvement! Thank goodness for the staff here and being able to choose your school. Thank you, thank you to all Kyffin staff!
This school is going down hill. Rating used to be a 10, next year probably an 8. Prior Principal set the school up for a downhill slide. Placed utmost importance on the GT program and completely filled the school to overcapacity with out of area students. Traffic problem is huge, sense of entitlement without volunteering or supporting the school is much elevated. The school is crowded although the addition of 'temps' have helped. The amount of teacher turnover last year was more than we have seen many many years. There is a very dedicated group of core parents that really support the school with time and dollars, but they are evaporating as the students from the neighborhood move on.
Many opportunities for parent involvement. Rich in extracurricular activities. Excellent educational opportunities.
The school itself is great. The parents and staff are wonderful. I do have issues with the SAE program (before & after). It is extremely expensive. I was paying half in the Cherry Creek School District. Not only the cost but they seem to be closed when the school is. Im not off 2 weeks at Christmas. Im not off for MLK day. Im not off for Presidents Day. Its a huge burden to find care for my kids on days when I feel I pay these folks enough to be open. They may have a lot more children attending if they would make some changes. Cost being the first !!
School building itself is old-style and overcrowded, but teaching staff is excellent. School drop-off IS insane. Many kids come from outside the neighborhood and must be driven. Good specials ( PE, art and music) and extracurricular events (Science Fair, Reflections, Oral Interpretation, Environmental Learning for the Future, Junior Great Books, Writers Conference, choir). Serious parent involvement here, but not required. I feel the principal is very accessable and wants what is best for the school as a whole, that is just not always what may be best for your individual child. Overall an excellent education .
We moved here just over a year ago and have been overjoyed with our daughter's transition. In her previous school, our daughter was given reams of rote worksheets. The work at Kyffin has been challenging, but interesting. We had a minor problem with her teacher last year, which was quickly resolved after a few emails. The other parents have been great - involved and fun to be around. Our second child starts Kindergarten there in a few months, and we are very excited for her.
Kyffin is overcrowded and their system for morning drop offs needs consideration and re-vamping. The school is dark and lighting does appear to be an issue. There is a distinct air of professionalism and people seem to do their jobs well here. I think people care about the children at this school
School is rather dark and lighting is not good. Overcrowded afterschool program and morning drop-off is a bit crazy. Principal isn't visible/approachable enough. Needs to mingle more with parents somehow?! Would definitely be nicer place to visit if there was more personal warmth from staff. Otherwise, curriculum seems adequate and the students seem to be held to a high standard by both parents and teachers. Compared to many other schools, this is a dream. There are a lot of requests for $ by PTA but parents are involved and obviously want 'more' for their children. There need to be more quality afterschool programs and more effort put into development of children's character.
Great school! So far, teachers have been wonderful. Not at all impressed with the principle or some of the office staff, otherwise 'Excellent' would have been my rating.
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