Don't go here!!! In the middle of open enrollment, I have to speak up! The administration lacks competence to lead the school and the attitude of the staff shows it. We came to Kyffin thinking how lucky we were to have gotten into a good school in a good neighborhood. Let me just say anything that can go wrong went wrong! The bullying, the attitude between GT and GE, the lack of teacher support. If they think building a new playground is going to help then they are in a more trouble then I give them credit for. Run, don't walk, run from this school. Kyffin is lucky this site forces me to choose at least one star.
My child just transitioned from Kyffin elementary to middle school and it was a real eye opener. Kyffin did absolutely nothing to prepare kids for the transition to middle school. Although they cover the required curriculum, they really don't assign grades based on merit and the kids never develop good study habits. This is a real disservice to kids who wind up in a high performing middle school! There are many days when kids just goof off...early release days are a waste of time, days that have assemblies or parties are wasted, and many days have three recesses! When are they supposed to be learning anything? Kids here are quite disrespectful and my child constantly complained about all the profanity on the playground and unruly bully behavior that went unpunished in class and throughout the school. I know plenty of parents who complained about bullying with no results. The administration seems weak and the teachers follow the lead. We are happy to have moved on from here.
We are new to the neighborhood and couldn't be happier with Kyffin. We are on the taditional track with a very smart kid but I don't think we will do GT. I haven't felt ostracized for not being in the program and as a parent of a high schooler who was in british primary and IPM both programs within schools in Denver I know first hand what that looks like. This school is very welcoming. They seem very interested in student growth but that's just the way education is going. Again, after Denver public schools this place is amazing. There are great after school programs and a nice focus on the specials (art pe music). I love the E.L.F. program and am very thankful we have found a school that places an emphsis on science learning. We have had some issues witht the amount of homework in first grade, and I have heard some rumblings from parents over leadership and such but that happens in every school. I love that we live in the neighborhood and that my son rides the bus because morning drop off is a mess-both of our old schools did it without any issues. The school is very full but class size is still small (much smaller than denver). Glad to be a kyffin cougar!
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.
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
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.