The families of students at Dennison really support honesty and integrity in their children. The school has high standards for behavior and this modeled by staff, students, and parents. It really gives you hope for the future of our country to see this.
If you are solely concerned with academics, this school is probably right for you. If however, you believe that the role of an educational institution is to prepare children to be conscientious and well rounded adults, I would recommend looking elsewhere. Doing 5 hours of homework a night in elementary school will only teach your children how to be busy. It won't teach them critical thinking, social and emotional intelligence, or diversity of thought and experience. Send your child to a school where they not only have the academic experience, but also have the freedom to be children and cultivate all of the different forms of intelligence that will empower them to lead happy and successful lives. Do not be fooled by the test scores, Dennison is rigid and mechanical and very little (if anything) exceptional happens within their walls.
Like any school there are great teachers and not so good teachers - some perhaps have been teaching too long and don't enjoy it anymore. The benefit is sending your child to a school with kids who have like-minded parents who value education. I can’t complain about the education but the treatment of the children at this is school isn’t great. It’s a very authoritarian school and children are expected to have the utmost respect for everybody (which I agree with) yet staff is not expected to do the same - especially the aides. There has been a lot of complaints this year in particular from kids regarding the aides at the school and nothing seems to change. The principal smiles and tells you she is very upset to hear about it but nothing changes. She is big on smiles and using sweet words to describe students but her actions don’t reflect her words. We have only stuck it out because we wanted our child to get into D’Evelyn. During the several lunches I have been lucky enough to attend over the years, the aides condescend and demean the children using their speaker system, calling out kids by name. The only screaming that goes on during lunch comes from the aides over the speaker system, not the kids. The same goes for recess. It’s really hard to tell kids they have to respect their teachers and staff when the respect isn’t returned. It seems unlikely that this will change about the school because it has been this way the entire time our child has been here and the administration seems to support the disrespect towards the students. I hope this doesn’t continue at D’Evelyn because I don’t want my child to think this is the way she is supposed to be treated by grownups especially when her behavior has been nothing but stellar her entire time at this school - never once on “red” or any disciplinary action in the grades beyond. The parent in me wanted to leave this school with feelings of warm memories and pride that I chose the right school for my daughter but I am sad to say that it doesn’t turn out that way - it has been nothing but a disappointment in the staff attitudes towards the kids. I believe in a rigorous academic program but I also believe in respect being demonstrated throughout the process. We are thankful our time at this school will be over and hope to see deserving students treated with respect at D’Evelyn.
Like all schools, some teachers are wonderful and you can tell by their energy in the classroom that they love teaching and enjoy coming to work everyday and then there are teachers who never smile, never offer words of encouragement and complain about the amount of work they have to do. There are great teachers who deserve to be there and some who probably should consider another career but that would be at any school.
If you are good at having your kids get a jump on their homework over the weekend then it's manageable. If you don't, you will spend many Thursday nights up until 1 am with your student. My child is great about doing her work in the classroom and getting it done so it hasn't been a problem for us.
The school staff lacks integrity and respect for students. It's difficult to develop honesty, integrity and fairness in students when many of the staff members don't demonstrate it towards the students.
The teachers care about the kids and want them to succeed. Dennison has some of the best teachers I've seen at any school. Four of my five kids have attended dennison and I can't say enough about the teachers and curriculum.
We wanted this school to work for us, we really did. This school has many wonderful teachers, staff, and parents. This school doesn't work for all types of children. Everything is a competition for performance and grades. This school isn't nurturing for children regardless of ones strengths or weaknesses. Your child can be bright, creative, and smart, and still feel like a failure in this school because of the grading standards. Should children be ultra competitive when they are in the elementary school? What pushes some kids to work harder (school strategies), crushes other kids and makes them feel inferior. My suggestion to Dennison is to realize there are other types of kids. Bright, artistic, funny kids that are shy, introverted, that have all sorts of strengths and weaknesses. My child is more than just a test score. When everything at school is a competition a child loses. They give up, they stop trying and assume they will never measure up. Please, start valuing the different types of students that need encouragement instead of criticism. Nurture these kids and have fun with them (do a crazy hair day), treat them like kids. You are burning out your students.
My daughter left another Jeffco school last year and enrolled in Dennison. I can actually compare this school to another Jeffco school, as we have experienced both. First, they use an actual grading system (A,B,C) instead of the 1,2,3,4 style. This allows for both the student and parent to actually see the student's true grade on a test or assignment. The school sends weekly reports, so parents can monitor how their student is doing. I do not feel the homework is too much. My daughter is doing well, but does have to work hard to maintain an A/B average in her classes. The teachers do not put up with the behavior problem students and they are dealt with appropriately. The school is very academic, and stresses the importance of hard work and personal responsibility. This school is a good fit for our family.