This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Dennison Elementary School3
Posted June 24, 2014
- a parent
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.
I still don t understand this hours of homework theme that is being propagated in these reviews. Yes, EVERY STUDENT AT DENNISON, including Kindergarteners, DOES HOMEWORK. If it requires a student HOURS of homework, then maybe the rigor of this school isn t a good choice. Rarely does it take more than 30 minutes in the lower grades & rarely more than an hour in the upper grades. Usually in the upper grades, homework is given on Friday for the following week so that kids have the opportunity to work on it over the weekend. There are plenty of families who have music lessons & sports in addition to the expected work. Not only does the author of 9/12 post need a class in time management but perhaps one in basic math concepts as well. I have no idea what MANY kids are too burned out to go on to D Evelyn means. There are 90 6th graders who get priority placement for getting into D Evelyn. I would be hard pressed, in any given year, to find more than 5% of kids who opt out of going to D Evelyn, & that would include those who move districts or even out of state in addition to the so called "burned out" kids. I would hardly equate less than 5 of 90 as equal to the word MANY .
Wow obviously a disgruntled parent wrote the previous review. This school is absolutely about educating the kids. If it was about making the parents feel good the parents would have far more influence in curriculum choices and even a voice in which teacher little Johnny gets. If the previous author means feel good about getting the best public education WITHOUT a required test to get in (i.e. a gifted and talented magnet) or the bureaucracy of a charter school, then yes most parents feel good about the education that is taught at Dennison. In order to improve our children s chances of being leaders (to include globally) we cannot rest on our laurels, as so many schools in the U.S. have done. Presently, the U.S. is ranked 17th in the world in education. At Dennison, the philosophy is such that the bar is set high and we believe that every kid can reach it. 99% of the time every kid at Dennison can and does so consistently, with sustained growth.
This school is about making the parents feel good, not about educating children. The whole school seems to take pride in "if you need to know it next year, you can know it this year." Which would be fine if they would teach instead of letting the parents pick up the slack by assigning hours of homework. If you or your children want to do anything besides school, go somewhere else. If you want your child to be given an A for getting all his math right, instead of a C because he had sloppy handwriting, go somewhere else. If you think that because you are teaching the kids more than they are learning at school, and that because you spend hours a week doing things to help the teachers, aides, parking lot and everything else function, would give you some kind of credibility when you see with your own eyes inappropriate actions by personnel, think again. Any suggestion of wrongdoing meets with instant scorn that that the school makes sure your kids feel. You will never hear of a problem here, but you will hear of a great many people who "aren't cut out for this school". A truly great school teaches, not eliminates. A final note is that many kids are too burned out to go on to D'Evelyn
Excellent school for preparing your child for the real world. High expectations and rigorous coursework keep the kids busy but not unreasonably so. Homework is less than 30 minutes per night unless they're working on a long-term project. They use A,B,C grading so what you see is what you get score-wise, unlike other Jeffco schools that use the ambiguous 4,3,2,1 scoring. My son has always gotten straight A's with minimal effort, so we make sure to keep him busy with after school classes and the optional online math program. Yes, the school has many rules but luckily my son thrives in that environment; he's definitely not a Montessori-type kid. Dennison is preparing him for the more rigorous D'Evelyn, which in turn will prepare him for an easy transition into college. We have had excellent teachers who have made learning fun while keeping it challenging. The principal always listens to our concerns and has been a complete advocate for our son. If anything, the school has been too easy for our son, & that's okay because he's getting a good education while still enjoying school. Most kids can handle the school's rigor, it tends to be the parents who often can't handle it!
As time goes on, I have become less enthusiastic about this much sought after school. As with most schools, there are some excellent teachers and some mediocre teachers. The current principle also leaves something to be desired. Children are turned into academic machines at very young ages. Instead of being rewarded for hard work, they seem to be regularly told that their best isn't good enough. As my children progress through the grades, I have noticed increasingly unrealistic academic expectations from the teachers. I do like the high level of parental involvement at this school. This school is great for some families, but I have heard many other parents express similar concerns, and it seems that an increasingly large number of children are being pulled from the school every year. While this school may offer high test scores and an excellent "great schools" rating, think twice before putting your child into this school. Our family is considering making the transition to another school.
My son is in K at this school and we have been very pleased with the support of his teacher, paraprofessionals, and principal. Everyone is very caring and they have gone above and beyond to try and make sure his needs are met. I do find the behavior policies to be very strict and it takes some getting used to for some kids, but all in all I know that it's necessary. It's very challenging academically, but my child thrives on that, so it's not an issue. Overall we are very pleased with this school.
Our children attended Dennison and continued to D Evelyn. We believed that these schools would provide the best education for the money, based on parent reviews and scholastic performance. My children are above average intelligence, but are not academically gifted and they struggled to get C s. School performance is important, but growth is a far better indicator of a schools ability to educate then testing scores. Student GPA & class ranking will matter more to Colleges then a school ranking. Dennison expects parents to tutor their children 2-4hrs a night. This is the secrete to Dennison s success, along with a high drop out rate. Any school that extends the school day and eliminates the lower performing students, will have better test scores. Neither Dennison nor D Evelyn help struggling students. We found it necessary hire tutors then later, transfer our children from D Evelyn other schools. Remember, childhood is about laughter and fun, not just scholastic prestige. Dennison/D Evelyn are for gifted and mature children only. They foster good conservative morals and the families are great. Many of the teachers are remarkable though some are ineffective and uncaring.