This school does not help highly gifted children, just wealthy people with bright children. Most of the teachers left have no idea how to really challenge gifted children. The ideals if this school are great. What they say they will do is great, but it doesn't happen. They are so desperate for teachers that they hire anyone. The school simply doesn't live up to what it promises which is so sad because gifted children really do need a place like this. Luckily there are other options I suggest looking into them.
We loved some of the teachers and students at the Boulder campus, but as far as the administration goes, whoever was in charge of holding the vision and accountability is gone from the building and they left the prisoners with the keys. Crazy town. If your child doesn't need accommodation you will do better here. We have a 2e guy and felt like we were in some sort of dysfunctional family fun bus. No thanks. We Can get that for free in the public school system. Not worth the $$.
I have just experienced my first year as a parent at Macintosh Academy, Littleton Campus and look very forward to my child attending many more years at this school. Our family has found the community of children/parents to be very welcoming and helpful; the administrative staff to be gracious, thoughtful, fair, and future minded; the teaching staff to be seasoned, caring, and lovingly creative when behavioral remedies have been necessary in the classroom with any child; and the IB curriculum to be well-suited for our gifted daughter. As with any educational facility, business, organization, corporation, partnership, family, couple or individual even - change is guaranteed. I suspect new leadership, new enrollments, new marketing strategies, and new teachers will bring about new thinking. It often does. Thus we are optimistic with the upcoming changes and will miss terribly the individuals that are departing. We highly recommend Mackintosh Academy, Littleton to anyone with gifted children who finds value in open-minded education enveloped in a challenging environment of care and understanding.
There is such a thing as "too much change" - and while there was a big turnover 2 years ago, there have been some big turnovers this year, too. The head of the Boulder campus leaving, the head of the Littleton campus leaving, and the head of the board left and has been replaced. Will replacing 3 of the 4 heads at the top fix the issues? Doubtful. Some of the teachers are still amazing. If Mack survives this transition period, it will be due solely to them. But dig a bit and ask to see numbers (no transparency on their financials) & then ask to see what their 5 yr plan is & what facilities/resources (science lab, robust IT/computers plan, library, dining hall, extracurriculars) are MISSING and ask if they ever plan to bring them in & who will pay for it. The school talks all about 'gifted' &'twice-exceptional' kids, but when it comes to curriculum, the IB programme has won out and there's no room for gifted learners. No one wants to address this issue though. So IEPs get ignored in favor of class unity. Just don't have a problem here - there's no executive accountability and things will not be resolved. You will be lied to nicely & politely, but lied to, nonetheless.
I have had both of my children at Mackintosh Littleton since 2002. My oldest daughter is in her 8th grade year. I can't be more happy with both of their educations. My older daughter is more than ready for high school and will be entering into honors and pre-IB classes, skipping Freshmen classes in Spanish, math, and science. Her poise and confidence foundation was because of her years at Mackintosh. My younger daughter delights in going to school every day and is challenged in her areas of strength of math and science. Both are receiving a consistent, quality education worth every penny. They are happy and joyful and get the opportunity to work with a highly qualified, dedicated, and happy staff. We have seen very little turn-over and 80% of the staff have been at the school 10+ years. Many families here have been here for years with all of their children attending. We are a tight community of positive learners who embrace learning, innovating, critical thinking, and most importantly, each other.
My son just started pre k this year and it is amazing! MA is a community of families with gifted kids. I am So happy we found Macintosh. Without them my son would have to wait 2 years before he could start school. Mack loves, teaches and supports children and families where they are. The teachers and staff are amazing. I would love for more families to come join our community and experience all MA had to offer!
For clarification, I am wondering if the following review (dated July 7th, 2013) is referencing the Boulder Mackintosh campus as these comments seem to be in alignment with some of the Boulder parent/student experiences there. From my vintage point, Littleton's campus has more tenured leaders, a collaborative, experienced and supportive team of teachers, what appears to be positive cohesion and commitment within its parent community and increasing enrollment. Star ratings for my post are to reference Mackintosh Littleton's program as opposed to Mackintosh Boulder's program.
Mackintosh is a strong choice in the early grades, but thin staffing, poor management, lack of leadership, and ignoring bad behavior in the classroom at the expense of the victims of bullies make it a place to avoid for parents of kids beyond early education. There are some wonderful teachers at the school, but rising tuition costs (which have not translated into better compensation for them, BTW) have not been accompanied by improved instruction, more resources, or better technology, for example. The school has raised tuition it seems to counter declining enrollments. Our family has moved on, and our kids did get some good things from Mackintosh, but as the parent of a twice exceptional child and a "just gifted" child, in the end the school failed them both, and we are out 15k per year per kid. We could have been failed in the public school system for free.
The Dec. 19 post confuses me. If you want a stricter admission policy in this economy, you should expect to be solicited for more fundraising. Private schools are desperate for enrollment. The previous administrator was also a business-savvy educator, who's only fault was that she sometimes told the hard truth to people when children were being compromised. She is sorely missed by teachers and families alike.
We have had our kids at Mackintosh for several years now and although there have been some good things, at this point we are frustrated, disappointed, and angry. For the 16k per kid we are paying in tuition, the lack of stability in classroom instruction, inconsistency in instruction, grading, and feedback, and, in particular, resistance to and at best haphazard support of our twice exceptional child simply makes Mackintosh a rip-off. The school has a reputation for serving gifted and twice exceptional children, but this is only as good as the teacher du jour and the amount of attention the very thin staff has to pay to the new Boulder campus. The school is badly overextended and has lost its ability to deliver the most fundamental thing they promise- individualized rigorous education for gifted and 2e kids. This failure is partially responsible for my child now struggling to succeed in high school- she did not get the tools she needed for high school at Mackintosh. For 16k, our family deserves much better.
While I agree that there have been some poor admission policies and that more attention needs to be given to hiring to ensure we get and retain the right teachers, none of that changes the fact that my child has THRIVED since transferring to Mackintosh. The IB framework fits well with the GTs drive to learn deeply about a variety of subjects. The school has no issues differentiating & accelerating as needed for the individual child, and there has been a fundamental understanding of the social emotional needs of the gifted learner that has changed my chilld from being shy and afraid of not being perfect to an outgoing risk taker. I cannot say enough good things about what Mackintosh has done for our family. And to furter address the concerns with administration change, teacher qualification, and questionable admission standards in the past - I have found the new administration has recognized these concerns and is working to address them directly. From conversations I have had, it appears that while these concerns are true in part, it is a lack of transparent communication that has perpetuated the impression that the problems are continuing when in fact they are being addressed.
I agree fully with the previous 3 reviews. Numerous reviews critical of the administration and management of the school as well as the practice of hiring non-GT teachers to replace the mass exodus were removed by GreatSchools. That being said, it is good to see the remaining teachers more relaxed and eager to come to work due to the atmosphere created by the new administration. However, there is still a trend to hire teachers that are not trained in GT (just because one has previous experience at a private school does not make them GT trained) and many children have been accepted without any type of testing to show that a student is GT material. Finally, I know times are tough financially for everyone, but not a week goes by that my child does not come home with another request for money or a new fund raiser. I have no problem paying of a good education, but after shelling out $14k/year, it' s hard to fork over more money when I question the ability of some teachers to truelly teach to and understand GT children.
I want to second the review below. There is not enough understanding of gifted learning or behaviors and classrooms that meet those needs. Varies widely across classrooms. I am concerned whether the school is consciously moving away from gifted ed with its recent change of leadership and the hiring patterns in the classrooms. Gifted ed is not simply rich material, small classes and some ability grouping. These kids have special needs in acceleration and social/emotional areas. Unless the school decides to more closely tailor what it is doing to a thorough understanding of gifted ed, it is just another private school, and maybe a fine one, but not a gifted school.
This school has been through tremendous changes in the past two years. The new leadership was a much needed change, the continued IB curriculum is a constant under any leadership. Along with change there has been qualified Gifted and Talented teachers leaving with replacements with new and unexperienced teachers in GT which leaves parents of GT children quite concerned of the direction of the school. Adding another campus to the school has diluted the focus much to parents dismay. 50% of my child's classmates left last year. Although the teachers and remaining staff are commited, there needs to be big changes in hiring and retaining qualified staff
This is an outstanding school. We have had our son here for 4 years, and it has been wonderful watching him grow and learn from the caring and sensitive teachers. All the kids are smart, whether or not they are twice exceptional. Parents should know that really what they are paying for is great teachers, small classes, and a school philosophy of respect and openess that evident in the classroom and elsewhere. We were lucky to find this school, after years in the Jeffco school system, where kids were expressly taught to score well on the CSAP and classes were focused on making sure most kids were essentially performing at an average level. The only negative is that Mac ends at 8th grade, and finding a follow up school for your child of similar quality can be a challenge.
My son has met challenges in other schools and thankfully, we have found in Mack a school that he LOVES! This is his 2nd year and the thought of having to consider any other option scares me. I didn't think there was any program out there for him, however, he is truly thriving in this program. My son works very hard loving every minute of it, learning amazing skills and practicing skills that help develop a character that complements what we try to teach him at home. How wonderful that the administration has worked hard to expand the program to kids like my son in the Boulder area! As the head master sets the stage for the beautiful Mackintosh program and philosophy in Boulder, she has left the extremely capable and warm Mrs. Anderson in charge at the Littleton campus. Although there has been teacher turnover, the teachers who are there clearly want to be there evidenced by their enthusiasm. We have not ever experienced less than excellence from any staff member on the campus. My son will be at this school for as long as they will have him. I, for one, am glad they have expanded to allow others the same opportunity for an exciting gifted education!
This my child's second year at Mackintosh Academy and we are delighted with the results! Learning gains have been tremendous as a direct result of the academically rigorous and thoughtfully implemented IB curriculum--adapted to the needs of gifted and talented students and students who are twice exceptional. It is an environment where children are treated as individuals and their learning styles are addressed accordingly. We looked throughout the metro area for a school that would meet the social and emotional needs of our child as well as a demanding academic environment. The IB Curriculum at Mackintosh and the language program met our goals for globally competitive education. Focus on performing and visual arts provided opportunity for self-expression and comprehensive exposure to the arts. Focus on physical fitness, PE is offered everyday, allowed for awareness of well-being. To this, we have found that the administration, staff, and parent body exhibit genuine interest in and kindness to our family. We look forward to many years at this school and are grateful that the model is being shared with others.
This school is a Godsend. We have 2 kids at Mack, one who is "twice exceptional", and one who is "just gifted". Both are intellectually challenged, supported in both their strenghs and challenges, and are developing fantastic awareness of themselves, their community in and outside of school. School leadership is compassionate, professional, and visionary- setting an example of world citizenship and scholarly and creative excellence that will serve my kids well throughout their lives. Our family is proud to be part of the Mackintosh community and I am grateful for the partnership of the teachers and leadership in giving my kids a remarkable education.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE) I have worked in educational research for over 10 years and have never encountered a more wonderful and effective school, set of faculty, and administrators. The Head of School is an outstanding leader and visionary, who has always extended such warmth, compassion, and commitment. We appreciate how she consistently makes herself accessible and available to us despite her numerous responsibilities. Our daughters teacher is the very best educator I have encountered in my ten years experience working in education. She is nothing short of amazing to us as parents and our children. We are thrilled that these same opportunities are being extended to other students and families at our second campus in Boulder.
We absolutely love Mackintosh Academy and feel so blessed that our children have the opportunity to attend. As a parent with a Ph.D. background in education and child development with three gifted children, I am amazed by the individualized instruction, curriculum supported by strong research, depth of understanding of cognition and learning theories, outcomes based approach, IB philosophy, emphasis on developing the whole gifted child (i.e. academically, emotionally, creatively) and most of all, the exceptional teachers and administration. Words cannot express how grateful we are to see our children thrive, grow, explore, and embrace a pure love of learning and passion for life because of their experiences at Mackintosh. It is a true gift as a parent to see your children fit so perfectly and be so happy at school and with themselves. All three of our children have attended the past two years. They LOVE school and have maintained such a high level of intrinsic motivation and academic growth. (CONTINUED BELOW)
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