I have been at Aspen Academy for awhile now, and I have become happier with the school and community each year. Although I admit there were some growing pains (as any new school would have) when I first arrived, I am impressed with the way that Aspen is progressing. The teachers are all driven and care SO strongly about their students. Kristina Scala (the Head of School) is a charismatic leader and her strong visions of character and leadership are evident as you walk through the school. Personally, I like that the head of our school is a skillful business person. I do not worry about school/job security and know that our school is financially stable. Overall, I feel that this school is growing in all the right ways, and it is a nice place for driven individuals and families.
We have been at Aspen for three years and appreciate the education our children have received. No school is perfect and you can't always get what you want. Unfortunately, there are many parents who don't get that and place their frustration of what occurred to them/their kids, on others. To the Feb 11the post, my three children learn very differently and all of their teachers have been able to teach them at their personal levels and individual styles. To the July 25th post, my daughter has experienced bullying too (last year), but when it occurred the head of school spoke with the family. The issue was resolved. What I really appreciate is the fact that my children are known by their teachers, the administration, and staff. To the May 9th post, yes, that post may seem rigid to you but to me it demonstrates the school telling an applicant exactly what is expected. And if you REALLY are a parent from Aspen, then you know the employee who held that position is a gem. Because she adhered to these requests she knew EVERY child, parent, and regularly attending grandparent by name. Personally, I wish there were more schools like Aspen in other states.
This gives you the tone of the school s administration. Text came from an employment ad on Craigslist 5/2013. Very rigid tone. Great if you want hard core, strict, military regime. I'd question how many of the 4 stars are really written by parents. Aspen Academy is committed to providing an intentionally diverse student body Be present at the front desk.... It is prohibited for you to leave the desk at any time, unless you are leaving for your lunch break. Answer all telephone calls by the second ring. Reinforce the school's core values, guiding philosophy, rules, ... hold accountable colleagues in doing the same. Record early dismissals and late arrivals of teachers. Adhere to all rules and regulations which are presently in forced or which may be established later. Demonstrate a relentless drive to improve out of school.
Our daughter transferred from a classroom of 32 in public school 3rd grade last year to Aspen Academy of class of 13. Her classroom focus has improved along with her rate of academic progress. Her renewed confidence and determination to excel were nurtured by her well engaged teachers. In the 4th grade the small classes rotate among teachers who are specialists in their subject areas (language arts and reading, math, science including environmental studies, and history). The teachers are enthusiastic and always available to discuss individual students needs with parents and have the time and interest in helping each student excel. Head-of-School Kristina Scala runs a professional program with emphasis on academic rigor and leadership development in all grade levels. While the academic demands on all students are high, the confidence that results from their achievements shows in their faces every day. We are very happy with the choice we made for our daughter.
our experience at Aspen was mixed. we had some good teachers and several that had never taught before. I expected more from a private school . we had one new teacher that was excellent and two others that couldn't make it happen with the kids. The academic rigor that they promised was not personalized. they simply taught 3rd grade curriculum to 1st and 2nd graders. overall, one thumb down.
Aspen Academy is an amazing school that has changed our 5th grade son (he has been at Aspen for 2 years) into a confident learner who is unafraid to ask questions, share ideas and know that he is supported by everyone at the school. To the post on October 31st I would say that a school is ALWAYS what you make of it. The teacher turnover is no higher than any school and all the teachers here are excited about learning and teaching! The teachers are full of energy and excitment and are thrilled to be a part of Aspen! Gossip is a dangerous thing and "tales" are just that, "tales"!! It sounds like you wanted special treatment and suffer from being a "helicopter parent". There is no special treatment at Aspen, it is a community and you get out what you put in. The only rule at school is BE KIND and all the kids know that. Of course children experience exclusion by other kids some times, but the gift is learning to advocate for yourself because you have the self confidence to do so. Good luck to you.
A great place for your kids if you want an academically challenging environment that prepares your child for life! The teachers are excellent and care about each child. The parents are terrific - it's a very warm parent community. Each child has his/her own academic plan with differentiated learning for all subjects. Visit for yourself, talk to current parents and kids and see for yourself!
I am a very picky person, especially when it comes to my kids eduction. My son started K last year at Aspen Academy, and it took us some time to adjust. Now he totally loves it! He constantly asks me to drop him off earlier, so he will have more time to spend at school. Their academic rigor, the only rule "be kind" and striving for excellence make such a huge difference! I can't wait to get my younger daughter enrolled.
Aspen is Amazing! My twins are in 4th grade and they math and science they are learning is so far ;beyond what my older son did at another highly ranked private school in Denver. We are constantly thrilled at both their progress, their confidence and their sheer joy at being there and learning. Every school should be this great
Aspen Academy is our second home! This is our 8th year with the school (daughter is now in 5th grade) and each year has been a revelation in possibilities. The students are exposed to amazing leadership concepts, academic challenges, community strength and service and so much more by a fantastic and dedicated faculty and staff! Every year the school gets better and better.
I am a parent who was ready to rid my kids of a mediocre education and a day filled with boredom and watching the clock. Aspen academy is challenging and does a great job of making reading writing and arithmetic interesting by integrating science into most of the curriculumn. I am afraid that the complaints and bad reviews are coming from people who will never be happy anywhere and have passed that gene down to their kids as well. I would like to see their reviews after their child has been trying to learn in a classroom with 26 other struggling students. I have an education background and did a thorough analysis of all the private schools in the denver area. There was not one that was as progressive and open to changing the curriculumn each year after extensively seeing if there was value. When you see bad reviews it is fine time to question the individual writing them not the school and its great leaders!!!
I am really saddened to read the negative reviews. We have had great experiences at Aspen and truly love the school. It is academically very rigorous, but the service emphasis and holistic approach to the child and education truly balance that out. My children did struggle early with their transition to Singapore math, but the teachers were incredibly supportive and helpful. I have seen such an awesome and positive change in my childrens confidence, demeanour and attitude. I find the comments regarding the Principals background interesting, since she has been in teaching and education for years and was principal at an excellent Charter School before starting Aspen
I just returned from dinner with a friend and was horrified to here what her son endured during his 2 years at Aspen Academy. They have strong documentation so I know what she speaks is the truth. I worn every parent, look at this school closely. And if your child complains about the way they are being treated, take it to heart. The adminstration does nothing to keep bullys from running this school. Just terrible.
It's a shame...such good intentions. If you want any kind of communication with your teacher regarding your child, this is not the place for you. Our teacher refused to make time to speak to me until late October and was allowed to do whatever she wanted in the classroom. Quite simply, she is a bully and the HOS ignored our request to do anything about it. You'll have no one to turn to when you are unhappy here as some of these teachers are old friends of the HOS and have ridiculously inadequate qualifications to be teaching anywhere. We did have some teachers who were great but you'll never get to request them and you never know if they're coming back from year to year. If you have any problems in class, they'll blame your child. And the new teachers are all right out of college with the military mentality of the HOS. There's a reason they do not publish their test scores.
As one of the commentators here has remarked, look closely. The principal s LinkedIn site notes 331 connections with but one recommendation. Her educational experience includes a degree in Business Administration from Cal State Chico. The Head of Admissions LinkedIn page notes 162 connections. One recommendation. Her background? Marketing. Most private schools in the Denver area offer background information on their website regarding length of service and / or educational experience their faculty and staff. Not Aspen. The turnover there is so severe that even rudimentary information is not offered. Our concern is in the absolute inability of the Head of School and Director of Admissions and Marketing to be considered even remotely qualified to lead a venture of this sort. Finally, as the parents of a middle school aged child, we would not be inclined to send our child to a middle school based in a windowless basement. View this school with skepticism. A solid group of faculty labors in an environment of fear from above. We could not feel remotely comfortable entrusting the wellbeing and education of our child in such an environment. Advise you look elsewhere.
Aspen Academy is not perfect, but it is as close as I've seen. I do see problems at the admin level, but I do not believe that diminishes all the wonderful things that our family experiences as an aspen family. The teachers go above and beyond for our kids. After 3 years here; I am willing to take the bad with the good because my kids are happy and loving every minute at Aspen Academy. I wouldn't dream of allowing my complaints to mess up what is a true gift to their future.
our experience at Aspen Academy was mixed. We experienced excellence in a couple of classes and incompetence in others. Overall, the Head of School and administration proved to be the weakest link. We were surprised by the lack of accountability of the administration and the Board of Directors. The HOS has created an environment of fear and intimidation among the parents. I would not recommend Aspen Academy to anyone.
5 families have withdrawn their kids from 2nd grade. At least 7 more are not returning next year. That is about one third of the 2nd Grade student population. I agree, worth asking about. The love or hate atmosphere surrounding this school is very telling. Either the Head of School likes you or she doesn't and makes life for you kids and family misserable until you leave. She answers to no one. The Board of Trustees are all long time friends. I wonder what happens to the stability of the school when their kids are gone from Aspen. Academically there is no superiority over public middle school. Please do a little research and you'll see.
No one asked me to write this :-) But....I am baffled by some of the comments - they seem kind of nit picky. Does it matter if the slogan is used by another school? I use it at work because I like it so much! 11% of kids left? That's 4 kids... Administrators don't have decades of experience in school bureaucracy? We find that to be a GOOD thing. Having dealt with academics for years, they tend to be stuck in stifling "group think". The Head of School is a VERY strong personality - she admits that right up front. The innovations she's bringing the school, especially to the middle school, are amazing - writing 10 year life plans, mentoring,running their own business.... Academics? We know a family that transferred their child from a well rated school to the Middle School, and the mom said the Aspen academics are well beyond anything in the public schools. We had 2 kids go through some of the best schools in our district, and the academics simply don't compare to Aspen. The parents are amazing and friendly - much more so than the public school parents I interacted with. Either you love it here or you don't - and if you don't, then just don't go here!
Ask questions. Why has over 11% of the second grade population left and enrolled in other schools since December? What is the turnover rate for other grades? Why is the suspension rate so high? Why is an immediate goal, as highlighted in the State of the School Address, to formalize an expulsion policy? What are the credentials of the individuals addressing the diciplinary policies? Use the tools here to come up with other important quesitons. ASK!
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