I completely disagree with the previous comment about the IB program. It made a huge difference with our student, who felt very well prepared - she now attends one of the top schools in the country. She took both IB and AP classes and feels IB better prepared her for college. Also, both Princeton and Cornell admissions officers told me they prefer IB students because they're so well prepared. IB is not for every student - they have to be motivated and organized, but it is a great program and many of Niwot's IB scores exceed the international average.
I like the school. It has great electives and sports program. I do think the IB program is a huge waste of money. I talked to two colleges and they don't care about IB. Some of the teachers are good, but some of them think they are more important than they actually are somebody needs to tell them that a lot of colleges dont' care about IB.
Above average means that most teachers are dedicated and the staff is responsive to concerns: However, just because there is an IB program, and just because your student is doing well within it does not mean ALL teachers are working. Watching my sophomore's grades, I've noticed some teachers have decided grading papers is too much trouble. Two months passed in his spring 2012 Algebra class before a test was graded. Fall 2012 no writing assignment will be graded until mid-October after half the semester is over! I hope these teachers are willing to help pay for his first year at university after he flunks out wondering why he did so well at NHS.
Niwot HS is outstanding in every way, including diversity. Two low income neighborhoods, including a mobile home park on Francis St. are bussed to Niwot HS. Sports coaching is outstanding, music programs top notch, and teachers come from diverse backgrounds with high levels of education (physics teacher has a two degrees from MIT, English teachers have JD and bachelors from Vanderbilt,). The IB program is a special focus and the students come from all the surrounding towns, making the school even more diverse. Booster Club and Niwot Foundation fund the school well and parents are involved. Drug problems are minimal as are drinking problems.
Niwot high...Great school if you want your child to be 'book smart'...and not much more. Niwot will teach you how to be a great Doctor...or Dentist...or another high-paying job that won't require you to actually interact with people on a deeper level. Students at niwot don't get as much diversity as other schools in the distict do. You don't get the full range of people there, and you don't see how people interact on a more grand scale. I went to Niowt my freshman year...then moved and went to Skyline. A much better choice.
My son is a Junior and gave the IB progam a shot but wasn't quite disciplined enough to do well. He's in AP classes now and doing terrific. It's great that such a range of academic challenge is available. The number of sports and extra-curricular activities offered is incredible. The school spirit of the staff and students (especially at football games!) is wonderful. NHS really is a community.
Our daughter is a freshman at Niwot so we don't have much yet to make judgements on . She is also in the pre-IB program which is a school with in a school for the most part and may well be slanted toward the best of the best. That having been said we have been pleased so far. We had some concerns coming from a small private school setting to a very large public setting but our daughter seems to be doing well. She is thrilled to get to play in the Symphony which has won top honors in the state several years running and will be competing with an elite 15 schools in New York City next spring for the National Cup, a very big thrill for a freshman. Though the culture is quite different from where she was she seems to be adjusting well.
Niwot High School is an extraordinary school, with an inspiring staff and a welcoming environment. Academically, it is strong in excellence, and offers advanced and rigorous courses for IB and AP students. Student Council is also very involved, and is a great organization. The administration is very understanding and encouraging as well. It is like a family, with a lot of pride and spirit!
This is a wonderful high school with excellent academic and sports program. Parent involvement is very high and teachers seem quite caring.
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