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School Official Point of View

As the new principal at Hulstrom K-8, I wanted to respond to the comments posted on 10/17 since many of the comments are not accurate. Instruction delivered in classrooms is based on the Colorado Academic Standards, using the Adams 12 Units of Study. Teachers are required to teach the standards to ensure our students meet or exceed the standards. Teachers are encouraged to extend the learning well beyond the grade level standards. The PARCC and CMAS tests are very important and are a true measure of a student's ability to meet or exceed the grade level standards. The Hulstrom students did an outstanding job meeting and exceeding the expectations. We even had several students get perfect scores! This is an incredible feat, given the difficulty of the tests. A celebration assembly was held to congratulate all the students for meeting and exceeding the expectations. Tips were shared on how to prepare for the upcoming exams. At no point were any students "shamed" for not doing well on the assessments. This is not my style, nor has it ever been. The credit for the excellent scores goes to the students and the teachers, not me. We received the results of the most recent assessments given and once again, Hulstrom students did an amazing job, soaring above other district and charter schools! One thing we are especially proud of this year is the achievement growth of our students in grades 4-8. As we continue to examine formative data, our growth and achievement will continue to increase. Differentiating instruction will continue to be an area of focus for us this year as we work to meet the needs of all learners. We hired some extremely knowledgeable and talented teachers this year who are already making a tremendous impact. Finally, I encourage all parents to reach out to me when they are frustrated with a situation or have feedback. The only way to improve as a leader is to know about a concern, reflect, and make any changes needed.
November 30, 2016

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23 OVERALL RATINGS

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This school has an effective approach to homework:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Disagree (1 response)
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Teachers at this school are effective:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Disagree (1 response)
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This school develops strong character in its students, like integrity, compassion and respect:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Agree (2 responses)
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Leadership at this school is effective:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Strongly disagree (1 response)
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This school effectively supports students with learning differences:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Strongly disagree (1 response)
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This school effectively deals with bullying:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Neutral (1 response)
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There are 36 reviews about all of the school topics.

Message to families
SCHOOL LEADER
As the new principal at Hulstrom K-8, I wanted to respond to the comments posted on 10/17 since many of the comments are not accurate. Instruction delivered in classrooms is based on the Colorado Academic Standards, using the Adams 12 Units of Study. Teachers are required to teach the standards to ensure our students meet or exceed the standards. Teachers are encouraged to extend the learning well beyond the grade level standards. The PARCC and CMAS tests are very important and are a true measure of a student's ability to meet or exceed the grade level standards. The Hulstrom students did an outstanding job meeting and exceeding the expectations. We even had several students get perfect scores! This is an incredible feat, given the difficulty of the tests. A celebration assembly was held to congratulate all the students for meeting and exceeding the expectations. Tips were shared on how to prepare for the upcoming exams. At no point were any students "shamed" for not doing well on the assessments. This is not my style, nor has it ever been. The credit for the excellent scores goes to the students and the teachers, not me. We received the results of the most recent assessments given and once again, Hulstrom students did an amazing job, soaring above other district and charter schools! One thing we are especially proud of this year is the achievement growth of our students in grades 4-8. As we continue to examine formative data, our growth and achievement will continue to increase. Differentiating instruction will continue to be an area of focus for us this year as we work to meet the needs of all learners. We hired some extremely knowledgeable and talented teachers this year who are already making a tremendous impact. Finally, I encourage all parents to reach out to me when they are frustrated with a situation or have feedback. The only way to improve as a leader is to know about a concern, reflect, and make any changes needed.
Posted November 30, 2016

Supports LD students: Strongly disagree


- a
There is no differentiation, whatsoever. If you don't fit into a certain box, good luck.




- a
What used to be a great school, is now a massive disappointment. The new administration's focus appears to be on test scores and not on what is in the best interest of the students. This has been incredibly frustrating. Everything taught in class directly relates to what is expected in the state test. Last year, the principal publicly celebrated test scores in an assembly and called out every student who met or exceeded expectations, while shaming those that didn't quite meet the standard. My child came home so upset because a friend was not called upon to stand and really felt bad for the friend. This was a clueless and classless "celebration" of a principal who is clearly impressed with herself for achieving top scores. Could it be that Hulstrom receives top scores because half of the kids are GT, and the other half are high achieving kids who were hand selected to attend Hulstrom? I'm certain the credit goes to the kids, and being that these kids are thoughtful and sensitive I believe they would not choose to celebrate in a manner that publicly shames their peers. The bottom line is that these kids are smart, and they would do well even if the school did not teach to the test. To make matters worse, Hulstrom is not truly a GT school as the principal does not seem to understand the needs of GT kids (based on comments she has made) and there is no differentiation or in-class enrichment opportunities. Hulstrom simply accelerates in math and reading, and that is all the kids get. If there was differentiated teaching instruction as promised, perhaps the kids who did not quite meet the standards would have done better on the state test. I do believe the teachers are great and really care for the kids, it must be awful for them too. We lost some excellent teachers this year and one can only wonder why several of our top teachers left after spending so many years at Hulstrom. It bothers me that Hulstrom can be a great school, as it once was. I feel compelled to give Hulstrom a bad rating based of the direction of the new administration and their lack of understanding of the needs of GT students - it is heading in the wrong direction. Teaching to the test needs to stop, period. I would rate the teachers between good and great because they really are!



- a
This is our first year at Hulstrom and we are so thankful to be a part of this school and community. My son has advanced rapidly in his reading, math, writing and spelling. He absolutely loves going to school. My son's teacher and staff have been top notch. Principal Madsen goes above and beyond to get to know the students and parents. We feel extremely blessed to be a part of this outstanding school!



- a
I believe the common core Math curriculum hurts the GT kids in the sense that they don't pause at each topic long and deep enough to fully grasp it. They introduce calculators to kindergartners to use for that level of math which I think is criminal. Any child regardless of being GT or not, should be able to and be taught to do basic manipulations including the four major operations (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) in their head not by the aid of a calculator. These kids can do so much better than this and I believe it's the matter of the teachers not having enough training to 'teach' math. I am a mathematics college instructor and it just frustrates me to see these bright kids' talent go to waist. My son prior to coming to Hulstrom, was capable of doing basic math operations in his head but now thanks to the Kinder teacher has learned to use only fingers . This is a problem for our nation and we're leading the path for being dumbed down everyday and the bring your own device and Ipads with calculator apps and not enough recess and lunch time( 15 min each) is not helping these kids get all that extra energy out and help concentrate either. The school district also refuses to offer basic bus service transportation for these kids with ALP yet they continue to offer special transportaion for kids with IEP on the opposite side of the spectrum. What a discrimination and lack of care. Our country seems to want to only make sure that 'no child is left behind' from the bottom of the curve and not for its brightest and most neglected minorities!!




- a
GREAT school for GT learners! I has been an amazing answer to our concerns for getting our children a challenging, yet enlightening education. Our children get to be "normal" by being with other kids that thrive on learning and being challenged, with a variety of interests. Most of the teachers thrive on excelling and keeping up with the latest trends. Technology is being incorporated throughout the classroom. Also it is a good mix socially and very diverse.



- a
This is a great school to be for the all students who have a good motivation to learn.



- a
This school is just a wonderful place, especially for a GT learner. We have felt so welcomed and part of a community of talented teachers and students. My gifted son really needed the differentiation and extensions to the curriculum as well as the social emotional support provided at this school. The teachers could not be more dedicated and committed to helping each child reach his or her potential. What a special honor it is to be here!




- a
The gifted and talented program is by the far among the top programs in the country. My kids recently transferred from Hulstrom to another regular but highly ranked school district in a different state. They are so far ahead in nearly every area of learning. They were challenged, encouraged and empowered in every possible way by Hulstrom's quietly intelligent teachers. It is a task to challenge them similarly now. To say that we miss this school is an understatement. I want to thank the school and the teachers for all they have done for my kids and wish them the best for the coming years.



- a
Both of my children have attended Hulstrom since kindergarten and have been there for almost five years. I can not express enough how amazing our personal experiences have been and how pleased we ALL are with the school, teachers, parents, administrators, and staff. It's true, the academic pace is fast and best suited to children who pick up new information quickly, retain it well, and make use of that information readily and without much repetition. While there are many areas for a child to excel, this is a school for the academically gifted, highly intelligent, fast learner. Hulstrom does have wonderful "specials" opportunities in music, art, and Chinese; however, if one of these areas is the primary discipline your child is "gifted" in, they are going to drown in their classroom and possibly suffer with self-esteem issues due to the ever dreaded "peer comparisons." Some reviewers have complained about the amount of homework, but it's not overwhelming to kids who do it quickly. Bottom line, know both your child and what you are getting into before starting here.

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Last modified Hulstrom Options K-8 School is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
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