The brand new 15,000 sf Middle School is open with 100 kids there already. The teachers know about Middle Schoolers and they thirve from all indications once they were given a chance to be interviewed for their thoughts.
Really look this school over before enrolling your kids. My experience hasn't been close to 5 stars. It looks really great and has some good elements, however the bad out weights the potential good in my opinion. The administration is really heavy handed and they have quite a bit of turnover with their teachers. That in itself is an issue especially in the format in which they operate (kids stay with one teacher through different grades). This is really not the place if your kids need any sort of extra help - they are not adequately staffed in this area nor are they required to provide what ANY normal (non charter) school would. There is a lot of patting on the back during the events which gets a bit old. The suggested "donations" per student are high as well. I'm not sold and think one should do a bunch of looking before leaping.
This is our second year at Mountain Phoenix. The school is a nice blend of public and private education. My children are thriving-academically and emotionally. My child started slightly behind grade level in reading and writing. My child is now approaching advanced. Both my children are happy to go to school and are developing a love of learning. There is a high level of parent involvement and disciplinary issues are resolved quickly and fairly. My child had an issue with another student that they were unable to work out. The teache spent 2 lunch periods helping them talk out thier differences and find a way to get along. This seems to be typical in the school. Children are taught reponsibility and actions (both good and bad) have consequesnces-both positive and not so much. Accomodations are made for children that need more- but not at the expense of the entire class. The adminstration has been professional and always helpful. The ciriculum is art rich- which I believe is helping my chidren develop academically. Alternative education is not for everyone, but for me and my children, this has been the right choice.
Don't get fooled ! Please do your homework, we could not stay here any longer and its only October. I had such high hopes . I tried to ignore the bad reviews but in the end the reviews were right this place is lacking in too many key areas.
My daughter and I are new to Mountain Phoenix this year and believe we have made a good and important decision in my daughter s future. We were looking for a school that caters to the development of the whole child above and beyond reading and math. Mountain Phoenix believes in a well-rounded education that includes working with your hands, exploring the arts and the natural world, and instilling a love of learning which will help children WANT to excel in school. In the first two months of school my daughter has: started playing the cello; is working on a wonderful knitting project; has explored both algae and mushrooms in botany and can extrapolate what she has learned and apply it to the real world; has delved into philosophy and ancient history; is working on her drawing skills; has been rewarded for using beautiful penmanship; has performed in a grandparents appreciation day where the elders were served tea on tables decorated with china, beautiful linens, and fresh flowers; is engaged in a challenging physical education program; is learning how to play chess; and yes she is working on life skills that include grade appropriate math, reading, and science.
I am so impressed with how much time and love the school has poured into my daughter's education since starting here this year. If you know about the Waldorf philosophy and are prepared to commit to the program, I enthusiastically recommend Mountain Phoenix. We have had all of our older children go through the "regular" public school system and it was fine for them. Our current first grader, though, was in need of an arts-based, nurturing environment. We found it here and won't be looking back!
All the criticism is spot on, especially regarding the principal and administration. This could be a great school. But it is sadly a terrible school. I'm a teacher and I am appalled at how little my children learned during their one wasted year here. You are better off putting your children in the neighborhood public school. They will actually learn. I'm appalled at how much my children lost academically while here. The only thing good they seemed to have learned is how to knit. I have so much work to do now to reteach them concepts they once knew and to get them caught up to where they should be so they can move forward and start liking school again. The teachers are unable to do much good in this toxic enviornment. The best solution for this school is to close. I would retract my previous positive review if I could.
Where do I start? This school is certainly not a fit for children with learning disabilities. They always state that they do not have the resources available to give students that need extra help the amount of help they deserve or really need to improve. They have been slow on discipline with bullying and seem to give additional chances to those kids that should be expelled that have ongoing behavior problems. It also seems to be a very loose adherence to the Waldorf program - They don't seem to follow the formative/qualitative plan that Waldorf is founded upon. I have been unimpressed by the administration, however many of the teachers are good. I would not recommend this school to anyone.
Caring and capable faculty and staff, obviously involved parents, engaged kids and a killer campus to boot. What more can one really ask for? Enormously pleased as we begin our 3rd year.
Way to go Jeffco for offering a Waldorf public school option! My family came to MPCS after much investigation and experience at a private Waldorf school and we are impressed with how much the curriculum stays the same. Don't get me wrong, Waldorf philosophy is 100% counterculture and if you are not comfortable with that this will probably not be the school for you. But if you do understand the depth of this type of curriculum, MPCS is a great option for families who can't financially afford a private Waldorf school. The Kindergarten is completely play based, academics begin in 1st grade, handwork, Eurythmy, strings, festivals, teachers loop 3 years (and we've had excellent teachers for the last 2 years) etc....its all there and seems to be getting better every year. For potential parents, please do your homework on Waldorf education before you come for the benefit of all. It is vastly different than public education and we like it like that!
I was deceived by the smell of fresh baked bread, the gorgeous campus, wooden toys and the quiet voices, and we had to leave because of bullying and lack of academics. I suspect if parents knew the true origins of Waldorf they might be less than thrilled to send their children here. Unfortunately my child is now struggling in a different public charter school because she is behind. I implore you to Google "Waldorf critics" or "Waldorf watch" before you make the decision to try out this school.
I will NEVER EVER recommend this school to anyone. My children attended this school for two years and learned how to knit. There is no real curriculum to speak of. It's the most unorganized crazy mess I think I've ever seen. I pulled my children from this school and will never look back. I had them tested last week and they are SOOOO far behind that they will both have to have extensive help and extra tutoring. If I put them in a public school they are at least a grade behind. The administration is seriously lacking in compassion, organization, overall morals and values. The leadership at this school is lacking the skill and knowledge of educational training and mentorship for the students and staff. If you want your child to be ill prepared for high school and life in general you will send them here. I give this school no stars.
We started mid school year at MPC. While I have my reservations about some things. I think that the school is doing a good job over all. They can't be all things to all students. Special needs students might not get the resources that they need at a charter school unless that school caters to those specific needs.
I absolutely agree with the reviews from the other parents of children with needs. I thought this school would be the answer for my gifted 7 year old with ADHD. After 2 years at MPCS, his self esteem has disintegrated and the only reply I can get from the leadership is that "We are a charter school and don't have the resources" to support him. I am getting him out before he is kicked out and before his self esteem is unable to be repaired.
Why are so many of the reviews from Jan 18-20th? I smell a rat. It seems very much as though there is a serious problem in the administration at this school and they're trying to cover it up by soliciting good reviews.
This is our first year at Mountain Phoenix. We were drawn to it (and very excited) to have a Waldorf option and very happily opted out of DPS. We have a 5th grader and a preschooler there. I can not possibly say enough about how amazing the teachers are. The dedication, caring and involvement is unparalleled. My 5th grader is upset when she is sick and can't go. I have seen very positive changes in her behavior and attitude, her teacher is really cultivating a love of learning. The fact that she has learned to knit and play an instrument is the icing on the cake. My prek students teacher has been so amazing, patient and caring. They all seem to put in an exceptional amount of extra time that I have never seen before in a public school. The community gatherings like Harvest Festival and Winter Faire and just magical, we really look forward to interacting with the community that everyone is working to build. All that said, the administration still has some work to do on organization, etc. I think it's a small trade off for what we get. We feel very fortunate to have found this school.
Our family has been at Mtn. Phoenix since it opened last year. We were mostly excited about the Arts based philosophy as I could see it was not exactly Waldorf based. We love our teacher this year and so we will stay through the year. One of the comments I read earlier was that this school is full of troubled kids and kids with high needs. GOD FORBID!!! We are not the perfect people you all seem to be?! We are one of those "high needs" families. I regret that the school does not offer much assistance for kids with diagnosed learning disabilities. Fortunately we have been using outside sources for my child's learning difference. The principle has tried to run us out of the school since last year but I was not going to let her. She is a scary woman and does not like children who "take up too much one on one time" so she tries to threaten that her school doesnt have the "resources" to support your child. Bull S#@T! I would like to know where all the money is going then? Because there is PLENTY... And they keep asking for more. The slow pace is not for everyone but works really well for children who are intelligent yet may not "test" well. Not high on the Waldorf spectrum.
This school is great for children who are quiet, artistic and perfect. My child was asked to leave just after the charter school's "count day" (where their amount of money from Jef Co is determined). In other words, they got funding for her for the year but she was kicked out! She was asked to leave because she has special needs. The school would rather kick her out of "bad behavior" than meet her needs. The director is weeding out all of the special needs children who might need an extra hand. To some this might seem good but the children who need the most nurturing help which a Waldorf environment can provide are thrown out into the cold instead of receiving the services they are REQUIRED BY THE STATE to provide. However, if your child is of average intelligence, docile in nature and enjoys art this might be the school for you. That is, if you're a stay at home mom because there are no services provided for working families at a rate working families can afford. Also, if you happen to not fit into their idea of "normal" you might be shunned no matter how much love you give to the school. The teachers, however, are the best in the state. Highly trained, very caring.
I fell in love with the domestic part of it. The wholesome real food snacks they have in Prek and Kinder. The way they build, cook and explore in the grades. Before I even got there I was told I would be with like community... Intentional parenting, farm fresh foods, low media exposure, etc. I love how the curriculum meets the children where they are at (did u see the Waldorf rap that was posted on the yahoogroup?)... Like Saints in second grade when children are dealing with good and bad paradigms (not sure that's the word) ... Why they do roman history when they do it etc. I love the movement they include in their Math lessons and how they incorporate art and music in their everyday. Movement with learning is so important and helpful. I love they learn to knit with poems and songs (the same as they learn math). I love that they are "unplugged" (also a you tube interview you could find). Our children at MPCS are getting a great well-rounded education that will enrich their lives forever.
My son loves, loves going to Pre-K at Mountain Phoenix. I love that he comes home and sings. The teachers are wonderful!
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