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Old 10-18-2011, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
9 posts, read 12,948 times
Reputation: 12

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My wife and I are considering a move to Colorado. Not for work reasons, but for quality of life reasons. We've visited the state many times and found the people to be very friendly (in comparison to Michigan and Wash, DC).

We have a newbon son and we're researching schools. My question to the Colorado residents is:

Which (public or private) school districts in Colorado encourage the arts, imagination, self-expression, and physical activity over the value of standardized tests?

Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,881 posts, read 9,632,372 times
Reputation: 4959
Every public school, even charter schools, has to take the standardized tests (CSAPs). They are judged by how their students perform on these tests, so of course they all want to do well. Lower performing schools will spend lots of class time preparing for the tests.

Your question asked which school districts encourage certain things. The better question would be which individual schools focus on what you want. I don't know anything about private schools, but there are charter schools that do have more emphasis on the arts. However, in order for anyone to give you an answer, we need to know where you will be living. Since most of the jobs are in the Front Range cities (Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, etc.), do we assume that that's where you will be looking to live?
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
9 posts, read 12,948 times
Reputation: 12
We are looking at Louisville, Superior, Arvada, Golden, Evergreen, Boulder, and Bloomfield, but we want to make our final decision based on the schools so we're game for any city in Colorado.

My philospophy is that we as a society, should focus more on encouraging imagination, creativity, self-expression, art, math, history, and science equally in our schools. It appears to me that over time, our schools have become more fixated on competing with the academic success of other countries, thus relying so heavily on the "final score" of a student versus generating excitment to learn and explore. Just my two cents. I just want to know which public schools tend to be similar to Montessori and Reggio Emilia-type schools.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:17 PM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,892 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
There are Montessori schools all over Colorado.

I grew up in Montgomery County, very intense pressure towards academic success.

Having 3 kids grow up here, there is more emphasis on trying new things, art, theater, athletics, especially in middle school years.

Kids here get a free pass in 5th grade to ski. 6th graders get a pass for half price.

It's a really nice place to live and raise happy healthy children.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,881 posts, read 9,632,372 times
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2bindenver, is that Montgomery County, Maryland? I graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:53 PM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,892 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
Yup. I grew up in Potomac and then mom moved to Gaithersburg. They now call that area North Potomac. I went to Churchill and then Wootton High school. Small World, indeed.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
9 posts, read 12,948 times
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2binDenver, in your opinion, which public school districts offer the qualities you're describing?
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:47 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,892 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
The state mandates the education program. I can't say they are all the same. I can say the school districts in the metro area are competitive.

Often, a parent says they want good schools. That is highly subjective. CSAP scores are objective, but you are not looking for that.

Chances are a good school district will continue to maintain the standards that got them that reputation.

As a parent and say you want a top rated marching band program/photography/fashion design/mandarin/basketball/hockey/football/tennis/fine arts, you can look specifically for that.

I believe all schools are good at something.And that there are no schools that are good at everything. I had my kids in Jeffco Schools and then moved to Dougco schools. My oldest graduated Mountain Vista High school, where the superintendent claimed her graduating class had the highest gpa recorded in Douglas county. My daughter loved her ceramics class and being on the tennis team. Plus, she took an off campus class to earn her CNA license. She graduates this year form CSU - Pueblo.

My son was on the wrestling team, and the football team. He will be starting his college career in Colorado in January.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
9 posts, read 12,948 times
Reputation: 12
2binDenver,

Thanks for the information and congrats to your children for their success! You sound like a super proud parent! I completely agree with "good schools" being subjective and the testing being objective. My opinion has always been that "people" aren't objective. Their cognitive abilities are as unique as their DNA. I would love for my child to be in a school where he can experience all the things I did as a kid...recess, art, crafts, woodshop, and the standard stuff. It seems creativity is on the decline in schools and aside from the creative and adventurous things we'll do as a family at home (parents are 50% of a child's education), I want him to experience those things with his peers in a school setting.

I can study facts and figures all day from a book, but I'm useless to myself or anyone else if I can't express my creativity or question the facts. Tests are great at assessing a group's common knowledge, but I prefer freedom of thought over robotic thinking. Besides, I can't tell you if I have ever used calculus!
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:03 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,911 posts, read 102,377,003 times
Reputation: 32972
Boulder Valley School District has a charter Montessori school.

Community Montessori Elementary School
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