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Old 11-03-2007, 10:06 AM
Location: Denver
273 posts, read 1,328,110 times
Reputation: 293


Originally Posted by ZKDM View Post
My son has a borderline IQ and has had an Iep in Adams County schools from preschool on up to present 8th grade. This year is the hardest so far and seems impossible for him to get the kind of attention he really needs.

I am researching schools. I have heard that Boulder Valley Schools are good for special needs but I really can 't move into the district.

I am curious about some of the schools mentioned on this thread... not DCA.. he went there his 2nd grade year and didn't work out.

Does anyone know anything about Havern?

Here is a link to a great website that has quite bit of info for Havern and other schools:


I've spoken to several of these schools... we have an 8 year old son with autism. So all my discussions with them were through that prism. Havern was very responsive and prompt in getting back to us, but do not enroll children with autism (except those with Aspergers Syndrome) so I did not get into a very detailed discussion with them.

Havern only goes up thru 8th grade... so I would recommend that you take a look at Humanex (I will post some info on Humanex next). Humanex goes from 7th to 12th grade.

Here is the Havern website:


Here is some more info on Havern from the LD website:

Sanford Shapiro looks at The Havern School
© 2006
The Havern School is a relatively small school located in a residential neighborhood in Littleton, Colorado, which is about 15 or 20 minutes from downtown Denver. The Sisters of Loreto who had a mission to help children with special needs founded Havern in 1966. Interestingly, a few of the original Sisters studied with Dr. Myklebust, one of the intellectual pioneers in the LD field, at Syracuse University. As a result of that original mission, the school leases its facilities from this religious order for minimal expenses. In turn the school is reasonably priced and is able to award a healthy amount of need based scholarships. Currently there are 85 students, about capacity for the facility.
Havern enrolls students from Kindergarten through eighth grade and they stay an average of three to fours years. The students that are enrolled at Havern are considered to have more “broadly defined” learning disabilities. Included in that admissions mix are kids with language-based learning disabilities and also children with Non-Verbal Learning Disorders. There are a smaller number of fairly “complex” kids here, maybe 10-15% with an Asperger’s Syndrome-like profile and presentation. In general these are kids that need some closer and more comprehensive levels of support.
Class size averages about 10-15 students, and there are two-three teachers in each room. All lead teachers hold a master’s degree in education or special education. The faculty seems well trained and displayed a great deal of heart and planning in their teaching. There are four current faculty members that are trained and experienced from the Children’s Hospital of Denver, which has a strong history and expertise in the field of language development, speech pathology and dyslexia.
Key components of instructional delivery and teaching perspectives include Wilson Reading and the Language! Program. There are three Speech and Language therapists (one full time) who work on language skill development that includes social language pragmatics. Occupational therapy is also quite visible at Havern. There are three OT’s (one that is full time). I was quite impressed with the school’s SPOT program, which combines expertise from both the Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language disciplines. Kids were seen working on prescribed activities on a climbing wall that challenge and encourages development in both the sensory motor system and language capacities. The activity I witnessed was two kids were blindfolded and one classmate had to direct them on a certain climbing path up the wall. No one got hurt; communication and faculty guidance were visible and in action. In addition the school has a social worker as a consultant one day per week and an art specialist teacher who is there 2-3 times per week. For such a relatively small school it appears well resourced with all the family like atmosphere associated with a good small school.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:36 AM
Location: Denver
273 posts, read 1,328,110 times
Reputation: 293
Here is the Humanex Academy website:

Humanex Academy | Home

They were also very responsive to our phone call. They do enroll some children with autism as well as Aspergers and other learning disabilities. The Humanex Academy is for 7th - 12th grade, so our son is still too young to go there and so we don't have a great deal of additional info to provide. But the staff seems very willing to talk about your child's needs to see if it is a good fit.

Addtionally for anyone with a child on the autism spectrum you may want to contact the Joshua School -- Welcome to The Joshua School and the Alta Vista Center (formerly Aspen Center) -- Alta Vista Autism Center Homepage

We have visited the Joshua School -- it is a school pretty much exclusively for children with autism. They only have 13 students with 9 staff. Current range of ages is 6 - 14. It is very expensive but you can try to get a placement there from your school district if the public school system is not providing an appropriate education. Several students at the Joshua School have been placed there by the school districts around Denver at no cost to the parents. Our son does not go there (we are currently in "discussions" with DPS for appropriate supports/services for our son), but we were very impressed with the Executive Director, Jason Gruhl and the staff.

We do not know as much about the Alta Vista Center, but have good things about their program.

Also we can highly recommend the attorney at ARC, Michael Breeskin, if you need legal help:
http://www.arcofdenver.org/staff.html (broken link)

Also, the Spies, Powers and Robinson Law Firm is great for education law:
Spies, Powers, &amp Robinson

We can personally highly recommend Karen Wilcynski:
Spies, Powers, & Robinson (http://www.sprlaw.net/karen.html - broken link)

And have heard great things about Jack Robinson:
Spies, Powers, & Robinson (http://www.sprlaw.net/jack.html - broken link)

And finally, we can also highly recommend speaking to Diane Osaki if you need help with classroom observations, teacher training, advocacy, etc. She is the founder and former executive director of the Alta Vista Center -- an amazing person.
her email address is: osakiconsulting@mac.com

Last edited by MobyLL; 11-03-2007 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:47 PM
3 posts, read 15,114 times
Reputation: 12
Unhappy BEWARE ! Dove Academy for special needs edcuation

PARENTS BEWARE!! The 3 staff members are not trained in special needs at Dove Academy. The youngest teacher was just hired straight out of university with only her bachelors in elementry education. She admited to me in a recent e-mail (Nov. 2007) that "she was shocked when Dove hired her with no special education understanding or experience." She went on to tell me that "she received NO curriculum guidance or training at all from Dove's staff, but had to create her own curriculum." The 2nd teacher has admitted to receiving "very little training from the previous school administration, other than a few brief workshops." (previous administration pulled the plug on the school last year due to money problems). The third (new) teacher has more experience in teaching special needs education but also has very little training and education other than 2 weeks of Orton Gillingham. (very poor !!).
According to the president of the Intern'l Dyslexia Association (IDA) who dropped in on Dove Academy for observation purposes early December 2007, "his methods are from the dark ages." The president of the IDA advised me to get my son out of Dove Academy "in an ambulance!" The schools board of directors has NO one with an education background and the principle has no experience or education in the field of EDUCATION. It is truly a case of the blind leading the blind. Contact the president of the Rocky Mountain IDA for her observtions of Dove at [ mod cut ]. She also had a 2 hour meeting with the new principle (which I sat in on) in Dec '07 to try to educate him on the severity of NOT promoting Dove as a special needs school until they get their staff trained and qualified. (Either do "THAT" or change your schools mission statement to "exclude" special needs... was her urgent plea to him.)

NOTE: The teacher edcuation that is required at this school will take more than a few weeks of training as the learning disabilites aspect of education is very complex. BUYER BEWARE !!

family with 4 months at Dove

Last edited by Mike from back east; 12-09-2007 at 03:57 PM.. Reason: No email addresses belong in postings. Send this poster a DM to get that info.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:18 PM
1 posts, read 9,654 times
Reputation: 10
I live in denver county and my son attends DPS right now and I wopuld like to find something better for him a school where they can be more one on one he has cerebral palsy he can walk and communicate a little and understands a lot but he also has behavior issues and thats whats stopping him from learning more at school any one know of a good school ?????
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:20 PM
Location: Denver
273 posts, read 1,328,110 times
Reputation: 293
Originally Posted by edna flores View Post
I live in denver county and my son attends DPS right now and I wopuld like to find something better for him a school where they can be more one on one he has cerebral palsy he can walk and communicate a little and understands a lot but he also has behavior issues and thats whats stopping him from learning more at school any one know of a good school ?????
I would recommend you take a look at parent to parent of colorado Parent to Parent Home they may some archived info that would be helpful to you. If not, you could post your question there and probably get more info than here. Unfortunately if your son has behavioral issues that makes it more difficult to find a private school. There is a charter school in the Lowry area that may be a possibility, but I can't remember the name right now. I'll post back if I remember. Good luck.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:28 PM
Location: Denver
273 posts, read 1,328,110 times
Reputation: 293
^ Ok I remembered the name of the school... it is the Vanguard School. It is a Charter school and I think this is their 3rd year of operation. We visited last year and they definitely have an inclusion policy of students of various disabilities being in the same class with non-disabled students.

This is from the Vanguard website:
An inclusive environment values students of all abilities. Important academic, social, and ethical skills and attitudes are developed when students with various abilities, needs, and backgrounds learn together. Supports for students will be delivered in the classroom and in smaller ability groups through the cooperation and planning of the staff using a multi-disciplinary approach.

The Vanguard website is: Vanguard

They are a K-8 school and there is no tuition:
Vanguard Classical School is a public, tuition-free charter school which opened in August 2007 for the 2007-2008 school year serving students in kindergarten through grade 6. Grade 7 will be added for the 2008-2009 school year and 8th grade will be added the following year. Each classroom is supported by a team of two teachers and complete supportive services professionals whose primary purpose is to fully cultivate each child's potential.

We are located at 801 Yosemite Street, Denver, CO 80230. This location is within the Lowry Redevelopment Area on the border between Denver and Aurora. Phase I of our brand new facility is now complete. You can reach the school at 303 691-2384.

Also the school is in the Lowry area, literally next door to Cerebral Palsy of Colorado, so they should be able to provide some good info about the school.

Last edited by MobyLL; 03-29-2009 at 09:46 PM..
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:06 PM
Location: Denver area
20,894 posts, read 21,490,125 times
Reputation: 34202
I have heard good things about Havern.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:29 PM
Location: Denver
273 posts, read 1,328,110 times
Reputation: 293
^ Yeah I should have mentioned... I don't know if Edna Flores will ever check back, but for anyone else out there -- we visited both Havern and Denver Academy about a month ago. Impressed by both. Neither take kids with behavioral issues though...
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:39 AM
4 posts, read 13,865 times
Reputation: 10
Default Looking for school district info - Denver/Englewood

We have a moderate-functioning autistic 8-year-old and a gifted 12-year-old. We're looking at several places trying to find the best possible services for our 8-year-old and have come across The Joshua School. Two questions:

First, looking for any parents with children who have attended The Joshua School -- what have your experiences been?

Second, understanding that we'd have to move to the area and enroll our child in a public school initially, we're looking for recommendations on school districts that can serve both of our very different children.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:00 PM
530 posts, read 2,341,424 times
Reputation: 318
We have 2 children a 16yo son and a 14yo daughter with special needs. We currently live in Louisville and are in the Boulder Valley School District. We are happy with the schools that both of our children attend and we are happy with some of the special services available in Boulder County.
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