March 30, 2010,
S.C. asks from Keller, TX on March 29, 2010
Douglas County or Jefferson County School District???
My family and I will be moving from the DFW area this summer to Colorado. My husband will be working in the DTC and wanted to find out what you thought about the school districts in that area. Jefferson County seems very large, but I do like the fact they follow the traditional school calendar. Douglas county seems a bit smaller, but don't know if I am a fan of the track system. I have a child that will be in first grade and a son that will be in sixth grade this next year and I'm trying to find the best fit for our family. My son who is eleven has dsylexia so I am in need of a school that will really work with him to keep his confidence up....everytime I look at the school district websites I think I become even more confused with our options....please help!!
C.P. answers from Denver on March 30, 2010
I just read the previous answer and agree that a 504 is a good route to follow and you might qualify for one in Texas before you leave. The DTC is surrounded by Cherry Creek School district as well. Regardless of the school district, I would look for a small school. I have taught in Colorado and now work with people who are dyslexic or have a picture thinking learning style. My 12 year old son is Dyslexic and we have been at Charter schools for all of our education years. There are many charter schools in Colorado, some cater to the arts, sciences, core knowledge, technology.With all of the budget cuts coming this year, I would look into a small charter school. They usually have a close sense of community which will be important to your son, and most go through 8th grade, some are K-12. Call around as enrollment may be closed at Charter schools for the next school year. In that case I would look for a "Small" middle school, or an elementary school school that goes through 6th grade so he can settle in. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk through some ideas for schools.
K.S. answers from Denver on March 30, 2010
Hi! I hope you'll love Colorado, we certainly do! There is a lot of changes going on with education. The whole state experienced budget reductions, but I think most counties are clever enough to figure things out so that quality is not compromised. As others mentioned, Douglas county just went from track to traditional. I'll actually miss the tracks! I think Colorado in general does a good job, but you really can't go wrong in Jeffco or Douglas, and others mentioned Cherry Creek- which is as good as Douglas.
We personally moved here and chose Douglas county, as an educational psychologist I found it to be the better choice for us. And I'm thrilled with our choice. But really, if you are an involved parent (which you obviously are, doing all this research), you will be able to advocate for your kids and do just great.
If you choose Jefferson county, Normandy elementary has an EXCELLENT program for learning differences. Someone mentioned that dyslexia is not a recognized factor, I've never heard that. But even if that's true, the schools are great and he will get the help he needs. Good luck!
K.M. answers from Denver on March 30, 2010
I am in the Douglas County district and wanted to let you know that all of Douglas County (except for 2 schools) is now on the modified/conventional calendar. The modified calendar's difference is that there is a two week break for Fall in October and a two week Spring break. I love this calendar myself. I highly recommend Douglas County schools. We moved from north of Denver into Douglas County for the schools, and couldn't be happier. Good luck with your move:)
J.M. answers from Denver on March 30, 2010
Welcome (almost) to Colorado. I don't want to discourage you but want you to be prepared about education in Colorado. I'm really not familiar with JefCo schools but know a few teachers in Douglas County. From what they tell me, the track system works really well. There is a more traditional track available, and I think that they give priority to families with children in different levels of school ie. High School (traditional) and a Middle School or Elementary Student. What I really want to prepare you for is that unlike Texas, Colorado DOES NOT recognize Dyslexia as a learning disability. They consider it a medical problem...don't even get me started on that. Anyway, the ONLY way that I have been able to get my dyslexic daughter help is to get her on a 504. I don't know if you are familiar with a 504, but it is a section of the Americans With Disabilities Act. It allows for accommodations to be made wether it is preferential seating, extra time allowed, or just about anything. If your son comes from TX with a 504 already in place, you will be fine. It takes a "Medical Diagnosis" to qualify. Our daughter received hers from Learning Services department of Children's Hospital. Parents have input on the 504 and it can not be changed without the parents consent. There is a great LD website that I refer to on a regular basis called GreatSchools.net. WrightsLaw is also a good source for information. You will need to be well informed on your sons part and keep on top of things and be involved in advocating for him. With all the budget cuts in the schools here in Colorado, regardless of the school district, the schools will not do anymore than they absolutely have to. The 504 is a legal document that must be followed but will only be followed if you make sure that it is happening. We removed our daughter from a school because her teacher refused to follow the 504. We had numerous meetings with the teacher and administration to no avail. We were to the point of bringing in a moderator. We chose to take her to a neighboring district, and they have been wonderful in working with us and adhearing to the 504. Occasionally I have to remind a teacher to refer to the 504 but that has been a very rare occasion. Good Luck in your decision. Just make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. You also might request some tours of the various schools that you are considering to get a better feel for which district would better meet your needs. Hope that this helps.
M.F. answers from Denver on March 30, 2010
S., If you have to choose between the two, pick the Jefferson County system. Douglas County just did a huge budget cut and no one is sure how that will effect the schools yet. I believe bussing was cut and teachers were cut too. That being said, Cherry Creek School System is probably the best in the state. Some of the elementary schools are Willow Creek, Dry Creek, Homestead and Bellview. (There are others I am just not sure what their names are) Middle Schools include, West, Campus and Thunderridge. High schools are Cherry Creek (the top in Colorado), Grandview (probably the second) Eagle Crest and Arapahoe.
I live near DTC, we moved back to colorado for the schools, just for Cherry Creek School district. Their budget was just expanded for upgrades in some of the schools I mentioned above, they have award winning teachers, and the community truly supports education.
You can look at there website, www.ccsd.com.
A.R. answers from Denver on March 30, 2010
We live in Douglas County(Parker) and have been on a track system for the past 2 years. They've shuffled the grades around a bit and we're on a traditional calendar starting next school year. They have warned us that it could go back to track if it gets too crowded since there's not enough money to build more schools. Not sure what's happening in other Douglas County citiies, though.