Community Testimonials

Parent Testimonials to the 9R School Board


There are many aspects of the Juniper School's contribution to educational options in Durango. But the one that I see as the most far-reaching is Juniper's commitment to the whole human beings that it nurtures. Yes, academics are excellent and engage students beautifully, even outside the classroom. But the commitment to peacemaking through restorative justice practices in the flow of daily school life is truly extraordinary among educational options. Imagine what would happen if this model of compassionate accountability extended out to the world at large! Juniper is nurturing citizens of the future who are prepared for the REAL work of being human: Compassion, collaboration, communication, confidence, and knowing one's self. So that when the ---- hits the fan, our kids will feel empowered to think beyond the cubicle and stride into the world, with an embodied understanding of how to approach solving the problems of our time.

-Aimee Eckhardt



They fill a great niche in the community as a charter school


-Justin Crump



Juniper is a great choice for a kid like ours who is quirky and has anxiety which can make social situations tough. The staff at Juniper offer not just great academic support but social emotional support. 


-Gorgie Silverman



It gives the kids a place to thrive in academic learning when they might not have in a 9R school.


-Tiawana Ping



They are great at meeting students where they are and seeing them as a whole person. They were able to really look at the challenges my son was having and build a support team to figure out why, whereas other schools in the district were quick to just give him negative labels and treat him like a problem. It's an incredibly positive environment and because of his team we were able to figure out some of the big issues he was having to start to heal his relationship with learning.


-Madeline Smith



My daughter had been to different schools trying to get the help and tools for her education and it was terrible. Finally she is getting what she needs at Juniper! She has dyslexia and has been getting great help and education here. The curriculum is great and the teachers are too. It's fulfills a need for kids who might otherwise get "pushed thru the system" because they might need a little extra help or a different way of teaching to get the education they deserve.


-Lane Family



As a prior board member and more importantly a parent of a TJS student, it is so important to acknowledge that not every student learns the same. Juniper staff have not only recognized this, they have implemented strategies for all student and families to be successful and have provided resources for families to continue to help their child grow. 


-RJ Reigler



Juniper is a valuable and fantastic addition to the community, providing amazing support and help to children. The staff is not only knowledgeable and engaging, but they make certain to communicate effectively and check-in on the students who are having a harder time at school. This is a school with heart and the children who attend Juniper get the support and education that they need. The staff works very hard to understand the needs of each child and helps to put a structure in place to make sure each child is successful.


-Jesse Gregg



My daughter had been to different schools trying to get the help and tools for her education and it was terrible. Finally she is getting what she needs at Juniper! She has dyslexia and has been getting great help and education here. The curriculum is great and the teachers are too. It's fulfills a need for kids who might otherwise get "pushed thru the system" because they might need a little extra help or a different way of teaching to get the education they deserve.


-Joanna Lucero



An alternative to a traditional approach where children sit at their desks, in their chairs, and are expected to memorize information. At Juniper, our son has flexible options within the classroom, remembers information presented in fun, creative ways, and is encouraged to be him. He is more empathetic, aware of his emotions, and how to control them than many peers in a more traditional setting.


-Mishel Tom



For the fourth year in a row now, Juniper is providing a holistic learning environment for my child where there is a large emphasis on academic empowerment, social-emotional reflection and growth, and initiative-based learning. They have provided this learning environment all while being leaders in assessments for math and language arts. Juniper has also placed a continued and important emphasis on electives for our younger learners, which has allowed my child to explore their creativity in art and movement. I have always felt that our child's teachers have been able to individualize the educational experience to meet our child where he is at in his learning timeline, and this is likely due to small class sizes as well as consistency in educational standards within the school.


-Laura Wegner



Community Response for the Survey Question, "What are we doing well?" (Fall 2022)


Meeting the emotional needs of my child with with caring support and positivity
My student really likes Ms. Leah's teaching style — engaging and well-paced. Social-emotional elements woven into the classroom culture mean so much to our student and our family. Juniper generally communicates well with parents — those weekly newsletters are super helpful and informative. Juniper focuses holistically on kids' needs rather than just their grades. You have developed a relatively safe and intimate school environment. Progressive programs like Restorative Justice. Letting joy be important, too. Meaningful community service initiatives. So far, we've appreciated Juniper's fund raisers which both engage the school community (Harvest Festival) and support the greater Durango community. Thank you!
Communication, community, extra help where kids need it, teachers are awesome!
Individualizing my students learning-
My child is learning how to express his emotions
School garden - I love the kids' enthusiasm about getting to eat a carrot that they've just pulled from the ground
Creating a positive learning environment
I feel that my kids have thrived in juniper. I like the more personal learning they receive
The staff is so kind and helpful we love them so much. I feel as though my child is getting a quality education
Meeting student needs where they are. Welcoming and loving environment.
Communication, mental well-being, emotional well-being
I love Junipers small class sizes.
Juniper is doing well at being accepting of each student as an individual
Creating a safe emotional space for learners! Thinking outside the box for fundraisers (selling student art last year!).
Education for students is top notch. Our youth has some lag from the COVID years but not as much as we expected.
Being a small, tight-knit, caring community.
Communication and education
The education and teacher relationships in the classroom has been superb. The teachers are kind, creative and thoughtful in engaging the whole student. I appreciate the focus on human rights in the global sense as well as the accountability of each student in the classroom community. I deeply appreciate the work of the teachers in the classroom and couldn't be happier with the instruction and care they provide.
I like the social emotional aspect of the school as well as Montessori learning for the younger ones. This was a nice transition for us coming from a Montessori preschool and not having to jump right into standard education.
I feel like Juniper is very good at developing and encouraging individual skills, based on interest and learning style.
We love the self direction and creative freedom at juniper that is unlike standard education, curiosity allows the learner to pursue information naturally thus making learning easier.
I love the relatively small class size. The teachers are amazing.
Meeting the needs of my child that requires extra support
Supporting the whole child - social emotional support
We love the continued small class sizes and the ability of our child's teachers to meet him where he is at academically.
communication, being respectful of family's personal choices, being respectful with the kids
Really looking at students as a whole person and trying to meet them where they are.
Juniper is doing an excellent job of making my children love school- they have excellent relationships with their teachers, and I feel like they are well known not just academically, but as their whole selves. I have also been really impressed at the SEL curriculum at Juniper- both of my kids are more emotionally aware than they were, and are showing resilience and lots of strategies for handling interpersonal conflict and emotional issues. My daughter said that the difficulty of the work is just right, and that she likes that she has to keep doing things until she gets it right!
Social emotional curriculum and supports. Working hard to meet the needs of all students. Creating a community amongst students, teachers, and families.
My kids are learning and like school. I can always communicate with their teachers if I need.
Small school with smiling faces
Knowing students and their strengths, tailoring work according to strengths/challenges/interests (it doesn't feel like a one-size-fits-all environment), building relationships with kids and parents, being a safe place for kids, I hope EL is going well but honestly I'm not totally sure how it's showing up (my fault), displaying intentionality in curriculum and programming. Delia says ya'll are doing a good job teaching ethics, integrity, compassion.
Daughter has dyslexia and has been getting great help!
Our daughter loves going to school. That is the most important thing. We like the small class sizes and attention by teachers.
Teaching emotional intelligence and mindfulness
Staying connected with families and creating a community amongst the children.
Campus looks good, staff seems happy.
Communication and support for the students and families is fantastic
Recruiting and keeping very talented teachers and staff! Communications have gotten a lot more concise.
I’m impressed with the teachers my child has had