Community Post

School District Question

Heelo just wanted to tray and get any information regarding the school districts in teh central area district in particular K-8 are they any good?? We have a new born and are thinking of making an offer on a home we like but biggest problem is the school district we dont have a clue whats good and whats bad…pls any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

0 thoughts on “School District Question

  1. We have a 10 month old and will be working with our community to make sure our schools are as good as they can be for the kids in them now, and the kids who will go to school with our little one. Please join us!

  2. Most elementary schools are K-5 in Seattle with a few K-8. You will find the K-8s under alternative programs. Some of these such as TOPS, Salmon Bay, and Pathfinder have met with much success, yet the elementary portions of the school tend to be the most popular. Please note my word “tend.” Nothing is set in stone.

    All the elementary schools in the Central Area need some TLC, and should soon get some with the growing number of families in the area. “Word of mouth” tends one of the main communication tools of parents of Seattle Public Schools. Network and become active with other parents.

    Washington Middle School and Garfield High School are very popular with NOVA High School offering a small but loved alternative choice for High School.

    Our daughters are out of high school and the youngest just graduated from UW. They attended Public Schools in the Central Area and received a good education and sometimes a great one. Parent and family involvement is the key. globalwa has the correct idea.

    Remember to make sure that this area remains family friendly.

  3. Some in the central cluster are good, some not so good. My advice: do your homework. Visit as many schools as possible in person (tours are given in January/February, with enrollment at the end of February for the following fall) — don’t rely on what other people have heard (“I have a friend who has a neighbor who has kids at that school and they hated it”). And make sure you list more than one or two schools when you enroll — we listed nine and got into our sixth choice.

  4. I agree with what Joanna says: my daughter was at Garfield with hers, and my son before that.
    Both my kids went to Washington middle school and Madrona APP elementary (now at Lowell). Son went to Seward and Leschi before Madrona, daughter went to Kimball before Madrona.

    (BTW Garfield students can take classes at Nova: my daughter took lots there)

    All had their pluses and minuses, some great teachers, some OK, none really bad. Principals were a very mixed bag, and seemed to turn over very rapidly, but schools prospered despite them.

    Basically, it’s a mess, it’s a crisis, but the schools function despite all that, and many children get excellent educations despite all that. Why?

    Probably because the involvement of parents/guardians in their children’s education is at least as important as the school. Your own life and expectations for your kids really do matter.

    Give Seattle Schools a try: it’s an education for parents and pupils!

  5. hello,

    we have about 12 kids on our block under the age of 4 and I’m rallying everyone to go to TT Minor. I’ve heard mixed things but feel like if all of our neighborhood friends go and parents participate…it’ll be GREAT!

    One neighbor rented her house and rented an apt in another school district so her son could get in…I understand the want for your child to have the best education…i just hope it’ll be at our local school.


  6. Our daughter started Kindergarden last year, and we looked at a bunch of schools.

    TT Minor is the reference school for much of the CD. It caters largely to “at risk” kids in the neighborhood, with one notable exception – they have a separate Montesori track for grades K through 2nd. When we visited in 2006/2007, there were 15 kids in that class. The teacher was enthusiastic and very warm. The kids looked like the CD as it is now rather than as it was 20 years ago. You can’t find a better student/teacher ratio in the Seattle public school system. Last I heard, they were trying to expand into higher grades. There seem to be a lot of new parents in neighborhood, and I think this program will help win over a critical mass. “Mom of 2” above – you and the other families should definitely check it out.

    McGilvra and Stevens are great elementary schools, but you’ll have a slim chance of getting in unless you live in their reference areas.

    Montlake is another great school, and you have a good chance of getting in from the CD if you list it as your first choice and are willing to stay on the waiting the list until the last minute. If you don’t list as first, you won’t get in.

    I’ve heard good things about Kimball, and chances of getting in from the CD are good.

    Looking further ahead, Washington Middle School and Garfield High School, both in the CD, have AP tracks that attract kids from all over the city. I’ve heard the AP tracks are great.

  7. Sometimes sustained advocacy can help where neglect has occurred. Very few of the residents with younger children attend. These meetings can always be found under the School Board Calendar on the District web site. Click on About Us, School Board, then Board Calendar.
    July 25, 2008
    District V – Community Meeting (Bass)
    6:00pm – 9:00pm
    Location: Garfield Community Center

    August 15, 2008
    District V – Community Meeting (Bass)
    6:00pm – 9:00pm
    Location: Garfield Community Center

    August 29, 2008
    District V – Community Meeting (Bass)
    6:00pm – 9:00pm
    Location: Garfield Community Center

    Bi-monthly opportunity for community members in district 5 to meet informally with school board director Mary Bass.
    Interacting with all Board members cannot do harm.

  8. Leschi is a reference school for many people in the CD too. I second the folks above me who said to check things out and get involved as early as possible. The school district seems to be moving toward limiting the choice system and focusing back on neighborhood schools, so don’t rule yours out just because it isn’t “popular”. Leschi is our reference school (we’re on 25th between Jefferson and Alder) and we’ve looked at it decided it was just fine, despite not being one of the “better” schools in the central cluster. I have already started volunteering with the PTA, even though our son won’t be there until next September. If you want to check Leschi out, this Saturday there is going to be a huge project there – a new playground being built through support from KaBOOM (a national playground advocacy group), Washington Mutual and lots of commnunity volunteers.

  9. Public elementary schools are not that good, except for may be Leschi elementary… I like St. Therese – the Catholic K-8 on 35th. It’s about $4K per year, but hey, simple babysitting would cost you more!

  10. K-8 sounds good, but the transition to a big high school can then be very traumatic.

    Middle schools sort of ease the transition from small, all the same kids together, elementary school to the big amorphous High School.

    Safety note: Garfield has only ever had one shooting on site. The girl that was shot recovered and became a public speaker on gun violence issues. The inventive Garfield kids got really pissed off by all the news helicopters overhead after the shooting and scared them away by lying on the ground and spelling rude words with their bodies. (this may be apocryphal but it’s still a great story).