My son is attending the Kindergarten here this year 2011-2012. I attended Washington Years ago and feel that the teachers are still very involved, engaging, and that the school is clean, well maintained, and feels very safe. If I had any complaints, it would be other parents children teaching my son words that he would not have learned at home. The teacher has been very good about discussing all issues with us on that regard and is very thoughtful with the class and getting the parents involved. I am still a fan of the school and it is because it has been so well maintained academically and visually all these years.
Our experience with Washington has been varied dependent on the teachers. They've ranged from great to bad - yelling, complaining to students about parent complaints in class, inconsistency, lack of organization. GATE program was pretty useless and seems to be gone this year, without any notification. When you ask teachers/admin questions to which they should know the answers, they just say they don't know, and won't bother to find out or direct you to someone who does know. There's a new principal this year (2010-11) and things are a bit disorganized, but she's more personable than the last. In general, academics are mediocre and all teaching is preparation for standardized testing (they're given benchmark tests, pre-tests and prep tests all year long, to the detriment of learning anything, but this is not school-specific), teachers are hit or miss, and administration could work on communication and dissemination of information. It's par for the area.
Big Class sizes! 29 kids to 1 teacher is not a good ratio. My daughter attended Kindergarten here 3/4 of the way I pulled her out. She was bored at the constant review, because other kids could not grasp what was being taught.
My kindergartener looks forward to school everyday which makes me so happy, the teachers are great -- her's is so sweet and calm, has a very kind voice which i think is the way kindergarten teachers should be, my little girl just adores her teacher.
Tons of parents are involved...bringing in needed items, driving on field trips. Music was limited to a Christmas show for parents. There is running club 2 days a week when the weather is nice, my child has really enjoyed this. There is an after school program, although the waiting list is extremely long and is going to start leaning towards children that need extra help with schoolwork. My child was doing wonderfully when starting at this school, now I see handwriting that has gotten worse instead of improving, a loss of interest in math, homework and most recently in even going to school. I am very concerned about getting the attention of my child back to learning instead of coping with the school atmosphere that is created here. I would not be comfortable recommending this school to another parent or having my child attending this school next year.
I have no complaints so far on the teachers we have experencied at this school. My son is in fifth grade and has attended the school for the last 3 years. However, the school does not have a positive approach to bullying. My son has been bullied all year by a group of boys and nothing has been done. I took the issue to the principal and she did not handle the situation in the manner she advised me she would. Instead she approached my child in front of his bullier and other boys and discussed it making my child feel extremly uncomfortable and uneasy about the situation. Needless to say the problem has continued and i just again had to take it to the school. I am now putting my youngest child in another school for Kindergarten. I would not recommend this school to another parent now.