Chinook Trail is an amazing elementary school! I have two children that attend the school. They both enjoy school, love their teachers, and are learning a lot! The staff are amazing! There are lots of choices for before and after school activities; choir, band, cross country, dance club, chess club, and the list goes on! The PTA is awesome too!
I love Chinook. My son is in third grade, been there since kindergarten. And I have another son in kindergarten this year. Some things I love: The principal is fantastic. He has, in my opinion, the best approach to education and administration: hire the BEST teachers, and then get out of the way and let them do their job. No micromanaging. There seems to always be high, genuine morale among the staff. I haven't had a bad experience with a single teacher in four years. Not sure I'm even aware of a bad teacher. The whole staff has an extremely good relationship with the kids and parents--they're friendly and playful and because the kids like them they also respect them. I love the GROWL mantra: give your best, respect your world, own your choices, work hard and listen carefully. This school seems to strike the perfect balance between making the kids feel like they're showing up to an awesome, fun dance party everyday, and top tier performance rigor in academics. It's kinda tricky actually. I have almost no complaints about Chinook. If I do, I can't think of any right now.
I'm pretty surprised by ANY negative reviews of this school. I pulled my daughter out of our neighborhood school (in a neighboring district) 8 weeks into kindergarten, because nothing about it felt right. We heard great things about Chinook, so we popped in without an appointment. The principal, vice principal, AND TAG teacher all met with us on the spot. We enrolled her the next week and have since moved to the neighborhood so that my son could go to the same school. BEST DECISION EVER. I can’t imagine sending my kids anywhere else.
No, the class sizes are no longer 10-12/class because of the neighborhood growth and because SO many people WANT to send their kids to this school. However, the teachers do a phenomenal job of giving the kids the individual attention they need. Are there teachers who are better than others? Yes, that's with ANY school.
One negative review was out-of-date as well -- the school does now have a full-time art teacher. And regarding the "clique-y" remark: the parents are not necessarily "clique-y," but the neighborhood is very much like a small town where everyone knows everyone. Not sure that's a bad thing; we watch out for each other. Every school has a few "bad apples," but for the most part the parents are incredible and kind. There is a LOT of parent involvement at this school, so I can see where one might feel “left out” if they do not volunteer.
I also love that empathy, respect, and kindness are stressed and taught at this school.
So many people we know have moved to other cities/states (mostly military), and they constantly say how much they miss Chinook and that no schools compare. That speaks volumes, in addition to the fact that a lot of kids sadly have to be turned away who want to choice in because the school is full.
Each teacher my children have had have loved them dearly and my children have loved them right back. Thank you to Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Nader, Mrs. Amy Owens, Mrs. Gradisar, Mrs. Slaymaker. These people are amazing! The administration LOVE these children too! Thank you Mr. Schumaker and Mrs. Campbell for being so present and involved in this school. You have individual friendships with these kids and they couldn't adore you both more!!!
Before I had children I taught elementary school so I am very picky when it comes to my children's education.
We have had a child with serious health concerns. The admin and each teacher he has had through the years has gone above and beyond to make sure my son is getting the help he needs when he's not healthy enough to be at school AND makes sure the learning environment is healthy and safe when he is there. More than once they have shown up to the hospital to check on him and bring him letters from his classmates. He has napped in the office while the secretary worked quietly at her desk. They truly have his best interest in mind.
I have three children right now who attend this school and they have absolutely ADORED each teacher they have gotten year after year. The Principal and Assistant Principal personally meet the children each morning as they walk in. They know the kids by name. They are truly in their jobs because they love the children. My kids feel like the administration are their friends and their teachers. The only negative thing about this school is that it only goes to 5th! I wish they would keep my kids until they graduated from High School! I honestly can not speak highly enough about Chinook Trail. Those people love the kids and the kids feel that love day after day after day. Best school in the entire country!!
If you spend time in this school, you will sense a very peaceful atmosphere. The kids are happy, the teachers are trusted and worthy of that trust. You can tell that kids are cared for on a personal level. I really like that the teachers don't want to stay stagnant in how they reach children. They clearly want to keep improving in order to give their best to each child. The administration loves kids too, and it is very evident. They have a healthy balance of creating a school that challenges kids, and yet lets kids be kids.
I have two children that attend Chinook and they are thriving. The teachers are very attentive and expect hard work out of the kids, not for their own amusement, but because the amount of work is now the standard the teachers have to follow across the District. I think the teachers do an excellent job preparing the kids to meet these ever-evolving standards. I don't feel the administration is "weak". I think they can only focus on so much, especially considering the fact that parent involvement, albeit well-meaning, does tend to lean toward cliques and a sense of entitlement from parents regarding school administration and teachers. Considering the growth, this school has really stepped up to the challenge.
I think this school has some great teachers, but an incredibly weak administration. I had a problem with one teacher, and it's like they were afraid to do something about her. As another reviewer said, it's also really clique-y. I have children at other schools in the same district that are nothing like this, it's just really odd. There are many other awesome schools in this district, we were happy to leave Chinook. Good luck if you choose this school!