My daughter, who has a learning disability, recently began her fourth year at Cedar Mill. She absolutely loves it. The Principal (Mr. Horne) has gone out of his way to help guide our daughter through her challenging times. The Counselor (Ms. Blakeslee) is also fantastic and has provided our child with much needed support. All of the teachers she has had have been exceptional. I have seen my daughter grow exponentially academically and socially and credit the caring and knowledgeable Cedar Mill staff. This school is charming and community-centric - with carnivals, pancake breakfasts, and barbeques - and the families and kids are welcoming.
It all starts at the top and the Principal here is strongly devoted to the development of each child there. My Son's teacher really knows ho to push him beyond his age and do things more suited to his learning abilities.
Cedar Mill is a small community which is exactly what we were looking for. The administration is extremely helpful and approachable. We have had a hard time adjusting to some of the curriculum but that seems to be more of a result of No Child Left Behind than the particular school. The principal is excellent and works hard to preserve the tradition of Cedar Mill despite district and nationwide emphasis on testing.
We cannot say enough wonderful things about Cedar Mill elementary. We have two girls the same age and one is going to Findley Elementary and one to Cedar Mill. The two schools are as different as night and day. If you want a well rounded child with academics, social skills, PE, Art, Music, kindness/empathy, a WONDERFUL Principal and teachers then send them to Cedar Mill. Maybe the school is not new, but that makes no difference. My kids can attest to that.
Many things about the school have been really nice, the specialties teachers (PE, art, music, library) seem to do as much as possible given the time they consistently use great language to communicate expectations. The teachers (mostly) are doing a great job at nuturing a learning environment. One place where there can be a great deal of improvement is in communication with the parents. Each teacher uses their own approach, quantity and quality. For example, in the 1st/2nd split classes, the students are separated by grade levels for math. If your child goes to another teacher for math, you may never even meet this teacher nor get any valuable feedback on their math progress (report card yes, but not even a single sentence over the course of the year). Could this approach be improved upon? Oh, yes. We have been very happy with the reading curriculum, support and followup.
My third child just entered Cedar Mill, and the experience has been positive. The teachers all seem to really care about the children and their success. The only semi-negative would be the class sizes. They are a little too high. When a class does hit a lower number, the school has been known for letting a teacher go. Then the students are put in other classes making the numbers go higher. This isn't the school's fault, it's more of a budget issue. Overall the quality is excellent.