My kids have been at William Walker since 2009. They have had a great experience - smaller classes than many of the other schools in the area thanks to Title I funds, excellent teachers who go out of their way to meet the needs of every child, and a very positive atmosphere in the school. They have been well prepared for middle school; my older child had a much easier transition than many of the kids we knew from other schools because of the preparation and independence built in by the teachers. My second child will move on to middle school next year and easily qualified for the Summa program (test scores at 99th percentile). The low test scores at the school are due to the many children who are poor and who don't speak English at home. The school does a good job with kids who come from all backgrounds. Additionally, as "minority" white children in a school that is largely Hispanic (with a growing population of Arabic and Somali speakers), my kids have learned a ton about diversity and poverty. No, they didn't get invited to as many birthday parties, but their long term emotional and social intelligence has improved for the better.
I believe that William Walker has the most caring staff I've personally met. I'm the grandmother of a student and he lives with me. My personal experience is long and varied as a pre-k teacher ,parent of three children two having severe learning disabilities and I volunteered for all three thru middle school in several local district's. My grandson is blessed to do very well in school his teachers have recognised this and sent special homework so he is not bored and still learning. They have an after school program in partnership with Northwest Impact that rivals any private schools. The only thing lacking is money do you have some to spare ? The families for the most part are very low income and can't afford to put much money or time into the school. As for myself I'm disabled and the bus can't get me close enough. So if you have money or time you could sure help some great kids.
My kids look forward to going to school each day, and I really feel that their teachers understand them as individuals and are working hard at keeping them engaged, excited, and learning. I was a little concerned when we first were looking at schools because of the report card scores, but I liked the idea of the cultural diversity. I dug a little and found in the details of the state report cards that in each individual demographic, the school actually does quite well they just have a composition that keeps their overall number down. I am pleased to say that my experience has borne this out - the school does a great job meeting the needs of children all across the academic spectrum and the cultural diversity really enriches the school. Because of all their extra resource, Walker often has relatively low student-teacher ratios and there are a lot of aides and specialist teachers as well. The teaching staff at the school is great there is a high level of commitment and dedication from teachers who choose to be at this school. My kids get individualized homework and the lessons I observe when I help out are really engaging for all with integrated science and social studies.
I went to this school in 4th grade and the beginning was rough. I was teased on my first day by a 5th grader who asked what happened to my other ponytail. (I was wearing a side ponytail and it was supposed to be that way.) Then a couple days later I developed an infection in a zit on my face which made it look discolored and a girl called me a witch. So we can say that this school wasn't great in the beginning.. BUT, I'm so glad I stuck around. I ended up making tons of friends and developed an amazing best friend who I hung out with everyday. And eventually those bullies envied the fact that I was so likable. One thing to remember though is, this school has a lot of hispanic's who live in poverty/gangs.. So just watch out. Also they used to have an after school program! It was awesome. They even gave us bus rides home at night when it ended. Not sure if that's still around but it was a blast. Bottom line: Great school. just takes time to adjust.
the new Principal Joann Hulquist is not like the old Principal who bild everything and made the school top of the line this new Principal has no open door policy she if not friendly she dont even say hello when she walks by you with you kids she always hide and i dont think many of us even know her well i asked to see her once and she refused and told her staff to tell us what we need if its for teacher go talk to the teacher if its for me you have to make an appointment to see me.i am pllaning to take my child out of this school this year i wish the old Principal was here to see all her hard work to get this school nominated is done in the drain.i hope before its to late she gets replace by some one who cares for the kids and the school and parants voice.
We love William Walker. Excellent teachers, and a population that is mostly ESL offers culturally enriched friendships for my children. TAG program as well as awesome after school programs. Lots of parental involvement, and a joyful atmosphere. We feel so lucky that this is our neighborhood school!
I loved this school when I was in 4th there, I'm in 8th now. I had the best teacher and the free after school program was awesome! I also made a best friend there, we never talk anymore but just having that best friend made my school time and summer unforgettable. You should definitely send your son/daughter here for great friends that last a life time and excellent teachers.
I am so glad I sent my son to William Walker. Having a TAG student, I was concerned he would not be challenged due to the high ESL population. I found this has not been the case. The teachers and curriculum are great and my son really enjoys every day there. Each child is challenged at their level so they continue to achieve and learn and no one is stuck waiting for slower learners to catch up. I am proud to say my children go to William Walker, a truly exceptional school.
William Walker use to be a great school. Their idea of the thinking room is very outdated and does not seem to work for most of the kids. I believe there is a better way to handle the kids. The kids leaving their home room to go to other classes. I believe they are still in grade school not high school. Some of these things should be reviewed by the teachers.
The culture of the school is rigid; their approach to discipline is overly punitive. My kids did not feel supported, they felt scared and uncomfortable. Their needs were subordinate to the needs of the large ESL population. It's a numbers thing - if 70% of your students need one type of support, then you're going to put your resources into that and any other student with different needs loses out.