Wilkes, BI School District and the Bainbridge Island Community is incredible in so many ways. I always tell people I love living here because everyone here is focused on the right things in life. Raising well rounded children that are educated, loving, and want to give back to their community. I am sad to say because of work we are moving out of state. I was encouraged to use this site to look at schools but to not pay attention to the parent reviews. This advice came from a parent/school psychologist that works in the state we are moving to. After seeing these negative reviews toward a school that both of my children have gone through and loved! I now understand why the school psychologist suggested I skip this part of the site. Wilkes couldn't be a more nurturing environment where children thrive!
I came in expecting a lot given all the talk about the district schools and its state ranking. The education and standards are average and the equivalent of checking the state boxes. Nothing impresses me as outstanding. This year has really been a disappointment with teachers who are marginal, disorganized, or just in it because they get a long summer vacation.
I'm not surprised by the negative reviews, but do NOT agree with them. The principal is now new since reviewed in the past and is eager to work with parents to address issues caused by the economy and other factors beyond the control of one elementary school. The local school foundation is VERY involved (getting funds from parents and local businesses) in helping fund teachers' salaries in an effort to keep the teachers hired and class sizes as low as possible - the fault for the higher class size is not the school or district but the fact that the state is not funding as it should or keeping its commitments. Teachers are caring and nurturing and do the best they can given all the requirements parents and the community demands of them these days. Anyone who can't find one good thing to say about either a public or a private school on Bainbridge Island - where the scores and achievement are among highest in WA state - should definately move elsewhere.
Very surprised by the last review. I have had 3 kids pass through Wilkes and feel that they were all well prepared for higher grades. There are plenty of opportunities for parent involvement (in fact I have actively worked in the every one of the classrooms of each of my kids). Teachers are dedicated and energetic. Yes, classes are larger than in past years. Welcome to public education during an economic downfall. Private fundraising efforts have been working hard to keep those class sizes down. The principal is exceptional and my childrens individual needs have been recognized and addressed in a meaningful way.
Very disappointing school. The teachers do not provide supplemental curriculum (or feel it is their job to do so) for high-performing students. We are pulling out daughter out of the BI school system next year. The classes are ridiculously overcrowded. Another shock was the PTA in the district, and particularly at this school. The PTA actively opposes the implementation of new methodologies that are enjoying huge successes in other schools that are also under economic strain (this doesn't seem to be under the PTA purview and certainly is not in the interests of the children). For those considering moving to BI, you should know that the schools are NOT what they once were (I wish I had known this before moving to BI 2 years ago). Parents who are able to do so are pulling their kids out of this school district in droves and there are very good reasons why.
I agree with the previous post. I am sorry we ever let our child attend this school. I feel the quality of education at Wilkes is below average and the district is average at best. I fear the quality that once existed in this district will be disappear with budget cuts. If we had to do it over we never would have moved to Bainbridge Island. Unfortunately we found the private schools in this area even worse. If your children are in this district you must supplement their education and pay attention to what is going on in the classroom. Bainbridge as a district has dropped out of the top 10 in the state and I am concerned that it will fall further if things are not shored up. In this economic climate, I am not optimistic this will happen.
If this is as good as WA state public education gets, we are in big trouble. The class sizes are huge, curriculum is basic, teachers are not open to parents volunteering in any meaningful way, and the principal does not seem to know how to communicate other than sending a typo-filled newsletter on where not to park on the school property. My children have learned very little this year, and it is almost December. We are looking for private schools for the spring term.
Love this school. Teachers are great and level of learning is wonderful. We moved over from Seattle school and saw the improvement right away!
Wilkes is a wonderful school. The teacher's are caring and go above and beyond the curriculum making learning fun for their students. We are lucky to have specialists in PE, Art, Music and Library.
Although this Bainbridge School is higly rated, I was more than disappointed upon entering my child in first grade. Her class is maxed out at 25 students, and the curriculum seems simplistic and inferrior to that of her kindergarten in CA. Her teacher informed us that she is 1 of 4 in her class that can read and their math curriculum requires that they must know how to count only to 15 by the end of the year. History is learning the family tree. The district seems desperate for funding so I don't forsee much relief on the student:teacher ratio and the resulting benefits from a smaller class size.
Teachers are top notch. Our kids would rather go to school than have a day off. Parent involvement is very strong. Great school!
excellent, caring, long-staying teachers and staff; i can't say enough great stuff about the teachers at all levels--WOW!. however, am not impressed with the principal, who seems apathetic in comparison to her staff. the facilities are older, but with a new bond and tech levy just passed, these will be improved. again, teachers have been incredibly creative and good-tempered about working in these conditions; they deserve the improvements & changes to come. great pto in terms of amount of funds raised, but also in terms of number of sheer hours spent in classrooms. what a team! sad to be leaving this year...
The very best in academic programs, the arts and parental involvement.
This school has been great for my Son. He attended Kindergarten there and is now in the first grade. They strongly encourage parent involvement and offer language courses in Spanish and Japanese.
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