We are new to the Seattle area from CA and feel very welcomed by the office manager, Shannon Leahy, at Clyde Hill Elementary. She seems to understand our relocation issues well by initiating communication and working hard to expedite our school registration. We are excited to start school here!
The school administrators show lack of care to the welfare of the children. For example, 3 out of 5 first grade classes have long term sub teachers for an entire year. At least 2 classes (K and 1st grade) already have had to deal with transition from one teacher to another. In one of those cases, the transition was sudden. The children were told that a teacher was coming back after the maternity leave, only to hear from the principal later that she was not and another long term sub teacher was to take over. Understandably, many parents were upset and wrote to the Bellevue School District Superintendent for a better explanation of what had happened. Through the communications, it showed that the principal had no interest in the children's well-being and have no plans to provide stability to children's learning. I can say that my child learnt nothing in the year. I hope that the leadership will be motivated to improve communication between families, principal and staff, and help them become more engaged in their job. There is only thing I respect about Clyde Hill is a couple of teachers care what happens to the students.
We had a terrible experience with Clyde Hill School when we moved in the area last year. You can forget about teachers helping your student in any way. They are there to help themselves to make sure that if any student that might be below 80% achievement be single out so they will not be blamed at the end. It seams that some teachers did not have any pedagogy classes during schooling; there is no effort to understand and connect with a student. Assistant principal is a total bully so make sure that all correspondence is done in writing. One fifth grade teacher is total psycho she even makes the classroom to look like some kind of her own republic with her own money and rules. If you are moving to Bellevue rather try Woodridge or Enatai middle school.
We've been at this school for 6 years with all of our kids attending here for all of their elementary years. The teachers are great, the principals have been great and the academics are rigorous and for some of my kids, it's been overwhelming and at times I've been frustrated with the amount of homework expected. All in all, it been a mostly positive experience for my kids. I will say, that the one big negative is, if you do not live in "Clyde Hill" city itself there is a social divide amongst the parents. There is an us and them feel to the school based on where you live and it does affect your child's friendships. It has a social hierarchy and that is a huge frustration and can leave you feeling on the outside and eventually affect who your kid gets to hang out with. I've seen it happen with each of my kids and it is a huge bummer.
Positives: - Great staff - We had great teachers in our 3 years at the school. Negatives: - Very crowded classes - Every year, in addition to the crowd, we had at least one problem kid distracting the whole class. If your kid is at least an average, be ready that he/she won't learn much due to class sizes and distractions at the class. All academically good kids in our class that I know was supplemented by outside tutors. - Snotty parents - Be prepared to be bullied as a parent, if you are not white & American & PTSA mom. - PTSA moms' kids get treated better in every way. One example, if your mom is volunteering at the library, you can get one more book than other kids (whose parents are working, hence couldn't volunteer).
The review posted on November 26, 2013 is spot on! We've had all the negative experiences that the aforementioned poster encountered. While we are happy with the fabulous teacher our DC has this school year, we are HORRIFIED at the class sizes. The expectation that we can shell out lots of money for fundraisers can be taxing as we have to deal with atrocious class size (28-30 kids per class on the average) and snooty, condescending front office staff such as Shannon Leahy and her former office partner (Leala?). Hope the new Principal and her new Assistant Principal will bring positive changes to CHES soon as we don't want to have to move our child to another school!
Those parents "who wish they could put their litte darlings at CHES" (as another reviewer suggested), DO NOT know anything about what is happening there. Student to per teacher ratio was almost 30 in a 1st grade class last year. Their WASL test scores are incredible low. I gave it a try with my older child for a couple of years and my experience was HORRIBLE!!! Evenetually, I gave up and decided to send my child to a private school instead. Anyone who still thinks that CHES is a good enough school can check out the 2012 WASL results and see that CHES didn't even make it to WA's top 50 Elementary schools. Simply put, almost all the schools in the Eastside had better WASL results than CHES. And also, besides the lack of quality education, the school has a horrible front desk secretary named as Shannon Leahey (I guess). IF your child goes there try to limit your conversation with her at all cost. :)
Many parents only wish they could put their litte darlings at CHES! Our oldest son (17) attended the school (K-5) and our second child is there and currently in 2nd grade. This is a very good school with strong leadership and many caring teachers. These past 2 years our son has benefited from a husband & wife team of teachers who are rigorous, yet kind, patient, understanding, and possess a good sense of humor. Honestly, being quite demanding myself, I feel that CHES is just fine. The student population is increasingly ethnically diverse each year, and it's obvious that CHES is attracting a high percentage of Asian families through its strong teaching credentials. We weren't so impressed with Chinook Middle School (next door) and hopefully that school will be better once the reconstruction is completed in the next two years. CHES is the right size, the support is there, the kids are well behaved (no bullying at all), and it's nice to see your tax dollars aren't being wasted for a change. Thanks CHES.
I'm in awe reading the recent negative comments about Clyde Hill. I just don't understand it! We were lucky to be at CHES for two years, before moving to CA. Now, we miss Clyde Hill every day. The caring staff, amazing "specials" including PE, music, art...an on-site nurse, librarian...these assets are a thing of the past in most public schools, including our current school. Class sizes at 27 are a negative? Ours are 31--33. Clyde Hill is a wonderful school, great curriculum and supportive learning environment. We would be back tomorrow if we could. Please keep perspective, folks, CHES is a wonderful school. Come visit a public school in CA if you need a dose of reality :)