We started at Silver Lake a month and a half ago, in the middle of the school year, after moving from Louisiana. Louisiana is known for being at the bottom of the barrel for everything, so I assumed we'd have access to better schools in Washington. My 2nd grade son was in a gifted/talented classroom in Louisiana. They were doing 3rd grade work in most subjects but were in 4th and 5th grade material for reading. I'm disappointed in the curriculum at Silver Lake. I chose an apartment in Silver Lake's district because it was rated a 9 here on GreatSchools. My son said they haven't had science in over a week because a lot of the students have needed extra time on their social studies work. My son never has homework save for one math sheet a night, which takes about 5 minutes for him to complete. The math is so basic anyway! They aren't doing any writing activities. I haven't seen any tests or quizzes. He doesn't have art or music like we had in Louisiana.
In my experience, the teachers have been excellent for both of my kids. They have communicated well with me about my children's progress, have given them a lot of extra help to be ready for the MSP, and considering the really multi-cultural aspect of the classrooms there, I think they do a good job of balancing their teaching for the population they have. In all the years my boys have attended, there was only one teacher that I wasn't too thrilled with. And she has moved to another school.
My older child attended this school in 2nd - 3rd grades. She is a solid student and enjoys school, but two years at Silver Lake did a lot of damage. Teachers told us that students should learn math facts at home since they were no longer covered in class. When we moved, she was two years behind her peers in math! Her 2nd-grade teacher (now teaching kindergarten?) told her that spelling didn't matter at all, "just sound-spell!" A few years later, when my younger child was in 2nd grade at a different school, he looked at work done by his older sibling, full of incorrect spellings and punctuation, mixed upper- and lower-case, nonsensical sentences, etc. The Silver Lake teacher had written "Great Job!!" and stamped it with one of her beloved rubber stamps. As my younger one said, "If anyone in my class turned in a mess like that, we'd lose recess for three days!" Ah, but it's so much easier to use that "good job!" stamp than to actually teach those kids, isn't it? Silver Lake got my child off to a terrible first start and a few years later we're still recovering. What an absolutely horrible, horrible school.
I am pleased to be a parent of children attending Silver Lake Elementary. The programs that have been put in place over the recent years have allowed all students at Silver Lake to strive for greatness. I have one child in 5th grade this year that will be moving on and another getting ready to enter, I wouldn't change this. Silver Lake continues to receive recognition and awards this year which proves the dedication of the administration, staff, and volunteers!
School of distinction 2010; Principal of the year 2010. My child has attended Silver Lake for 4th and 5th grade with a diagnosis of Asperger's. My child is in a standard classroom with an IEP and some accomodations. Principal, Psychologist, counselor and resource teacher are excellent. My child is challenged, encouraged and held accountable within reason.
My son has been attending Silver Lake Elementary for several years. While there appear to be some great aspects to this school, I've been primarily disappointed with the lack of focus on improving academic performance throughout the years. Silverlake has chronically been one of the lower achieving schools from amongst surrounding schools in the context of standardized tests, with minimal improvement throughout time. There are probably many factors that contribute to this beyond the school administrator's control, but the fact that administration hasn't talked openly about its goals, plans, criteria for success, and targets; and furthermore about shortcomings that need to be overcome, leads me to believe that the school isn't committed a cohesive, well-thought plan that can be communicated to parents with the same goals in mind, nor to self-evaluation in terms of how it serves and educates students and improvement.