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5410 194th Ave SE
Issaquah, WA 98027

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(425) 641-2800
(425) 392-3365
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Map of Cougar Mountain Academy address.
Amount of homework: Not enough
June 17, 2015
They give repetitive work and you have to harass them to push your child without " skipping" to a higher class.

- submitted by a parent

February 25, 2015
We looked at several schools for our gifted son entering 1st grade. We sought a strong curriculum as well as a school that had a positive vibe. We attended an Open House, and CMA felt like "home" to us. Here our son could excel at his own pace. We saw enthusiastic teachers encouraging students in their studies, as well as helping with the snaps on coats at recess. We enrolled our son, and he is thriving at CMA. He has French class twice a week, is taking piano lessons, and loves his electives, Lego Robotics and Chess. He has developed a deeper love of reading. He raises his hand in the weekly Assembly eager to share what he knows. The Headmaster and staff have a genuine care and concern for the students. Questions we ve had have been answered promptly. Communication with the school has been wonderful. Our son loves CMA and often is not ready to leave at pick-up time. He is challenged in his studies, and excited and proud to participate in special school events such as the Art Show and Science Fair. We are thrilled that CMA has been such a wonderful fit for our son and would highly recommend it to parents looking for an excellent private elementary school.

- submitted by a parent

February 16, 2015
Our 3- and 5-yr olds started pre-K and K at CMA this year. We value most about CMA s individual based curriculum. Our kids are not limited by what they are supposed to be learning at their age group, but what they are ready to learn. Our older son is excited about learning because time is not spent in repeating things he already knows. Student-teacher ratio is great, allowing more 1:1 attention and closer bonding among students. This is especially helpful for my 3-yr old who is very shy, allowing her to feel safe quicker so she can grow academically. Our son is excited about the achievement roll projects and the school events, which provide excellent opportunities for developing skills beyond the core learning focus. Seeing other children participate is also motivating. Perhaps one negative is the small upper elem group. We sure hope that more kids will continue onto upper elem in future years so there will be a greater pool of students our kids can grow to middle school with. All in all, we are very happy with our investment. Our kids love going to school day after day. They are excelling academically, developing friendship and they love their teachers.

- submitted by a parent

February 09, 2015
My older kid studied in CMA and developed her natural abilities so much that she easily got into LW Quest program after just studying pre-k in CMA. My second one, though, had significant delay in exhibiting academic and social skills. We sent him also to CMA and he is now developed a lot in his skills after being there just for a year. We are quite happy that we made the decision to send him there, though the cost is a little on the high side for us.

- submitted by a parent

January 23, 2015
My daughter is 7.5 years old at 2nd grade when we decided to pull her out of Rachael Carson and enroll in CMA. We've been at CMA for 5 months now, and can't be happier with her progress here. At Carson, she was getting bored and complained about not having things to do, and always having to wait for others to complete their practice. At CMA, she's happy that there're so many others just like her. Class is fun again. As parents, we see her finally having the opportunity to maximize her full potentials. She joined CMA when the fall semester already started. She had a bit challenging time catching up on math as CMA class was on 3-4 digits additions and subtractions, while Carson class was on A&S within 20. Five months later, my daughter is able to do multi-digits calculations that I have to use a calculator to check. She's mastered multiplication up to 9*9 and is expected to start divisions and fractions this semester. I never took myself off Carson's classroom news letter. The one I received last Friday says that my daughter's old class would start 2 digits additions in the upcoming weeks. I was so much surprised to see how much a difference 5 months in the right program could make!

- submitted by a parent

February 14, 2014
This was the best decision we have made so far for our son s education. We found Cougar Mountain Academy thru an internet search in Geneva, Switzerland and decided to visit. The staff s professional demeanor portrayed not only a positive first impression, but maintained a positive impression throughout the school year. This is a small school, with small class sizes that allows a lot of one-on-one interactions between the student and the teacher. The individualized and advanced curriculum is so well managed and structured that it has challenged my son to the point where he is not only one grade level ahead academically, but he also loves his school and looks forward to going everyday. The school is next to the zoo which allows them to just visit or to coincide the walk over with a lesson. They offer French!, Robotics, Piano to name a few and they do Book Fairs, Science Fairs, Art Exhibitions, Piano Recitals and the list goes on and on. We are here only for a few years for work and I wish we could take this school with us, wherever we end up going.

- submitted by a parent

January 21, 2014
Cougar Mountain Academy has done a terrific job education our children. The structured, thoughtful curiculum has been well taught and the warm, caring enviroment was the ideal platform for early education. My oldest is now in public middle school and is a top honors student-- much of his success comes from the education he received at CMA. Our youngest is now in the Pre-K program and I have been impressed once again with the schools commitment to excellence.

- submitted by a parent

November 26, 2012
We couldn't have found a better Pre-K/elementary school for our two kids. Coming from international backgrounds ourselves with a strong emphasis on academics, we were looking for a school that meets or exceeds international standards in academic rigor, towards laying the right foundation for our kids early years. The individualized, advanced curriculum and approach at CMA was just the right fit - consistently aiming to be one or two grade levels above, in the core areas of reading, writing, math, and science. The student body seems an enthusiastic and motivated one, which has really helped motivate our kids to excel. What I like most is the staff's ability to cultivate a genuine love of learning while still keeping academics rigorous and demanding. Our kids have often been reluctant to come home from school (wanting to stay longer), and have longed for school on weekends. To its credit, CMA has done an excellent job of cultivating extracurricular interests- both of our kids have taken to piano, our daughter is into yoga as well. The school is fortunate to have incredible teachers; Mrs. Ballard's leadership in driving high standards for the school has been exemplary; .

- submitted by a parent

October 04, 2012
We are glad we got out when we did. Our child attended CMA up until the end of the school year - from Pre-K through third grade. We now realize that the school was teaching to maximize test scores. We are now having to go back and fill in knowledge gaps.

- submitted by a parent

September 24, 2012
I would give more stars if I could. Cougar Mountain Academy has been an excellent Elementary School for my child, a 6th grader now, that prepared him for his responsible, independent learning expected in middle school. The teachers pay individual attention to each student, carefully designing the curriculum that meets the students needs. They also help children with social/emotional/behavioral skills in classroom and playground and when the children hear a clear message of the high expectations, the children work to meet it. My son absolutely loved the reading rewards, spelling bee, choir singing, hot lunches, piano, P.E., french and the achievement roll projects. He loved the school assembly and the school spirit that showed in their song and pledge. He shined when he found: the place to belong, the right amount of challenge and the staff working for his success. The administration is very welcoming and works very well with the families. Mrs. Ballard, the headmaster, and Mrs. Olson are always willing to hear parent inputs. The teachers work with parents as needed in addition to the usual parent conferences. This is the best investment we did and highly recommend the school.

- submitted by a parent

August 28, 2012
This year marks my 5th year educating high achieving and gifted children here at Cougar Mountain Academy. I have been fortunate to experience the students both as a teacher and as an administrator. In both roles, the focus of the school has consistently been to provide a well rounded learning opportunity. This is evident in the fact that all events at the Academy have a defined learning objective which serves the student above and beyond the event itself. The commitment fo the Headmaster at the Academy is refreshing as she enables the team comprised of parents, teachers, and administrators to truly set each child on the path to sucess. Individual accomplishments are achieved through low teacher to student ratios, accelerated individualized curriculum and a loving and nurturing environment. The firm foundation students receive at the Academy ensures future success as a lifelong learner. Excellence in education has been a way of life at Cougar Mountain Academy since its founding 50 years ago. I am proud to be a part of this long standing tradition and am eager to share it with the families who are raising the promise of our future.

- submitted by a teacher

August 12, 2012
Our child started Cougar Mountain Academy in the 3rd grade. We came from 1st grade in a public school where our child was bored but still achieved A's and B's. We felt the "No Child Left Behind" rule was only for the struggling students, leaving the children that could excel, governed. Cougar Mountain gave us the sky to learn. We feel we received the one-on-one attention we were looking for. Though, our child was challenged, it was at his pace. The teachers knew when to challenge and when to pull back. The teachers got to know the kids, individually and understood our child's learning ability. The three years we attended Cougar Mountain, we very seldom saw bulling. When we did, the staff took immediate action toward the problem child. The staff takes immediate action and resolves any issues directly with the parents. Starting with the first day of school, every child is taught courtesy, kindness and respect. Cougar Mountain is a respected, primary, non denominational private school. Because of the reputation Cougar Mountain has in our community, we felt it help us place in the middle school of our choice. Our family really enjoyed our, three year, experience at Cougar Mountain.

- submitted by a parent

August 10, 2012
Cougar Mountain Academy is a unique private school with wonderful, warm and caring families and staff. Busy parents can rely on the nurturing environment and loving attention that staff give to each student. Quality, research based,Individualized and advanced curriculum and individual solutions to each families concerns are the hallmarks that have made the Academy a trusted and innovative educational institution for 50 years. Parents who want to give their children the precious gift of an excellent education and the chance at a truly great future of promise can do no better than to choose this school.

- submitted by a teacher

July 20, 2012
Cougar Mountain Academy is a disappointment. The school markets itself as a school for gifted children, but the school is ill-equipped for the academic and social needs of truly gifted children. The children spend weeks preparing for programs (like the holiday concert) that look good in the school newsletter and very little time doing meaningful work in the classroom. Most of the curriculum is workbooks that leave your child bored. I would encourage parents to look elsewhere for a more enriching educational experience. Due to low enrollment (around 50 children), it seems the school has relaxed it standards. Although the school has a policy that aggressive and unruly children will be asked to leave the school, we found that this type of behavior wasn t addressed and it spread throughout the classroom becoming a major disruption. Our child was tackled, hit, and had their food thrown on the floor. Despite raising these concerns to the school, very little was done. Cougar Mountain Academy may look appealing at first glance, but it isn t what it seems.

- submitted by a parent

July 07, 2012
Do not send your children to Cougar Mountain Academy. CMA attracts students and parents with a mission of academic excellence. However, the curriculum is little more than workbook activities with optional enrichment activities that are to be completed by home with parent instruction. My child was bored. The more critical issue was the out of control classroom dynamics. It started at the beginning of the school year with a couple of unruly children, but unchecked behavior led to a classroom where learning was secondary to trying to maintain control. Despite parent complaints throughout the school year, the administration sited a teacher problem and did not step in until May when the damage was already done. The school administration appears to be focused on making money and not on creating a nurturing, enriching learning environment, which is likely why the school is curently experiencing a mass exodus of students - including long time students. With the number of private school options available, you can find a much better option for your child and likely at a much lower price.

- submitted by a parent

May 06, 2012
We have been at CMA for 3 years. It has been a great school where children are loved and cared about. The curriculum is individualized and has helped my children excel quickly and at their own pace. The teachers and principal are very loving and my children love going to school.

- submitted by a parent

April 04, 2012
My son has attended CMA for two years now and we have had the best experience from all aspects. He absolutely loves the school, his teachers and the principal. One of the major strengths of CMA in my opinion is a very well thought out indvidualized curriculum, which helps the students to achieve their best. The Principal and the teachers were very supportive and understanding during the initial phase where my son had trouble adjusting to the environment. I am very happy with my son's academic progress. I would highly recommend CMA for anyone looking at private schools.

- submitted by a parent

October 30, 2011
My daughter has attended CMA from Pre-K through 4th with the exception of 2nd grade. She has absolutely loved it and excelled in all areas. I have found all the teachers to be extremely strong in the subjects that they teach. During the one year that we were unable to attend, my daughter transferred to another highly respected private school in the Issaquah district. We were shocked at just how far ahead she was academically on almost every level. I believe that by encouraging each student to excel to their individual capabilities and not holding them back to their particular "grade level" has allowed my daughter, and others at the school, to score particularly high on the national exams. There is always a warm and caring atmosphere and teachers encourage respect and self discipline. The school is highly effective and focused on high standards in all areas. Many of the projects that are done outside of the class room have had a tremendous impact on my daughters learning. I would encourage any family looking for a "home" for their child to attend CMA. I promise you will not be disappointed.

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2011
We have had our two children at Cougar Mountain Academy for the past 4 years. The curriculum is excellent and the teaching staff is wonderful. The administration and teaching staff bends over backwards to ensure all needs are met and to provide challenge at every level. Small class size ensures individualized instruction. Respect, Leadership, Love of Learning, and Pride are evident in each child due to the strong, positive role models of the staff and administration. Our children LOVE going to school and LOVE learning. We could not ask for more.

- submitted by a parent

January 22, 2011
Our children have attended Cougar Mountain Academy for the past three years. Having interviewed many schools, I can truly say this is the BEST school for my children. The staff goes above and beyond on every level possible and has treated us with the utmost caring and respect. Cougar Mountain academy has fostered a love of learning and sense of school pride that my children will have for the rest of their lives. I cannot recommend this school highly enough.

- submitted by a parent

July 28, 2010
Our son just finished 5 wonderful years (K-4) at this small, caring and nurturing school. With a TRULY individualized curriculum and teachers that helped him explore his leadership skills, and his love for learning with fun, he is more than ready for Middle School. A highlight for him, was the chance to have lunch with the HeadMaster, on reaching a reading milestone. One school where we saw children take pride in the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem and the School Spirit.

- submitted by a parent

July 23, 2010
Our son attended CMA for the past 4 years. The individualized curriculum has been fantastic. Our son was constantly challenged and engaged in the learning process. The entire staff was very professional, warm and caring. Our son received an excellent education in a wonderful setting which has prepared him for the challenges of middle school. If your considering a private school....this one is tops!

- submitted by a parent

July 23, 2010
We have two kids at the school and both of them love the education that they are getting there. The school administration is pretty good and it is lead by a principal who emphasizes academic achievement although the curriculum is fairly well rounded with French, music, chess etc. as activities that are popular. Most of the teachers are excellent. Only dissapointment has been the departure of the music teacher (Mr. Franklin) who was really good. Parent involvement is limited but that is fine with us who are relatively busy professionals.

- submitted by a parent

July 23, 2010
Each of my daughters attended CMA for approximately 5 years. They were happy, secure, and challenged everyday they were there. Our entire family was sad to leave the warm community of CMA. Teachers were directly involved with each student, knew their personalities, learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, and worked with each student to help them reach their potential. Since we've moved on to middle school it has been abundantly clear just how well CMA prepared my daughters for the challenges ahead. They arrived with a strong foundation in the basics of math which MOST students arriving from other area private schools didn't have. For those parents wanting a warm, secure environment in which their child can thrive CMA is the school for you. Your child will leave with a strong foundation in the basics of education - reading, writing, and math.

- submitted by a parent

July 21, 2010
I love being the math and science teacher for the oldest students at CMA! I get to teach my two favorite subjects in a creative environment where I actually get to hug my students. Having small classes (10 to 12 kids) means I get to know my students very well, so I can pick and choose individual instructional methods that I know will work best for them. I love pushing my students to excel almost as much as I love seeing the joy on their faces when they finally realize how far they ve come. Everyone here (from students to parents to staff) is dedicated to making the school a positive and supportive environment, so being a part of the CMA community is a rewarding experience all around.

- submitted by a teacher

July 20, 2010
My student attended this school for a year and we soon discovered that this place was a business and far from anything headmaster ever said or promoted with the school. Teachers were spread far too thin, weak facilities and one on one curriculum is a sales tactic. Also, teacher turnover here is quite high, my student went through 2 or 3 different teachers here in one year! I felt that my child suffered due to the fact that this school could not keep teachers. I've spoke with many families who have left for the same reason, business as usual here, education comes second. The registar typed up those 5 star ratings listed below I have no doubt. Be careful enrolling your child here.

- submitted by a parent

July 20, 2010
Cougar Mt. had far exceeded our expectations. My two daughters have attended the Academy for the past two years. The teachers provide a caring, nurturing enviroment while at the same time encourage my children to reach their full potential. Mrs. Ballard is a wonderful headmaster and her door is always open to the parents. Class size is very small, so children have a lot of one on one time with their teachers. My Girls are always challenged, but at the same time they are given the tools to meet those challenges. Curriculum is individualized, so the kids move ahead when they are ready. The school is a very close knit community with everyone working together to best meet the needs of our kids. This is really a wonderful place and we are so happy to be a part of the Cougar Mt. family.

- submitted by a parent

July 20, 2010
Wonderful students, fabulous parents, excellent, caring staff, a warm and welcoming facility and focused, dedicated Administrative personnel. What more could you find in a private educational institution?

- submitted by a teacher

July 12, 2010
Cougar Mountain Academy Anemic Leadership. We were sold on the sales presentation by the school s administrator but found in short order that the school s delivery of their mission statement was not being fulfilled. This can be traced to weak leadership and an administrator whose priority is revenue before the delivery of a quality education. To further illustrate management weakness, administrative tasks have been assigned to teachers who perform those tasks while still trying to deliver a quality education. However, the quality of education delivery has suffered and teachers are competing for who shall direct the school. If you have a choice of educational environment for your children, you should look elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 23, 2009
this is really a bad school overall, it says individualize, but it doesn't do that at all, our daughter went there learnt nothing, all things she learned are from home and outside that school, she went there just to show up, we will not be going there even the cost is half. dont waste your money and time with this school.

- submitted by a parent

June 25, 2007
This is an outstanding school. I can't recommend it more highly. Administrators and faculty are extremely committed, nurturing and caring, and teacher turnover has been low in recent years. Academic standards are high, but each student progresses at his/her own pace. CMA does a phenomenal job of providing seamless individual instruction, so every child excels and has high self-esteem. Students receive a superb foundation in language arts, math and science. Regular curriculum also includes music, French, computers (brand new computer lab!) and PE, and students complete several multi-media art projects throughout the year. Electives are fun and educational. Don't be alarmed by the tuition, because it's worth every penny. And you're not hit up for money throughout the year -- no annual fund, auction or capital campaign. There's outstanding parent support for Book Fair, Halloween carnival, Teacher Appreciation, Science Fair, etc., but there is no pressure to volunteer - strictly optional.

- submitted by a parent

March 26, 2007
Fine for pre-K and kinder. but that's where it ends. Severely overpriced for a limited product. Very high teacher turn-over. Owners sit up on the hill in a multi-million dollar house, driving fancy cars, while the facilities of the school are falling apart and have never been updated. Don't waste your money because it's not going towards the children.

- submitted by a parent

March 16, 2007
My child attends CMA as a kindergarten student and he is getting superior attention and is expected to return a high level of work academically. It is exactly what we want in a school with the great aptitude our child showed for math. The school facility is located adjacent to a small zoo which the school utilizes in their extracurricular program, they also have a good sized list of electives for the size of the school. The staff is always available for consultation about your children's progress and there are observation booths available to anonymously monitor a class session. For children that enjoy learning this is an excellent school that delivers high value for your tuition dollars.

- submitted by a parent

January 14, 2007
My children attended for many years. The school is outstanding. The headmaster is caring, compassionate, and outstanding. Teachers care about each individual student and tailor programs to match those needs. Elective programs are outstanding. My children loved going to school every day. I can't say enough about this school. Worth every dollar. Small classrooms meant a tremendous amount of individual focus and attention on each student. French teacher is phenomenal. Parents are not involved in setting the curriculum but can be involved in many activities (Science Fair, Halloween Carnival, Book Fair, etc.).

- submitted by a parent

April 10, 2006
Too much money for the product. Very good Pre-k and K programs though. Facility needs work.

- submitted by a parent

March 28, 2006
CMA offers a completely individualized program for their students. All students may work at their own pace, so environment is good for independent children. Population is ethnically diverse. Emphasis is on academics.

- submitted by a parent

January 23, 2006
Children work at a curriculum one year ahead of their grade. That said, all curriculums are individulalized to each student. My 2 sons love it there and are constantly challenged since they can move on to new material when they are ready. It is a very small school -about 75 kids but the atmosphere is warm and loving. There is also a focus on respecting one another and adhering to rules which is good for my boys. They only offer French as a foreign language but do offer art, music, piano, zoology and other electives. The teachers are great, work with the parents well and we have enjoyed the school immensely.

- submitted by a parent

January 14, 2006
Great music teacher and individualized instruction.

- submitted by a student

January 03, 2006
overrated and overpriced!

- submitted by a parent

September 27, 2005
Our child was at CMA for two years in the Pre-K program. The school is 100% rigorous academics. Academically, this is a wonderful school, however, arts and creativity are a very low priority, and I feel they are extremely important to be a balanced individual. There is no parent involvement at this school except for holiday events- you actually sign an agreement stating it is 100% in the schools hands how your child will be taught. Communication is very tightly controlled at this school- you will only hear what the school wants you to hear, and remember, this school is a business. Teacher turnover is extraordinarily high. Parents should seriously do their homework if they are looking at spending the very high amount of tuition to send their child to this school. It took us two years to learn our lesson.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: June 17, 2015

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Cougar Mountain Academy
5410 194th Ave SE, Issaquah, WA  98027
(425) 641-2800
Last modified Cougar Mountain Academy is a Private school that serves grades PK-5
Cougar Mountain Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 47 reviews. Top