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Cougar Mountain Academy

Private | PK-5 | 59 students

Our school is best known for individualized curriculum and instruction.

 
 

Living in Issaquah

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $375,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,280.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 10 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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35 reviews of this school


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Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted October 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted July 7, 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


Posted May 6, 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


Posted April 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Asian 56% N/A
White 42% 64%
Hispanic 2% 16%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 3%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 9%
Black 0% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Two or more races 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Music teacher(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Gym

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:45 am
School end time
  • 2:55 am
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
School Leader's name
  • Donna Ballard, Headmaster
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NIPSA
Fax number
  • (425) 392-3365

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Independent Study
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Multi-aged
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • French
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Extra learning resources offered
  • None
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Presidential Fitness Challenge
Girls sports
  • Presidential Fitness Challenge

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
Media arts
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Organize and Volunteer at School Events
  • Present special topics during curricular units
School leaders can update this information here.

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5410 194th Ave SE
Issaquah, WA 98027
Website: Click here
Phone: (425) 641-2800

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