The Quest program at this school is absolutely awful. The principal views the gifted students as "freebies", actively avoids spending resources or time on them.
There have been excellent teachers, but these are nothing more than accidents. The principal and the school board hold no love for any students (especially any gifted student).
These missteps by the school are covered by irritating (and perhaps damaging) acts of pseudo school-spirit.
Kamiakin Middle School has successfully squandered years of golden opportunity to educate their students.
Thank you to the good teachers that haven't made the experiences here a complete waste. But to the principal and overlords of the school? Good riddance.
Joe Joss the principal is great -- he has a vision for his school and works to move it in that direction. He has been weeding out the less effective teachers and has hired some great ones. Ward Brannman the band guy is phenomenal. About half the kids at this school are in band!! (starting in 7th grade is not a problem! go for it! it is a great community that allows all the different levels at KaJH to interact positively.) Bullying happens but our experience was a quick, discrete handling, with no negative repercussions for my 7th grader who was bullied by a 9th grader. VP did her job competently. It is a very diverse community, ethnically, linguistically, and also academically, as the gifted and the developmentally disabled both have programs here. It will be interesting to see the transition to a Middle School. Joe's leadership skills are a plus.
Enter your review here] Avoid this school if you can. The staff will promise a lot but will deliver very little. Academically the school is not so bad but do not expect much if you compare to other JRH schools in Kirkland or Bellevue. Bulling is a big problem too.
The principal is amazing, and super nice. But when it comes to the sports program, The coaches pick randomly not by skill level so really good players are on lower teams and aren't challenged. Also, bad players are put on higher skill level teams, and so good players are on lower level teams and get upset, like me and all my friends when the girl who is worst at volleyball is on varsity and we are all good, they are better than me and we are all on regionals. DO NOT DO SPORTS HERE!
Kamiakin Jr High has a wonderful music program. Our instructors, Mrs Kim Merkley and Mr Ward Brannman have touched my children's lives immensely. Particularly, Mrs Merkley has worked with my son, Stuart, for the past 4 years. He began taking orchestra in grade 4. Stuart has ADHD. Music has helped him with focusing, social skills, and been a source of self pride. He is a better person because of the fine arts. Despite huge budget cuts, Lake Washington School District has been able to retain our music program. My daughter, Amy, spent 5 years under Mr Brannman's direction playing the flute. He has instilled love of music and personal excellence as she has moved on to high school.
Our oldest just finished his time at Kamiakin, and it was a very positive experience for us. My son had a bullying experience that was handled quickly and discreetly, so I was happy with the leadership of vice principal who is now to be principal. I think it is all in the way you approach it. They try to keep parents involved and aware of what is going on, and do a good job. I liked the community events including bbq at beginning of year, mothers day lunch, grandparents brunch and fathers breakfast. Teachers do a good job of keeping track of students' progress, especially in 7th grade.