I am a parent of a son who is about to enter kindergarten, so I do not have much insight into the school. However, I am disappointed by the fact that the school, like many elementary schools, is dominated by female teachers (based on the LWSD website, only two teachers in the entire elementary school are male - a first grade teacher and a PE instructor). The author of the best-selling book, Raising Cain, explains how expectations of male students and accommodations to their differences can have a positive impact on boys' performance in elementary schools. Although fewer men choose teaching careers, I would like the school to place more importance on this type of diversity.
Fantastic teachers, great experience. My daughter has attended K - 1st grade and we are very pleased with her education to this point. The teachers are fantastic: very organized, really care about the kids. Parent involvement is excellent.
Great school. My grand daughter goes there and loves it. Lots of community involvement. Parents assist in classrooms and monitor the kids coming and going. Very friendly.
We moved to downtown Kirkland partly to go to Peter Kirk. The school is old. Some classes are way too hot in the winter while others can never warm up. The school is built in the califirnia style where you have pods and the core is open. Your child has to go to the restroom in the freezing cold as the doors are often left open. Its very crowded. The principal was terrible. She has since been replaced. Some teachers were amazing while others were obviously done and had little spirit left in them. Bullying was a huge problem that affected many students and could have been rectified I believe with some stronger assistance, but alas the principal was never to be found and school counselor was useless. The counselor also has since been replaced.
We have been at the school for six years. It was not meeting my older child's academic or social needs. However, that probably had to do more with the kids in that grade level. My young one is entering 5th grade now and have had four fantastic years. The teachers she got through the years match her personality perfect. That particular grade level has been very caring and more academically advanced than what I experienced with my older daughter. PTSA has high and energetic parent involvement. Previous principal was nice one on one, and loved by students. As a leader she was average. To early to make any comments on the new principal.
My daughter loved her years at Kirk Elementary. Her teachers were all excellent and provided my daughter with wonderful self esteem. I am writing this now because she just started middle school and she seems very well prepared in all of her classes. She has even kept in touch with all of her Kirk teachers as she loved them that much. I highly recommend this school.
In our family's experience, Peter Kirk was a very mixed bag. The teachers we had ranged from mediocre to amazing, but most were in between. One of our children suffered through some terrible bullying experiences at this school which continue to scar her, and she was academically not challenged, but our other child had an amazing year with a loving first grade teacher who taught the children not only advanced academics but true social skills and caring. The principal, while wearing a smile on her face, was not very helpful or sincere and managed to alienate many of the teachers as well as parents. On the whole, we were very disappointed with this school and decided to leave it, yet we are very appreciative of the stellar first grade teacher we had.
Most teachers are amazing. The Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 6th Grade teachers Are spectacular. There is one third grade teacher that is exceptional. Parent involvement is superb! Principal is just OK.
I love the staff & parent support for the great programs offered to our students. The students are held to a high standard while still being allowed to be kids.
The students are enthusiastic about learning. The community has always been supportive.
The staff at Peter Kirk are terrific. They really care for the children.
This is a gem of a local elementary school. My grandchildren attended there, and I have worked there for ten years as a Tech IA. Families move into the area just so their children can attend Peter Kirk. Several of the teachers have been there for many years. New teachers choose this school if possible. The atmosphere is caring and all the teachers are exceptional.
Peter Kirk provides a comfortable, confident atmosphere for learning. The cooperation between staff, volunteers, parents and student gives an extra boost to those who attend school there.
My son just graduated high school he went to Peter Kirk and I thought it was the best school on the east side, my daughter now is at Peter Kirk, and I have been loving it there we had the best experience at Kindergarten and first grade we loved her teachers so far and feel like we can trust them completely she'll be going to second grade and is very excited for school to start soon, she was not reading at all at the beginning of her first year at school by end of first grade she is reading chapter books, her math skills have advanced and I can say that it has been the same progress as her best friend who went to private school PTSA is great and very active; it is a great community school
I've had kids at Peter Kirk for the last 8 years. I have sent 3 kids to Kindergarten, and 2 have gone through each grade through 6th at Peter Kirk. I have read the 20 reviews that came before mine, and think the overall negative attitude that shines through most of them does not accurately reflect the school, rather the parents' overall disappointment that this world is not perfect, and thus the public school offerings are a let down. If each of these parents could accurately compare Peter Kirk to the other public schools in the area, I have no doubt Kirk would receive rave reviews and high marks. Their scores are good, parental involvement is excellent, the ptsa is strong and well supported so is able to support the school in areas where funding is lacking. Note that Kirk is scheduled for remodernization sometime after 2013 (to be rebuilt).
I have been a parent involved with Peter Kirk for 4 years. The teachers my children have had for the most part are good educators, friendly and willing to work with the parents. The Parental involvement at PK is high and the PTSA is strong. The principle is not. She does not follow up with the parents and does not seem to have a good relationship with the teachers. The former principle was on task and very involved with the educational direction and the parent participation. The school is too small, old and outdated. The class sizes are WAY to big (ie.30 kids per one teacher in 3rd grade). We moved to Kirkland for the great PK school ( I went to Lakeview as a child), but now I am wondering if we made the right choice. Many parents around here feel the same disappointment.
Huge class sizes and very poor physical building! Classrooms are tiny; lunch is eaten in classrooms as there is no room large enough for a lunchroom; no storage for kids or teachers materials; poor technology integration in curriculum. My kids have had 29+ kids in class since Gr 1! Some great teachers though and very involved core group of parents. No real leadership at the top.
We are new to the area & our experience has been great! Many of the prior comments are based on DISTRICT problems. The PTSA is amazing and not just a 'money' aspect. I strongly feel a PTSA can make or break a school. They are in charge of before and after school activities, such as Science Adventures, foreign languages, jump rope class, chess club and more. They also organize skate night, egg drop, end of year carnival, science fair, art gallery walk and much, much more!! The parents that I have met are warm and caring. The teachers are excellent. The math curriculum is poor, but again this is a DISTRICT issue, not just P.K.'s alone. I see more pros than cons at this school! My kids love it and we agree!
We are would-be parents, but my child's chances at full-time kindergarten were thrown to luck in the school's lottery. We were among dozens of parents who were turned away from Peter Kirk for the 2008-2009 school year, because of lack of space. If you are considering moving to the Norkirk, West of Market, or Highlands areas near Kirkland, you should be aware that your child may not have the opportunity to attend full-day kindergarten. Although half-day kindergarten is available, you will not be informed whether or not your child will be in am or pm kindergarten until a few months from the start of the school year, when it's a scramble to make arrangements. The district and school have not shown signs that they are trying to find a solution, so count us as underimpressed. You would think a 'highly performing' district and school would place more emphasis on early education.
In reading the reviews from some of the parents, I find it hard to believe our kids attend the same school that they so negatively portray. Peter Kirk is a great school with lots of parent support and mix of talented and average teachers. What makes it special is its location in downtown Kirkland and the involvement of its families. My advice to the parents who complained about the school is to get involved and change the things you don't like. Otherwise, take a look at global education and see how privileged our children are.
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