Peter Kirk is very strong. Great teachers, super motivated and involved parents, and one of the strongest overall communities in the metroplex. The school is old, but that is merely optics...its hard to go wrong here.
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.
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.