« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
Public district
Kirkland, WA
Students enrolled: 355

Contact this school

8224 NE 138th
Kirkland, WA 98034

(425) 823-4350
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Henry David Thoreau Elementary School address.

March 26, 2015
Toxic leadership and a drama infused population sum up this school quite well. It's been a very disappointing experience to have had our child here, and counting the days until we can leave. I've never seen the principal at any event held outside of school hours.

- submitted by a parent

March 13, 2015
I've had two children attend Thoreau and could not disagree more with the reviewers who called Mrs. Mallon cold. In the many years that I've interacted with her at school events, PTA meetings, volunteering in the classroom, and other activities, she has always been warm, engaged and enthusiastic about supporting her students. It is true that she is also very professional but that does not, in my opinion, translate to cold. Through the years and in various situations, I have found her to be an excellent principal. One of the best example of this is that she hires top-notch teachers who my kids have loved and blossomed under. Mrs. Mallon attends ALL school events, she never fails to greet me and my kids by name, she asks about my child that moved on to the middle school, and I feel that she really cares about our family. Having a daughter, I also really appreciate that we have a woman modeling being a strong leader at the school. Without reservation, I feel that Mrs. Mallon is a great principal and Thoreau continues to be a wonderful school and nurturing community for my family.

- submitted by a parent

March 06, 2015
I am so saddened by what I have read. With three children in the school, I am an active parent at the school and have spent many a day volunteering for this and that. I have only positive things to say about the school. The PTA is great with excellent communication. The faculty is amazing. The office staff is friendly and knowledgeable and I've seen Mrs. Mallon in almost every situation imaginable. She is fair, extremely on top of her job (which is HUGE), involved in the classrooms, exceptionally supportive of her staff and has made it very clear to me that ALL the children are her top priority. Someone mentioned that several teachers and staff left year, but they neglected to mention that the three that did leave were pregnant. Two of those women are regular subs. I am uncertain as to what the people with such negative remarks were hoping to accomplish. I feel it is a form of cyber-bullying with no positive outcome. I don't judge others for their opinion as I don't know their story, but I wonder if taking it up with her wouldn't be more productive. From a very, very happy family at Thoreau!!

- submitted by a parent

February 24, 2015
The teachers and staff are top notch, but the principle, Malinda Mallon, is very cold towards the students and parents, especially if your child has any kind of issues, be it learning disabilities or just can't sit still all the time. She is more of a bureaucrat than a principle. She is worried more about keeping the budget than the welfare and happiness of the students. She will never admit when she is wrong. If there is ever a conflict she will turn it back on the parent or blame a staff member. At the end of last year, a lot of great teachers and support staff left the school. The teachers and staff try to help any way they can, but can only do so much under the thumb of Principle Mallon. I have had a child move on to middle school from Thoreau and I feel that they were not as ready as their classmates from other elementary schools. They are happy to not be at Thoreau any longer. If someone tells you that Thoreau is a great school, it means that their child fits the mold of Mrs Mallon's perfect student and they never get in trouble.

- submitted by a parent

February 24, 2015
Thoreau is a fantastic school! The PTA promotes a warm and welcoming environment with its many sponsored events for families as well as diverse enrichment opportunities after school. The teachers are kind, creative and show a genuine love for kids. The teachers we've had, (8 total so far amongst my kids) have been encouraging and supportive of my children's different learning styles. Most of all, my kids love them! For parents, there are many ways to get involved volunteering in the classroom, as well as at special events. Overall, it's been a very positive experience!

- submitted by a parent

January 10, 2015
Thoreau is a great School with great Staff, there is one thing they are lacking and that is a Principal, I agree with the Parent that wrote a review on October 8th, Mrs. Mallon is lacking everything there is to be good Principal, and yes Parents be careful because she will turn a conflict around and blame it on you or one of her staffs.. (this is the second post I wrote the first one did not get published, not sure why?)

- submitted by a parent

January 06, 2015
HD Thoreau is a special school supported by an incredible community and staff. We recently moved and were able to stay on wih our friends at Thoreau, and what a priveledge it has been. The thought of leaving this gifted, warm environment is a bit unnerving. If every elementary school could have even a third of the talent and support portrayed at Thoreau our nation would be in a much better way. Thank you to Mrs. Mallon for fearlessly leading our children to heightened academic standards and social development.

- submitted by a parent

October 08, 2014
Finn Hill is a great community with wonderful parents & kids that deserve much more from Thoreau Elementary. The principal Mrs. Mallon cares more about being under budget than anything else. The parents don't feel that they are heard, so they choose to not get involved with the school. Bullying continues to happen and get pushed under the rug in hopes that the parents will forget. She is unfriendly and is really good at turning around a conflict into the parents problem. Not only does she enjoy having large classrooms (34 students), but doing what's best for the children is not a priority or concern. The parents won't make a stand & continue to bad mouth their experiences instead of making it heard. The truth hurts & a change needs to be made from the top. If you like negative reinforcement than this is the school for you. Take it from me, don't go there! Several families & facility are thankful they have left and I urge to do the same. It's sad because the staff & children deserve much more.

- submitted by a parent

March 06, 2014
My son just got transferred to a different school in the area and while I am glad he going to new school, I feel like he was very judged at Thoreau and given up on. I completely agree with what others said about the principle. She is ver cold to students and parents, esp kids who need extra help. She seems more like she should be working in politics instead of with young children. The special ed team is awesome! I really appreciated everything they did for my son but in the end I think they had no say and the principle just didn't like my son and my family. Sad.

- submitted by a parent

January 09, 2014
I agree with some of the previous posts. Mrs. Mallon, the school principal is very cold and unpleasant, which can set an unflattering tone for the feeling of the school. Although, most of the teachers and office staff seem extremely helpful, dedicated, and caring - which makes up for Mallon's inadequacies in this area, at least for the most part. The school curriculum seems basic and at least on par with most other schools in the area. And the attention focused on each child's personal needs seems satisfactory. If not for Mallon, I believe this school would be receiving higher ratings.

- submitted by a parent

June 08, 2013
I am a grandmother of two who attend Thoreau now & a mother of two who attended Thoreau from 1982 through 1992. The school is now K-5. Lake Washington School Dist changed this year to all elementary schools K-5, Jr Highs 6-8 & high schools 9-12. Thoreau is a GREAT school! It has the lowest population of students in the Lake Washington School District which makes it great for the students who attend here. Everybody knows everybody & the kids get lots of one on one time with the teachers. They have lots of fun & a great Quest program for higher learning. My son & daughter are looking to buy a house in this area as they rent now & if they find one that is in the Juanita or Sandburg area, they will still send the kids to Thoreau.

- submitted by a community member

May 26, 2011
The staff is AMAZING, the office staff is AWESOME but the new principal they have had revised their carnival making it boring and dull and she isnt very pleasant. She does not relate to the children well and many parents dislike her rigid ways. VERY harse and cold to the students.

- submitted by a parent

May 02, 2011
I just wanted to clarify some information based on the last post...Fun Friday is only done in the First and Second grade classess. Kids who complete their work and have good behavior during the week get to choose a "Fun Friday" room for the last 1/2 hour of the day (not all day long as the previous post implied). The students can go to an art/games room or watch a movie. Kids with unfinished work go to a quiet room to finish up their work. Dance week is a huge hit with most of the kids. they learn line dances, square dances, and popular dances like the Makarena. Parents who don't want their children to participate just have to let the school know and another activity will be found for their child to do during dance time.

- submitted by a teacher

April 27, 2011
The principal and the staff are extremely pleasant and friendly and the school has a nice community. But the culture promoted in school is "the lowest common denominator" culture. After attending the school's "dance week" my 2nd grade daughter came home singing "Who let the dogs out" and doing some increadable pelvic movements. Every Friday in the school is "Fun Friday" meaning the teachers catch up with the students who are behind and everybody else does... nothing. They simply watch videos, lots and lots of videos. I thought that the school was doing well academically but after moving to a different state we are doing lots of catching up.

- submitted by a parent

December 16, 2010
have had 3 children attending this school the past 9 years. Thoreau has overall excellent teachers very caring and commited. The office staff and principle are wonderful. The Principle and Special Ed teachers were very supportive when my special needs daughter could not handle the crowded Juanita Elementary School where they sent her for ESL since we adopted her from China at age 7. The Thoreau principle visited the school in preparation for transfer to Thoreau and my daughter 's anxiety decreased and she was able to really learn in the classroom again. My two boys are thriving-one in 5th grade loving the new Math Cirr that lets him work ahead to some 6th grade math. My Jr High son went on to Honors Classes at Finn Hill Jr High. I would highly recommend Thoreau-it's a wonderful caring community where our children get a GREAT education!

- submitted by a parent

October 09, 2010
Caring, dedicated staff and a beautiful building. A high emphasis is placed on teaching the students respect and cooperation in addition to their challenging curriculum.

- submitted by a parent

August 14, 2009
As a parent of a primary student, I am very pleased with both the academics and environment of Thoreau. Mrs. Mallon, Thoreau's new principal, has brought about a lot of positive changes to the school. My daughter is one who excels in academics, and unlike others who have reviewed here, I feel that she is challenged and is given the opportunity to work to the best of her potential. I agree that parent involvement is somewhat lacking, but it is understandable with the socio economic area that Thoreau pulls from (usually-both parents are working). In addition, Thoreau offers many after school activities such as drama, chess club, drum club, art class, honor choir and musical minds, just to name a few. Thoreau also received the School of Distinction award for dramatic improvements in their students reading and mathematics skills over the past 5 years.

- submitted by a parent

July 24, 2008
After 2 years at this school, we are greatly disappointed in the amount of learning going on for the students at the upper end of the achievement spectrum. This school performs well for below average acheivers and offers many forms of assistance to 'close the gap'. However, the lower grades are not adequate for many children who consistently learn quickly. They are left to ferment and get bored. It is my understanding that the school shines for many after 4th grade..

- submitted by a parent

March 27, 2008
This school is not teaching the basics like addition and subtration. My 2nd grader doesn't even know how to use a ruler of a dictionary. I have been sending him to school only to teach him all night. They are great at dumbing the down. However the worst part is that they turn a blind eye to bulling. The policy is 'if I didn't hear it or see it than I can't do anything'.

- submitted by a parent

September 03, 2003
Thoreau Elementary is a new school that truly looks like a library. We have a 'new' principal of 2 years who has taken on an educational revision that sees immediate results. The staff, overall, is wonderful, friendly and helpful. The PTA is active, however, parent involvement in our dual income area forces many parents to bow out of volunteer activities. I recommend the school and am happy for my two children to be Thoreau students.

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school's profile?

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Find out what parents are saying about Henry David Thoreau Elementary School


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: March 26, 2015

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Henry David Thoreau Elementary School
8224 NE 138th, Kirkland, WA  98034
(425) 823-4350
Last modified Henry David Thoreau Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Henry David Thoreau Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 22 reviews. Top