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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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..
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'.
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.
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