The staff is pretty good, but the school is very over crowded with very few options for expansion. The kids eat in their classrooms because they don't have the time to facilitate eating in the cafeteria. But, most of the teachers are fabulous.
This is our fourth year at Horizons. With the exception of one teacher and the parking lot situation, this has been a terrific school for us. My children are thriving in the learning environment and love their teachers. The homework is very reasonable. Communication between parents, teachers, office staff is great. The Principal is very involved. The school is not perfect, as I don't think any are. But I would highly recommend Horizons.
Th eparking issues sucks, but as for children being locked out it is like that at EVERY school in the district. Rain or shine. My child is in the special education program and the staff is wonderful. They are patient and kind and the office staff knows her by name (not in a bad way : )). The school is overcrowded, as are all in the district but they do well with the resources they have. Having another daughter in a different elementary in the district I can say when compared, Horizons tops others in the district hands down. I am glad that our home school did not have the needs my daughter required, she has blossomed at Horizons.
First of all, the overview says that the school has a teacher to student ratio averaging 18. NOT TRUE! It's more like 25-30. The school is overcrowded and the parking lot is horrible! There is no safety for the students who arrive at school early. They are asked to stay outside on the playground before school, no matter the weather. At this point there might be 2-3 teachers on the playground and the gate is unsecured around the school. My son was in first grade and was one of the only students reading on his own. He was asked to sit and read alone while the other students had their reading groups. I asked if there was something to get him more involved, and to help him grow as a reader. The decision was to take my son and three other students and let them go to the library to work on a "project". The end result of this was several pictures coming home of volcanos. I do not feel that my son was challenged at all. Since he didn't need help with reading skills, she simply let him become complacent and didn't help him grow and continue learning at all. I hope next year (if we stay at this school) this will change. My son doesn't go to school to make friends he goes to learn.
Another school has been built in close proximity which has returned Horizons to a manageable size. It is now K-6 again. We are military and have been very pleased with the quality of teachers, administrators and employees of this school. They encourage parents to be regularly involved (which I normally only see in DOD schools). The music program is excellent- my 5th grader has band every day from a dedicated band teacher. Both of my boys read way above their grade level and have been encouraged by all their teachers with challenging work to meet their needs. They teach in a pod system - a family type system in which each grade is represented in the pod. I think Horizons has been a blessing for us. We considered DuPont, but their elementary buses 5-6th to Steilacoom. We definitely made the right decision for our family!
We have been with Horizons since the beginning of the 2008/09 school year and I have to say that if your child is an average student and does well making friends, then this school is fantastic! The staff has been friendly and helpful every time I need to stop in or call. However, if your child has a learning disability, look elsewhere. We have a 9yr old who has a very sweet heart, but pretty severe ADHD. We have an IEP in place and yet the support staff have given up on working with him. His room teacher has gone far above the call of duty where he is concerned, but the counselors and therapists have been out of commission for about 4 months now, and my child has suffered for it. We are in process of trying to remedy the situation, but it doesn't look too hopeful for this year.
We come from Florida; believe it or not, in FL, each kid receive a big package of books, workbooks and agenda when they start each academic year and the academic challenge is very high; they have lots of homework, extracurricular activities provides by the same school at affordable prices, sports and programs for high academic development. When we arrived to WA, we expected the same. the professors are excellent but here the schools do not provide books nor workbooks for kids. Our kids study with photocopies.The academic challenge is too low; They do not have many extracurricular activities and there are no basic workbooks for kids to study. The school is good, but the teaching system is poor and mediocre.
My 2nd gr daughter absolutley loves this school! We found this school using this site when we moved here in '05. I have been extremely impressed with everyone from the principal, Tim Fries, to the teachers to the PTSA. We have had some issues that required the principal to get involved this year and everything was handled with much detail and very promptly. The entire staff is so welcoming and caring as well as tremendously competent. We are moving in a few weeks and my daughter wrote a letter to the school. Here is an excerpt; 'You are such a good school! I hate to leave! You made me feel so welcome and comfortable! Everyone is so nice here. I wish I didn't have to go!' You can't go wrong with this school!!