I have very mixed feelings about this school. I feel that there is staff who TRULY care about the success of our students and will go the extra mile. And when your child gets one of those teachers - hallelujah. However, the impression given by a good number of teachers is that they chose to work in a school where there are affluent parents who can afford tutoring when the school can't meet their child's needs, and that because there is such high parent involvement, they don't need to go the extra mile for those kids who need it. These teachers seem like they chose this school so they can go home when the bell rings. My child doesn't qualify for gifted but is definitely well above the average. However my child's writing skills, spelling and handwriting have all been overlooked - no one has challenged my child to improve, it's been up to us. Feedback is often limited - and I feel we have to chase it down.
That being said, I do feel that the school does an excellent job in keeping up with the latest technology through the use of district programs, Bellevue School Foundation programs and PTA funding.
I can't speak to the bullying comments as my child has never had such an experience. I know that the school is quite limited in actions due to district rules - but from my friends voicing experiences their children have had, I do think this is an area the school could improve upon.
I must also disagree with those reviewers in regards to the PTA and cliques. Being a PTA member since day one (I'm going on 5 years at this school), I have never felt left out or not welcome. My observation is that it is the same people that step up to help all of the time, hence making it look like there is a clique. It's not - it's just looks that way when the same people are stepping up when no one else will. I am always surprised that out of a school of 550 students (=approx. 1100 parents) that we are begging for volunteers.
I am not sure it's the school who is leading the way in this. It is the extracurricular clubs, such as the PTA Virtues leaders, Kindness Club and Community Kids/Sparrow Club who really demonstrate and model these values.
They are tuned out and typically gravitate to the best kids in the classroom and the worst behaved kids in the classroom. Anyone slightly in between gifted and troubled will not get adequate enough time to reach their potential. I have spent over 20 hours so far this year in my son's classroom as a volunteer reader and observe a consistent pattern of this occurring and even with feedback, has not improved.
I don't think this school develops respect in its students. I think the kids that do have respectful characters are a result of the rare Medina parents that have instilled that and are likely looking to pull their kids from the school.
I don't feel the teachers feel it is their job to provide any coaching or feedback on developing compassion within the kids, which I agree with them to a certain point. It comes down to the parents which I have found really are as uncommitted to it as I've ever seen any community. As such what manifests from that is this uncontrollable bullying, a lack of commitment to studying and addiction to electronic devices.
Go observe the playground as a sample. In the classroom, teachers are tuned out and uncommitted to making a real impact, academically or characteristically. Comes down to which parents will spend the most to get the after school tutoring sessions at Russian School of Math, Kumon or god forbid Sylvan.
The bullying situation at this school is out of control. The principal, Beth Hamilton, refuses to deal with the situation. I am speaking on behalf of my child as well as on the behalf of other children and parents who are suffering through this. It is laughable that the school just held a "Unity Day" to combat bullying by wearing orange. The principal is very close to losing control of this school by refusing to lead and address this issue. Beth Hamilton - DO something. Stop "handling" us parents and DEAL with the problem!
If you are a super rich family who has never stepped out of Medina and neither have the desire to know that there is another city beyond that, then this is the school for you. As other reviewers have said, this school is run by PTA. Bullying is common and the front staff is rude. Principal has no interest in the well being of kids unless they belong to the PTA. Life is a race and in this school it starts way too early. This school did a lot of damage to my son emotionally but still I have to say that one of his teachers was fantastic and he still respect her a lot.
I have two children attending Medina Elementary. One in the gifted program and one with ADHD requiring an IEP. In our years there, the teachers have continuously worked to address each of my kids' needs, always working to meet them on their level, firming their foundation. Not enough can be said about the dedication of Beth Hamilton, the tireless principal that seems to know the status of every student under roof at Medina Elementary. There is a group of elitist PTA mothers, past-, current- and almost Presidents that sadly seem to have too much time on their hands. We all wish they'd commit their considerable resources to being more of a solution than generating fictional problems, stop the complaining and the endless back-biting. Bullying? While we all agree on zero tolerance for such activity, parents with an over-developed sense of entitlement tend to raise entitled kids. There is a truly exceptional group of educators and administrators that put a tremendous amount of energy into making Medina Elementary live up to its stellar reputation. One significant improvement would be if someone would sod the playing field. Roll out some sod, save a knee! Go Tigers!
I 100% agree with the parents who wrote about their child being bullied. The playground is a Lord of the Flies situation. Don't let the high test scores for you: large percentage of the children have tutors or attend Kumon. The school does not offer anything to stimulate and challenge higher achieving children. Likewise, not enough is done to help those kids who are struggling. If your child is middle-of-the-pack academically and is ready to fight on the playground, he or she may be ok here. The school does not instill the virtues that it often gives lip-service to. The strongest part of the school is the parent community.