I got bullied almost every day. I have been left with problems that will require several counseling sessions to overcome. No, this school does NOT develop compassion, caring, or empathy in its students. Just entitlement and arrogance.
The students are all upper middle class jerks and none of them have any manners to speak of, and are taught that they'll do fine on mommy's/daddy's money and economic boost for the rest of their lives.
As a student, I was consistently bullied by entitled white students for multiple things that I couldn't change (race, height, etc). Teachers were not helpful and I wouldn't get any help on topics I missed when I was in Enrichment class.
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.