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Public district
Olympia, WA
Students enrolled: 355

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325 Plymouth St NW
Olympia, WA 98502

(360) 596-6900
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Map of Garfield Elementary School address.

April 21, 2014
After a great start at Garfield with a phenom kinder teacher, I couldn't have been happier for my child to attend Garfield. The honeymoon was over and problems started. I felt so in the dark while my daughter attended 1st- and part of 2nd grade at Garfield. A common theme I recognized not only from my daughter's experience there, but from other parents is that there were so many concerning student/student & student/teacher interactions that just got swept under the rug. My daughter was pulled in the counselors office to be questioned about another child's alleged sexually explicit language in class and I was never contacted. The icing on the cake was my child's entire 1st grade year she was told by her teacher that she had "reading difficulties". I insisted that there was a disconnect somewhere because if anything my child was an ADVANCED reader. Teacher persisted, didn't listen to me, even wanted her to take a summer reading program for struggling students. We transferred to Griffin and not surprisingly my child was placed in an advanced reading group. Staff don't take parents seriously and concerns are minimized. Tara Mock, kinder, is the best thing about that school.

- submitted by a parent

August 19, 2012
i remember the days back in the 80s when this school was filled with fun adventure and lots to learn helpful teachrs and a pricipal that would have fun with students... but i see times have changed..

- submitted by a community member

July 10, 2011
I had my daughter enrolled in this school and within a month I had to pull her back out due to her 3rd grade teacher not being a good teacher. The teacher was not able to explain things to me about my daughters school work or the school work of his classroom. He was rude to both me and my husband and treated my daughter rudely also. I also witnessed him being mean to other students and not understanding of why the child was upset. My child loved going to school and always looked forward to going until I enrolled her in this school and got that horrible teacher. I had to build up her confidence level due to this bad rude teacher

- submitted by a parent

March 12, 2011
We are in our second year at Garfield and my daughter loves her second grade class! She's had the benefit of looping with the same teacher and class, and has made great progress in her reading and writing. I value the diversity in the classroom and the strong teacher that she has. Garfield also has a great many energetic volunteers and interns through partnerships with the local colleges - they've done some great afterschool programs and provided extra help in the classroom.

- submitted by a parent

November 05, 2010
Garfield elementary is a poorly run school. The teachers and staff are disrespectful to the students, volunteers, and other staff. Teachers seem to regard little value in the students as people. The academics are mediocre. The principal does not show strong leadership, and seems to be apathetic about what happens in the school. Though there are a few good teachers, overall, they seem to lack respect and often gossip about the students with other teachers.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
October 08, 2010
I'm a proud parent of a new kindergartner and this school has been wonderful!

- submitted by a parent

September 29, 2010
From what I have observed during my daughter's kindergarten and first grade year, Garfield is an excellent school. I do not know the principal very well yet but he appears friendly and my daughter likes him. He speaks calmly with students who are misbehaving. My daughter's teacher Mrs. Sheafe is amazing and thankfully my daughter has had her two years in a row due to the school looping teachers up through grades. I do not know if the parental involvement is higher than average as my daughter is my oldest, but from what I have seen, numerous parents are very involved and even teach optional after-school enrichment programs.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
November 03, 2009
Garfield is a wonderful school with caring teachers and staff, it's a great community to be a part of!

- submitted by a parent

September 29, 2008
This school has some big work to do with its neighborhood community. Its not a one size fits all neighborhood yet you wouldn't know it by they way its run.

- submitted by a parent

September 28, 2008
Over the las three years the community feel to this school has diminished which is sad. I can no longer recommend it as better than the others nearby because of that. The message to parents:'You're family here (principal's slogan) and stay out of our way and let us do our jobs...' Lets just say, its an okay school, has some great teachers and its not really a 'community.' Sad truth.

- submitted by a parent

September 28, 2008
I'm sad this school has lost vast community involvement over the past few years. The garden has no life or help, GRUB dropped plans to partner, the auction dwindled to nothing, GELO disappeared, no foreign language help, the comm'ty energy is gone & discouraged by the principal's inaction.

- submitted by a parent

August 23, 2008
Great school-- love the after school fun offerings and the half-day art things that used to happen- Only drawback is the open reputation it used to have for a cohesive and welcome community has changed the past couple years-- very, very good teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
July 26, 2007
Oh, this school is heaven. What great teachers they have. They start out from kindergarden and throw a big party for the fifth graders at the end. This school is the best elementary ever!

- submitted by a parent

February 21, 2007
If you love your children, do send them to Garfield! It is an excellent school which stresses academics and physical and emotional health and respect for others. If I have any complaints at all about Garfield, they have to do with some of the parents who do not bother to teach their children about being respectful to others. I see this every day in the parents who drive in a reckless manner, speed in school zones, drop their kids off on the wrong side of the street and allow them to cross in front of traffic. The principal and the teachers can only do so much. Molding our children in to learned and decent human beings begins with the parents.

- submitted by a parent

February 10, 2007
The extracurricular activities that others spoke of are an amazing service provided by parents and really have little do with the school and absolutely nothing with the classroom. Yes the teachers are nice but it seems to make little difference. It is still a school where children are bored to tears, loaded down with homework, and stressed out. My son would beg not to have to go to school. Since switching to a different school he doesn't even want to stay home on a snow day. If you love your children's spirits don't send them there!

- submitted by a parent

March 30, 2006
excellent extracurricular activities, outstanding parent involvement, superior teaching staff

- submitted by a parent

January 03, 2006
This school is wonderful. The staff has been great to all students. They really take care of their students and listen to each one. The academics they teach are the best.

- submitted by a parent

July 09, 2005
My first-grader feels comfortable here, and looks forward to going to school everyday. She will have the same teacher for both first and second grade, which gives us the added benefit of getting to know her teacher and classmates better, and gives her the chance to adjust and thrive in a familiar, supportive learning environment where her teacher understands her as an invidual. I have been amazed by the level of reading, writing and math she has achieved this past year, and am impressed by the amount of participation and group cooperation that goes on in the classroom. Our principal compses a cover letter for the seasonal newsletter, and his points are always well worth reading and thinking over. The kids love him, and he greets both students and parents alike with a wave of recognition.

- submitted by a parent

January 04, 2005
Garfield is an excellent school! It provides a warm environment and encourages students to achieve to their highest ability!

- submitted by a parent

September 12, 2004
Garfield has a group of excellent teachers and a generally supportive administrative staff. It suffers from substantial overcrowding in classrooms. There were ways that the school could have alleviated the stress on both teachers and students in the fourth grade in the 2003-2004 school year. The school chose to put three classrooms full of 28-29 students each with one teacher each, as opposed to overloading one class and adding an educational assistant or second teacher. They did attempt to alleviate the stress in the classrooms by pulling small groups of children out into the pods for reading, math, etc.

- submitted by a parent

September 03, 2004
Garfield is a wonderful school. I have 3 children attending this year. We have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the staff since we moved to Olympia in 2000. Not only are they very professional and do their job well, they are compassionate about the kids individually. Mr. Walton, teachers, office staff, the learning environment, and the encouragement of essiential lifeskills are excellent. As my oldest moves on to middle school next year, I look forward to bringing my youngest in to join the Garfield family. -Lisa-Marie Lewis

- submitted by a parent

August 30, 2004
I think Garfield is one of the best elementary schools. My daughter went to this school for two years and my two younger children have been attending this school for four years. The teachers are excellent. The children are treated well. The communication between the school staffs and the parents are very good. Our family appreciate the efforts from the Principal and the Teachers.

- submitted by a parent

August 24, 2004
My child has attended Garfield for several years and I am very disappointed. The amount of time that the students spend on the play ground area is ridiculas to me! I evaluated my child's instructor and found him reading to a small group, while another few where asleep, and another few where chattering If the children just completed one of several recess periods, why is there napping and social time going on when there should be instruction? The homework has no instructions, and it is made so complicated that I can not offer help sometimes to my child. If I explain it the way I learned, regardless to if it is more understandable, it is marked wrong- all the time! I have went back over graded work and found many errors. Lastly, I hate my child being yelled at, follow the rules you teach! Grade: F

- submitted by a parent

October 21, 2003
Excellent staff. Principle McDonald is simply outstanding to work with. We're very pleased with Roosevelt.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: December 15, 2014

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Garfield Elementary School
325 Plymouth St NW, Olympia, WA  98502
(360) 596-6900
Last modified Garfield Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Garfield Elementary School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 25 reviews. Top