My family moved to Olympia from Oregon and moved in with my parents who live a block away from Madison. The school has many benefits for families including before and after school care, great enrichment programs, and a great staff. The children are well behaved. My daughter has had two good teachers at Madison and we have no doubt her new teacher will be just as good. The Food Cart and Gardens are a great resource for the school. My daughter can t wait for the Food Cart and the monthly cooking lessons. Last year she really enjoyed the radish milk shake! The principal is very nice and is liked by the parents and children. On days he is not at school the children miss him. (My daughter came home in tears one day because, Mr. DSK wasn t at school today! ) He has made a positive impact on the school since his arrival last year. The new teachers he has hired are excellent. Madison is lucky to have this new principal.
My son has been at Madison since preschool. He is now in 5th grade. Madison has been amazing for him as a student and for me as a parent. I have seen the school improve in many ways. His teachers have been top notch. The sense of community at Madison is like nothing I have ever experienced anywhere. The teachers, parents and even the neighbors are all incredibly focused on making Madison one of the best elementary schools in Olympia. I have found the new principal and counselor supportive and responsive to student and parent needs. Teachers have responded to my phone calls and emails quickly. There is a good balance between enrichment like the garden or art, and the academics. Thanks to the new principal Stop and Think and the A Team have been replaced with PBS. My son likes the new PBS program and says that his friends like it too. I have been very pleased with Madison and so has my son. We will leave with many good memories and friends.
Madison is AMAZING. All three of our children have attended Madison. The past two years with the new principal have been the best. The teachers are wonderful. The principal really is approachable and a good listener. My children s teachers send regular updates of their work and will meet with me if I have questions. The school atmosphere is positive and friendly. My children are very happy at Madison and enjoy learning. The school offers after school programs like chess club and art. Children are stewards of the Vegetable Garden and grow food and donate it to the food bank. Class sizes are relatively small, but now that Madison is the school of choice with many parents, the school is getting a little bigger. The children know each other and the teachers know all the children by name. Madison does a good job with academics too. Last year my son s 5th grade class had the second highest MSP Reading result in the district. My daughter s 4th grade had the highest result for MSP Writing. Madison scored higher than many of the elite schools in the school district! I agree with other parents who say Madison should have a full time principal.
Madison school is beyond words. The teachers interact positively with students and parents. School programs support student learning. Our son loves it there. In his previous school he learned how to knit and weed flower beds, but all this fun was at the expense of academic learning. At Madison he has really started to enjoy learning. He now loves to read and write stories and is exceling at math. The principal is very involved. You usually see him walking around the school interacting with parents and students. My son really likes the principal. The principal seems to know the children well. He will phone parents if he sees their child not being themselves. As parents we have appreciated his caring for the children. Our experience with each of our son's teachers has been very positive. All teachers we have known are kind, caring, and have communicated well with us. There are opportunities for parent volunteering. The PTO is not aggressive in its fund raising or recruitment. Teacher helpers are not mean. Some of them stay after school to teach art classes. Except for the principal being only half time, Madison is pretty much as perfect as you can get with a public school in Olympia.
Madison is everything a great school should be. It is small, has a garden, staff is friendly, and students are kind to each other. The teachers and principal know all the students by name. We have had no problems at Madison. Our son is happy and has many friends. We are impressed with the teachers and programs. Some of our friends have tried to get their children into Madison, but there can be a waiting list. This is our neighborhood school and our son will have a space at Madison through 5th grade. The new principal is from England. His name is Mr. Spatola-Knoll. He also goes by Mr. DSK. He is kind to the children and has made the school friendly and welcoming for families. As others have already said, the school district has given him two jobs. He is only at Madison only half time. Madison has had a high turnover of teachers and principals because of this. Parents are concerned Mr. DSK will leave Madison for a full time job at a different school. This would be a big loss for Madison and for the neighborhood. Some parents will be asking the school board and superintendent to give Madison a full time principal. If you are Madison parent you too should ask!
Pros * After school enrichment classes. (Art, Choir, Drama, etc.) * Computers and iPads in all classrooms * Cute building * Emphasis on safety. (ID s checked, single door entry into school, adult crossing guard, etc.) * Good communication from school (Email, newsletters, etc.) * Monthly assemblies * Organic Food Cart with Chef! * Organics/Recycling program * Parent volunteering * Positive atmosphere in the building * Principal is visible and interacts positively with students * School gardens for students (Vegetable and Native Plants) * Small school * Strong sense of community * Student discipline handled respectfully * Teachers & Aides are kind * Teachers and principal know all the children by name * All the advantages of an alternative school except volunteering is optional, and your child WILL learn how to read Cons * Parking is limited (Arrive early for school events!) * Can t enter the school from Legion Way. It s a long walk if you have to park in the street. * No Passport program * Principal is only part time * Some district programs are placed at Madison at the expense of classroom space
Based on the recommendation of friends who live in Olympia we rented a home near Madison. Before moving we left the principal a VM. He responded the next day. He made us feel comfortable with our choice and encouraged us to contact him again if we had more questions. We have been at Madison a year and still find him approachable and helpful. We agree with other parents who feel Madison should have a full time principal. There is a growing concern that this principal will soon leave Madison to get a full time position at another school. This would a great loss to the Madison community. Teachers, aides, and office staff are kind and friendly. Our daughter improved in reading and math with the help of her fourth grade teacher, Ms. Starr. The school has a novel way of encouraging children to use cursive. Those who complete a Cursive Packet are given a free ink pen by the principal who also teaches them how to fill and use the ink pen! Our daughter received her ink pen in January and has been using her ink pen every day. We have been very pleased with Madison. We are glad we moved into the neighborhood and made Madison the school of choice for our children.
Madison is a very good school. Many families rank it way above any other school in the district, especially those alternative learn how to feed chickens schools. My son is very happy at Madison. He can read, is above grade level in math, and has lots of friends. The teachers and principal are outstanding. There are many fun programs for kids at Madison such as the Garden, Drama, Chess, Choir, Comic Club, Robotics, and Art. There are monthly assemblies with stories and songs. The principal handles student discipline respectfully. Students feel comfortable approaching him with their problems or concerns. Parents find the principal positive and approachable. We know cares about the school and the children. I agree with the previous poster. Madison should have a full time principal. Don t be put off by the overall Great Schools rating. It uses only state test scores and does not include parent ratings. Madison is a small school, so just one student absent on test day and another opting out of state tests will bring down the school's overall scores by up to 10%! (In each case the student gets a zero , and so does the school.) Enroll your child at Madison today. You won t regret it!
Madison is a fabulous school. The principal Mr. DSK makes learning fun. The teachers interact with parents, the school has a great playground and garden. There are many parent volunteers and a active PTO. Anyone who tells you am Madison isn't a high performing school hasn't been there recently. Believe me I am one of those picky parents, was planning on putting my son in private school until I went to the Madison open house. It'd like a private school, very small 200 or less kids for pre-k thru 5th and the office staff literally knows every child's name! Free all day kindergarten very every in district child. Fun reading, music and art programs too. Don't listen to those who tell you to enroll at Lincoln or ORLA. Check Madison out for yourself. You want want to enroll anyplace else!
Madison is an EXCELLENT school! Our children had attended another (more affluent) school in the district. Because of lack of space we were told to return to Madison. At first we were very upset, but we soon got over it. Our children were quickly embraced by Madison staff and students. We felt welcome and at home right away. Our youngest son started at Madison a non-reader, but is now reading ABOVE grade level. He also loves to read just for fun! The end of year assembly was wonderful. The children were well behaved, respectful, and sang beautifully while the school principal, Mr. Spatola-Knoll, played guitar. The principal and teachers also recognized the children for their accomplishments and families for their support over the year. (He was SO funny!) The children LOVE the principal, and you can see he enjoys his work. But the district has him working only half time! It would be AMAZING to have him there full time. (I have asked the district to get Mr. Spatola-Knoll at Madison full time, but haven t heard back.) Forget anything negative you might have heard about Madison and get your child enrolled right away! (And tell the district you want Mr. DSK to be a full time principal!)
After trying the ORLA programs for kindergarten and seriously considering Lincoln Options, we decided from a sense of obligation and commitment to public neighborhood schools to enroll our boys at Madison. Our experience there has been so much better than we hoped and we are all very happy with the choice. Mr. DSK (the principal) is a committed educator and a jolly presence for the children, the staff is a mixture of older experienced teachers and younger enthusiastic new teachers. There is a very dedicated group of parent volunteers and the PTO is active. The student body is ethnically, racially and socially diverse (a rarity in the olympia school district) and my boys love being a part of it. I only see this school improving in the future and our family is very excited to be a part of that going forward!
This school is AMAZING! The staff are a pleasure to work with and care a great deal about each and every child. This was my first year working at the school and I it was impressive to see how all of the staff (principal, admin, custodial, teachers ... I mean everyone) pull together to meet the needs of each child. This school rocks!
When we were looking for a school for our son we were told by friends to get him into one of the district s alternative programs or to home-school. Whatever you do, they said, don t put your boy in that school. But Madison was so conveniently located to where we were living. It was also our neighborhood school. We felt guilty abandoning our neighborhood. It just didn t seem right, so my husband and I decided to meet the principal and make up our own minds about Madison. The new principal (Mr. DSK) met with us right away. He was very patient answering our questions. He also gave us a tour of the school. The children and staff we saw were friendly and happy. We had also been told that Madison was messy, but the building and hallways looked clean and tidy. We decided to enroll our son and haven t looked back. He has lots of friends, enjoys going to school, and his reading is improving. He enjoys recess and the garden, and says a chef comes into the classroom to cook meals for the class! We will have a kindergartner next year and we will place him in Mrs. R s full day kindergarten class.
we love this school and the teachers. my son is very happy there. and they have great teaching methods.
We have had a good experience at Madison -- two benchmarks I use: a) does my student look forward to school and b) does my student continue to enjoy learning? The answer has consistently been yes for over three years now. That speaks volumes to me.
All schools in Olympia School District are high performing. This school stands out as a great neighborhood school with dedicated teachers and new principal leadership (as of fall 2013). Teachers are interested in student progress and parental input and involvement is welcome. The school has an outstanding garden program that is linked to classroom learning. Madison is a great reflection of the community we live in and I am proud to send my child here. My daughter learns so much about her world from all the perspectives that her classmates share with her. Parental involvement is growing as more families invest in their neighborhood school.
Madison's staff, involved parents, and community have made this a great place to receive a well rounded education. There's the readings groups, musical, garden and dedicated classroom teachers that enhance the learning experience. My two kids love it here, and I love it as a parent. Even the office staff knows each child's name. It truly is a great community school.
Madison has improved every year my son has attended - it keeps growing with better programs for students and families, more funding and parent support like the performing arts programs, art club, writing club, garden club, YCare before and afterschool (my son loves it there), small reading groups tailored to each child's need/level and plenty of educational activities around the garden/ environment. Schools are what you put into them...and the more parent support the stronger Madison gets.
I'm very surprised anyone would say this school is terrible. My daughter is now in high school but she spent her entire Preschool through 5th grade at Madison and she loved it. The students don't care for the Principal being she appears to talk down to them, but she talks to everyone like they are 6-years old. A new Principal starts in September and he is great. Expect this school to out perform others!
This school is terrible!! we moved and had to transfer from SouthBay Elementary. At SouthBay, the teachers respected each child and family free from judgement. Madison fails at making students and families welcome and unique. The principal is a joke! I don't know why she is there, if you have a problem she takes the teachers side no matter what. They are so concerned about looking like a good school that they have put the children and families aside. I have gone to the superintendents office twice now with nothing done. I wish I had another option because my kids would be gone!!
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