This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Lincoln Elementary School1
Posted March 29, 2015
- a parent
The school's mission statement does not match what they actually teach. They do not work with student's who need extra help, they do not follow up on problems, they ignore bullying, the biggest problem is there is a serious lack of teacher communication to families. Pretty much everything that they said they were at enrollment they completely failed to follow through on. I have heard the same complaints from many others. They claim they are about community, but I guess that's only if they invite you in and accept you in their community. Their focus needs to be put on the children and helping them to succeed and feel comfortable there. The only thing that we liked about the school in the end was the garden.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a family more liberal and "hippy" than ours - perfect candidates for Lincoln, right? After two years we've had enough of this fake "holistic educational environment". The staff is judgmental, unprofessional, and have zero respect for family's privacy. If you are deemed worthy you'll be treated with "kindness" if not...good luck. Parents are also judgmental and not very friendly unless you've got something they want. I've heard other schools in the neighborhood are much friendlier. I was feeling heartbroken about leaving Lincoln until I reminded myself that their culture of love and kindness was a facade. I wouldn't recommend this school to anyone
The parent who wrote that IEPs are not implemented was spot-on. The SLP never delivered specified speech services, complained to us about other students and families by name, was pushy and pedantic, and twice offered to drive our child places (not school activities). Creepy! A parent even contacted us to express concern about how the SLP behaved with our child. The principal seems responsive when you share concerns but never follows through. We really didn't want to remove our child from familiar surroundings and friends, but finally decided that it would be best. Our child has had a very nice school year out of the area, and we wish that we'd never taken a chance on Lincoln. Other families we know that also left but remained in OSD say they've had better experiences at Roosevelt, ORLA, and Hansen. Hope this helps, and best of luck with your search.
I have two children at Lincoln and we have been there for 4 years. This school has been a perfect fit for our family. Students are given freedom to make choices, are encouraged to think critically, learn how to work collaboratively, and are cared for by the teachers and staff. Don't let test scores fool you - the MSP doesn't assess critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, empathy, or kindness. We have been very happy with the teaching at Lincoln - my children are learning to be curious, ask questions, take risks, and to not be afraid to make mistakes. I think Lincoln helps students learn to think for themselves rather than sit and listen to a teacher tell them how to think. Students learn to make choices based on what is good for their community, not because a teacher tells them what to do or not do.
We totally bought into the utopian vision for the school, the lovely garden, chickens, parent-involved school, hands on learning, the assemblies, special events. We thought my child would be allowed to excel, but it seems that is limited at Lincoln and greater at the "regular" schools. We put in our volunteering, but many parents did not. The time in the "wetland" is very limited - described by my child as a stinky place. The school currently has a problem with bullying on the bus and playground. Many families have left because of this.
Lincoln was a transformational school for me. I attended in 1990's, and it inspired me to be the creative and successful person I am today. The classroom experience was fluid, the teacher capitalized on so many "teachable" moments and did a fantastic job of unlocking each child's curiosity about learning. While there were a few gaps in my knowledge base going into middle school, the thirst for knowledge that Lincoln imbued in me allowed me to swiftly catch up. You can teach the facts, but Lincoln teaches you an approach to education.
While the teachers are very loving to the students, the academic push is just not there. If you are already planning on a home schooling program, Lincoln is a great way to develop good social and communication skills for your child but I would not use it as the sole educational toolset for a budding mind.
When my child started at Lincoln 5 years ago it was a good program with great leadership. After a regime change things have slipped and now your childs experience depends greatly on luck of the draw with teachers. It's a good premise teaching community values and a sense of public and personal responsibility, however the teaching of organization and prepping the kids for success in a non-alternative middle school is severely lacking. My child is entering the 5th grade this year and I am currently searching for a new school. Over the last 5 years many other parents I have spoken with are also disillusioned. If your child has an IEP it is your responsibility to follow up on everything, there is a lot of talk with no action or follow through. Sorry to say but currently if I were looking for a school to start my childs education it would not be Lincoln.
It all depends on the teacher in this school. Many seem to struggle with setting boundaries for the children and their classroom management is poor. It is as if they think that setting classroom rules and sticking to them is oppressive. They should attend a Love and Logic training. There are a few teachers (but 2 of the good ones just retired) who can manage their classrooms effectively and teach incredibly engaging, thematic curricula, but others are a mess and the principal doesn't seem to be able to do anything to remedy it.
This school is an amazing school that emphasizes learning to think over teaching to the standardized tests. Whether your child has special needs or not, the school does its best to meet each and every child's needs. If your child is a round peg and is having trouble fitting into the square hole at Pioneer or one of the other schools in Olympia School District, then Lincoln is the school for your child. I am very greatful that the school district had such a wonderful alternative program for my "round peg" child! I can't say enough good things about the principal, the school counselor, the speech and language therapist, the classroom teachers, and the science teacher - they are all wonderful and very committed to helping the children become the best students that they can be. I would definitely recommend sending any child to this school.