A wonderful community feel, many active families, a love for the arts, and a drive for academic excellence are well balanced at this school. Learning is fun with reading nights, international celebrations, science fairs, Math adventures, take action clubs, an outstanding drama/choir program, and so much more. The staff is communicative, caring, and motivating. It is a full school, but they manage it well.
Rosa Parks continues to be significantly over crowded. 700 students are expected to attend in 2014-2015 in the school built for 480. Classes are huge. Many are 28-30+ students. Due to overcrowding, PE classes are doubled, meaning 60 students in the small elementary gym. Recess is overwhelmingly chaotic. Most students eat lunch in their classrooms. The school tests well due to high SES of the parents in the neighborhood and not necessarily the result of effective teachers.
My daughter started going to this school in the middle of the school year. She used to go to a low ranking school in Bellevue. I was scared if she will be able to catch up. Also, my fear was how the class teacher would work with her since she was joining in the middle of the year. To my surprise, the teacher not only embraced her well but also worked with my daughter as if she joined in the beginning of the school year. Also, my daughter started to love the school as she is getting the work for her caliber. There has not been a day when I've seen her not excited. I really appreciate the teachers and staff.
As a former student at this school, I can honestly say that Rosa Parks Elementary really is the best of the best when it comes to Public schools. The staff is friendly and helpful to everyone and they really care about the students here. The drama department is also fantastic. I came into the school as a very shy third grader the year it opened, and have now grown into a confident actress with good social skills. This school promotes good behavior that the students demonstrate every day. There is very minimal bully behavior because most of the students are really good kids. I cannot say enough about how great this school is, but if your child is having a hard time in their elementary school, please consider transferring here! :) I can almost assure you that they will love going to school and look forward to learning new things here!
Our sixth grader has been at Rosa Park since she started second grade (the year the school opened). We couldn't be happier with the school, especially since she was going to another school in the same district before Rosa Parks opened, and we can see the difference between a good school and a great school. The school puts an emphasis on the performing arts, which has helped our shy daughter develop into a confident, creative young woman. We often say that she is getting a private school education at a public school. We love Rosa Parks and will miss the school community when she moves on to junior high next year.
Having paid for private education for my daughters for several years, as well as home-schooled one of them for 2 1/2 years, I have very high expectations from teachers, schools, and staff. Rosa Parks is the best! The teachers and staff are incredibly dedicated, and teach the students to 'think outside the box'. The school has a very strong arts program. Rosa Parks Elementary is the proof that going to school can be a whole lot of fun! The principal and teachers love what they do, and it shows!
Some of the previous reviews are based on some false information. The Boys and Girls Club has always been on site and will continue to be supported by the principal as a necessary component to the community. The idea that the school is far down the list for portables is clearly false as the school now has 2 portables adding an additional 4 classrooms to the school and even more space for the Boys & Girls Club. The office staff is extremely warm and competent in all situations I have witnessed, which isn't always easy given the diversity in the community in language alone. The staff always adheres to the philosophy of 'work hard, play nice' and it is evident in the level of school work displayed throughout the school and in the Courage Assemblies led by the principal. This is a school with heart and brains.
I think the 'growing pains' that other reviewers cited are typical of most schools in the Lake Washington district. The school is seeking to accomodate a growing student body amidst budget cuts. The loss of the Quest program was unfortunate but the Boys and Girls Club is still on site. My daughter has been at Rosa Parks for three years and has had absolute top-notch teachers every year. My son is in his first year at the school and I have noticed a definite lack of parental involvement compared to my daughter's classes. Hopefully, this is just an oddity with this particular class and not a sign that the neighborhood (and school) is changing.
With the school at capacity in it's 3rd year, Rosa Parks has already lost some of it's unique qualities and 'vision'. The Boys & Girls Club has left and so has the Quest program. RP is years down on the wait list for portable classrooms and the multi-purpose field has sat marked as unsafe for nearly 3 years. There is a substantial wait list for all day kindergarten with no expansion on the table. Volunteers are lacking and the consistent parents who do get stretched thinner each month. The teachers are very capable and loving and we'll see if leadership improves over this next year. The PTSA does provide good after school activities but is also going through growing pains. They are a great bunch. Between Redmond Ridge and now Redmond Ridge East barely developed it is questionable how the jam packed school will accomodate these family owned homes.