My son is a sophomore this year and he's had a great experience at Ballard in 9th and 10th grade. He has enjoyed almost all of his subjects and I have found his teachers to be very responsive to questions. The Maritime program and Mr. Foster are exceptional. The one time I had a question for his school counselor, she was great, too. I have seen no evidence of bullying and lots of school spirit!
Great teachers, horrible administration. The administrative personnel are true bureaucrats, education is secondary at best. I have found the principle and vice principal condescending, unresponsive to parent concerns, and completely incompetent in dealing with student issues.
ballard high school is the only school in seattl and king county that offers the martime program which is alot of fun. the teacher are mazing and are alway makingclass fun and easy to learn in.
Ballard is a great school. Excellent teachers and wonderful parent community. Even though it is a large high school - they have various programs that have tried to give it a smaller feel. Great sports programs and many good kids.
I am in the Ballard Maritime Achademy and it is the reason I go to school everyday. Teachers Mr. Foster and Mrs. Vogel are fun and inspiring. I love the opertunities the academy has given me and I know it will continue providing them. If a prospective Ballard student has any maritime background, the Ballard Maritime Academy is the best option for you.
Fantastic executive leadership - the principal/vice principals are largely alums, demonstrating the depth of commitment to the community. The school's foundation has raised $2 million over ten years - making ballard high school in seattle one of the most highly supported public schools in america. The school's video production program is rated as the #1 high school film school in america - graduates regularly go to the top film schools on both coasts. The biotechnology program has enormous support from industry and top universities in the region. The institute of finance regularly sends its graduates to wall street for elite internships with the top firms. The earl kelly performing arts center is a top flight drama program. The best thing is that students can be involved with all of these programs during their four years at ballard - the school is inclusive, open and diverse.
I am a student at Ballard in the biotech academy. I love it at this school, the academics are good. I know a few things that could be changed, but its still a good school. Our football team is not doing so well but, women's soccer is doing phenomenally with the new help of the freshman. The art program is pretty good quality, but I'm in art class and I don't like it because the teacher doesn't give you much 'breathing room' for creativity. You have to follow her rules. the music program sounds good and I like Mr.James the Music teacher, but the biotech LA class competes with the orchestra. I don't know much about parent involvement because I hardly ever see parents, but there are so many booster clubs I can only assume it's doing well. The school climate is very positive but it has its complications.
Ballard High School has a reputation of being a party school, but it is still one of the best public schools in the Seattle area. It is a very safe school and it has one of the best locations for a high school.
Ballard High School is excellent. It recently completed a 30 Million dollar renovation and is now widely recognized as one of the premier High Schools in Seattle. They have an excellent teaching faculty, excellent music and drama department, the sports program was the state championship in football (2 years ago) and the grounds are fantastic.
Ballard offers high quality programs taught by excellent teachers. The school is big, and can be impersonal, but parent involvement is exceptionally good.
As the parent of a Ballard High School student, I must say we've had our share of academic disappointments. My student is in Advanced Placement Language Arts. She has frequently felt bored and unchallenged (not to mention concerned about the number of substitute teachers she has endured). Another issue is the failure on the part of many teachers to provide feedback on assignments. My student takes the time and effort to do homework; the least the teachers could do is critique, grade and return the assignments! If your student is interested in becoming a solid writer or would like to pursue the arts, Ballard High is not the school to attend.
Ballard High is a great community in a great neighborhood and is improving academically but still not terribly rigorous. It's Seattle's most popular high school, a great building and a community where kids enjoy themselves. Academic opportunities for highly motivated kids are somewhat limited., though Ballard is sending a few graduates each year to selective colleges. There are AP courses in every department but they are not numerous. There have been some good principals lately (with one exception) so a lot of good faculty have been recruited. My sense is the math department is quite good; social studies and science have some great teachers and some not-so-good ones. It's a school where good students can get what they need, but average kids could get lost. (though that is probably true of a lot of high schools)
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