We had concerns going in based on the mixed reviews from other sources online, but as a Kindergarten parent, we couldn't be more pleased. We really enjoy the multi-cultural element of the school (29 different languages spoken by the student body) as part of a well-rounded life education. My daughters gets great attention as there are only 20 kids in her class (and a student teacher assistant!) We've had no real issues with bullies, her reading, math and social skills have all taken off, and we all have an excellent relationship with her teacher and staff. They teach a lot of empathy as part of their social studies as well, and how to communicate their feelings. Overall, I've been nothing but impressed as college educated parents wanting the best for our daughter.
We have loved having our daughter at B-T and can't wait for our son to start kindergarten there next year. The staff is friendly and keep the students as their top priority. We have loved being able to have play dates in the neighborhood. Programs like Ruler for students to monitor their feelings and anti-bullying focus has been really been a positive way to get the students involved in their learning. A new playground is under construction thanks to the amazing PTA and we can't wait to see how it turns out. The diversity, different learning styles have all been bonus elements for our daughter to learn more about the world.
I've had two children in this school, one for just two years and the other for six. Our experience has been very good! B-T is a large, culturally diverse school, with students from literally dozens of other countries, and to me that's a big plus, because my kids have some concept that not everyone in the world is exactly like them. When one of my children needed extra help, the teachers and counselors were great about working with us to make an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that fit her needs and that challenged her to grow. They've been very supportive this whole time; I've always felt my challenging child was in good hands. The young male teachers at B-T are especially wonderful -- when I was growing up, all elementary school teachers were women, and it's just so wonderful to see that gender barrier getting broken. (It's especially great for young boys who can relate better to a male teacher.)
The theater program is pretty advanced for a K-8 school, and even young students can participate. AND, there's still a music program! My student participated in "Discover Dance" one year, and last year worked with a visiting artist!
We have really enjoyed our combined 8 years at B-T, and I will miss it next year!
If I had criticisms of B-T, they would include:
(1) Large school gatherings can be VERY chaotic -- they need a logistics person to arrange all the details! (Although, to be fair, that's improved in the past year.)
(2) In first grade, our other child was very advanced in reading -- so advanced that the teacher didn't really spend any time on her, since she didn't need it! The teacher was busy trying to get the non-native English speakers up to grade level, which totally makes sense.
(3) The difficulty of administering the same uniform education across so many cultures and languages. It really is so much easier when all the families are similar -- BUT, that sort of background has a huge price. I'm happy my kids know how to get along with all sorts of people. To me, that's a feature, not a drawback, especially in the elementary years before schoolwork gets intense.
(4) Two of the teachers -- both older -- seemed to be just "putting in their time" before retirement. I expect they will both be much happier once they reach that magic threshold. But, those two are balanced by all the young, enthusiastic teachers and counselors we've worked with.
I have two daughters at Broadview-Thomson K-8, a third grader and a first grader. Both girls have attended since kindergarten. They have had wonderful teachers in all classes who have challenged my kids and encouraged them (and me as a parent) to reach higher and do better. On the occasions when we have had trouble (kid-to-kid interaction, need for greater academic challenges, etc.), I found the principal, teachers, and counselor to be responsive and very helpful. I am thrilled that my kids get to attend a richly diverse school (36 languages spoken at home!), with teachers winning awards on a national level (this year Mrs. Brown was selected as a U.S. Department of Education Great Educator). BTK8 was named a 2015 School of Distinction (awarded to schools showing sustained improvement in reading/ELA and math, over a 5-year period). I love the arts enrichment at our school; my kids danced in Discover Dance with PNB, and my older daughter played the recorder with the Seattle Symphony and recited her poem (written during the Writers In The Schools program) at Benaroya Hall.
My oldest daughter started kindergarten at BTK8 in 2010. Since day 1 we have had an extremely positive experience. She is currently coming to the end of her 5th grade year and we have decided that she will continue at Broadview for Middle School as I am convinced that the quality of the education she will receive in this smaller environment will be far superior (academically speaking) to Whitman. She is not in the Spectrum program but is still able to "walk to math." This means that as a 5th grader she has been learning 6th grade math all year. She will now go into 6th grade working a full grade level ahead. Something that I don't think is possible at a K-5 school. Big advantage to a K-8! Our youngest daughter also attends BT and is currently in 3rd grade. Her experience has also been very positive but very different as she is not as academically inclined as her sister. She has been diagnosed with ADD and the teachers and staff have done a spectacular job of working within her 504 plan.
Our family has been really involved with the PTA since the beginning. We love the diversity that exists in this school (over 36 languages spoken!) but recognize that cultural differences are sometimes a barrier to parent involvement. I agree with another reviewer that if more Broadview area families actually gave this school a chance than the overall community would be much stronger. Don't use test scores as your defining factor, if your native language was Amharic you may find it difficult to take a standardized test in English too! Take into consideration that we were named a 2015 School of Distinction! Heck, Mrs. Brown (6th grade teacher) was just selected as a US Department of Education Great Educator. She was even honored at the White House! Tour the school, talk to families that attend, give it a chance. Broadview-Thomson really is a great school and should be rated much higher than a 6!
Don't listen to all the other reviews!! AND don't judge a book by its cover!! If you didn't notice there is not a single review for this school in 5 years!!! New principle (Sammons) is wonderful and so is this school! They have a hugely diverse population and do wonders with underprivileged kids. Our daughter has attended Kindergarten here and she has flourished in the school with a greater understanding of different cultures and people. The class size is tiny,16 students in her class with one teacher and 2 TA's. Too many times I meet neighbors in our neighborhood that don't attend Broadview Thomson as their reference school and go to another school or private school. It is so unfortunate that people don't give it a chance and base their opinions on what others have said years ago. No wonder Seattle is lacking in community and has bad public school image. If people attended their neighborhood schools more think of all of the resources it would draw from and how it could improve. AND the PTA is really casual downhome and does amazing things for these kids!
My children attend this school, and I just love what it has to offer. For the little ones (first grade - 5th) Spanish and science enrichment before school, art, music, and a huge anti-bullying curriculum push, K - 8. Onsite before and after school care, and a dance program with the PNB, artist in residence, and really amazing PTA. Upper grades have too much to mention in a little review (National Junior Honor Society, Japanese--they went to Japan last summer, high school math, three computer labs, winning sports teams, I could go on). The staff are caring, smart professionals overall, and I've been incredibly satisfied with the rigor of the Spectrum classes as well as the individual attention my children receive in their instruction. Class size is 22 - 24 and the principal is on the ball and responsive. My only criticism is small: no grass play areas. But they make up for it in play structures reserved for primary and upper grades. They have a separate kindergarten play area so there is a comfortable place to go at recess when they want to get away from the "big kids." I'd come visit if I were you. It's a hidden, diverse gem! There are over 36 languages spoken there!
My child is finishing 2nd grade right now and has attended Broadview Thomson since Kindergarten. To sum up our feelings about BT, we are applying for a transfer to another school. I have personally sent the principal several emails about the issues my child has had throughout the year with her teacher, about bullying incidents, and about the teacher s indifference to the incidents, and have never received a response. The only time he responded to me was when I bought the school several new books for the library. I was told that he would be attending a meeting with himself and the 2nd grade Administrator, yet he failed to show up to the meeting. This level of unprofessionalism has unfortunately become more frequent in my interactions with the school. There are several standout employees and teachers, but the overall problems at the school outweigh the positive aspects. This school has a bullying and behavior problem, period, and the administration seems to be largely in denial about this.
I went here for 1st through 5th grade and absolutely hated it. Once, somebody punched me for no particular reason, so I told the teacher, but she said that it was not her problem and I got in trouble for "tattling". Do not send your children to this school unless you want them to be miserable.