The open classroom concept in the kindergarten does not seem to be a good model. There are so many kids that there is practically no one on one attention, it is chaotic and the children often seem lost. i.e. One kid might be still looking for his lunch, which he can't remember where he put it among the coats and back packs and the rest of the class is leaving for lunch. Often, no one even notices that he's still looking and the class leaves. I noticed that kids primarily read to themselves and not in any kind of reading group. I think it would be very easy for one child to totally get left behind (mentally) and no one would really notice. Perhaps they need a LOT of parent volunteers.
Chaotic and rundown with poor communication from teacher(s). Our experience was that if you have the slightest outburst you are targeted as a bad student and you will get phone calls, asked to pick up your child or suspension. Overall our experience is that the Seattle schools are looking out for themselves and to make accommodations first and foremost, for themselves and not an individual student. We knew we hit a wall after speaking with the rep of Seattle schools special-ed in the region who called called students in one of the programs at the school the "r" word. Yes...it still happens.....and was appalling. If you have a student with any special needs, you have you to be their own advocate and I suggest you hit the ground running at the beginning of the year so your child and you have a voice.
The address previous posters:
RE: Chaos. GLES follows the MAGIC class structure system (Multi Age Grade Instruction Classroom, I believe!). This means there are multiple ages within 1 homeroom. You have the same teacher for: 1/2 - 2 years, 3/4/5-3 years. Kinder used to be 1 teacher/1 class until 2 yrs ago, when they adopted the responsive classroom approach (1 big classroom, homeroom groups per teacher. This is more in line with the MAGIC structure). The teachers voted on the MAGIC structure not too long ago, not because of the open floor plan.
The benefits of this system are huge. Teachers get to really know your children, and guide them through multiple years of learning progress. There is not lag time spent each year with getting to know your teacher/child. Also, for us, coming from a Montessori environment, was perfect.
Next, I just completed kindergarten myself and have never heard of this dark "consequence" room. There are side rooms that are used for break-out learning groups but I have never experienced a child being put into a dark room. This type of talk, seems extremely inflammatory and misleading. I have experienced the classroom discipline, which in my opinion, is fair and building towards making better decisions.
As a parent with 2 children, one with needs, I have found our experience at GLES overall to be a very positive one. It's a small community of parents who really care, with huge volunteerism. Our child has received all possible assistance to help in their academic and social career. Having had the same teacher for 2 yrs, allowed us to really focus in on the discovery of our child's issue and put together a future plan that was immediately implemented. This would not have been the case if we'd had a new teacher each year, having the re-familiarize each time.
Bottom line is= each school has it's own personality and it's really how well (or not well in some cases) do you click with it. But providing misleading information is irresponsible.
While the test scores are good, and the staff is warm and welcoming, I found the learning environment to be chaotic. Because the school was built in the 1970s, there is an open floor plan, so the classes are of mixed age. They only stay with their grade for subjects like Math and Science. Literacy is according to their level, so they will be older or younger students. There are many wonderful science projects going on. That is all well and good, but how the students can concentrate is beyond me. The place is a mess and utterly disorganized. Academics does not seem to be a priority; stewardship and friendship are, which is nice, but academics are important as well.
My son experienced about 8 weeks of kindergarten at Greenlake elementary school and has nothing positive to report about it. For 8 weeks children were wearing name tags in the classroom, one week is justifiable but not 8 to learn the names of the children. Whenever the children had extra energy and wiggled on their seats they would lose recess time as a consequence. The kindergarten class had a little dark "consequence room" at the back of the class where a child would be sent when disturbing the class. The communication with the teacher was almost non-existent and it was very difficult to support my son and the teacher into a fruitful learning environment. The Seattle school district administration was responsible for unilaterally transferering my son multiple time until putting him a in special education class because his first language was not English and the transition was difficult.
I don't normally post reviews anywhere, but as we recently relocated and trying to find reliable accurate information about schools has been a nightmare I felt I should do my duty. I had 3 children attend Green Lake for 2 years. We were welcomed into the community and had great experiences with the younger grades. I cannot speak 2nd grade, but we loved our time at Green Lake. Very active PTO. Very social community. School needs an update, but they work well with what they have. Nice, but firm and seemingly involved principal. Parents are welcome at the school anytime and they are happy to put you yo work in the classrooms.
We are in our 6th year at greenlake and cannot say enough wondeful things about it. The teachers are incredibly dedicated and innovative. They spearheaded the move to multiage classrooms which has created a callaborative and continuous learnin experience for our child. The parent involvement is huge. Our child is entering middle school next year in advanced math and with excellent writing skills.
It is true that the OSPI Accountability Index Score went down because the Science and Writing Tests were lost. According to the State Superintendent's Office Green Lake mistakenly returned these test booklets to the vendor with their package of 'not to be scored materials'. I agree with the previous post that the district and the principal should better publicize the fact that the low Accountability Index score is because of the lost tests. While they are at it they should also do a more accurate job of explaining how those tests went missing.
As a teacher at this school, I feel it necessary to correct the previous poster. While it is true that the science and writing scores did go down, what is NOT publicized is that this is due to the fact that our science and writing scores were LOST by the testing company and all those scores were reported as zeros! Some have now been found and the numbers are quite different. For example, there were only 3-4 students who did NOT pass the science test; a decidedly different score than those reported. I wish that this information was made more public, but alas...