I think that teachers at Hay recognize that many students who attend participate in extra-curricular activities (particularly sports) and also appreciate the necessity for "down time" and "family time" at the end of the day. I think there is ample consideration given to the amount of homework given to accommodate those things without giving homework for the sake of giving something to do but to accentuate lessons given without going overboard.
The upheaval with long-time principal and mainstay Kari Hansen leaving has left the community in a bit of a flux. The staff is great but looks to a strong leader, as does the parent population.
Like many north end schools heavy demand on fund raising to make up for what the District and State doesn't fund or pay for. Volunteer demands are high but always appreciated.
Love the fact that kids have access to Multi-Arts and Technology. Love Festival of the Arts and that the hallways are full of classwork and artwork throughout the year.
Good school as long as your kid is left-brained. Right-brained kids (which make about 25% of the population) learn differently; for instance they are visual, and phonics don't work well for them. They need to be taught with different methods. John Hay couldn't care less about that segment of the population, so those kids tend to space out, or be disruptive, and the school is content with antagonizing them, and trying to either lead them out of the school, or have them under Ritalin. Realize that the school gets good ratings because of academics. But is that really what you want for your kid? As that age, the most important things to develop are respect, love for others, and self-confidence. Right-brained kids at John Hay will NOT develop self-confidence as they are constantly told they are failing.
John Hay is an excellent school with superb teachers and staff. I attended Hay for four years and was welcomed in second grade with open arms. Every teacher I had was amazing and pushed every student in the class to try their hardest. With a principal who prevents bullying, makes sure students are safe, and encourages hardwork it's easy to feel like a part of the community within days. This is an outstanding school and I'm glad it was part of my life. I will never forget this school.
Superb school. When we came to John Hay we were moving from a private school experience which we thought would be very difficult to top - John Hay did it in spades. The teachers are excellent with over half of them holding masters degrees. The front office is second to none - Angie and Wendy know every childs name in that school and are always kind and helpful. Mr. Sturm the gym teacher is the friendliest man around and Ms. Hanson is a strong and fun-loving principal. Teachers work hard to challenge children at all levels and the education my children have received has been excellent. There is an amazing group of parents who are always volunteering and it makes for a wonderful community. You'd be hard pressed to find a better school anywhere.
We had hoped it was going to be as good as the ratings but we had a very poor experience last year and pulled our son out as a result. We moved over to Seattle mid year and got a third grade teacher for our son that the the teacher who was rigid, outdated, and a very poor communicator. From the first week when my son was trying to transition to a new school he was kept in from recess almost daily. I tried to work with her, explaining he had focus issues and had never been in trouble before she didn't answer emails. The principle was sympathetic but she said she had known the teacher wasn't a good fit but the school was full to the top and there wasn't any where to move him. We felt we had no where to turn or much support. Since we left we have been approached by several parents that she has been a big problem for many years but no action was taken. I would not recommend John Hay.
This is a GREAT school from an education stand point. I do find the school to be clicky, buy I am not there to make friends so to speak. There is a lot of parent involvement in the school and classrooms and as a result some parents do seem to get what they want. It can be annoying as favoritism is definitely noticeable. People say it doesn't happen etc but it does. Teachers can be great but as in most cases it depends on who you get. NOT all the teachers are great. This school can be a blessing and a curse as the education is awesome but the school has its downsides. I am sure most parents won't agree with this, but once you have had a bad experience at the school it changes how you view it.