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K-5
Public
Seattle, WA
Students enrolled: 547

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2645 California Av SW
Seattle, WA 98116

(206) 252-9500
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Map of Lafayette Elementary School address.

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January 08, 2014
I am a parent of 2 current students at Lafayette Elementary. Both love the school. Parental involvement is very high. The teachers are great, most with years of experience - it shows. It is an excellent elementary school.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2013
Cool school in a walking neighborhood. Love, love love our 1st (Ms. Rowlette) and 3rd (Ms. Bell) grade teachers.

- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2013
We love our school! We have great teachers and awesome parents. I wish we have better principal.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2013
honestly after 2 kids going from k-5 at Lafayette and seeing the unfortunate leadership changes - I would say a lesser school wouldn't have made it through the over crowding and repopulating of the school. The glue that holds this school together is the parents - supper concerned and supportive. There are experienced and highly dedicated teachers. We only had 2 in 12 that weren't great. Kids learn what they should in a supportive community.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2013
We have a kindergarten student who started at Lafayette this past fall. The school faculty and PTA have been nothing short of welcoming, genuine and professional. We've been very pleased with our daughter's teacher and, although disappointed that the leadership is changing, I don't fault the school for this. If you read through these reviews the most frequent negative comment is about a principal that hasn't been there for over a year. It's really not right that out-dated information is negatively impacting the ratings for such a fantastic school. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be assigned to such a great school and I can honestly say we haven't come across one case of "elitism". A school is as good as you make it. Reach out and be involved and you will have a better experience.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2013
I am a grandmother of a child who will enter Kindergarten in the Fall and lives in Lafayette's neighborhood school area. I understand the school has undergone a leadership crisis over the last couple years with one Principal after another, the current one leaving soon. I was distressed at some reviews. Comment on lots of bullying, but in particular one or more comments indicating an elitist attitude: it's our school and if you don't like it as is, you may go elsewhere. What on earth is this? I hope it is not a majority view. Lafayette could use some attitude adjustment and people wotj power like the PTSA need to welcome new people and listen with an open mind to concerns. The school needs to fit the children, not the reverse. It is PUBLIC. It does not sound an appealing place to send a 5 year old if a couple of the comments reflect parental attitudes.

- submitted by a community member
January 09, 2013
Where do I start... 1.We were told in 1st and 2nd grade to study for the MAP test so we can boost the school score. They provide websites with similar problems. 2.Our teachers (aside from our young 1st grade teacher)seem burned out and have no emotion with the students. 3.My wife (who assists in the classroom often) is frustrated with their lesson plans. 4.My son who ace s his spelling test is not allow to receive harder words. 5.Bullying is everywhere and they dont have resources to monitor over 500 students. 6.They have been through 3 principals in 1-2 years. 7. I have a feeling that the spectrum program is the reason for the high scores. Without those stuednets, the school would rank low. Do yourselves a favor and look into private school or Alki or Schmitz park.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2012
Lafayette is a GREAT school, so what's with all the 1 star ratings? I could understand a few low scores... you can't please everyone. But the volume of '1 star' ratings here smacks of an organized attack by a single person or small group. I have 2 daughters attending Seattle public schools. The oldest went to a different elementary school. She recently attended the science fair at Lafayette with her younger sister and she expressed amazement at the superior community participation and sophistication of projects at Lafayette. Then she absolutely fell in love with the 'Harry Potter' themed class room. By the end of the night she was literally upset, because while she had enjoyed her own elementary school experience, seeing Lafayette had made her a bit jealous. Check out the school for yourself. If you're sending your kids to school for a quality education Lafayette is an excellent choice. Our youngest loves the school. And as a parent I love seeing her score well above average on state assessments.

- submitted by a parent
June 21, 2011
Yes, not every school is a good fit for every kid. But, to blame Lafayette for the over-enrollment or District-wide problems is un-informed. Nothing would make the staff and parents happier than having less kids at the school. But, the principal has nothing to do w/ enrollment. Yet, given the huge burden of an extra 110 students, she has done an amazing job. It's true she's not 'touchy-feely', but she fights for every penny she can get from the District to improve the experience our kids have there. I can only hope the new principal fights as hard! I have one kid in and one not in Spectrum. Kids rarely talk about it, nor do the teachers or staff. A few parents talk about it, but the Spectrum program represents only 1/3 of the school. It does not define the school. I have been at the school for 6 years - it's a wonderful school, w/ great parent involvement. My kids have never had any disciplinary action taken against them, and any shift in the discpline I would attribute to the Asst. Principal (who is also leaving). The majority of the teachers are top notch. In fact, one of their 2nd grade teachers (a non-Spectrum teacher), is one of the BEST in the District!

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2011
disappointing, disappointing, disappointing. lucky enough to be able to withdraw and enroll elsewhere. seattle public schools are awful and lafayette is no exception.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2011
Our kiddo had a good experience there, briefly. She's a sunny kid who made some friends at the school and would do well anywhere. But we feel that she was lucky to stay out of the radar of the principal, and this year we've enrolled her in another nearby school. We were unsettled by the treatment that the principal meted out to children. Yes, I know that many high performing environments are like that, and that capable people who are disciplined and berated beyond "reasonable" limits for their faults by highly demanding superiors do excel. An unkind and dispiriting series of disciplinary actions against a frend's child made up our minds, along with the wealth of good elementaries in the area. Academically, Lafayette is as good as others, but on a personal level we feel relieved to be out of there.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2011
This school may be the "best elementary school in the district" but when you have a district filled with failing schools, budget cuts, and an embezzling superintendent, that isn't saying much! SEVERELY overcrowded school. Disciplinary action is over the top yet preventative action is lacking. Even the best teachers are given the short end of the stick with a full class and no aide, and the worst teachers are bound by tenure and not going anywhere. Excellent parental involvement, but really, what choice do parents have with such overcrowded classes? The idea of neighborhood schools sounds great, except they have closed so many other schools in the city and added so many out of neighborhood students that it dilutes the effectiveness. This school is getting worse by the day. We were lucky enough to remove our child from this school and go private!

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2011
We found Lafayette to be a rigid institution with a 'my way or the highway' principal and a preponderance of old school style teachers who seemed to relish taking disciplinary action at the slightest provocation. So happy to be out of there and in a school with a caring, accessible principal, a friendly, inclusive staff, committed teachers who don't freak out when five and six-year-olds act their age, and a parent community that isn't competitive and obsessed with getting their kid into Spectrum by any means possible.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2010
I'm really disappointed with this school, cold principal and staff. Very limited after school activities and a cliquey parent group.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2010
My kids have attended Lafayette for 5 years. I have one in Spectrum and one in regular. I have been happy with both programs. It does lack on creative learning, but covers reading, writing well and math very well. Kids are a bit stressed which I don't like at all, but the kids are learning the basics which they don't at other schools. My kids have great study habits, great friends and really nice families. Fundraising supports school tutors, teachers and playground improvements. Great additions are the school Play, music program and school Play.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2010
Unfortunately, I can't give this school 0 stars so I'll give it 1 for the new assistant principal. Lots of super-competitive children and parents. There are some OK teachers here but, really, most are average and bowing to a principal with test scores on her mind. School work is harsh and creativity is minimal. I am looking around for a new school.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2010
Does not live up to its reputation. Large student teacher ratios with a 2-year K-1 population bubble that has created strains on personnel and resources. Emphasis placed on testing (presumably for the $ and recognition those scores represent) and the Principal is difficult - doesn't seem to understand elementary-age children. With a handful of notable exceptions, teaching staff is barely adequate, both in skill and in numbers. Lunches, recesses and other scheduling is too frenetic without enough oversight. Security is questionable. Fairly antiquated corrective action approaches, e.g. multiple-day punishments for younger students. Massive amounts of fundraisers. Bright spots are the new Vice Principal and great families. Make sure you pursue other options if you have them.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2010
I have two students at Lafayette -- three years experience with this school -- and it has been nothing but the best pleasant surprise. The principal is highly involved, a great candid attitude and accessible to parents. There is an incredibly active parent and PTA base, for which - as a working parent - I am very grateful. My kids are performing at levels way above their class grades and they have been helped there by diligent and interested teachers who have gone out their way to make school interesting for them. I am grateful day in and day out for this school and know to cherish it as once my kids are out of Lafayette, it will be a more difficult public education. I wish the school had smaller classroom size and more spectrum availability but you can't blame the school -- that's our current U.S. economic situation.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
Rock-solid, caring staff with a balanced focus on academics, teacher have creative projects to engage kids beyond rote memory of books, strong committed PTA, friendly families and wonderful student body. Building is a bit dated, and nutrition plan is getting better and much better than most district and American public schools, however there is room for improvement.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
I love this school! My children have been here for 6 years of education and I would have to say that they have really flourished in this rigorous traditional educational environment and are leaving very prepared for middle school. I have found the teaching and administrative staff to be very professional and enjoyable to be around. I am always pleased when I talk to the teachers to realize how in touch with my child's learning they are. I volunteer at the school as much as possible and see many other parents there. I think the parent community and PTA are very responsible in meeting the needs of the kids when the district falls short.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2010
I have 2 kids at Lafayette and have been at the school for 5 years now. I have to say that I'm pretty surprised at the negative comments below. While no school can be perfect for everyone, I've had a wonderful experience at Lafayette. Yes, the principal is very direct, but I love that about her. She's honest and I'd rather have that over someone who's overly politically correct. She also fights incredibly hard to get resources for the school that aren't always available for a school the size of Lafayette. The teachers get along well w/ each other, too. Our major fundraiser, the Walk-A-Thon, is a wonderful example of the community feel the school has. Yes, the school is serious about academics, but not to the detriment of the kids. The teaching style is on the more traditional side, but it's clearly working for the majority of the kids.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2010
I am a parent of a 2 children that go to Lafayette. I have to say that this is the worse school I have ever had experience with. The principal is uncaring, except for discipline and running a 'tight ship'. The teachers are under prepared as they are only required to have a lesson plan prepared for one day in advance. They are quick to put your child in a cliche and treat them accordingly. Hopefully I will be able to get my children in a different school next year.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2010
Lafayette is blessed to have a vibrant, caring community. This richness provides a well rounded experience for the kids. We applaude the parents that use us as a resource in helping develop good, solid, contributing members of society. I am thrilled that our principal has the courage and wisdom to suggest alternate placements for families that refuse to be happy or even acknowledge that we know what we ars doing. This is a remarkable school, with a seasoned yet innovative staff. Awonderful place to be nurtured and bloom.

- submitted by a teacher
December 18, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2009
The best thing to happen to our son at this school was the principal suggesting we find a different school. We had been tearing out hair out trying make this school work for our son and it just wasn't working. He was miserable and unengaged although his teacher had no concerns as he finished his worksheets everyday and was doing 'well'. His teacher told us her hands were tied, she had no time for creative lessons as there was so much work (worksheets) to be done each day. I've learned the hard way that test scores don't make a good or bad school, good engaging teaching does! our son is now thriving at in his new school and loving it. What a difference! thank you for the suggestion, Ms. Turner.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 11, 2009
Lafayette has a capable staff and our academic experience with the school has been very good. However, it is not a diverse school, and both parents and children are organized into cliques. Knowing what I know about the social environment, I would have chosen another school. The Great Schools rating is due to the resources available at this relatively affluent school.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2009
We just got word that my son has a new school next year. We couldn't be happier. We chose Lafayette for its reputation and we liked what we saw on the tour. When my son started the school, our opinion quickly changed when he would come home crying all the time. Fun and play is not part of the day in Kindergarden. They are so obsessed with test results that the kids are prepared for the WASL from day 1. The principal has a love it or leave it attitude. Yep- we'd rather leave it. So many families leave this school yet they would have you believe everyone loves it. There are a number of faithful, stuck-up parents who love it for what it does for their property value. We put our son on a waiting list for another school right away and we just got in. Yippee!

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 11, 2009
Our daughter has had a terrible experience at this school. She finished 4th grade in the spring after moving in from another district. It was a very hard transition and the staff and principal made no effort to make her feel welcome. She was told she couldn't join the jump rope club back in October when we moved because it was ''too late'', the club had already started and the girls would be ''too good for her level''. The school doesn't support the girl or boy scouts so there are no troops associated with the school or, indeed, the nearby area. The school has limited after school programs. The only positive thing I can say about this school is that the PTA is very active. Schoolwork is repetitive and boring and so is the homework. It's a miserable school. Avoid!

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2009
This school has changed dramatically over the past few years. My first child loved this school and we had a very positive experience. My second is now in first grade and having a horrible time. The principal is cold and uncaring and the staff are tired and bored. The school does not attempt to engage children and would rather families move on to other schools rather than work with them to resolve issues. Avoid this school if you can, don't be fooled by the WASL results, these kids train for that test from day one with stacks of worksheets. Hopefully, the school can turn around, it really used to be a nice school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 06, 2008
Our daughter has attended this school for the past three years and we have been very happy there. Although it's a large elementary, our daughter feels very safe there. The teachers are very engaging and truly strive to meet the needs of their students. Most classrooms have parent volunteers or tudors nearly every day of the week. I also love the prinicple, Virginia Turner. She's straight forward, honest but really likes to have fun. She is everything you want in a principle and she fights hard for the school to get additional funding whenever she can! There are also a wide variety of after-school programs to choose from.

- submitted by a parent
October 26, 2007
The school is a good fit, academically, for our 3 children. It is a primarily white middle- to upper-middle class school with corresponding values and limitations. Parent involvement in classrooms seems limited, and parent climate is not extremely friendly, caring, or inclusive. The classrooms are generally orderly, and the teachers are very good and, for the most part, provide an excellent education.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2006
This is a very solid school, especially in the Seattle School District. They have a very strong PTA that backs up the education, but funding in the district limits the programs available for students. PTA is very involved and is trying to supplement the districts failings.

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2006
We're now half-way through kindergarten, and Lafayette seems great for most students, though not a great fit for my son. However, his situation is unique, as he tests in the profoundly gifted range. The teacher and administration, while not really able to accomodate his learning needs in the classroom, have been very flexible about letting us keep him home in the mornings to work on material which challenges him and keeps him interested. There is quite a bit of parent involvement; thoughtful, dedicated parents may be one of the school's greatest strengths. My son's teacher has a very rigorous academic program (most kids learn to read). Individual music lessons are available in 4th and 5th grades. There is a dedicated PE teacher. Private afterschool activities such as a science program, Mandarin, and Spanish are available on-site.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2005
Awesome 6th grade teacher Mr. Ngobi - far advanced and strives to have all students excell. He's tough but so great with those kids. Parent involvement is high and welcomed. Programs are great as well as the physical education staff, musi/drama staff. Kids learn here in a safe and nurturing environment.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Lafayette Elementary School
2645 California Av SW, Seattle, WA  98116
(206) 252-9500
Last modified Lafayette Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Lafayette Elementary School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 41 reviews. Top