I am a former student who spent kindergarten at Laurelhurst. The teacher was so bad and hated me so much she sat me at a desk on the far side of the classroom away from other kids for the entire year. When both my parents requested a teacher conference and my dad asked what I needed to do to sit with the other kids, she answered with it would never happen. After this year I moved to a private school and had a much better experience. I made some life long friends at this school who I still stay in contact with, and the neighborhood is still the best in Seattle by far. Trust your children and listen to their thoughts about the school. Kids know best.
Five starts for potential. I'm not sure why PTA is so focused on getting young kids more screen time- don't parents realize that kids have too much screen time? There should be a no smart phone policy and the school should focus on creativity and innovative ways of teaching (Montessori, Reggio, Waldorf). This age shouldn't be bothered with screens- they have too much to learn! Why not spend all that PTA money on hiring more teachers to lower the student teacher ratio? Focus on the whole being rather than thinking of the child as product to market to another school. Why is Bill Gates considering moving Microsoft to the Bay Area? Because his company needs Innovation, creativity and people with social skills - companies need those things to compete nowadays- computers teach you NONE of those skills (and Seattle schools lag behind in those key areas). Only amazing parents, teachers and fellow students can teach a child those things. This is the wealthiest neighborhood in Seattle proper, we have the resources to make Laurelhurst Elementary the best grade school in Seattle- come on people, get your head out of a box and do the right thing for your kids !
As I read all these "reviews" I am saddened that all of them are by people living in the "bubble." That world where they really haven't had to do much work in life and think the government is good and public school "acceptable." You people are delusional and completely clueless. Who on earth wants their child to learn how to ride a bike at a school? Where am I? You people should be ashamed of yourselves.
Our daughter is thriving at Laurelhurst! She feels strongly connected to her teachers, piers, and school community and is growing both acacemically and socially. We have encountered many excellent teachers along our way. As a parent and volunteer, I am consistently impressed with the level of learning that is taking place each day in the classrooms at Laurelhurst. The School and PTA work together to offer a wide range of instructional support and enrichment programming. This makes for strong academic achievement, and a vibrant elementary experience. We are thrilled to see our child go to school each day, happy, engaged and eager to learn!
This school is a nightmare! We moved to Seattle from out of state. Based on the reviews we thought Laurelhurst would be fine for our daughter. She became quiet after just a few weeks of attending school. We thought she was just having a hard time transitioning. Nearly a year later we found out that she had been bullied to the point of being restrained and beaten by five other girls at one time. Eight year-olds! The teachers, principal and staff should be ashamed of themselves. Where were they when my baby was being beaten while in their care? Needless to say, the moment we found out about it, she didn't go back for a single day. We enrolled her at a smaller school in North Seattle. After a few months of getting to know other parents, it turned out four of them had also removed their children from Laurelhurst for similiar bullying.
Laurelhurst is a very good school with exceptional parent support. The PTA accounts for every dollar earned and spent. The district continues to upgrade the facility as funding becomes available. Many improvements were made over the summer, including new windows. Enrollment, staffing, and academic strategy have been challenging over the last few years, but are trending favorably. What's key is that people care and are always trying to create the best possible learning environment for our kids. Both of my children have thrived during their time at Laurelhurst.
The PTA gets plenty of funding but like the previous reviewer said - it goes in a black hole. The bathrooms needs to be updated. Classrooms have very bad ventilation so your kids come home being twice as smelly. They do not use the buses for field trips but ask the parents to drive the kids - which was inconvenient for me since I had to work as well. Like I said - where are they spending the money. Their afterschool programs are okay, mediocre at best. The persons who are teaching them are not really inspired but are just doing it for the pay check. Some teachers are okay - they are not the greatest - they try. The new math program that they have implemented is not working out because more students are behind than ahead. Their academic standards needs to be re-evaluated
Our child attended Laurelhurst for 3 1/2 years b4 we pulled out. Kindergarten experience was great. First grade was a terrible teacher and our child started falling behind. Second grade was good, but they were trying out a joined classroom (50 kids with two teachers). Loud and chaotic. They also relied on a math specialist that used the 'exploration' approach to math. It didn't work for our child and we signed up for Kumon to get back on track. Our child went from being happy-go-lucky and confident to not liking school and almost depressed. By third grade we'd had enough and we moved to an independent school with great results. Our child has caught up and is thrilled with school again. We're applying to Bush and Lakeside now. On the positive side, they have great fund-raising programs, but as a public school the money seemed to go into a black hole.
Overall, this seems to be a very good school. The PTA raises more money than any other elementary school in the district which allows the school to acquire materials and services not funded by the district (this is an all-Mac school). Parents seem to have the interest and luxury to be very involved (organizing and volunteering). This is a well-rounded, safe school with mostly good teachers. The rather large student population is not economically or racially diverse enough for my tastes and family profile is very traditional (married mom and dad plus two or more children.)
I went here as a child and looking back on the experience would say that it was safe and that it made an attempt at being innovative. Since then my nephew has attended and there have been clear improvements allowing for different skill levels and needs.
A school with lots of parent involvement and support. An active PTA and Site Council. Many opportunities to contribute to the school. Good test scores.
The facilities available at the school are wonderful. I am a former student and am now a student living in Edinburgh. I remember the after school activities were always great and the PE department was marvelous. However, I had a very poor teacher before I left for my home country, Britain. I hope youe child thrives at the school just as I have !
I was VERY impressed with the quality of Laurelhurst. With one child at Villa Academy, I was a bit disappointed that my youngest child didn't make it into Villa, but was pleasantly surprised with the structure, extracurricular activities, parental involvement, and the excellent communication from the school (principal & teacher). Class was quite organized as well as the other activities such as French club/lessons and chess club. They even teach bicycle riding in PE! There were only minor things that mattered to my child such as the need for an updated playground and more accommodations for different skill levels. Needless to say though, I'm no longer that disappointed that my youngest child isn't at Villa. We may just keep her here!
Excellent fundraising. A little disorganized in the area of parent communication, but very high energy.
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