This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Laurelhurst Elementary School5
Posted February 28, 2015
- a parent
You won't find a lot of accurate reviews about Laurelhurst because its a small school with small boundaries. In my opinion, its one of the better kept secrets in Seattle. We moved to this neighborhood from elsewhere and had a good overall experience with teachers and with very active parent involvement in the school. There is a reason the scores are a ten on Great Schools, and its because test scores are buoyed by a strong tutoring program -- struggling students get one-on-one tutoring funded by the parent community. The school, through a private nonprofit, Laser has onsite aftercare and enrichment classes in foreign language, drama, art. There are free PTA run programs like Classic Books and STEM nights four times a year, an annual Kid's Carnival, Auction, music events and a Multicultural Dinner. Its a nice parents community, although it requires getting involved in the school through the PTA to make inroads and connections (like much of Seattle, many people have been here a while, so it takes time to become known in this small community.) For us, overall a good public school experience
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.)