It is interesting that past negative reviews of this school, including mine, have repeatedly disappeared. Hoping this one makes it so parents viewing the Great Schools website can approach the school with a variety of perspectives. I myself was mystified by our experience after the high Great Schools rating and wish I would have heard some honest responses about some endemic problems with the school. My children had an abysmal year at Laurelhurst due to systemic issues both with the dynamic of the community at large and the failures of the administration. No where have I come into contact with a more inscrutable, avoidant leader than the current principal at Laurelhurst. It would have bordered on comedic if it weren't so sad. Although there are some lovely people in the Laurelhurst community, in general, there is a dynamic of exclusion and entitlement that bleeds into the student population as well. I found that the community is notorious for this dynamic. Mean- girl bullying is wide- spread and there is no hands- on approach to meet these issues head- on or in an honest way. What a sad experience for newcomers to Seattle. Both my kids were slayed by the intense social hierarchy, and we were glad to find more welcoming communities with stronger academics elsewhere.
My daughter developed an anxiety disorder and had to be pulled out of the school on medical leave due to the stress of dealing with bullying among fifth grade girls. She began seeing a therapist and we found a different environment for her.For someone who was leaving the East Coast and all her friends and family for a new city, she was devastated by having to deal with the stress of mean- girl behavior such as exclusion, whispering openly in front of her and being left on the playground with no one to play with. My daughter had never had problems making friends before and is an open, funny, friendly kid. The year would have been soul- destroying if we had not left. We tried for months to work with administration to deal with the issue. There was a certain girl who was notorious and had bullied a neighborhood friend we knew out of the school years before. Although the administration knew this, they refused to talk to the girl or her family. The principal made excuse after excuse not to meet with us and then, when we asked Seattle Public Schools for a medical leave, said it was the first she had heard of the situation. A blatant lie among several the principal would make during a time there. My son was bullied as well and I was told that bullying is a loaded term; clearly they were interested in liability issues and not creating an emotionally safe environment for kids.
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 !
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!
We LOVE Laurelhurst! We have two daughters - one who started in Kindergarten and stayed at Laurelhurst through the 5th Grade and one who is now a 4th Grader. We have been nearly 100% pleased with the teachers and their efforts to teach all students. The PTA and the school leadership team have a very cooperative and strong relationship. The PTA's financial support has been critical to maintaining staff, art, music and many other programs that make the school strong and are consistently prioritized by parents and staff. The PTA Board meetings are open and anyone interested in knowing more about how the PTA works and how budgets are developed should attend meetings and offer input. Both of our girls have had positive academic and social experiences at Laurelhurst. We could not be happier with the experiences we have had as parents of girls at this wonderful, neighborhood public school.
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.