Sacajawea is great. We have 2 kids there and both of us feel like there are many ways we can contribute our time and skills with the other parents to add experiences for the kids like parent-led art, culture, science, and field trips. Last weekend, it felt like half the school came out to help assemble the new playground structure together. And other parents brought food and drinks!
A good number of kids at Sac have tested into ALO/Spectrum, including ours. The school provides support by allowing faster learners to learn with older kids in mixed-grade classes (2nd is mixed with 3rd, 4th with 5th). This year, the school will also switch to a high-school class structure, where kids move from class to class vs. staying in a homeroom. This may allow even more latitude per kid and per subject. Some kids excel at math, but struggle to write much. We hope this class arrangement will accommodate those kids.
I just asked my kids what they like most about Sac. My daughter says: "I like that I get to learn." My son says "PE!" Mr. Walker is the best gym teacher I have ever met, and I see Mr. Dickerson quizzing his 5th graders math facts as they run laps in the playground.
Sacajawea also has a strong artistic community and history. Once an art-choice school, Sacajawea parents now teach art to the kids as Art Docents, culminating with an annual musical performance and a spring arts festival. Each year's art program highlights a different culture each year.
To me, Sacajawea feels like a small public school with the parent involvement and creativity of a co-op school and the caliber of teaching/organization found at a private school. Most of us do chip in $200-$1000 a year , so I guess it is a blend.
As a parent, I have really enjoyed getting to be a part of the community. The Dad's started a club to support PTA fundraising goals each year. Many of the parents host dinner and game parties. And there is the annual themed party with lots of laughing and oohhs and ahhs over the craft projects the kids display there.
My understanding is that we accept new kids that want to come from outside our reference area. The extra students bring in more public money that we can put towards art instruction and tutors, and our teacher ratio is low enough to handle the extra kids.
We just came up with our a new cheer: "Sacajawea: This is OUR school!"
I can't say enough wonderful things about this small, sweet, diverse, and excellent school. We moved to Seattle last year and enrolled our child in another more highly rated school, i.e., with higher test scores, but soon found that it was a poor fit for our child and our educational values. I had heard great things about Sacajawea and we decided to switch after we observed both kindergartens and loved what we saw. This school is a rare gem in the current public education landscape--whole child centered, personal, art- and social justice-oriented; it is also ethnically and economically diverse, which is hard to find in North Seattle. Our son had a wonderful kindergarten teacher (they are both fabulous), who offered a rich and developmentally appropriate curriculum with daily singing, creative movement, art, and free choice, alongside skills development. Our son loved the physical education (Mr. Walker is an amazing educator!), library, and technology programs, as well as regular instruction by music teachers from the community. The rotating annual focus on a particular continent allows for rich school-wide programming with a global focus, which is particularly meaningful in a school that serves many children with ties to other parts of the world. We are so happy to have found this school!
I have 2 kids in this school, and this is our 4th year there. The instruction has been excellent and both my kids are really happy there. There is an Advanced Learning Opportunities program (ALO) to challenge kids that need extra challenges, and a reading specialist, Dr. Davis (who has a master s degree in reading disabilities and a Ph.D. in cognition and learning theory, specializing in linguistic areas for kids who need extra help reading - how great is that?). Dr. Davis does more than helping just the kids, though - she also helps the teachers by finding better reading assessments than the school district typically offers). There are so many after school activities offered for the kids to do (an after school enrichment program every Tuesday, plus choir, chess, and girls on the run every week). Also, there is an amazing number of parent volunteers for a such small, intimate school. This year, a special education classroom opened as well. I've heard the new parents describe Sacajawea as a "hidden gem" of a school. I agree.
We are the reference school in the sought after Maple Leaf District. Sacajawea provides so much more than quality academics. Our teachers, staff, parents and students are all committed to building a community in Maple Leaf which is strong, vibrant and well rounded. There is zero tolerance for bullying and many opportunities for students to mentor other students. It is a great place for a gifted child to spread their wings and a struggling student to build a strong foundation. We have it all--arts, technology, physical education and a great teaching staff.
All three of my children have attended this small (260+ students) school with two still attending in our family's eleventh year here. There's been a shift to neighborhood families attending as opposed to families from other north Seattle neighborhoods. Highlights are the fall Science Fair and the Spring Arts Festival. Teacher conferences this year focused on what is being done for my children based on their personalities and needs and I've been very impressed this year. The principal visits classrooms daily and holds monthly "parent coffee chats". Our newest teacher is in her third year here. Overall, Sac has been a great neighborhood school for our family!
When we arrived at Sacajawea, it had a fabulous art program, ESL, and a great parent volunteer base. The next year the art teacher was lost (offered a rediculous contract) and families started leaving. A few years later another art teacher has been "lost", and now the individual class room teachers will lead art period. When problems surface, the principle is passive and a few sqeaky wheeled teachers get their way ... and not necessarily in the best interest of the children. The school was at 300 students, and now its below 240, as families continue to leave early. Some teachers are fabulous, but this year we consider a "lost year" with an inept teacher. I've heard the same comment from other parents with other teachers. More programs have been cut this year. Many of the families who have left were regular parent volunteers..We will be another of those families.
We love this school. Very involved parents, diverse student body. The principal is not great-he is kind of a passive guy who doesn't take action when there is an issue with a teacher. Last year this was a problem. Luckily most of the teachers are great especially Jesse Dickerson who is a young,enthusiastic and very creative teacher. Wish my daughter could have him next year too.
we are new to the city and have been very impressed by the quality of instruction here, not to mention the generally welcoming atmosphere. our kids have nothing but great things to say about their teachers.