One teacher was very much in tune with our child's capabilities (Coincidentally her tenure preceded the current principal's arrival). One teacher was so checked out that three months into her class she was unaware our child could read. She instead engaged him in repetitive drudgery covering skills he had mastered three years prior. Overall most of the teachers seem to mean well, but it's extremely uneven as to how effective they are.
Strengths: Parental involvement, plenty of resources to compensate for shameful public funding levels
Weaknesses: Uneven teacher competency and commitment, administration that puts plausible deniability over children's interests, glaring oversights in regard to student safety (recent example: autistic child with egg allergy is given gingerbread house icing made from raw egg--class is offhandedly told "remember not to eat the icing")
Bottom line: There's nothing special here. If your child is of average abilities and likely destined for a career of low-level bureaucracy and rote repetition, this school will be adequate--provided there's a parent with free time to pitch in and cover the gaps. If your child has any special capabilities or needs or is exceptional in any way, you would be better served elsewhere.
I love this school! My son had a fantastic Kindergarten experience last year -- in large part because of our wonderful teacher. I also heard fantastic feedback about the other Kindergarten teachers, too, so I would tell new parents that your incoming kids are in excellent hands! Every staff member I have met has been engaging, and the principal is very available/approachable. The PTA is simply unparalleled -- family involvement (in terms of both time and dollars) is very generous, and I'm grateful for everyone's hard work. I feel proud every time I tell someone in the community Schmitz Park is our school. The only reason I can't offer 5 stars is because the facility itself is far too small and outdated for the 600+ students who go there. But a new school is in the works, and parents and staff are involved in that process, too.
Over crowded. Very poor leadership. Read the school report card, staff and parent "grade" for leadership consistently dropping over the last few years. Parent complaints about principal mostly ignored. Parent concerns voiced to principal gets your child targeted for discipline. Only good thing is most teachers good but the best ones leave for other schools. Now my child out of there I'm very relieved.
This is an incredibly overcrowded school. There are 12+ portables. Very uneven teacher quality, first year teachers are consistently hired. Overall there seems to be more interest in achieving high standardized test scores than any creative or inspired teaching. The active PTA is the best thing this school has going for it.
This is a great school. The only issue I can think of is that it could be more ethnically diverse. The staff and principals are great, the expectations high, the PTA does wonderful things and raises large amounts of funds to add all types of before and after school enrichment programs. Haven't had a single bad experience there in 4 years. No complaints at all!
This school used to be a great school until the new principal got rid of every old teacher that dared not to agree with everything that he tried to do. Teacher that were working at the school for decades were pushed out and the principal brought his own crew. I didn't think that this kind of Stalin style purges could happen in the schools. I though that's something that politicians did. It has actually been very disturbing to watch great teachers being pushed out. The teachers that didn't want to leave on their own were set up by the assistant principal and pushed out that way. Very, very disturbing.
This school has the family supported Singapore Math curriculum unlike nearly all of the Seattle Schools. The PTA is powerful and demands a lot of time and $ from families. Its often called a "public private school" by locals. The PE program was superior, but has declined in the last few years . (The program swung to strongly favor girls.) The school is now so crowded, there are 14 portables on the property. A new school is slated to be built in 2016 blocks away. The school currently sits on acres of woodland, and classes are frequently guided on hikes through the woods. Kids get a broad education. Increasing extracirricular activities (like dance class) steadily reduce classroom time for core studies, which may or may not be good. The teachers are first rate, and to ensure this, poor performing teachers have been fired.