In 6 years here, we have had 2 effective teachers. They were able to get my child interested in the work and projects and challenge her. The other 4 teachers were unable to maintain control of their classrooms and ineffective at teaching.
The school is overrun by bullies. They disrupt teaching, field trips, and any community. The lack of consequences for these children has allowed them to escalate their behavior. The children feel a strong sense of unfairness in the administration as they are all continuously punished for the actions of a few. The administration fails to act in protecting the student body and fails to account for its inaction. The students have risen in protest and called for truthfulness and accountability.
I'm a grandparent of a Stevens Elementary child and am so very impressed with this school. The teachers seem to be well trained , nurturing, and effective. The kids seem happy. The space is beautiful and well maintained.
The leadership is really lacking at Stevens and it shows in how the teachers treat students and their families. The teachers are pretty good but the level of professionalism is lacking much of the time and I can't say they treat parents as equal partners in teaching the child. As a result well-behaved kids are ignored and learning differences aren't addressed. The class sizes are very large and there is a lot of seat work with tons of worksheets starting in kindergarten. The PTA and parent community are very generous with their time and money so Stevens should be a rock star of Seattle Schools but instead it is just okay and many families move their students to the APP program as soon as they qualify.
I mentor a kid attending Stevens Elementary. Despite going to class every day, the kid cannot read or write and yet gets passed on to the next grade. Trying to engage the teachers and principal gets a stiff rejection. Not surprisingly, the kid lacks a supportive parent, but the school is failing the kid just as much as the single parent. There is no excuse for this kid to not even learn the basics of reading and writing, and to be passed on year after year until the kid drops out and the school district no longer has to worry about it (but the rest of society does!). I am so glad that my children will not be attending this school. With the positive reviews, I suppose it's fair to say that kids with supportive and active parents do well here, but that's likely the case in any school, isn't it? In Seattle this reality leaves a lot of kids to fail, and they do.
I wish I could give Stevens 5 stars. I've had multiple children there for awhile. Stevens has many wonderful traits -- dedicated parent volunteers, some truly fantastic teachers, wonderful diversity. But the district is trying its hardest it seems to ruin Stevens. Some classes have 28-29 kids in them in early grades. How is the most wonderful teacher in the world able to be truly effective with that many students? And the district really needs to get a handle on teacher evaluations and marginal teachers -- there are a tiny number of ineffective teachers at Stevens but ugh if you get one for your own kid. Though I'm guessing this is a district-wide problem.
Stevens is a terrific elementary school. We've experienced excellent teaching all the way through (my kids are now in 3th and 5th grades). The school is wonderfully diverse with very strong parent involvement. I'm convinced that my kids got better teachers than I could have paid for in a private school.