This school works really well when you're lucky enough to get a good teacher/classroom placement for your child's needs. If not, the principal will listen to your concerns but will not make any changes in student placement. It takes a lot of parent effort to get help in a struggling classroom. The principal seems more concerned with how the school looks on paper than in the individual needs of the students. The principal allowed a very poor performing kindergarten teacher to continue to be in the classroom for way too long. Parents had to fight really hard to get a poorly performing second grade teacher to leave. Many of the classrooms are multiage, with K/1, 3/4, and 4/5 classes, which can be good or bad, depending on your child. Good PTA, good community. The Kid's Inc. program is the best school age program we have ever seen. Hats off to them for their care of our children.
We've been at West Woodland for two years, first and second grades. First grade was amazing, completely due to the fact that our son had a fantastic teacher. Second grade, however, has been a real struggle. The homework assignments he is receiving now, in May, are exactly the same as the assignments he received in September. There have been no projects, investigations, or deviation from busywork the entire school year. The teacher seems to primarily be focused on maintaining discipline and squelching creativity. I think she means well, but is either burned out or out of her depth, I'm not sure which. Our interactions with the principal have been disheartening as well. We felt like our concerns and frustrations have been dismissed, at the expense of our child's learning environment. Furthermore, rather than addressing the teacher's shortcomings, the burden of blame has been placed on us. The few bright spots include that one first grade teacher, and the other families who invest a great amount of time into their children and the school. We also appreciate the staff at the attached childcare center, Kids Inc. However, we are excited to be transferring to Salmon Bay next year.
We have been at West Woodland for four years and had the most amazing, creative wonderful teachers for those early grades. Unfortunately, the upper level teachers are very inconsistent--you are really rolling the dice which is unfortunate for the older grades especially after having such a great experience in the younger grades. The Spanish program is a weak spot. The principal is very dedicated, very involved and works really hard. The PTA is strong and inclusive.
West Woodland Elementary cares about every child. The parents and staff at West Woodland commit every resource they have within themselves and their community to the education of each child. Every child experiences the feeling of family and community. The students learn about respect and caring every day. The PTA at West Woodland works very hard to keep programs like art, music and language as priorities along with the general curriculum. West Woodland Elementary received Governor Gregoire's award for school of distinction. We love West Woodland Elementary!
My son has been at West Woodland for two years and he loves it. My son has learned so much in being in Ms Manley's class. It is a great class for learning subjects as well as having good behavior towards others. The teachers have been very supportive and communicate with me often, whether his behavior is good or bad. I truly loved Math nights. It was so much fun to have fifth graders teaching me math games. Janet Meyer
Do not be fooled by the one single award the school has received. This is a very traditional, discipline-driven school where individuality is discouraged, and bad (very bad) teachers are protected by a pro-teacher principal, and parents concerns are ignored. True, the PTA is great, but ultimately powerless against a principal and hard-line teachers (particularly in the upper grades) who should retire, because it's obvious they don't enjoy teaching or children. The principal is a huge problem and simply will not put kids first--it's the teachers all the way. If you want a truly loving, supportive environment that values individuality, and you care about the self-esteem of your child, look elsewhere. We left for another school and are glad we did.
We've been at West Woodland for 2 years. We switched to this school from another school and are very happy. The teachers are great, the parent involvement is amazing, the principle is wonderful, the kids are happy. The activities are terrific. Excellent school.
We have been at West Woodland for 4 years with two children there. It has been a great school for my kids. We love the community, the emphasis on high academic standards and the caring community. We have found the principal responsive and of the 6 teachers we have had 5 have been truly outstanding and inspiring. All teachers have welcomed parent involvement.
West Woodland has an outstanding, and unparalleled parent community that has kept us from leaving the school. The PTA supports numerous academic and extra curricular activities that play a significant role at West Woodland for all the students. That said, the principal, Marilyn Loveness, is weak in her support of parent concerns, and does not seem to prioritize teachers who need extra help. Her leadership at West Woodland is significantly lacking causing too much responsibility to fall on the shoulders of the parents and the PTA. Sadly, we have finally decided that we can no longer continue educating our children in an environment where the school leaders do not seem to put the children, their safety and their education as the number one priority. We are leaving West Woodland for a hopeful beginning elsewhere...