This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Northwest School5
Posted April 15, 2015
- a parent
This school has been the best thing that could have happened to my son. It is supportive and has allowed him to enjoy things like poetry, theater and social dance that he would have NEVER done in another environment. My son has been an elite athlete all of his life and when we transferred to NW in 8th grade he just got to be a kid. No one knew his background or that he was competing on the weekends. He is now a Junior and still loves it. The teachers have been supportive and we could not have asked for a better school. It is a true blessing to have found this school. The supportive environment is the best thing about this school. It is a college prep school with an empahsis on the arts. They do not have AP courses but my son is in Calculus and the humanities teachers are known in colleges for turning out great writers. This school has kids accepted to the top schools in the country every year. It is a very special place and I am so pleased we have been a part of it.
NWS has been a disappointment. To be fair, there is much good, like the academics is challenging without being over the top. The head of middle school is approachable and effective. There's still a fair amount of unproductive homework, although compared to daughter's school, I guess it s a universal arms race to appear "more rigorous". My main concern is the lack of support for boys. So many examples, big and small. If boys are so bad, why is school performance not an accurate predictor of real life, by any measure (Nobel laureates, artists, inventors)? To add insult to injury, there s juxtaposition of being most liberal school in Seattle and also the most expensive! We care so much about diversity, so long as you can afford $35k/yr. Ridiculous to say that with a straight face, and keep raising tuition yearly, knowing that shuts out all but the wealthiest families. Even in upper middle class bracket, with 2 school-age kids, it's a big sacrifice to send our son there to have his self-esteem completely crushed. He's now in 8th grade and is excited to move to a parochial boys' school. Better for our wallet and his growth. I hear many boys don t return to NWS after middle school.
Our son thrived in his seven years at Northwest. He loved his teachers and they loved him: challenging his thinking, stimulating his mind, exercising his body, engaging his heart. He served as a peer counselor, turned out for track, Ultimate, and cross-country, made piles of amazing art in a wide variety of art media, excelled in photography, humanities, Spanish, and even chemistry. What an amazing school and solid community. And he got into his first choice college last year and is loving it.
This school is amazing. A math teacher of the seventh grade will hold a twice-weekly after school program for anyone struggling, for a whole period free of charge! All sorts of teachers have little clinics in the morning, the language teachers can make you fluent in 4 years ( The French Teacher there is AMAZING!) They have proffesional artists teaching there at an insanely high level, and one student got so far with his music mixing that he is doing beats for Mary. J Blige now! The school offers a variety of arts classes, such as Advanced Theatre, Music and Media, Comics and Cartooning, Photography, Ceramics ( with a beauitful studio), World Dance, Hip Hop and so much more. Arts take 8 periods a week. The PE system is amazing, I know people who were bad at sports, went to Northwest and are now playing select. NWS loves frisbee!