Oh Donna she is a gem! I And yes somethimes social emotional development is as simple as sitting down and talking through the problem and giving kids tools. I sent my child to a bigger more established private school (that talked the talk about socail/emotional development) and my child was bullied beyond belief before we switched to Mathiea. Whoever this was who felt ill will towards Donna should see what an amazing asset she is to Matheia. Donna has held sick kids in her arms, read to children daily, calmed nervous parents who hid in bushes as their kids went off to kindergarten (yes really) greeted families everyday with a smile on her face. Loved kids as though they were her own. Matheia is really not like any other school you will find anywhere.
My rating is primarily for new students coming into Matheia. I witnessed no effort to transition a child into a new classroom - not even an introduction to other children, followed by irritation with children nervously chatting with new child, rather than educated, sensitive awareness of the dynamics. Classroom observations also showed one very seemingly controlling, cold teacher - who turned out to be the school co-founder (Allison). In two separate instances Allison spent her art "teaching time" telling the children firmly and repeatedly what they could not do (couldn't push imprints too hard into clay, etc.) and finished not with inspiring creativity, but with reminding them that if they had their own design ideas they'd need to see her for approval. Also, when asked about school's social emotional development approach, another school lead, Donna, just commented, "well when the kids fight we're able to sit them down and talk it out and usually it's just a misunderstanding." She did not elaborate.
Our daughter attends Matheia & we are so fortunate that we found this amazing school. Having just moved to Seattle, we looked at many options & this was by far the best. True focus on the children & on creative learning. We are amazed at our daughter's class work & the dedication & focus of the staff. A true gem of a school, that will provide her with a fabulous foundation for years to come.
I was a student at Mathiea, and it was the greatest school I think I'll ever go to. It made even my least favorite subjects seem almost fun, and my favorite subjects that much better. The only thing that would make this school better is if it didn't stop at 5th grade!
We have a five year old in Kindergarten at Matheia, and there is not a day that goes by that we don't realize how fortunate we are to be a part of this gem of a school. Small class size, incredible teacher focus and commitment, and a strong spirit of community involvement characterize Matheia. Add to that a strong academic curriculum, and an hour of play time for the kids at the nearby park everyday, rain or shine. Run, don't walk, to register!
Matheia is more than JUST a school! They are a tight knit community. The teachers want what is best for each and every student. Their low student to teacher ratio allows them the time to attend to the individual needs of each child. Matheia has been a wonderful fit for both of my children! They have nurtured, challanged and encouraged them academically, emotionally and socially. The attention that they have received, allows them to grow and learn individually. They have encouraged my shy cautious daughter out of her shell, to share her opinions and knowledge with her schoolmates. She has blossomed into a leader! Matheia has taught my outgoing son to slow down and take problems one step at a time. He has become a veracious reader, devouring books left and right. Matheia has taught them to advocate for themselves and those around them. Teaching them analytical problem solving skills that can be used for academic purposes or for problems that crop up with friends (and parents). Matheia is more than JUST a school, they have been partners in raising my children.
This is an amazing and loving school. The art program alone is phenomenal - our first grade daughter comes home and teaches us about artists with such passion, things we didn't even learn in art class in college! On top of that, the emphasis on reading is our favorite part of the school. Our daughter entered their pre-k class already knowing how to read and they quickly moved her up into a reading group with peers, even though they were older than she was. The reading groups are formed by ability, not age, which is fantastic. Each child is able to grow in their reading ability at their own pace. After reading is over, the children return to their age-group/grade level for the rest of their classes. Each subject is taught by a specialist (i.e. science teacher, math teacher, language arts teacher, etc) so you get teachers who are passionate about their subject matter and that translates into fun & fascinating classes. Because each class is so small (10 kids max) the work can be customized for each student based on what kind of help the child needs. There are so many little "touches" that make this school feel like a 2nd home. Parents are VERY warm & friendly to ea other.
We have been a Matheia family for 4 years - with 2 kids currently enrolled. We looked at many private and public school options and are so happy with our decision to place them both at Matheia. Small class size (10 students per class), amazing faculty, experiential learning and strong school community all contribute to what I feel has been a phenomenal educational and personal growth experience for my children. Each day, in addition to very strong Math (Singapore method) and Language Arts programs, the students also participate DAILY in Science, Social Studies and Art you won t find this in many schools.... There are also daily electives (student-chosen and very creative) as well as a Spanish program. They also spend an hour out-of-doors, rain or shine, 5-days a week throughout the year. Tuition is reasonable (in comparison to other private school institutions in Seattle) and has been worth every penny to our family. The school's mission (and they truly exceed this) is: To spark the imagination, intellect and community spirit of children in order that they will carry the joys of learning and social involvement well beyond the classroom.
What a fabulous school! I feel such gratitude to the teachers and staff- my son has regained his love of learning after a very rough start at another private school. His academics were assessed and he was given specific help to catch up with his peers. It truly is a program capable of addressing each student's abilities and challenging them positively and constantly. The art and science classes are absolutely fabulous, such a gift to our students; social studies is super fun (imagine!); math is engaging and language arts is rigorous with very creative projects. The governance structure is clear and entirely child focused, the logistics are simple and supportive (one go to person who is friendly and knows everything, free childcare for meetings). There is a tradition of only ONE super fun, low key, fundraiser a year. Parents are welcoming. Wow!
Our son spent three early years in the Seattle School District's blended pre-school programs - kids with IEP's (individualized education plans) in small sized classes, mixed with typically developing kids. It was a good start, but going into first grade meant being mainstreamed into a class with 27+kids. I went into a panic, knowing he would be the one to fall through the cracks. On Labor Day week-end I called Matheia and spoke with Donna, the gatekeeper extraordinare, who set up a time for my husband and I to come in. Allison and Donna graciously met with us the next day and were nothing but encouraging. A big difference from another private school, which wanted to put our son on probation to see if he would be a 'good fit'. Two and half years later,he's a happy, healthy, well liked 3rd grader and the fit at Matheia has been just right.