My twins started out so excited to be at the this school. It sounded good on paper. The kids in the program were creative, interesting and smart but many are drug involved and we learned that the school does very little to supervise and support them. One parent told me he didn't know his kid had a problem until the principal produced documents trying to get him kicked out of the school instead of informing him when the issue was originally discovered so the dad could have sought appropriate support for his son. The Spanish teacher was terrible and they learned almost nothing in his class. The principal would not address my concerns about him and was rude and dismissive. One of the humanities teachers gave writing assignments that were very difficult to understand. My child said she always seemed too busy and stressed out to answer questions. She took forever to return rough drafts so my child had little direction on how to improve. They LOVED the science teacher and he was the reason they finished out ninth grade. On the few occasions I interacted with the guidance counselor she was rude and abrupt. I know know that option schools are not necessarily better. Since we moved to another high school in the district, my kids are much happier. The administration at their current school is warm, caring and goes the extra mile. I'm sorry we wasted a year on the Center School.
My in law had a terrible education here. They didn't know how to write an essay until I showed them how! Math and science were terrible as well. This person had even told me the school does alright with testing because the teachers help them on the tests.
If I were this person's parent, I would be appalled that they let my child graduate with a failing report card. They gave this person "extra credit" for things they didn't do just so they would "pass" and the school wouldn't have to deal with yet another drop out. NEVER EVER SEND YOU CHILD HERE!
The Center school is a community of committed educators with a unique and dynamic student body. The school offers students smaller classes and a real community feel. nobody gets left behind. The course offerings are not as broad as some larger schools, but 2 AP science classes are offered and math up to calculus is available. This school has been a great fit for my daughter and has provided her with what one would expect from a private school education.
I have been a Center parent for three years now. In the beginning, we were impressed by the atmosphere and class quality. It seemed to be a good hybrid of public and private school environments and our daughter was very happy there. However, as time goes on, Center's flaws have come to outweigh its benefits. Math and science education in particular are very, very weak. Students get almost no support from the school in fulfilling graduation requirements not offered (such as Physical Education). Teacher quality is extremely uneven. There are a few great ones, such as Ms. Carroll, but a few who shouldn't even be teaching. Because of the combined class system used, if your child winds up with one of the bad teachers, you could be stuck with that for two years. Heaven help you if your kid winds up with Mr. Bell or Ms. Krupke. On the other hand, the new principal has been a great addition to the school. Hopefully Ms. Britsova can turn some of these things around. In the meantime, though, if you have to choose between Garfield and Center (due to the new geographic assignment system), choose Garfield.
Amazing. The community here plays a central role. Despite an open campus and students with more individual freedoms than at other High Schools, students look out for each other and are very inclusive. Peers are embraced for their differences and everyone has a chance to shine in their own way. Curriculum is intensive without taking over students lives with too much homework. This school doesn't have the traditional cliques of jocks or cheer leaders, rather one large group with close friends in small groups in the mix, unified as a whole. Despite budget cuts over the last few years which have hurt its electives, Center's art programs are amazing and taught by such dedicated, passionate teachers. I hope they add music and dance programs! Ms. Britsova is amazing; practically a school idol. This school not only retains its unique environment and art programs with her here, but core classes have improved dramatically to become leading in the district. The Center House is a wonderful location for this school as well, as it teaches kids to be resourceful and look out for themselves in the real world. As a current sophomore, I highly recommend TCS and look forward to my next 2 years here.
The last person to write a review is completely disillusioned about the The Center School. The school is a based on college prep curriculum with an arts focus. The point about musical instruments is a lie, as well as the point about less than mediocre results, seeing the school is the only Seattle Public School except Ballard to score the highest rating through the Washington Achievement Award. This parent should be ashamed of themselves for spreading lies and actually take up their individual problems with the school administration.
Center is a refugee school. Focused on arts was the original charter but it offers less art study opportunities than most district high schools. Case in point; all musical instruments were removed from the school in 2010 because they were a nuisance . Because of its arts status Center is free of district boundary lines. Center is the only alternative for students from the worst Seattle schools. For many attending Center, their designated High School is not an option. As a result ratings of the school become inflated because the alternative for so many involved is so much worse. Parents involved enough to find this alternative are also capable of backing & defending the school vigorously. For this reason many who choose this school find that it is vastly overrated. The gross lack of parity in Seattle Schools is inexcusable & sets up the conditions for an overrated school such a Center to exist; highest $/student in the state with less than mediocre results. District leadership & vision only prevents every school from being a Roosevelt or Garfield. If Seattle Schools had parity there would be no Center.