My kids love this school. They have developed an amazing love of learning at Salmon Bay. They are challenged to think critically, to think outside the box, and to be able to present their ideas in a multitude of formats. That is the kind of education I want for my kids.
The description on the school website about this school is how the school wants to be seen, not how it is. This school has great pe, music and art (which is parent funded so it could dry up) but it stops there. There is a long history the predates our child's attendance where teachers avoid parents, don't proactively reach out to parents and raise academic concerns or check homework. Parents can go a whole year and have no knowledge of issues until the state test and teacher report cards aren't congruent with state assessment results. Many parents pay for outside tutoring and other mitigation. Against Parent's wishes, Elementary parent teacher conferences are young kids doing ineffective presentations and real concerns don't get discussed. A handful of behavior problem kids impact the ecology of the K-5 school and Admin has ignored bathroom safety problem. It gets worse as you go up each floor of a 3 story building and you should insist that your child go to the bathroom in twos or threes. 5+ key support staff left and a few teachers as well have left. There is a definite elite parent group that gets better access to staff and resources.
There are positive aspects of this school. They strive to create "whole" child learning. Lots of field trips, camp ect but there is a yearly fee to cover these. The parent group raises money that does/have paid for partial salary of staff..only works if parents continue to pay. If your child is advanced or has challenges services poor and teachers do not support integrated classrooms. If your child doesn't qualify for special service, run from this school. No tutors, no differentiation in classroom, Admin talk a good game but no follow thru. During short time here, we know of 7 kids and their families that have felt driven out because their child didn't fit into the average mold.The building is run down, the bathrooms are inexcusable, the building doesn't even meet minimum earthquake safety let alone recommended. There is a growing discontent between new admin and teachers. New principal is not available and does not respond to any emails, does not answer phone, guarded by admin staff unless you are the "in" group. Some parents have never seen principal despite picking their kids up everyday.
A new principal and vice principal are working hard to make positive changes. Elementary: Works best for self motivated learners who enjoy project based learning and varied routines as even K-1 leave the classroom up to 3 to 5 times a day for a variety of activities.(pro for 1 of ours) It can be difficult for students that need routine and memorization to learn well. Few/poor resources for struggling or advanced students.(con for 1 of ours) What we have found is that the primary grades are focused strongly on developing social skills and community. There is PE everyday, library and art once a week, music(instrumental and vocal), drama, dance, 4 to 5+ parent driven field trips to enhance academics and yearly camping trips even for the littlest ones. Science and social studies are strong. The project based science programs are impressive. Reading is average. Math and writing are weak though effort is being made to improve these areas (as is most grades still fall above or around average for state). Impressive given the amount of time focused on developing the whole student which can not be evaluated by tests and overall seems successful. Improving every year.
Wow. Reading thru these reviews is interesting, especially the ones regarding non-inclusion. They are seeing something else entirely. I find this school amazing. While the diversity is average for a north-end school (give current neighborhood districting) with Asians predominant and a lower rates of African Americans and middle-eastern kids. The teachers work their butts off providing extras such as the winter enrichment program, fall and spring camp, dances, and field trips. Lots of hands on activities in science and social studies - inclusion and the school as a joint learning community are emphasized. Very active, supportive, and helpful parent group - ask any teacher and they will say they could not do it with out this support. Good test scores.
Salmon Bay School has high academic expectation but enhances this with art, drama, music, and everyday PE. Students and teachers respect each other (everyone at the school calls each other by first names-- even the principal). Kids are taught to work out differences. Families are expected to be involved in the school. It is a good place and the faculty work hard and really care. It is also a K-8 and I like the smaller middle school experience.
I went to pub school in Seattle & was hoping this would be a step up. Unfortunately, I found my experiences are very similar save for the overly rude, disrespectful behavior displayed by kids, parents & teachers. In 3 yrs I've seen kids use teachers 1st names, parents are more interested in social hour than education & the school draws wealthier people than most. We've had a very difficult time with the kids (bullying that has NEVER been adressed other than to say my son is "too sensitive") & their parents (very uninclusive & more interested in status). It's been said there's a lot of parent involvement but it's the same parents who volunteer - many do nothing. There are very few black people & I've heard statements of "those people" & use of the "N" word. When mentioned, I was told to go to a south end school?!? Average parent age is 45yo & they have a tendency to treat younger parents badly. The best thing I can say - the P.E teacher is awesome but he pushes them really hard (mile runs for kinders). There is a yearly fee, but I guess it isn't considered tuition as funds are for field trips. If you're looking for inclusion, diversity & a modicum of respect, look elsewhere.
This school had the diversity of a box of saltine crackers, and none of the taste. Not kind, not inclusive, not even safe.
Salmon Bay School is a wonderful learning community, where students are encouraged to reflect on their studies and think about how they relate to their communities and world at large. The administration and the teachers encourage experiential and service learning, and incorporate these into students' required subjects. My organization, Bridges to Understanding, has conducted Digital Storytelling programs at Salmon Bay for several years, and I and my colleagues are consistently impressed at the quality education happening at Salmon Bay.
My 2 boys attend the middle school program at Salmon Bay, and I love it. My son with a learning disability is integrated into the classroom and the teachers put forth so much effort into seeing that he excels to the level of expectations we set for him in his learning plan. He has higher self-esteem and a greater love of learning than at any other time in his education. My other son, who is very bright, is also challenged to produce his best effort and is blossoming under the rigorous curriculum. The teachers expect a lot, but they are so caring and understanding. They make sure the students have all of the tools and support they could possibly need to succeed. They communicate wonderfully with parents and make perfect teammates for parents striving to help their children have the best education within an inspiring environment.
I am a student and like salmon bay. Theres is homework so you do learn stuff. Its light on homework compared to other schools but thats a good thing. You dont hear kids complaining. Parents you need to let up. This school racks. Your not going there your kids are. Back off.
i attended salmon bay K-8, i am a 8th grader now and i couldn't be happier, this school is everything a kid wants. you feel comfortable and confident. some parents don't like the school because its structure, but all the students will tell you they understand their role in the school and are being pushed to achieve. i am not in highschool yet but i feel more than prepared
Principal shows distinct lack of organization and, sadly, minimal interest in students; vice principal is amazing, however! Super teachers, lots of parental involvement, and a palpable sense that the students care about each other make it a great school.
I'm a current (new) student at Salmon Bay. I've attended for seven days, an already observed that this school has an extremely long wait list, almost no new students, ect. It's so highly desired but I don't know why. It's a somewhat unique school in the way of extracurricular activities, but otherwise, it is completely normal. Nothing special.
I attended Salmon Bay through two buildings, three names, four principals and grades K-8. I went to traditional highschool, and transferred to Nova this year. If your expectations are so high that even Salmon Bay's academics are shoddy, homeschooling is ideal. Another Salmon Bay alumna and I were apparently the only students to find the district-mandated highschool curriculum painfully redundant. When asked how high school compared, I replied with complete sincerity, 'I miss learning.' This was especially true where math was concerned. I learned everything from my 10th-grade biology class four years earlier. I'm having trouble grasping special-ed students being 'scary', because they're mostly Apsergers, i.e., generally uncommunicative. Once a boy threw a desk. He took math independently therehence. If they weren't integrated with 'regular classrooms' I wouldn't have my best friend, who, by-the-way, was neither a major distraction nor did he have daily breakdowns, or, in fact, breakdowns at all.
This school is committed to social justice and academic excellence. They work to make students into their own individuals and be part of the larger community. Community building is one of the most highly regarded ideals here, reflecting what is most needed in this world we live in. The staff are so dedicated many spend weekends and late evenings working hard to make this school the best.
Academic expectations are very low. They have a full period for home room every day for the entire year, but only get 1/2 year of science (Most schools have full year science for 6th grade). No history or world culture curriculum to speak of. Special Ed. students are integrated into regular classrooms...seems lovely, but they cause major distractions, and have daily breakdowns. No progress, and the behavior is so bad, the teacher can not teach. All I can say is don't do it.
This school has a lot of isssues, beginning with poor leadership. Many children at this school have behavior issues, are disrespectful and rude. They treat each other rude and they treat the teachers disrespectully. Academics are poor. Very poor. My son is very bright (tested into spectrum), but needs tutoring just to keep him at grade level, because expectations are so low. School told us he would get 30 minutes to an hour of homework per nigh, but he hasn't had homework in months.If you have an ADD child or kids with special issues try this school, but otherwise look elsewhere. It's not pretty.
This school has been a nightmare. There has been a change in Principal and Vice Principal and the school is going down hill. Academics are weak. Communication is very very poor. Teachers are OK, none really great. There are a lot of children with behavior problems and it can be scary at times. Our bus is always late, making my sons bus ride an hour and half each way! Playdates don't happen much, because the school is all city draw and kids live all over the city. No neighborhood feel at all. We are pulling our child out mid year, it's that bad.
I attended Salmon Bay from th grade through 8th grade and am now a Sophomore at Lakeside School. Salmon Bay was a wonderful experience and the rigorous academics prepared me for excellent and challenging course work at Lakeside. Everyone said freshman year at a school like Lakeside would be extremely difficult, but I believe that the teaching I received at Salmon Bay more than prepared me for it. All of the teachers (when I was there, 2002-2005) were of the highest caliber. I recommend Salmon Bay.
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