Advertisement
Advertisement

GreatSchools Rating

Ae #2 (Decatur)

Public | PK-5 | 371 students

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

18 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted August 27, 2014

I highly recommend this school to parents who want their kids to learn the value and joys of contributing to their community (in the 3 yrs my older child has been at TC she has released salmon that her class raise, pulled invasive plants along local trails, and discuss kid issues such as gossiping and bullying with each other), and a love of learning (their field trips and outings are tied to their academic requirements). They also learn the academics that come with a great elementary education. Here are comments from my two kids at Thornton Creek. 4th grader: "I love all the field trips and the fun things we do and learn. I think Thornton Creek has many great programs and they make math, reading, and writing fun. I learned about tide pools and phytoplankton in 1st grade. In 2nd grade I learned about salmon and their lifecycle. In 3rd grade I learned about Native Americans in the Northwest Coast. 3rd was my favorite year so far. This year I will be in 4th grade. From the experience I've had from other grades, I feel excited about starting fourth grade." 1st Grader: "I liked kindergarten, especially my teacher. She made everything fun. I learned how to write and tell stories."
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2014

We just finished our first year of K at Thornton Creek. I love the hands on learning approach at this school and I witnessed a phenomenal play studied, written and created by one 5th grade class whose expedition was the Human Body (I wish they had performed for my college physiology class - I would have had a better grasp of macrophages, T cells, and more!) One first grade class expedition had to do with Playgrounds and each student designed 3-D models of their ideal playground (after considering weather, balls&slides science kits and more) and they presented their model and read a paragraph to a team of architects and the principal! If only all students could learn in such a setting! One negative is that each student at TC has a different series of expeditions and not all of them are nearly as phenomenal as the ones I just mentioned. The school is definitely overcrowded now, as SPS is gearing up to double the size in 2016, when a new building is opened. This may change the overall flavor of the school and in the meantime has recess and lunchtime and school assemblies bursting at the seams. (They no longer pay to be officially an "expeditionary learning school", BTW)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 29, 2012

My children learned to think and be independent learners at AE2 in the 90's . I was not happy with the math instruction so I taught them at home. My kids learned to have great respect for our environment. (Salmon was big thing when they went to AE2 which was bewildering to a group of east coasters.) As a family we learned to hike and camp through school activities, as a parent I learned to let my children explore the world with fewer restrictions. The greatest thing my kids learned was acceptance for individual differences. The students varied widely in term of ability but all had something to contribute to the enterprise at hand be it a haunted house or pressing cider. (about 1/3 of the kids at time were learning disabled and rest were highly capable (and some were both.) ) Its like a private school in terms of out come ,All three kids have achieved academically and socially at levels I didn't think possible because they learned to be academically and physically self reliant. My kids are all Ivy league graduates, trained professionals capable of almost anything having adventurous lives
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 1, 2011

Thornton Creek certainly has it's enthusiastic advocates among the parent body. However, those who claim it's "like a private school in a public school setting" have clearly never had direct experience with private schools. Granted, TCS is doing a valiant job in light of the massive problems of SPS. But, it's still plagued by district politics, funding concerns, and large class sizes of varied ability. It's simply not comparable to private. Our child attended several years, bookended by private school experiences. While we yearned to support the public school system and 'walk our talk' by participating with our children's attendance, TCS simply couldn't meet our child's needs for challenging academics. The school-- particularly the parent body-- place an enormous emphasis on "social development." However, in my opinion, these values need not come at the expense of academic rigor. Yet, the TCS teachers we've encountered have overtly played to the middle, academically. For example our child's teacher told our high-achieving 2nd grader that he'd need to wait until middle school to be with kids of his ability in math and to have math curriculum that would interest and challenge him.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 28, 2010

Our daughter attended Thornton Creek & is now a successful student at Roosevelt High School. Pros: Mixed-grade classes, theme-based learning, an emphasis on teaching how to learn. Students find answers through experiments, projects, etc. Style of math is a process (not rote method). Parent involvement & community is wonderful! Very dedicated teachers, staff & administrators. Cons: Our daughter didn't like the way they taught math. However, she's in honors math getting straight A's! She needed more rote memorization of math facts (times tables, etc); we did that at home. Perhaps this school attracts more 'ADD' students due to their style of learning by doing? They spend a lot of $$ to be an 'Expeditionary Learning' school, but I think they could spend the $$'s better by investing it in reducing class size & overall funding, and still learn through theme-based exploration without being a designated 'Expeditionary Learning' school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 10, 2010

My kids have been at this school for 7 years and it is a phenomenal school. The school philosophy is to teach the whole child rather than just the academic child. There is ample opportunity to get involved in the classroom, whether as a book group leader, assisting in math class, assisting on field trips, or other ways. The parent community is very supportive. Parents communicate between each other, volunteer for all school events, such as Talent's Night, the annual bazaar, leading school tours, etc. My daughter has since left the school and is doing great academically in middle school. And she also has empathy for other kids... I've been thrilled with being part of the Thornton Creek community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 16, 2009

We transferred our child from a private school to a public school in 2nd grade and have not regretted the decision. Our child is thriving and enjoying each of her experiences. We feel she is learning core skills but through different modalities of learning and content. She is having fun, making friends and is becoming a solid student. What more could you ask for? We are thrilled to be sending our son with special needs; although we expect challenges - we know that the caring adults of staff and parents will assist in him being able to thrive.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2009

Expeditionary learning, a robust community, diversity in the student body, and a huge playground that sports an unabashedly open 'dirt area.'
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 14, 2009

Thornton Creek truly understands and respects children and families and finds a way to bring out the best in both. I have the utmost respect for the dedicated staff and countless volunteers who make this dynamic and positive community thrive! Both my kids, despite their dramatic learning style differences, have been excited to go to school every day. What more could I ask?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 24, 2009

Now that my oldest child has moved on from Thornton Creek school to middle school I now have a greater perspective on the solid educational foundation this school gave her. She has placed into all honors courses, and is thriving! She has a lovely, diverse group of friends and exudes self-confidence. We were somewhat concerned that her transition from an elementary school that gives so much individual attention to a very large middle school would be difficult, but those worries were completely unfounded. At Thornton Creek, she learned how to be responsible for her learning, take pride in her accomplishments, work effectively with others on group projects, and take constructive criticism with grace. All that, paired the solid academics at Thornton Creek have laid a solid foundation for her future academic experiences. Great school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 5, 2008

Now named Thornton Creek this school is like a private school in a public school setting. This school celebrates the whole child. Never before have I met such confident well spoken polite children. This school is rich in blending traditonal acedemics with science, art, music, dance, and theater esp. through the annual classroom expeditions. There are high expectations at this school for students to succeed acedemically, socailly, and emotionally. This school is very inclusive and fosters a sense of belonging and community. Children here have a strong sense of self responsibility esp. in regard to their work and how they work as a team (and how they treat others). Thornton Creek has a high degree of parental involvement and honesly feels more like a cooperative school. This school is great for alternative families as well. Love this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 3, 2008

AE2 (now Thornton Creek) has been wonderful for my outgoing, creative and enthusiastic child. I feared that a 'traditional school,' where he might be expected to sit still at a desk all day, could turn him off to the joy of learning. At Thornton Creek, his energy and creativity are embraced and respected. He is invited to explore subjects and learn in many ways. Questions are always open-ended, so students can explore subjects that interest them in great depth. And the many field trips help kids make real-world connections to the subjects they are studying in school. Thornton Creek encourages children to assess their own effort/skills and set goals for the year. There are still standard assessments, but I like how the kids take responsibility for their own success. The expeditions make in-depth learning fun and engaging, and I am always delighted with the end-of-the-year performances, exhibits, etc.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 2, 2008

This is a great school. There is a really strong sense of community. The teachers are for the most part highly capable. The kids always seem happy to be at school. The school seems to foster a great sense of responsibility and self worth.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 16, 2007

AE2/Decatur has a mission of educating the whole child, and largely lives up to it. Students are taught how to take responsibility of themselves, their school, and their learning; they really seem to embrace the expectations and thrive. Parents are very involved both in the classrooms (reading with small groups, sharing special knowledge/expertise, fieldtrips) and outside the classrooms (school governance, new parent orientation and tours, fundraising -- I like that fundraising is very successful without requiring us to sell 'stuff'). The expeditions foster an indepth type of learning that I see carried over into the study of other classroom subjects -- thinking critically about things and being able to ask good questions is a great skill to foster at this age. AE2 doesn't do a very good job of promoting itself. Student teams win many competitions (math, writing, archery, etc.) but only the AE2 community seems to hear about it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 18, 2007

We transferred our APP-qualified child from a local private school to AE2, and have never regretted the decision. This school has a strong culture of academic excellence and community values, recognizing that teaching consists of educating the whole child: academically, emotionally, and socially. I like that students take age-appropriate ownership of their education and of their school, which (talking to families of 'graduates') serves them well in middle school and beyond. Students are truly engaged in their classes and are encouraged to ask questions, work collaboratively, and share what they have learned with their classmates and teacher. I have heard one parent complain that AE2 kids 'talk too much in class'; this parent wanted to see students at their desks, silently working on their assignments. But I think kids learn best in an interactive environment, and the success of AE2 students bears that out. It's a wonderful school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 25, 2006

Some teachers are great, others are not. Academics are O.K., but are not consistent. Some classes are somewhat structured, others are very loose and chaotic, school does give parents a say in which class the child is placed in. Due to lack of discipline and upholding of rules, student safety is an issue, with many incidents. Due to the 'alternative' nature of the school and parent mindset, students have a lack of respect for authority, and feel it OK to challenge and argue with adults. They don't listen and are disrepectful. Though there is not any physical bullying, there is a lot of negative interaction between students, including put downs, and exclusion (though the school will tell you the children are very inclusive). All in all if you have a child with special needs (ADD etc)you may like AEII, but if you have an average child, look elsewhere.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 15, 2006

We were somewhat dissapointed in our daughter's experience AE II. The teachers were very interested in being on the leading edge of educational theory sometimes to the detriment of the students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 8, 2005

Alternative in the sense of emotional understanding and respectful community relationships. the school teaches through expeditionary learning and recognizes that children learn at differnt paces. They are structured without being repressive.The grades are mixed with emphasis on the older kids mentoring younger. I have seen literally no bullying or stutus teasing. Kids are kids and there are strong personal;ities here, they are dealt with respectively. the school fundraises and employs a full time counselor who is phenomenal. If you are concerned with your childs emotional as well as academic education this is a great school.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

45 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
67%

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
69%

2010

 
 
94%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

45 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
89%

2010

 
 
90%
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

50 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
69%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
64%

2010

 
 
79%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

50 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
92%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
68%

2010

 
 
83%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 62% in 2013.

49 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
84%

2012

 
 
61%

2011

 
 
60%

2010

 
 
67%
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

51 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
74%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

51 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
83%
Science

The state average for Science was 67% in 2013.

51 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
81%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
56%
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

All Students67%
Female58%
Male75%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White68%
Low incomen/a
Not low income72%
Special educationn/a
Not special education76%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Reading

All Students88%
Female88%
Male88%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White89%
Low incomen/a
Not low income93%
Special educationn/a
Not special education95%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

All Students69%
Female72%
Male64%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White69%
Low incomen/a
Not low income69%
Special education42%
Not special education77%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Reading

All Students92%
Female90%
Male96%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White92%
Low incomen/a
Not low income94%
Special education75%
Not special education97%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Writing

All Students84%
Female86%
Male82%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White82%
Low incomen/a
Not low income88%
Special education75%
Not special education87%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

All Students88%
Female88%
Male89%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White89%
Low incomen/a
Not low income91%
Special education90%
Not special education88%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Reading

All Students96%
Female100%
Male93%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White95%
Low incomen/a
Not low income100%
Special education90%
Not special education98%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Science

All Students94%
Female92%
Male96%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White95%
Low incomen/a
Not low income93%
Special education100%
Not special education93%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 76% 60%
Two or more races 11% 6%
Hispanic 6% 20%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 7%
Black 2% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Transitional bilingual 10%N/A8%
Special education 120%N/A13%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 211%N/A44%
Source: 1 WA OSPI, 2009-2010
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student-teacher ratio

  This school District averageState average
Students per classroom teacher 17N/A17
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Average years educational experience 11N/A12
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree or higher 85%N/A66%
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

This school has not yet provided program information.


Help other families

Millions of families turn to GreatSchools for help with their
school search. You can help these families by providing
a few details about this school.

Administrators & teachers: Let your school shine!

Help your school shine online by adding program highlights, photos and more on GreatSchools! Get started »

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
Searching for school events...
Date
Title
  • {{date}}
    {{title}}
Export calendar
Outlook.com
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...
POWERED BY
Tandem
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

7711 43 Av NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: (206) 252-5300

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools







ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT