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K-8
Public
Seattle, WA
Students enrolled: 488
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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5215 46 Ave South
Seattle, WA 98118

(206) 252-6900
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Orca (Columbia) address.

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October 09, 2014
Orca is a wonderful school with strong parent involvement. My son continues to thrive at this school and we love the teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 09, 2010
Orca is an alternative public school that gives the students an open, warm and friendly atmosphere to learn in. They also have a fabulous greenhouse that helps the students understand food systems. This enables them to make better choices in their own nutritional lives.

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2010
This is my son's first year at Orca. He's in 3rd grade and we have had a wonderful experience so far. Everyone from the new principal and her office staff to his teacher and other parents have been welcoming and supportive to a new family. Our son loves going to school everyday and comes home excited about what he's learned. At Orca, the kids are very involved in the classroom and are taught that they are contributing members of their classroom community, what a great way to prepare them for the world. Our family loves Orca.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2010
A very clean, safe, progressive school - great attitude from teachers we have met, and wonderful involvement from parents. However it seems in my opinion a bit chaotic and unstructured in terms of creating a respectful, thoughtful learning environment. Our daughter's kindergarten experience has been positive and fun for her, but the class runs wild and is out of control. Also in my opinion the children are afforded too much control of what is going on at any time; they are allowed to bring toys to class, lay down and take breaks when they want, and are generally not told to quiet down when they are noisy or disruptive. When they interrupt the teacher they are not corrected, rather they are asked what they want to say, which encourages bold kids to dominate the class. That said, they are taught empathy and have a great time so overall a positive experience.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2010
because of the morals and standards being taught to the children

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
My daughter has attended 2 other schools in Seattle public schools. Orca is diverse, progressive and nurturing.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
It's a great school, w/ great faculty and staff that really cares about the students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
Community feeling. Incredible support for the children. Great teachers. K-8

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
I love their gardening program and their environmental studies. We need more alternative schools dedicated to real learning like ORCA

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
One of the best school we have in the district, caring faculties, administrations and supportive parents.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
Patient and nurturing teachers Principle = strong leader Fun, organized and dedicated parent groups Great horticulture program Social justice philosophy

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
Orca provides quality academics in a nurturing and stimulating environment.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
Orca is a fabulous public alternative school... where my daughter can learn about her environment, community, art, and the 'whole' part of being a well rounded individual -- it's not just academics and testing. on top of all that, the parent and teacher involvement is amazing!!

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
Great school for Diversity - - - with great Teachers creating a rounded education

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
The staff truly cares about the students. The teachers have high values and morals and try to impart these to the students.

- submitted by a community member
May 05, 2010
I love Orca because it is a k-8 public school that still offers all it's students art and PE on a regular basis.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
I love Orca because it offers kids a wonderfully diverse education, including the most creative gym classes around like the Thriller dance.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 04, 2010
Orca is a community where we all learn from each other. Through creative, socially responsible, and environmental programs the basics of reading, writing, science, and arithmetic become tools for the whole child with real world applications. Not just a school, Orca makes the world a better place for us all!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Involved parents and great garden/science program.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
The environmental curriculum is a unique and enriching principal around which the school revolves. The creativity and commitment of that and the energy and dedication of the teachers and principal Ben is a wonder to behold. Orca is a special place that is facilitating tremendous growth and learning among our children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Our son has had the privilage of attending Orca k-8 this year and we have been extremely pleased. Orca's commitment to education and community is inspiring. Not only do they teach the kids to be excellent students but they teach them to be great people too.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Why do you love Orca @ Whitworth? The teachers are the best anywhere and they focus on Social Conscience issues as well as the environment with their own greenhouse, etc

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Wonderful and supportive group of dedicated families and teachers. ORCA is truly a community school that makes all feel welcome and respected.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2010
It is a fantastic school, that cares about the whole student, and the environment. It has lots of parental support.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
The staff at Orca truly care about my son, his well being and future. They always go a million extra miles to ensure he is getting the beat and most supportive learning environment possible. We moved to our neighborhood soley to enroll him in Orca bases on their reputation.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2010
orca has been the best for my son and his individual learning style. He has blossomed.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
The school makes a positive difference in the lives of it's students

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2010
Diverse and caring community, strong and socially conscious cohort, flexible approach. Incredible environmental program and activities, opportunities comprable to private schoold.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Orca K-8 School is a caring environment with a highly diverse student population both ethnically and socio-economically. With their basic mottos 'We all belong', 'Freedom with responsibility' and 'We solve problems together' Orca provides a highly supportive and culturally rich learning experience. A strong garden program and an environmental stewardship emphasis give kids hands-on experience in shaping their world, from dietary to planetary concerns. The annual plant sale supports the garden program and gives kids and introduction to the world of commerce. With a major Martin Luther King Day celebration and the highly popular Many Cultures One World night, Orca students develop a strong sense of justice, civic responsibility, and world citizenship. The Powerful Readers Program and Young Authors Festival promote literacy skills and let students find their own voices. Mathfests, reading skills programs, and the after school classes offered through the Powerful Schools program provide extra help to those who need it and enrichment for all. Most kids get at least one camp experience per year at Orca, and middle school kids work to fund a trip of their own choosing to destinations from Alaska to New York. Individual teachers run class meetings or programs such as Mirocsociety that help kids learn to solve problems together and participate in democracy and free enterprise. The staff is amazing and the parents highly involved. Orca has been a fantastic experience for my daughter (and for her parents)!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
It is a great supportive community that cares about its children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
I love how the classes aren't lowering expectations. Thanks to Orca's math program my son will start high school at a 10th grade level!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Because they have excellent teachers. Their focus is on the student and their ability to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Because it supports my childs emotional and social well being as well as her academic skills.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
It's got an anti-bias/social-justice oriented philosophy, reflected in 'The Orca Way,' and has a fantastically diverse student population!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
The garden, the focus on the environment, the fact that everyone is treated equal - for real - and it's terribly diverse - Plus we love our daughters teachers!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
ORCA K-8 has dedicated staff, involved parents. Garden program. Great principal.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
My son has excelled since starting Orca K-8 this year! He enjoys gardening, yoga, art classes, and visits with his reading tutor. Couln't ask for a better school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Orca celebrates and embraces every child. The community is strong and that translates into happy kids!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Exceptional teachers and a creative sanctuary for learning!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
My children love the Orca garden. The staff are warm and exceptionally open to parent involvement. Orca works hard to develop the whole child.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2010
we have an amazing community! everyone who spends any time in the school has a 'six degrees' relationship with so many of the kids. the ways that our children are taught are so diverse: working in the garden, yoga, an incredible art program, music...

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
My daughter loves it, she learns so much, and it's a fabulous community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Orca concentrates on social responsibility and caring for the environment. It has an incredible sense of community and everybody is welcome.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
love the school and their philosophy

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Orca has a wonderfully dedicated and caring group of students, teachers, staff and parents. We have a beautiful garden with beds that produce food for local food banks. Our Environmental Ed program includes outdoor camp for all our kids from 1st grade up.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2010
It is amazing to see the richness of experiences our kids are offered on the shoestring budget provided by the State of Washington. We have some amazingly creative and resourceful teachers, administrators, kids and parents - imagine what could happen with more money!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Overall great school! The students learn so much more than the set curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Strong sense of community where all belong, emphasis on social justice, integrated curriculum with focus on ecology, great teachers and staff leadership, state of the art science facilities and amazing garden classroom.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Education is way more that math, science, social studies and english. At Orca students are able to discover their innerselves and find out who they are while learning.

- submitted by a community member
May 04, 2010
At Orca my daughter becomes fascinated, and amazed. She grabs hold of her education and runs with it. Whether she's learning about wolves or writing poetry, or making art, or planting vegetables in the garden - she's completely engaged.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Their focus on the garden as a classroom is inspiring. I love being out there with the kids getting our hands dirty and learning about science and food!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
WOW! A fantastic group of students, teachers, and parents all working together to create an active and vibrant learning environment. The Orca garden and rich evironmental science curriculum and art program are just two of the many many things we love about this alternative K8 school located in the most diverse zip code in America 98118!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
Orca is an amazing school where 'no one swims alone--we are all herd.' It's focus on social justice, social responsibility and environmental consciousness in primary school is unmatched. The teachers and staff take a child centered approach where students learn in a way that is authentic to who they are. Their award winning garden program is known throughout the state. It is a spectacular place.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
Orca is such a wonderful community of kids, parents, teachers and staff! My 2 daughters absolutely love going to school each day. 'Everyone Belongs'!

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2008
Everyone in this school is very nice. There isn't one person that has been rude since I've came there

- submitted by a student
May 05, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
November 07, 2007
Range of teachers from some claiming to be alternative but lack in the academic rigor to those who are skilled at meeting needs for all students academically and socially. Overall they are dedicated and caring teachers that obviously adore children. I loved the idea of the garden (sad to hear that they were moving) and the amount of community involvement. I do have to say that some parents overstep their boundaries and there are attitudes of entitlement. For the most part, parents and community members are a positive force. The principal does a good job of providing a voice for the families. I wouldn't necessarily say the students are academically challenged however they do have a strong focus on the whole child's development as a responsible citizen in society. I personally needed my child to have stronger academic rigor and felt there were gaps in their curriculum or lack of.

- submitted by a parent
July 03, 2007
Orca is an exceptional school. My child has thrived with the alternative approach which includes hands-on science learning in the garden and a 3-day camp for grades 1-5. Teachers are highly dedicated. This school is moving to the old Whitworth school building in the Lakeridge/Seward Park neighborhood in the fall of 2007 and expanding its program to K-8. Staff and parents are energized and engaged in these changes. It is an exciting time for Orca. The school is constructing a science lab/environmental learning annex to the school over the 2007-2008 school year. The school is highly diverse -- racially, culturally and in family style -- this quality creates both a dynamic and challenging environment at the school. Administrators, teachers and parents strive to respect and include input from the school community. The school holds race forums and is adding a new anti-bias curriculum in the 2007-2008 school year.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2007
One thing Orca really gets right is 'community'. ALmost everyone is involved! If you've got a skill or a connection, they will tap it. It is an exciting place! Kids are really stimulated and engaged in this non-tradtional learning environment. There are a few teachers who need to step up the academics and there needs to be more consistency in the curriculum. Orca is in flux in every way though (and seems to be changing for the better despite growing pains). There is tension between the more hardcore alternative parents vs. those who see the commitment to environmental and social consciousness, plus the many opportunities outside the classroom as untraditional in themselves. We love Orca, but it is not for everyone. It is committed to fairness & that is refreshing. You won't get your choice of teachers just because you spent $5000 at the auction. We also love the organic snacks!

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2006
Kindergarten was a great experience at Orca. This is an 'Alternative' school. My experience at Orca indicated that 'alternative' means that the parents have a very high level of influence in making decisions, even minor ones. I admire the principal for being able to handle this level of input from parents!

- submitted by a parent
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Orca (Columbia)
5215 46 Ave South, Seattle, WA  98118
(206) 252-6900
Last modified Orca (Columbia) is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Orca (Columbia) Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 61 reviews. Top