My daughter loves it, she learns so much, and it's a fabulous community.
Orca concentrates on social responsibility and caring for the environment. It has an incredible sense of community and everybody is welcome.
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.
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!!
Overall great school! The students learn so much more than the set curriculum.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Orca is such a wonderful community of kids, parents, teachers and staff! My 2 daughters absolutely love going to school each day. 'Everyone Belongs'!
Everyone in this school is very nice. There isn't one person that has been rude since I've came there
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
To start a new list, click OK. Otherwise click Cancel.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Orca (Columbia) on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for Orca (Columbia), including performance data and recently posted user reviews.