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Students enrolled: 506

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2500 Franklin Av East
Seattle, WA 98102

(206) 252-3510
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Map of Tops K-8 address.
Grateful to: Teacher
November 03, 2015
I thin there are a few teachers that actually acre and try hard. all i can say they must be really really tired and discouraged.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Too much
November 03, 2015
homework is not proven to help kids-- kids should be taught in school and maybe given projects that improve at home the homework is just bs and shows how much they are actually not taught in school

- submitted by a parent

November 03, 2015
bullying, poor response, bad behavior by kids in general. lack of learning -grumpy teachers.... bad attitude by vice principal parents are supposedly involved but don't have a clue what goes on at school for a social justice focus school their kids and managment of kids is spinning out of control

- submitted by a parent

September 09, 2014
the principle is a terrible person and has no place to be around famiies. i tried to talk to him about my son's anxiety and he didn't give me a chance to talk.

- submitted by a parent

November 18, 2010
A pretty good school overall. My complaints against TOPS have mostly to do with the inability to fire teachers that are burnt out or simply not there for the students. A certain teacher played favorites with students doing well in his class and refused to help struggling students. Spent way too much time on cars.com during the school day when he could have been helping the students he is being paid to teach. My daughter struggled in math until she entered high school (Garfield). Once she had someone who took the time to explain the lesson well, she took off. Meanwhile this teacher still teaches at TOPS. I still hear parents complaining.

- submitted by a parent

October 20, 2010
We felt like we won the lottery when we got into TOPS, and we did. At TOPS we've found dedicated and talented teachers and staff and a wonderful diverse community that supports our children. There is high parent involvement and the kids are together from kindergarten through 8th grade so everyone really becomes a family, and invested in each other's success. It's a special place, we feel very lucky.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
September 16, 2009
Great school with a great diversity of students.

- submitted by a community member

July 31, 2007
TOPS is a small caring community. There is an excellent art program, and PE is great. But it is rather average in terms of academics(although there is lots of talking about how great the programs are). I have been working with my child all those 'elementary' years at home to make sure that she stays advanced, particularly in math. So, if your child (or you) has academic ambitions, this school is not for you unless you are willing to supplement at home.

- submitted by a parent

June 26, 2006
TOPS is a great school for my kids. Joan and Joby, the Kindergarten teachers, are absolutely amazing! A somewhat more traditional approach than some other alternative schools, although kids are given many choices. Those choices are good for kids who need freedom to explore; might seem chaotic to kids(and parents) who need a ton of structure. Alternative nature also based on emphasis on arts (esp. visual arts, theater, public speaking), and social justice. One other review panned the school as 'politically correct', to which the school would plead: 'guilty as charged'. How many other schools have a large and highly active 'Committee for Social Justice' and an anti-bullying program that runs from Kindergarten to 8th grade? Would only recommend this school if alternative school with these goals appeals to you.

- submitted by a parent

June 01, 2006
This school has high standards. The staff has put a lot of effort into coordinating the curriculum across classes and grades. Students who struggle are given help by parent volunteers, small group instruction, and sometimes private tutors. The special education staff is very high quality. The downside to the school is that the classes are almost always at capacity, and once you reach the middle school level the students don't have have any options for their 'electives'. It can also be hard to get into.

- submitted by a teacher

April 04, 2006
Although many parents are quite happy with this school, it was not optimal for our child. Class size is larger than many Seattle schools because TOPS has a good reputation and people are clamoring to get in. My child did not thrive in this environment. She is highly academically motivated and needs to be challenged but that is not a priority for this school. There is a moderate degree of ethnic diversity (which I like), and a commitment to understanding and maintaining that diversity. Unfortunately, that commitment overshadows the obligation to meet the educational needs of all children - including gifted children. My daughter was in a chaotic environment at this school and I was concerned for her safety. Teacher quality is quite variable with a high turnover. Some were excellent, but others were poor.

- submitted by a parent

May 01, 2005
This school used to be great, and it's still living off its previous reputation, and pretty soo it's going to be obvious to more people. You know how a fire will keep burning even when you haven't added any new fuel for a while? They're just about out of fuel. Or, to mix metaphors, what you've got here is the Emperor's New Alternative School. It's good because everyone says 'It's great, it's great.' But it ended up being a toxic, chaotic environment for my child. It's all gimmicks and silliness, and the only reason their test scores are excellent is because it is 100% interested parents -- as an alternative school, nobody is there by default. Many parents are virtually homeschooling their children in actual academics in the evenings, and TOPS is basically Political Correctness Daycare Center. (Not as nutsy as new-agey New School, though.) Want an education? Look someplace else.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 14, 2005
TOPS is an excellent K-8 public school in the Seattle School District. It draws students from all over Seattle, so it has a more diverse population than the average neighborhood school. There is a strong emphasis on multiculturalism (one of the highlights of Kindergarten is a family history from every child) and involvement in the life of the city (many field trips). The school expects a high level of parental involvement. Perhaps because of this, student test scores are among the highest in the city (though not as high as those in the priciest neighborhoods). Science and art are integrated K-8 and the kids have P.E. every day (all sadly unusual in Seattle). It is a K-8 school, which is appealing for our family. Bad sides? Classes are large: 25 in K, 29 by 5th grade, and then maybe too small in middle school (1 language, no honors math). We love it.

- submitted by a parent

August 23, 2004
My daughter had wonderful teachers and friends at TOPS. The community is so warm and the parent support is the strongest I've experienced. My daughter really excelled with all of the attention she received from staff willing to help whenever needed. On top of that, the school is k-8th grade, so she was able to stay connected with old teachers and help with the younger kids. Middle school options in the central area cluster are not the best, yet these students are lucky enough to experience it with familiar teachers, staff and students. TOPS is a very supportive environment and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an active part in their child's education.

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: November 3, 2015

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Tops K-8
2500 Franklin Av East, Seattle, WA  98102
(206) 252-3510
Last modified Tops K-8 is a Public school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Tops K-8 Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 21 reviews. Top