This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted October 13, 2014
- a parent
I do not recommend this school for kids that are dyslexic or have other language related challenges. In our experience, we found the teachers to have low to zero awareness of dyslexia and therefore did not have the skills needed to teach dyslexic children. During our time there, the principal was not at all interested in building this muscle at Pathfinder K-8. With 1 in 5 kids on the dyslexic spectrum, I found this shocking. We left the school and found a place where our son learned to successfully read and write and his confidence skyrocketed.
My son, who is not neurotypical, attended Kindergarten through second here. Our experiences were horrid. I hear the school has changed and that may well be true. My son was fairly traumatized. One of his teachers practically called him stupid to his face and another didn't believe him when he said he was being bullied and the special education department was a disappointment. Very sad for us, but we've since gone on to home-school and then to a very positive experience in another school. Parents were very much busy volunteering, but mostly coddling their own children, rather than helping the entire class.
My son is just finishing up K this year. I wasn't sure what to expect but I have been pleasantly surprised. The teacher he has is wonderful and all the others I've met seem just as caring and committed. The schools leadership are engaged and want feedback. There were a few minor things I brought to the vice principal's attention and she was very professional and concerned and is working towards a solution. My son never liked school but likes Pathfinder. The parent involvement is amazing in his class (can't speak for rest although I've heard just as good). Our attendance school is Alki but I chose Pathfinder over it because of the amazing teachers and expeditions. I would recommend to anyone. I have also used Blazing Trails and it is very convenient to have on-site. Only negative is large class size but I know that is a SPS issue. Not happy with that one. I'm hoping that we continue to be as happy at this school.
Our son started kindergarten this year and we have been consistently impressed so far. The staff is wonderful, the parents are involved, and as a result, the children are very respectful and caring. I have walked through the school with my 6 year old and kids from K-6th grade all know his name and say "hi". As a parent of a kindergartener, one of my concerns was bullying but after seeing how great all of the kids are to each other I no longer have that worry. The before and after school program at Blazing Trails is an absolute god-send. I feel so fortunate to be able to be a part of this great program.
We have our first kid in kindergarten here this year. We are having a great year and really love this school. Our son is excited to go and on Friday he was so excited about his project that he told me that it was going to be the best day ever. K and 1st grade had just finished in a learning expedition about markets around the world. They did several field trips to actually see real live examples that culminated in a kids craft market at school. All of the kindergarteners and 1st graders made projects that they got to trade with other kids. It was great and the kids and parents all enjoyed it. I love how they teach ideas, concepts and our teacher. She is great with the kids. We feel really lucky to get to be a part of this great community.
I have had three children go through Pathfinder (one through grade 8). The teachers, staff, parents, and children are a loyal and loving crew with very solid academics in an expeditionary learning environment. Consistently great experiences for all of my children.
I'm a student in middle school at Pathfinder, and I enjoy it. I am learning a lot, but learning is interesting at Pathfinder. The teachers apply the things we are learning to everyday situations that we go through, so it never seems irrelevant. The teachers really care about us, and want us to succeed. If work is too hard or too easy for us, they will take their personal time to help us, and make sure we are doing the most we can. I feel like I will be prepared for the future because of Pathfinder, both academically and mentally. I couldn't imagine being at any other school.
If people would ignore standardized test scores and go with their hearts, this school would have an endless wait list. I have never seen a group of such happy children who love to learn and staff who love to teach and not just to the test. Great onsite childcare too.