Most of the teachers are excellent. There was at least one total dud our student had, who was later fired after the damage was already done. There are also quite a few young teachers who seem to have only lived lives within the Jesuit bubble: went to Prep, then Santa Clara/Gonzaga/etc, then back to Prep to teach. These are popular with the students but seem less effective to me as a parent for lacking any life experience outside of Jesuit education. As a parent/student, you have almost zero agency in the selection of courses or teachers.
Seattle Prep is very strong on academics. Students are well prepared to be admitted to and succeed at the best universities. This can have drawbacks: your student may feel marginalized if they plan to apply to less than 10 universities and take fewer than 6 AP courses. The college counselors are also excellent and give each family all of the personalized attention they might hope for as they apply to college. The school's retreat programs are also an excellent embodiment of the Jesuit principle of "cura personalis" or care for the person. The administration and faculty's biggest weakness is technology: it is all somewhat functional but pretty much all of it falls short of the standard of excellence applied to other aspects of the school. The website, electronic communications, the flawed and abandoned iPad 1:1 program, anemic technology curricular and extracurricular offerings, and the sharing of confidential student information with an entire class via the classroom management system (information which remained published for months with no correction) are all examples of the many ways technology delivery falls short at Prep. This feels ironic given how many Microsoft, Amazon, and local startup employees are members of the community, and suggests that while Prep is happy to accept financial donations, baked goods, and help organizing social events from parents, they really fail to tap into the broader skills and talents of their community. The last thing to be aware of is that although this school is in Seattle, it is not really a Seattle school. Many of the students come from the Eastside and beyond. Consider the values and disposition of families who choose to send their children across the lake to Prep rather than enrolling in the best-in-state public schools of the Eastside. This can manifest in some ugly dynamics as Prep competes on the athletic field with Seattle public schools whose students lack the overwhelming privileges Prep students enjoy. It saddened me greatly to hear of Prep students making derisive cheers at games making fun of the SAT scores of their opponents from South Seattle public schools.
Homework load can be heavy, but is in keeping with the college preparatory focus of the school. I do feel that the school does some artificial dialing up and down of the stress levels and homework load (particularly in the Junior year)
Seattle Prep has a great curriculum and prepares student very well for college. My daughter has thrived here. However, it is important for prospective students and parents to know that the courses are challenging and the grading system is strict - an A at Prep means something. Though I applaud Prep for not bowing to grade inflation, the kids are absolutely put at a disadvantage when they apply to college. Prep does NOT do a good job of explaining the challenge of their curriculum to colleges. The small, private colleges understand this but good luck on getting into a larger public or private school when they don't know Prep's reputation.
I am a current freshmen at prep. and I want to say i really love prep! I came from a public school and didn't know anyone. everyone at prep was so welcoming and nice to me. Now im pretty close to a lot of the class. There is that thing though about the smart rich kids which is partly true. Im pretty sure most of my class went to a catholic school and in a upper class family. but they all share same respect. honestly no bullying at all. and the academics are very challenging. most of the kids go to the top colleges at prep
Seattle is a great school, and should be one of your top choices out of private schools in the Seattle area. This school is meant for highly motivated students, who suceed in many areas. If you arent motivated, the teachers will help, but you will not succeed if you dont want to learn. Colleges respect Seattle prep, and even if the GPA is lower then most schools, it is because it is highly rigorous, and just by going to the school will help you gain entrance to colleges. Average gpa that is accepted to University of Washington from seattle prep is 3.6.
An absolutely wonderful educational experience for my daughter. I cannot say enough about this school and the school community. There is an emphasis on educating the whole person - mind, heart, soul. The academics are top notch and I love the mission of social justice and care for the whole person. Students come out of this school with impressive critical thinking and writing skills. I'm a professor and my daughter can write better than many of the college freshman I teach. What a joy it is to have my daughter at this school. Thank you Seattle Prep!
Seattle Prep is an academically challenging and rigorous school. The teachers are very involved with student learning and the leadership appears to be strong. The school has an incredible 100+ year tradition of educating the entire person. I recommend this school to a student that is very motivated and wants to take charge in his/her learning