Posted April 15, 2009
Dear Families: Thank you for reviewing the Perkins Elementary School - we truly appreciate your feedback and opinions. I wanted to take a moment to address the review posted on January 13, 2009. These comments are not meant for the Perkins Elementary School, a non-profit, private school in the Maple Leaf neighborhood that serves students in kindergarten through 5th grade. Somewhat confusingly, there is a Perkins Preschool in the Ravenna neighborhood, and they do have a summer program (we do not). While we think the preschool is a wonderful place, and each year we enroll one or two of their students, the two schools are not connected, academically or administratively. Again, thank you all for the very constructive feedback!
My daughter attended Perkins from September 2013 to May 2013. I pulled her out early because it was such a bad fit. The environment is loud and chaotic, some of the teachers are seasoned professionals and some are green as grass so it's the luck of the draw. My daughter never felt safe at Perkins because the boundaries were never clear and rather than address this issue they constantly tried to manage her behavior, which was a direct result of not feeling safe. I brought this to the attention of the school on numerous occassions and they consistently said it my daughter was the problem. I put her in another school with twice the class size (from 12 to 30 kids) and she's calm, focused and thriving under a seasoned, respected teacher so it wasn't my daughter it was the environment. Some kids thrive in a loud, chaotic classroom while others don't so keep that in mind when selecting a school for your child. The fact that there was 25% attrition in my daughter's 2nd grade speaks volumes. The leadership's priorities are the schools reputation, which isn't as good as these reviews or the attrition rate suggests.
Our child absolutely loves the Perkins School and is thriving there. She is academically gifted, and we really struggled with the school choice decision. There are some great schools in this area, but the Perkins School is the only one where they could accommodate our child at her level with individualized learning; provide a safe and nurturing environment; and facilitate a love of knowledge through experiential learning. The Perkins School provides an excellent curriculum with a strong focus on science; and houses outstanding leadership and staff. Every single adult in that building is a high quality individual that exhibits enthusiasm for education and commitment to the children. Whether they are turning the class into an "aquarium" to learn about marine biology or transforming the upper level classrooms to the "silk road" to learn about history of trade, your child will experience a real depth of learning and have a fantastic time too! We are so pleased to have our daughter exposed to the positive learning environment at our school, I really can't say enough good things! Hope you will check it out for yourself.
Our daughter cannot wait to get to school in the morning. She says, "I feel like Perkins was made just for me!" Her classes, her friends, the faculty - she loves them all. We were especially glad to see they added a 2nd teacher in the early-K/Kindergarten class. The amount of diversity and caring packed into that little school is astonishing. The kids are absolutely thriving.
We love Perkins. Our child has attended since Kindergarten and is now a 5th grader. The school has provided a warm, positive community for our whole family. The former head of school strengthened the academic program and brought incredible teachers to the school, as well as made phenomenal changes to the physical plant to make better use of the small space. The new head of school (since 2010) also provides strong leadership and has brought many innovative programs to the school, expanding the environmental stewardship and teambuilding activities. The teachers are outstanding ad LOVE working there -- it shows every single day. The experiential curriculum is exciting and enriching for the kids. Not to mention that every teacher, staff and the head of school all know our child and care deeply about our child's development and well-being. Our child has had an incredible elementary experience here and we know it has set her on path to being a successful, confident, caring student and young person. We are thrilled with our experience at The Perkins School. I wish I could have gone to school there!
Our daughter has attended Perkins for 6 years. She moves on to middle school next year & is well prepared for her next educational journey.While looking for middle schools I thought I would see how Perkins rated. Reading through these reviews, I noticed the discontent the school suffered a few years ago. I will affirm there was turmoil however, the school has righted itself & is on a wonderful path lead by a new Head of School. What stayed consistent over the years was the quality teaching staff & academic program. With a new head we seem to have flourished.The science program promotes critical thinking. Our daughter has learned to play the recorder in music class. She is learning French. I am pleased with the sophisticated writing skills learned. This year she has not missed one assignment due to the planning skills learned. I could go on & on. The mixed grades & small classes foster a supportive community of learning. The playground fosters imagination. The native gardens & pea patch give hands on learning to care for our environment. The school is steward to Thornton Creek. The chicken shack & the boot barn add excitment everyday when gathering eggs. I highly recommend Perkins!
My two kids attended Perkins a while back, during the time of the administrative issues that caused the turnover/exodus at the end of one school year, but even then, it was a fantastic school for the students and there wasn't any teacher turnover during the school year AT ALL! Just the opposite, in fact. Prior to that period, there had been a great deal of teacher loyalty and dedication to both the school and to the students. I hear that kind of atmosphere has resumed under the new leadership. I couldn't have asked for a more caring and nurturing environment for my kids. I have no doubt that the small class size and individual attention along with the wonderful enrichment opportunities helped my kids develop into who they are now--confident and knowledgable students that have been very successful in middle school. This is a lesser-known but very high quality school that shouldn't be overlooked when considering elementary schools!
I asked the school about attrition in response to the post below. I found out that last year, other than a teacher going on maternity leave (planned for and kids/parents knew way in advance) there was no teacher turnover - there has been very little student and teacher turnover in the past few years. I think the poster below is referring to the major issues this school had a few years ago and shortening the timeline to make it sound very recent. Those past issues resulted in a mass exodus of teachers and students. They now have a new head of school, a clear vision, a staff that appears to be on board with that vision, and families that also want to be there. I will give 5 stars for now since this site forces you to rate and everything I have seen is great! I would prefer to not rate and reserve judgment since we are applying this year and don't currently attend. I hope others will also ask questions and visit for themselves before assuming that negative things from past years are still the case.
Ask about their attrition rates. We took our son out of this school last year after a 85% attrition rate the first year and a 45% attrition rate the second year. In our son's first year, he had five different teachers. On his second year, he had two different teachers. Ask the school, how many teachers have left since 2007. Ask how many students have left since 2007. The numbers speak for themselves. Ask whether they still have a computer program. I do not need to disparage the school, because if you ask the above, you will find out all you need to know.
My wife works as a teacher at the Perkins School. Being a former teacher myself, I have to say that Perkins knows what they are doing. Their philosophy is put into practice every day. From my wife's daily stories and my own observations during special school events, I can see the students are engaged, happy, and intellectually curious. With a cohesive, professional staff with lots of energy and many years of experience, the Perkins School is an amazing place for learning and growth. I wish the school and their students continued success for years to come!
The leadership of the Perkins School has changed for the better since the new Head of School started this September, 2010. Our family has been at Perkins for several years now. The new HOS has made many positive changes including energizing the faculty and bringing the children together over all the grades. We are very pleased with Perkins and encourage prospective families to really take a look at our great school.
I moved my children from Seattle Public Schools to Perkins and could not be happier with our decision. As public school class sizes are increasing, at Perkins we found the small class size ideal for learning. My kids are thrilled with Perkins and have amazing stories of what they did every day. The answer to, "what did you do in school today", is never, "nothing". It is always some exciting adventure, fun curriculum, and amazing facts they learned. If you're looking for a school with small class sizes, an amazing and challenging curriculum. ability to work with individual needs of students, involved families, supportive staff and administration, and an encouraging environment, then Perkins is the school for you.
The Perkins School is a SMALL school with BIG results! This is our family's third year here & our satisfaction with the school has only increased each year. The teachers have been a consistent team of caring and collaberation. Because the school is small, each child is thoroughly understood and respected by every staff member. My two sons have VERY different learning styles and personalities, yet I feel they have both received the attention and education promised. And the communication between teachers, administration, and our family is stellar. With a new Head of School, bringing with him 15 years of experience from a well-regarded local school, The Perkins School will continue to provide quality education with the support of a talented administration. After experiencing two years of applications to Seattle private schools, we can say with absolute certainty that The Perkins School process was the least stressful and most inviting.
I have 2 children currently enrolled at the Perkins school. I am proud to say that both of my girls LOVE going to school and I am shocked on a regular basis on the amazing activites they are able to participate in. The teachers are thoughtful and it is obvious how much they care about each student. The small community feeling of the school provides a safe and warm feeling that I think helps students become comfortable very quickly. The fact that my girls speak to each other in french at home speaks for itself! I feel lucky that we found a school that values young childhood education so much. With such small classes I feel my children get more one on one attention that fits their needs. Our experience has been amazing and the only downfall is that they have to leave after 5th grade!!!!
Our experience at Perkins has been 100% positive. The enthusiasm and professionalism of the teachers and staff creates an environment where kids want to learn. The small class size allows teachers to tailor lessons to the abilities of different students. There is no one-size-fits-all philosophy at Perkins. All children are encouraged to grow and participate and are encouraged to collaborate whenever possible. I had expected academic excellence at Perkins, but I had not anticipated the enrichment activities that round out the curriculum. French, music, art, and drama are offered. The science program is exemplary. Recess and physical education are understood to be an important part of a child s education. Their P-patch is a work of art. I am searching and can t find a negative thing to say. Our first grader summed it up: Perkins is awesome! I want to stay here all the way to fifth grade .
I have been a parent at the Perkins school for nine years. Each year the school has grown. I have watched the school change from private to non-profit status. The staff at Perkins school is exceptional -- all are approachable. This year I have observed a very contented staff; excited about teaching, and learning from one another and the children. The teachers work to coordinate their lessons to maximize the children's interest and knowledge. We have a pea patch garden that the children are privileged to work in, discover, and grow from. My sons have brought home the bounty of this learning and shared it at our dinner table. Many parents have contributing there time and money. The devotion of so many is what has feed and continues to feed the spirit of this school. The best secret is that when spring arrives, the strawberries in the pea-patch are irresistible.
The Perkins School cares about the development of a well rounded student. There is an excellent selection of enrichment programs that help aid in the learning of traditional subjects. Perkins is an extended family for students--a safe place for learning and exploring.
We are in our 11th year as a Perkins family. We have always experienced Perkins as a nurturing, wholesome and supportive environment - not only for our children, but for our family as a whole. The experiential educational approach is superb. Parents feel not only the welcoming warmth of the community, but also the opportunity to partner with the great teachers in a relationship of mutual respect and shared commitment to the growth of the kids. We feel so fortunate that both of our children have been able to spend their grade school years at this wonderful school. Excellent academic and social preparation, and a positive orientation to school, have contributed to our son's success in middle and high school. The new Head of School is terrific. He is protective of all that is best at Perkins, and ready to develop its potential in the coming years. A real gem.
I have been so fortunate to find a place like Perkins to work at. The support from staff, administration and families create a community feeling where anything is possible! At Perkins students are listened to and their ideas cherished. Students here are immersed in the joy of learning and as a teacher it is refreshing and inspiring to work where thoughtful curriculum is presented in a way where children celebrated and friendships are formed school wide!
The school has had problems in the past when my children attended - now has hired a director who made a mess of a sweet little school in Madison Valley. I would beware.
We are new to the Perkins School this year, but thus far, our experience has been excellent. Our child, as well as our entire family, are treated as an important member of the school community. The teaching staff all seem very invested in each child's indiviual learning needs and approach their work with creativity and caring. We have not had a lot of direct contact with the new head of school yet, but he presents himself as very interested in maintaining the community culture of the school as well as in maintaining a challenging curriculum, and we've been favorably impressed with the contact we've had with him. We have been particularly impressed with the science, music and drama/socialization curriculums. We were looking for a holistic education in a small community environment for our child. While the past reviews are concerning, they do not speak to our experience thus far.
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