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moving from SF


wiebkechen March 9, 2012

Hi there,We are thinking of moving to Seattle from SF. We are looking for a good public high school, hopefully with a good athletics department and the same for a middle school. Where do I start?Thanks

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MagnetMom March 23, 2012

A great place to start is here:

Type in the zip code and start reading the parent reviews. Check the ratings. Start comparing districts. You'll be able to narrow down your search. When you're ready to tour, read the articles with tips to help you choose the right school for your kids.

Good luck!


Welshmum May 18, 2012

If you're looking for a good public school, I recommend you consider the suburbs of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland or Mercer Island. Bellevue and Mercer Island have the top test scores in the state as well as excellent athletic facilities. The Redmond schools have benefited from Microsoft money and are very well-equipped. It's true you will have less diversity in those areas but the academics are top notch.

If you plan to live in Seattle proper, I would have to recommend a private high school. The public schools in the Seattle district are large and underfunded with poor test scores (there are some notable exceptions for elementary schools, particularly in the Queen Anne neighborhood). I know there are those who would argue that test scores don't make a good school and that perhaps my view is elitist. I'm simply sharing factors that I considered when choosing a school for my child.

A charter school would offer the best of both worlds and I believe there is a very good one in the Burien area. Excellent private schools in Seattle proper that are grades 6 - 12 are:
1. Lakeside School: Great diversity, amazing academics, large endowment, excellent financial aid, very difficult to get in, famous for educating Bill Gates
2. University Prep: good all-round school with emphasis on traditional college prep classes
3. Northwest School: Small caring school with emphasis on the arts
4. Seattle Academy of the Arts & Sciences: small class size, great academics, focus on the arts, urban campus in Capitol Hill (not the best choice for athletic facilities)
5. Bush School: great traditional prep school, lovely campus, small class sizes, good athletic facilities

If you live in Bellevue or Mercer Island, the public schools are so good that you likely wouldn't need to consider private schools unless you have a particular reason for doing so.

If you google the website of the Washington State Department of Public Instruction, you can click on various neighborhoods and look at individual school's WASL scores to see the percentages of students performing at grade level.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck with your move!

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