This school is different than other schools in several important ways. Community Experiences, lots of outdoor education, self assessment for students, multi-age classrooms, super involved staff. This is also a STEAM School- awarded the highly regarded Lighthouse STEM award by OSPI: http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/pressreleases2014/STEMLighthouseSchools.aspx?printable=true CK8 also received TWO awards of the highest honor by WA State "The Washington Achievement Award recipients are the highest performing schools in the state based on three years of academic information as reported in the Washington Achievement Index." http://www.shorelineschools.org/news/release.php?releasesid=1631 All students in Shoreline School district are lucky to be blessed with GREAT school no matter where they live. Cascade K-8 Community School provides another fantastic choice for students in our area!
Cascade K-8 is an amazing place. It's a public school with public school challenges, but there are fabulous things that make me grateful my kids attend. There are many opportunities for real-world learning through field trips and twice-a-year overnight camps. There is also an emphasis on group work, collaboration, and cooperation. Community is a huge part of the school, and kids learn about kindness and cooperation. My kids truly enjoy the art program, and they are top-notch scientists due to the annual science fair, after-school engineering programs, and enthusiastic teachers. I love the school because it creates a sense of belonging for the whole family. Every school has kids who need special services, including Cascade K-8. Our school has kids on IEPs, as well as kids who qualify for the highly capable program. The school is designed to help kids find their intrinsic motivation, and explore what they're passionate about. This looks different for every child, and it's implemented differently by each teacher. Kids benefit from knowing all of the adults in the building, attending middle school in a safe and familiar environment, and exploring the world outside the classroom.
I'm incredibly happy with Cascade K-8. I have two children, one in 1st and one in 6th, and my experience with both ends of the age spectrum, and the school in general, has been really positive. I appreciate the level of parent involvement and the type of contributions I've been able to make as a parent, from teaching a stretch-and-strength elective to organizing Wacky Olympics at Spring Camp to being in my daughter's classroom once a week to help with reading rotations. The school is committed to differentiated learning, and even though we've had a lot of student population growth in the past couple years, the values of honoring individuality and academic excellence are still paramount. The classrooms ARE more high-spirited than traditional schools and are allowed to be, which is not for everyone (parent or child). My son, though, has gone from not being able to do his homework unless he's in a room by himself with no noise to thriving in a busy classroom, which I think is a move in the right direction. :)
This school offers an amazing and unique approach to education for a public school. Parents are a welcome addition to the school and play an integral role - providing significant support to balance the constrained resources of a public school. Each student is really known and supported by all of the teachers, staff and the parents. On a daily basis, I am confident knowing that my child will never fall through the cracks at Cascade K-8. The multi-age classrooms provide an opportunity for each child to have opportunities to learn from older students and to mentor younger students. All in all, this has been a great experience for my child!
We wish we would have had access to more reviews about this school when we were researching where to send our children, so hopefully this honest review will help others. This school sounded wonderful on paper. We were looking for a more hands on approach to education with an emphasis on STEM learning. The multi-age learning was also interesting to us, as well as the idea that children could learn at their own level. But classroom management is a problem with many teachers, as a good number of children have behavior issues and aren't able to thrive in a traditional classroom. This results in a daily loss of learning time, leaving my children to sit bored while behaviors are trying to be dealt with. The lack of communication by the Director is a staggering disappointment. Emails of concern will go unanswered for weeks. STEM is not a focus until Middle School and daily learning is no more hands on than in a traditional public school classroom. Parent involvement is supposed to be a core aspect of this school, but there is a lack of classroom volunteers, where they are needed most. This school's vision is marketed well but it is poorly excuted in the daily classroom environment.
Cascade K-8 is not a school that will work for every family. Theoretically, it was a good match for ours. We support mixed age classes, fun extracurriculars, and parental involvement in a small school community. Our previous school fit that description, and we loved it. In reality, the school falls short. The foreign language and school wide music programs have been eliminated. The STEM focus is primarily applied to 6,7,8th grades. The extracurricular activities were amazing, but at the expense of core subjects. The administrator's stated primary goal is to grow the school, not support the families and staff. As another reviewer noted, many of the kids at CK8 are a little bit different, or have special needs, and some of the teachers struggle with classroom management as a result. We removed our child from the school when it became obvious that the only thing he was learning was abhorrent behavior from the out of control children in his class. If you are considering enrolling your child in this school, I strongly advise you to make multiple visits to ensure it s a good fit for your family.
We absolutely love CK8 and couldn't recommend it highly enough. The whole school goes camping twice a year, 3 night and 4 days in the Spring, and 1 night 2 days in the Fall. This alone was enough to sell me on the school, but it turns out there are so many more wonderful things about it. The kids are excited to be there. They are creative, curious, and smart. Because it's an alternative school, it seems that most of the families there are just a little different. This adds to the diversity of the school and the kids don't tend to exclude other kids based on them being different. It's a community school. Everyone gets to know each other and most of the kids know me by name. If you're worried that you don't have time for a community school, you should know that there is no pressure to be active. You don't have to log certain hours volunteering or anything like that. Because of the mixed age setting, the older kids are protective of and the younger kids admire the older kids. The art program is award winning, the foreign language teacher is phenomenal, and the after school music program has been fabulous. I could go on but am out of space.....
Cascade is a small public school, dedicated to educating your child in ways they can actually learn. They have extensive art and science programs, monthly electives, market days and outdoor education in the form of all-school camp twice a year. It is run with community involvement meaning all the parents help out to make the curriculum happen. And parent volunteering can take any form from leading an elective class in your favorite hobby to website coordinator and every level of involvement in between. This school will not only teach your child how to read, write and draw, it will also teach them how to be part of a community.
We've been at Cascade K-8 for 4 years and love the community! It's a very involved group of parents, staff and students all working to create some really great learning experiences for the kids. The focus really is on EXPERIENCING learning rather than opening a text book and completing worksheets. We love the small, close community, age mixing, project based curriculum, fall/spring camps, student self-assessments, art, science, and so much more!