May 31, 2015
In CKSD, this is a good school. Keep in mind, the 9 rating is test scores, and EH is where the 'gifted' magnet program resides. It makes all the difference in the score, but it will not affect your personal experience unless your child is in the gifted program. Don't be fooled. There is very little community spirit at this school. The PTA is anemic, and mostly teacher run. The art teacher retired and was not replaced. Communication from school to parents is awful. There is an old outdated website, pta website, fb for both, and still there was a robotics club that was never advertised so parents could sign their kids up. We all heard about it afterwards and were completely shocked, and I'm a parent that tries to be involved. They posted posters in the school for it. How many 1st graders are planning their own after school activities? Posters work for high school, not elementary. When parents have tried to start new clubs at EH their ideas have been immediately rejected by the principal before it could even be proposed to the PTA. And they wonder why the PTA has so little parent participation. CKSD also has a habit of over filling this school with kids that live outside this school's boundaries and even outside CKSD boundary(you can apply to transfer to another school in WA), but then they bus the 'extra' kids to the neighbor school, Silver Ridge, and YES even kids that actually live within EH school boundary! I pay a premium rent to live in this neighborhood and then they tell me they might bus my kid down the hill for the year! I have noticed that EH teachers are happy and they collaborate well and are good at what they do. there is no obvious teacher drama at this school. If your kid has the test scores for the gifted program, you will be happy, but do call and check on it before you commit to EH. The requirements are high compared to other school systems in the U.S. If you do not need the gifted magnet program, its worth looking at Brownsville (amazing principal! Amazing PTA!) And Silverdale ES. There's a Montessori program at Hawk ES (public school). There are a few duds in CKSD, so do your research. Overall the WA curriculum leaves much to be desired at the ES level. Our previous school system was one of the top so we've had to adjust our expectations, but CKSD is a step up from Hawaii schools, I hear. Emerald Heights is really a 7 or 8 rating, IMHO.
- submitted by a community member