It is only the beginning of the year but this school is already leaps and bounds better than the last! This school is the third Tacoma school my son has attended in his young life. I feel like the other reviewers have nothing to compare it to like I do. First of all, the grounds are absolutely stunning as it sits in Manitou Park amongst century old trees. You can feel the warmth from the moment you walk in. The front office lady is specular and everyone from the principal, the the counselor, to the music teacher, to the librarian(s), to the bus drivers (our son doesn't even ride the bus!) And finally, his teacher. Everybody is so nice!!! Even if my first impression isn't completely accurate I know this school deserves a better rating than it has. We are very happy so far.
It was not safe for my son at all at this school. The principal is careless and the teachers are very abusive towards children with disabilities. Children can easily leave the school without anyone noticing during recess, because they only have one person there to watch all of them. My child also went missing and they hadn't contacted me, I had to find out from one of the other students at the school. They eventually found him in an empty classroom they "accidentally" left him in. Twice a week he would have a new injury from the teachers. They would eventually deny all the problems. I would never recommend this school to anyone.
My kids attended this school grades 2nd and 4th. They have no structure in this school and the children are bullies. And most staff dont do a thing about any of it. Both my daughter and son have gotten bullied and beat , both in classroom and on the bus. My son has always been excited to go to school and learn. After attending manitou he was afraid of being bullied and hurt he didn't want to go. My son has had accidents in class due to the teacher not letting him use the classroom. And he has told me they do it all the time. And I never got one single phone call that he had an accident . We had to move in order to get our children away from that environment. And hopefully it's early enough to erase that nitemare from their memories.
My children have attended for 3 years now and they love it. So far the teachers have been great although I have one questionable one this year. I however do not like how they are disiplined as a group when one child misbehaves, I do not see how punishing the whole group shows the one child not to misbehave again.
My 2 boys attended Manitou for only 5 days and it was horrible. There were too many issues with Safety at Manitou! It was ridiculous! The location is next to a Public Park, with easy access to the playground/lack of true separation/safety. The drop off/pick up of students has Zero structure! They open a door and let the kids out to wander off and find their parent/adult. No Lines, no verification of identity of the adult, no specific place to pick up your grade of student. I was told to tell my kids to pick a tree and meet me there. REALLY? Drop off, I was advised to Not drop in front of the school since it's such a busy road, but to either drop at the end of the public park and let them walk through it (no way, with sex offenders and teenagers everywhere?) OR to drive around the back, drop them behind the Chain link fence, watch them walk through the playground, then for me to exit through the private residence alley way. NO SYSTEM! One of the 3 days I put them on the bus, the office instructed them to change & get on a different #'d bus, incorectly, without informing me. They were eventually dropped over an hour late! I will do everything in my power to never attend again!
My sons have attended the school for 3 years and 1 year. I can't compare but I can share our experience. The building is new and beautiful. Staff is friendly. We have had one amazing teacher and 3 mediocre ones. Parent involvement is encouraged but it hasn't been clear how exactly I could be involved other than the PTA. You are welcome to eat lunch with your child which is neat. The classrooms are at capacity, very full. The one big problem we have had is the style of discipline. The class often gets punished as a group which is very frustrating when your kid is not the one making trouble yet is punished every day. In fact it's so frustrating that we are changing schools next year. They also let the kids talk at lunch but then when a mysterious, unknown to anybody level of loudness is reached suddenly everybody gets punished with missing recess time.It is ridiculous, not effective and hasn't been effective for years, yet they keep doing it! When I talked about this to the principal, my kid was put on the spot in front of the whole class, I was told that's how it is in life and we might as well get used to it and generally nobody cared I had a problem with it..
I do not recommend this school!! My Grandson is a 1st Grader and a 5th grader beat him up on the bus for talking too much.There were many witnesses, and then she threatened to hit him again with her instrument case!! The school only sent home a note with the 5th grader and only made her say sorry..This is supposed to be a non bullying school ?? The Principal was too busy to deal with it so had the Vice Principal handle it..She apparently doesn't care about the safety of the children as being important!!!
My daughter & son go to this school! My son is a 1st grader & my daughter kindergarten. I can agree with other comments that there are a couple good teachers there, like Ms Dorgan & Ms Clifford. But there is a lot of violence in the school. they say they have a "no bullying policy" but they dont enforce it well when it comes to punishing the bullies. Also if your child has any special needs:DO NOT take your child here! they do not have the time or patience to deal with it! My daughter who has a developmental delay, adhd & sensory processing disorder was having a bad day & they couldnt handle her so they sent her home! Also my son had told his teacher many times that he was being bullied & she always ignored it! Then a 5th grade girl punched him twice in the ribs & attempted to hit him with her instrument case. All the school made her do was say sorry & send a note home to her parents because this was the first time she had gotten in trouble before!