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GreatSchools Rating

Point Defiance

Public | PK-5 | 422 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

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Parent involvement

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20 reviews of this school


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Posted October 4, 2014

Horrible! Some of the teachers are bullies and if you stand up for your kids they center your child out and bully them!


Posted June 13, 2014

Pt. Defiance Elemantary School is horrible.Some teachers are good,but some are bad.the The teachers always have favorites.They always say things to their favorites and never pay attention to the other kids. Also, my child, who is going to be a fourth grader, had a very rude third grade teacher. The teacher would always ignore the students. I do not reccomend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 4, 2014

this school has a awesome kindergaten teacher mrs.riggio but it seemslike the 5th grade teacher dont quit help out with the kids that need help luckly my daughter has found a new middle school that willing to help with what she didnt get in 5ht.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 14, 2013

This school is horrid... I wish I had seen this site before I decided where to move!! My sons third grade teacher is rude, pushy and inattentive. My son hates school and has never ever hated school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2013

Not impressed with this school thus far. While a focus on reading is wonderful it shouldn't be the only focus. Cannot believe the lack of attention paid to math and science. Only three weeks into school and my child has been injured twice with not so much as a leter sent home. I will be looking for a new school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 24, 2013

My son just started kindergarted this year and his teacher is so rude and pushy. I can't talk to her about his progress at all without her changing the subject or cutting me off so I don't get to say anything.. I don't feel comfortable leaving him there with her, I feel as though she does not like him and treats him differently than the other children. Currently looking at otherschools to possibly go to.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 12, 2012

Pt. Defiance is a blessing for our family!!! So far three of our kids have attended and the great teachers at Pt. Defiance have taught them sooo much, they all excel in most subjects and are happy to wake up everyday and go to school. The oldest now is in middle school and continues to excel with a 3.9 GPA. I believe that what makes this school great is that principal, teachers and parents all CARE!!! Academics is a priority but to make kids welcome and noticing their hard work is just as important in this school. Our fourth child is going to attend this year and is also getting Mrs. Jacobs!!! My kids like her very much for a kindergarden teacher. In first grade Mrs. Hanson helped my kids with strong math and reading skills!!!! I believe she gave my kids a strong start for the rest of school life!!! Mr. Pittrof is a great fourth grade teacher, my child has never had a boring day in his class, so is Mrs. Watt for fifth grade and Mrs. Ancich for second grade! So far I haven't met a teacher that was not great. Thank You Pt. Defiance for such a great school and to Principal Olga Lay for always making sure our kids get the best education and a great environment to be in.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 12, 2011

My son came to Pt. Defiance after not having a successful experience at another school. My son is medicated ADHD and very challenging. I met with Mrs. Lay (the Principal) and explained to her my concerns regarding my son. She was caring and kind and placed my son in Mrs. King's classroom. He is a completely different child. He likes going to school, wakes up happy, and when I told him he will not have Mrs. King next year he was upset. I have spoken to several teachers at Pt. Defiance and the love they have for their children is unlike anything else I have seen anywhere aside from private schools. The teachers treat every child like they are the most important person in the world. I have seen teachers show patience with even the most difficult child. I can honestly say that Pt. Defiance is like a private school without the tuition.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 9, 2010

Point Defianace is a great elementary school. The school welcomes parent involvement and has a high family turn out at all the events. We have been involved with the school for 3 years. My daughter started kindergarten with Mrs Riggio and she is such a GREAT teacher. I have seen several kids transfer out of Point Defiance when they move to a different area and have ended up returning to the school because they missed it so much. We have nothing but great things to say about all the staff and teachers!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 5, 2010

My daughter is in kindergarten with Mrs. Jacobs. She loves her teacher and principal. The curriculum is well rounded. She learned how to read and write, is doing math and science projects. We had an issue with a boy picking her. We addressed this with the principal and she immediately had a conversation with her and him. She listened to both kids, found the cause of the problem and came up with a plan to stop the situation. It worked and a few weeks later the 2 became friends. The PTA is wonderful with lots of family activates. The only complaint I have is the Music teacher. He seems to have a hard time handling a lot of children. Overall the school is great. If you choose to be involved in the school community you can make some great friends for yourself and your kid(s).
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 1, 2010

My daughter attended Point Defiance for kindergarten and first grade in 03-05. Bullying was a huge problem and never addressed. My daughter became so much happier after switching schools and was finally able to focus on learning instead of other children tormenting her. It seemed the only academic focus at the time was reading and AR points, so much so that the principal seemed obsessed and singularly focused on it. My daughter has now received a more balanced education and has discovered how much she enjoys math and science, in addition to reading. Leaving Point Defiance was a smart decision, and I'd hate to think where she'd be academically if she stayed there. The difference has been like night and day. Her current 5th grade teacher wishes she could clone her, but we only received negative feedback at PD. I'm now convinced it was the environment and not our daughter.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2010

Awesome school and great academics happening for kids
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 14, 2009

Point Defiance Elementary is the best elementary school in Tacoma. My child has attended since Kindergarten with Mrs. Riggio and I love it. We moved and another school was closer so I transfer my child to the other school and watched my child's personality, social skills and grades fall cause that school didn't care about there students and parents like this school. I trans my child back and drive there just for her to attend. That is how great this school has affect my child and she is back to herself again. Mrs. Lay is the most wonderful and caring principal I have met, and she is always somewhere in the school with her students and chatting with the parents. The Staff is just as wonderful. I will never leave this school again, I can't wait for my son to attend too!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 9, 2009

Awesome school...they care about kids and really make kids reach the high bar. The PTA has monthly events and it is a wonderful place for kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2008

Point Defiance has a very active PTA that helps plan family nights and events for everyone. This helps students be more active in school and want to participate. Reading and academics is stressed to the fullest. It is a great place for kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 30, 2008

Pt. Defiance Elementary is not just a school, but a tight knit community where every child is made to feel important and loved. The staff is committed to excellence and makes it their mission to see that each child has the tools they need to succeed. They are led by an incredible principal who is rarely found in her 'office', she is in the halls, on the playground, reading to kindergarteners, making sure each child, teacher, and parent are given her full undivided attention. The academics are excellent, making sure each student is treated as an individual, from the one that needs extra help to read better to the one that yearns to be challenged. Parent involvement and commitment, coupled with this unbelievable staff make this school the best in Tacoma.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 30, 2008

Pt. Defiance is the best school in Tacoma. It is a great North end school. The Teachers, Staff, Secretaries and Principal Lay always make my family feel welcome. The PTA is very strong and always planning activities for families. My children have attended since kindergarten and Mrs. Riggio is everyones favorite Teacher! Their are so many wonderful things about Pt Defiance I can't mention them all. I would highly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 5, 2005

Point Defiance Elementary has great staff members, however the Principal is in this job for herself esteem and not the children. She over runs the assemblies, takes credit for any thing her staff does. Mrs. Lay is not a team player, she needs to realize that she has a staff who is exceptional and very capable of doing their jobs with out her. Mrs. Lay does not care about the students only how she can look in the communities eys.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 1, 2004

Point Defiance staff is great! Mrs. Riggio, Mrs. Severson, Rose, Mrs. Ancich, and Jimmie Williams really care about their students. Students are respectful, polite, eager learners ready to meet any challenge. However I question the test scores. I have also seen better relationships with principals. Mrs. Lay does not seem to have the support of her staff at Point Defiance. If not for the staff I would take my child elsewhere. Parent involvement used to be much higher prior to Mrs. Lay's arrival.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 26, 2003

Very nice staff. Rose is a great person. She always has a smile on her face. Same with everyone in the office. Keep up the good work.


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

62 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
64%

2010

 
 
68%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

62 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
73%
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

89 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
70%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
45%

2010

 
 
47%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

89 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
61%

2010

 
 
75%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 62% in 2013.

89 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
60%

2010

 
 
64%
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

77 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
70%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
49%

2010

 
 
41%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

77 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
62%

2010

 
 
74%
Science

The state average for Science was 67% in 2013.

77 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
70%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
50%

2010

 
 
39%
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

All Students68%
Female63%
Male73%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White67%
Low income61%
Not low income77%
Special education36%
Not special education75%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Reading

All Students77%
Female75%
Male80%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White78%
Low income67%
Not low income92%
Special education46%
Not special education84%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

All Students70%
Female78%
Male61%
Blackn/a
Asian91%
Asian/Pacific Islander92%
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White69%
Low income55%
Not low income81%
Special education33%
Not special education76%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Reading

All Students82%
Female89%
Male75%
Blackn/a
Asian82%
Asian/Pacific Islander83%
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White87%
Low income68%
Not low income92%
Special education42%
Not special education89%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Writing

All Students82%
Female94%
Male70%
Blackn/a
Asian91%
Asian/Pacific Islander92%
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White85%
Low income74%
Not low income88%
Special education33%
Not special education90%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

All Students70%
Female70%
Male70%
Black39%
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White79%
Low income54%
Not low income85%
Special educationn/a
Not special education73%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Reading

All Students81%
Female88%
Male73%
Black46%
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White87%
Low income65%
Not low income95%
Special educationn/a
Not special education81%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Science

All Students70%
Female78%
Male62%
Black39%
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White79%
Low income54%
Not low income85%
Special educationn/a
Not special education71%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, in writing in grades 4 and 7, and in science in grades 5 and 8. The MSP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 67% 60%
Black 10% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 8% 7%
Hispanic 8% 20%
Two or more races 6% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Transitional bilingual 19%N/A8%
Special education 14%N/A13%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 243%N/A44%
Source: 1 WA OSPI, 2009-2010
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student-teacher ratio

  This school District averageState average
Students per classroom teacher 18N/A17
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Average years educational experience 11N/A12
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree or higher 39%N/A66%
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Nurse(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching

Language learning

Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School Leader's name
  • Olga Lay

Programs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Tutor
School leaders can update this information here.

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4330 North Visscher St
Tacoma, WA 98407
Website: Click here
Phone: (253) 571-6900

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