Sara J Anderson is a diamond in the rough. This school has excellent, dedicated, and caring teachers. The PTA is very involved and works tirelessly to provide money for special assemblies, field trips, and teacher grants. I was unsure of this school when moving inside its boundary after reading the great schools rating, but as I wrote, Sara J Anderson is a diamond, and I am so grateful my kids go there.
My child has attended SJA for three years. He is disabled and it has been a constant struggle for me to consistently get accomodations for him in the classroom. In spite of all my effort, he still has received very inconsistent support from most teachers and administrators for his special needs. It has made learning difficult and has taken quite a toll on his self esteem. I wil enroll him elsewhere this year.
Sarah J is an nice facility. The staff is friendly and the school is well organized. They put on after school events that are very nice. Unfortunately, this school is having a hard time meeting the minimum standards for testing. The focus here is on the underperforming population while highly capable students are overlooked. I feel that while the dual language program is a good idea on paper, it is really there to suite the the needs of a extraordinarilly large hispanic population rather then to enhance the learning of non-spanish speaking students. This school is at a demographic disadvantage and it has obstacles that will not be easily overcome. My advice for parents, volunteer in the school so because then you will be able to see where your child may need assistance that the school has failed to provide.
Our child is in the dual language (Spanish/English) program here and so far we have found the teachers to be exceptional, the office staff to be warm and friendly, and have recently seen lots of effort go in to keeping the kids safe outside. The other parents seem caring and involved, the children appear to be respectful. We feel very fortunate to be in this school district. The only problem - you have to win a lottery to get in to the dual language program here. I have not had reason to be in direct contact with the Principal, so can not comment in regards to the last review, however I do beleive she has a good vision for the overall direction of the school.
My 2 children go to this school. I am not happy with this school at all. The office staff is very friendly, but their is a serious lack of communication with the principal, vice principal and teachers. I feel like I have no idea what is going on in my son's class. I feel like its hard for kids to further themselves if they are a little head of the game. They get stuck back at the level of all the kids. If I could go back and pick a different house in another school I would so do it.
My daughter is in the Spanish immersion classes and it has been a great experience. Teachers are amazing, and the office staff are exceptionally helpful and friendly. The principal has gone out of her way to say hello when she's seen me on campus. There are always adults present when kids are outside... crossing guards on the streets, monitors at the pickup area and chaperones leading kids out to the bus. As a former high school teacher, I've been amazed by the quality of the teachers and the education. The PTA does a great job of putting on events. We love Sarah J and are so thankful for the staff and teachers! Matt Mikalatos (http://mikalatos.blogspot.com)
My son went there for first grade and it was a horrible expirence. Hes in the challenge proram now but was bored at Sara J. The teachers focused on helping the slow kids and let the ones who were at or above their grade level just sit back and watch. Not many parent or family activities. Closed off and unresponsive staff in the office made communicating with Mrs O leary the principal unsucessful. I think its poorly run and poorly staffed. Especially if your child is advanced they will not get the attention or education they deserve.
I think that Sara J. is one of the best schools in vancouver. All 3 of my kids have attended school there and love it. Teachers are great and so is office/principal. They also have the dual language program which I think is great too!