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Unread 11-07-2008, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
1,663 posts, read 3,789,080 times
Reputation: 571
Question Some questions about elementary schools...

I was telling my best friend (in CA) how we voted on Tuesday in an elementary school, and the room we voted in was very obviously an art room. She was telling me that most schools in CA no longer offer art, music, or various other electives due to budget cuts.

So, I was just wondering if the elementary schools on the east side still offer things like art, music, choir, etc. Now that I'm a parent, the better WA is starting to look in the long term.

Oh, and a high school question: Do they still teach driver's ed in high school here? I learned in high school, but they've cut that out of CA schools now, too.

Thanks!

V. =)
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Unread 11-07-2008, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 3,418,554 times
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We are in the Issaquah School District which is generally regarded as one of the five best in the Seattle area. The kids rotate through music, PE and computer lab every three days I believe. One a month an artist comes into their class and does a higher level project that the kids may build on over time. Last year my son's second grade did a desert scape with water color, chalk and perspective and they worked on it over time. They supplement that art program with a parent who is designated Art Docent for the class and they come in and lead projects several times a month. We had a dedicated and thorough art docent last year...she was not an artist but she and the teacher worked together to find neat projects that coordinated with what they were learning about (i.e., studying space they did a cool planet project using clay). I will say I was disappointed when I got here because in Texas we had a dedicated art teacher that was in our every three day rotation there but this seems to work out okay. One thing I do like is that the kids get two 20 minute recesses everyday and that was something we did not have much of in TX. Having two boys, recess is especially important to them. The other thing you have to watch in WA is that school districts are heavily funded by private foundations to close the gap on the state formula that dictates what funding a school gets. Issaquah happens to have a really strong foundation. The PTSA also fundraises heavily and actually pays for the art teacher and other programs. All in all, I feel like we will get a high quality public school education in Issaquah. We were in a good area of schools in Austin but I think as a whole all the way through we will have a bit higher quality here.
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Unread 11-08-2008, 01:27 AM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
1,663 posts, read 3,789,080 times
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Thank you! I live in Issaquah, too (and will probably buy a house here if we decide to stay), so that's great information! I really appreciate your long, thoughtful response! Thank you, again!

V. =)
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Unread 11-09-2008, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 3,418,554 times
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I thought I remember that you did from other posts after I already posted it...so I am glad it was helpful. I can only speak about the elementary experience but I have heard great things about the middle schools and high schools as well. There will always be issues and cutbacks but the parents out here seem very committed to education. There are many parent volunteers at our school (moms and dads) and many of them work full-time but still find time to come in. It makes a huge difference in the quality of the education because it gives the teacher more time to teach. So I'd look at that as well.
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Unread 11-09-2008, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texastrigirl View Post
I thought I remember that you did from other posts after I already posted it...so I am glad it was helpful. I can only speak about the elementary experience but I have heard great things about the middle schools and high schools as well. There will always be issues and cutbacks but the parents out here seem very committed to education. There are many parent volunteers at our school (moms and dads) and many of them work full-time but still find time to come in. It makes a huge difference in the quality of the education because it gives the teacher more time to teach. So I'd look at that as well.
Thank you. I work part-time, so I'd likely volunteer. Of course, I'm planning pretty far ahead, my son only just turned one, and my daughter isn't due until January, but I'd like to buy a house in the next year or so!

V. =)
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Unread 12-10-2008, 10:34 AM
 
4 posts, read 4,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texastrigirl View Post
We are in the Issaquah School District which is generally regarded as one of the five best in the Seattle area.
Hi; would you mind listing the other four? We are moving to the Seattle area in the summer of 2008 and need a good school district, as we probably can't afford private schools.

Thanks,
Laird
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Unread 12-10-2008, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 10,585,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljnelson View Post
Hi; would you mind listing the other four? We are moving to the Seattle area in the summer of 2008 and need a good school district, as we probably can't afford private schools.

Thanks,
Laird
From north to south in western Washington:
Bellingham
Shoreline
Bellevue (often listed as best)
Mercer Island (often listed as best)
Issaquah (which includes northeastern parts of Renton)
Olympia.
There are other quite good schools, such as Vashon Island and Camas, but those on the list are consistently cited as "the best".

These links should give you good resource information:
The Seattle Times: School Guide
Great Schools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community
Washington State Report Card
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Unread 12-10-2008, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
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The Seattle school district has a few good schools but you need to do your homework to ensure that your address will allow you to attend.
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Unread 12-10-2008, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 3,418,554 times
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The other four I would list as solid along with Issaquah School District in the Seattle area are Mercer Island, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue and Lake Washington. You can check out the Washington State Report card which gives statistical info which is only one part of the picture but is helpful because it gives you somewhere to start. Seattle proper certainly has some good schools but it is not an easy or guaranteed process to even get your child in the school that is down the street from you. Also, plenty of good private options...I was just thinking of public schools in the area.
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Unread 12-13-2008, 11:12 AM
 
7,697 posts, read 12,705,936 times
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The Tahoma (Maple Valley) school district is also considered one of the top districts in the state.
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