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Old 06-05-2008, 12:21 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,199 times
Reputation: 10

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I am new to this area, from California, and have boys who are primary in elementary school. We are cultural diversed middle class family, and looking for good public elementary school in Federal Way.

I am looking at Green Gable or Sherwood Forest. Academically, I can tell Green Gable has a lot to offer, but I am not too sure if this is the type school where kids could be kids. I could see their curriculums are intended to tailor to each kids' level, interest and ability. Though, when I visited, I could not tell if the kids are really enjoying what they do since they were VERY VERY quite for their young age, and independently reading or working on their project. I am not saying I want my kids to be in the school with no displine nor the school that is out of order, but I want my kids to be in the place where they can laugh and enjoy being with the other kids. My ideal school is where kids could be kids, yet there are lots of stimulus for young brain to learn. I want my kids love their school and get upset on no school day. They used to go to school like that in California and I really miss it.

Also, since we are cultually diversed, I want my kids to go to the school with high multi-cultural awareness, acceptance and understanding.
If you know this area, and know these two schools, I would appreciate your opinion.

Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:25 PM
 
5 posts, read 11,817 times
Reputation: 11
Default Federal Way Schools

In general, the public schools in Federal Way are pretty structured and that is why you will see that the kids are fairly quiet, especially at the schools where scores are high academically. I have heard great things about Green Gables Elementary and they seem to have an active PTA to add the fun stuff to the curriculum. I have also heard good things about Adelaide even though their scores are not as high. There is a rich culture at that school I think. I have also heard good things about Camelot Elementary. I think they won an award. I checked into Sherwood Forest, but I was immediately turned off by the enormous power lines that towered over the school. My daughter attends Meredith Hill Elementary and she loves it. She enjoys her classmates very much and they get to do alot of fun activities mainly with the help of the active PTA at this school. There is a cookie day every other week. The PE class if fabulous and includes a climbing wall in the gym along with bowling, juggling and hoolahooping among other things. There is an art docent program that allows the kids to learn about various artist styles and they get to try them out. They have a festival in the Winter with games and pizza. They have a bingo night at the school that the kids really enjoy. There is alot of diversity in my daughter's school as you will find at any of the Federal Way schools. In general, the kids are structured and well behaved at the school, but they are happy there. They get to be involved in the daily activities at the school. My daughter has a class dog who is in the class quite often. The school has a steel drum band and it is clear that this adds a special something to the school for the kids. So far, my daughter feels privileged to go to this school and loves it. She does enjoy her time off from school because she likes to balance the structure with free time. There is very little free time at the school aside from recess. If this is not what you are looking for, you might check into a montesori school. I have heard that there is an excellent one in Federal Way, but it can be quite spendy. For more information about Federal Way schools, check out the website GreatSchools.net. You will find statistics about the schools of interest and you can compare each school based on diversity and test scores.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:49 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,199 times
Reputation: 10
Default To Suburbmom

Thank you for the great info. I looked at Meredith Hill and it seems a great school. It is really nice to hear from the actual mom in this district. Since our house is closer to Dash Point area, I think we are going to GG. Just was not quite sure if this was great school for every kids.
I noticed Federal way district is really pusing for raising the reading level for students. Since I am new here, I am not quite sure how this district has been performing for past couple of years. How is the performance and level of this district compare to the other district in Seattle?
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:18 PM
 
5 posts, read 11,817 times
Reputation: 11
Default School Performance Comparison

The greatschools.com web site is great for making school comparisons. You can compare any school using their web site. I have taken a close look at the Seattle schools and there are some really great schools, and some not so great schools. It really depends alot on the overall demographics unfortunately. I think there are some top rated schools there. Meredith Hill is pretty darn close with a rating of 9 out of 10. I think Thomas Jefferson High School is also rated 9 out of 10. The Federal Way Public Acadamy is a school to look into if you have middle school kids. It is in the middle part of Federal Way. Entrance is by lottery. But the school is very regimented so not for everyone. They are rated 10 out of 10 and they go all the way through high school. They don't have alot of discipline problems at that school which is refreshing for Middle School. I think Green Gables funnels into Ilahee Middle School which seems to be the best of the bunch in Federal Way for middle schools aside from the Public Academy. So that will be good for future planning. Schools in Bellevue and Kirkland etc. (eastside) are rated high with alot of them being 10 out of 10 and I think alot of this has to do with demographics. Federal Way has such a mix of people and I think they do an amazing job with this. Unfortunately, test scores are a bit of an indication of how kids are doing academically, but I am sure there are other ways to measure progress and test scores are certainly not the end all. They are simply a window into how the school is doing in general. I think I would definitely steer clear of a school with a rating of 5 or lower. As for Green Gables, I have heard that the success of a child there really depends on the style of learning that your child has. It can be an excellent school, but some kids learn better with more structure. I think it might be in line with what you are looking for in terms of more learning through play and I think the older kids help the younger kids with their classroom learning. I think they combine first and second grade in the same classroom. By the way, are you in the Green Gables school boundary? Well, good luck.
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