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Old 01-19-2010, 09:57 PM
15 posts, read 59,502 times
Reputation: 20


We are hoping to move this summer. My children will be in Kindergarten and 4th grade. I am looking for a public school that has the following:

- My oldest is in the gifted program here in Austin, so we would need a school with very capable teachers, since she can't test into the gifted program there for a whole year. Does anyone have experience with Quest? Is it much more challenging than the regular classes? Is it worth it? I sure would appreciate any information from teachers or parents.

- The school would have to provide art and music. My daughter is interested in violin if that is available anywhere and loves art.

- The principal needs to communicate well with the teachers, be a positive role model, be a great leader, etc.

- The feel of the school would need to be warm, inviting, and respectful.

Test scores are not my main concern, although they should be somewhat high. I'm more concerned with whether the children are happy, learning, being challenged and have teachers who are respectful, caring, enjoy teaching and know how to tailor their teaching to different types of learning.

Thank you in advance for any information you can offer.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:36 PM
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 6,170,484 times
Reputation: 904
Do you have a housing price range you are considering? My experience is with one set of schools in the Issaquah School District so I don't know how helpful I would be. But you could start with finding some homes in your price range/target area and then research those schools on greatschools.net or on the Washington State Report Card website. Generally your high quality school districts in commutable distance to Redmond that offer homes for a family of 4 in the high 400's - mid-500's to start and up are Bellevue, Issaquah School District (Issaquah and South Sammamish) and Lake Washington School District (North Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland possibly). These districts will have a high avg level of performance from their students (most of the people in these areas are highly educated professionals who expect a lot from their schools) so the majority of kids are plenty smart but not considered "gifted" and are still very challenged.

In elementary school here in Issaquah, they use the COGAT test, the SOI and the Stanford Achievement tests to place children in what they call SAGE. Most of this testing happens in 2nd grade for SAGE placement though the Stanford test takes place every year and they will then consider placing a child in grades 3-5 in SAGE or a program called BEL. Then they can also apply to be moved to a magnet classroom for 4/5 grade. They are retested in 6th grade I believe for gifted placement in Middle School and so on. You can follow this link just to get an idea of how it works...

Qualifying for SAGE

To give you a reference point, my kids went to Kiker Elementary in Austin in Circle C Ranch which is a great school in AISD. They would have matriculated to Bowie HS eventually. Our elementary school here is on par with Kiker but our middle school and HS are much better in Sammamish (Pine Lake Middle and Skyline HS) than had we stayed in Austin in terms of curriculum choices, teaching staff # years experience and education and advanced level classes/opportunities offered. If you could tell me what schools in Austin you consider good fits for you, I might be able to better help you. You can DM me if you prefer.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:44 PM
1,375 posts, read 1,179,946 times
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schooldigger.com is a great site!
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:54 AM
134 posts, read 870,629 times
Reputation: 79
The only thing I can tell you is that Redmond is served by the Lake Washington School District. Maybe you could check out their website and it'll tell you more about each school.

Use to be a nationally recognized school district. (I met a few people who moved here just so they could teach for them). That was 15-20 years ago though so I don't know their reputation now
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