6 answers

Seeking Advice on an Elementary School in the Spanaway/Puyallup Area

I have an almost 5 year old that will be starting Kindergarten next year and I am really stressing out over this. He is my first and so this is all new to me. He is in a great private preschool at my mom's church, but they don't offer any other grade level. I would love to keep him in Private school, but it's very costly! Let me just say that I have nothing against public schooling. I went through it and my husband went through it and we turned out just fine, but times are very different now. Garrett is very bright and I know that class sizes are usually an issue in public schools. I'm afraid he will get lost in the crowd and not be given the chance to use his full potential. I thought about home schooling, but his teacher said that it would be a challenge because he is so strong willed. We live in the Bethel School District so he would be attending Pioneer Valley Elementary. Does anyone have any experience with this school? I want to hear good and bad. I am not ruling out home schooling so if you have any advice on that I would love it as well! I have no clue how home schooling works! Private school is very expensive, but we haven't completely ruled that out either. I know that decisions need to be made quickly! We also live close to a new Puyallup School District school in the Silver Creek housing development off of 176th. I'm looking into what it takes to get an out of district waiver (I've heard that Pioneer Valley Elementary has really big class sizes and that worries me). If sound really confused, it's because I am! I am almost in tears over this! Please help!!!!
I'm getting some great responses, but no one has told me specifically about Pioneer Valley elemntary. Does anyone know anything about it? I would like to know the good and the bad. Thanks again.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We have decided to go with Pioneer Valley Elementary. Thank you all for your responses! I was able to talk with one of the mom's in my MOP's group and she had nothing but good to say about it. She has put 4 kids through there. I still love the idea of Home Schooling and still might do it later on down the road. Now days there is nothing wrong with the socialization in Home Schooling because there are all sorts of avenues for it. They now have co-ops and the YMCA has a great program too! Our concern is income and when both of our kids are school age, I may have to return to work. Let's hope not though! Thanks again. I just wanted to update everyone.

More Answers

Puyallup School district is great, we live in the Silver Creek area...just so you know, Carson Elementary, the school by 176th in the Silver Creek development, has the LARGEST count of students at an elementary level in the Puyallup school district. 891 the last I checked. It may be hard to get an out of district waiver for that reason. However, Puyallup Schools and Carson in particular are awesome,despite the class size. We have 5 kids that go to Puyallup schools. We came from Private schools in Everett and I was very concerned. I joined the PTA and started volunteering at school to "keep an eye on" what was going on.It has helped me feel a lot better. Good luck, I know it's hard the first time around!

1 mom found this helpful

My children attend Bethel Baptist Christian school. It is right off of 176th. Yes, it is a private school, but it is the cheapest one. The class sizes are small. I think that the mst there is in one class is 13. The school is awesome!!!! When they do the standard acheivement testing the kids usually place alot higher than there actual grade levels. Check out this school first. It is awesome!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I teach in the Bethel School Dist and my daughter goes to Elk Plain. By far the BEST elementary school in the district and by test scores, also in Pierce County. It is a science and art magnet school and kindergarten gets placed by lottery. Lottery usually takes place in march. They start earlier there because the kids can get bused in from anywhere in the district. The teachers are great! There is a mandatory parental volunteer contract so most kids that go there have really with it parents. It is just a great, safe place for kids to grow and learn. I cant say enough good things about it.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

Boy, do I know what you are going through!!! I have an 8 year old son whom I also struggled over the decision of public or private school for. Ultimately we decided on private school because he is a very bright boy and I, like you, was very afraid of him getting "lost". I thank God that we made that decision because he is thriving!!! Yes, it costs my husband and I an arm and a leg (and a foot!!) to send him there but well well well worth every penny. I now have a daughter who will also hopefully be going to the same private school as well, regardless of how many thousands of dollars we know it's going to cost. We don't travel much or eat out and basically make A LOT of other financial sacrifices to make it work. My husband and I wouldn't have it any other way, though.

One thing I should say is....I work for a public school district and after one year of being on the "inside" it made it easier to make the choice of sending our kids to private school. Now please do not get me wrong....there are dozens and dozens of extremely caring, loving, intelligent, hard working teachers and public school staff...in fact that's the majority...but they have to work in the system that's given to them and sometimes that "system" isn't for every family. We decided that it wasn't for us and hence made the private school choice.

I hope some of this helped, but the best part of this, is what ever choice you make, it isn't one that can't be changed later on if it doesn't work out for you.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister-in-law works in the Bethel school district and they have 2 new elementary schools opening in the fall. You may want to check with the district about what school you would attend, and even ask what the class sizes are expected to be. This information should be available by the end of the school year, even if they are still working on the school boundaries now.

1 mom found this helpful

My opinion is don't homeschool! Education is very important, but so is social interaction. School is such an important part of learning how to function in society with other people. Just my opinion, I was not home-schooled, and I'm sure that you will get lots of other feedback regarding that. I am a product of 13 years of private education, and I definitely don't think that is always the best answer either. My class sizes were always 25 - 28 kids, my son is in 5th grade and his class size is 20 -22 in public school. I think that a child's education has more to do with the teacher and the support network at home than how many kids are in the class. When my husband and I moved from Seattle we chose Puyallup partially due to the schools. We have not been disappointed. My son started out in his neighborhood school then moved into a accelerated learning class (QUEST). Both experiences have been great for him. He made good neighborhood friends at his neighborhood school, and has made more friends and increased his knowledge in the accelerated class. I highly recommend getting the transfere if you can, but if not, I would go to your son's prospective school and sit down with his teacher and maybe the principle. Discuss your concerns and see if they can put any of them to rest. Bethel has it tough since they are such a large school district that doesn't include any cities for them to get taxes from, but I'm sure there are still good schools and good teachers. You may be in luck regarding Puyallup since I just read that due to the housing market the enrollment will drop next year. Do it soon though, because I think the deadline is either really soon, or may have already passed. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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