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Seattle Public & Private School Resources

I’m giving a talk at Ignite Seattle 14 called How to Go to Kindergarten – it’s an introduction to the public and private school system in Seattle for parents (or parents-to-be) who are unfamiliar with the territory. I’ll link to the video once it’s online, but in the meantime, here are some resources for your research:


  • GreatSchools is a relatively independent source of student and parent reviews of public and private schools in the area. (Note that this search does not include Shoreline schools.) As always, community reviews can vary, and there’s definitely some astroturfing going on.


  • Find your attendance area school. Here’s a fun fact: during the 2010-2011 application process, our assigned school changed two times. They’re more stable now.
  • School Reports shows the attendance area map and some school data for each school (these links seem to work randomly).
  • TheĀ Student Assignment Plan is a 35-page PDF that explains what I talked about for ~1min.
  • Advanced Learning explains the range of accelerated programs.
  • Save Seattle Schools is the leading blog for the Seattle public school system, with authors who are well-informed, generally thoughtful, and strongly opinionated, and commenters who pour out their thoughts and invective. If there’s a revolution, it will come from here. Greg Linden runs the Discuss APP blog, focused on Seattle’s program for kids in the 98th+ percentile: there are also thoughtful comment threads, which are occasionally pulled into posts.


  • PNAIS is the governing body for independent (e.g. non-religious) private schools in the region, and has a canonical list of all accredited schools. (Again, don’t forget to include Shoreline.) There’s no similar body for all parochial schools, but the GreatSchools list seems quite comprehensive.
  • Here’s a spreadsheet for the Private School Cost Estimate I presented during the talk. Feel free to copy and modify. As I mention in the notes, there’s a very wide cost range, especially among parochial schools.

A final note: I’d love any feedback on this talk. I tried to focus on the importance of thinking about the opportunities of school selection and taking charge of the process, plus talking a bit about the foibles of each. I attempted to avoid advocating for any particular path, but I might well have failed, and I know how emotionally charged this topic can be. Feel free to email me your thoughts: scottru at gmail. Thanks!

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