Archive for the 'Grade Schools' Category

Community Focus Starts at School

Our family uses the we word often. As in “We are in first grade”. As many parents do, we spend time at Meridian School, volunteering, arranging classmate play-dates and best of all, socializing with parents. Here are a few photos from our hors d’oeuvres and wine gathering at my studio just prior to the Meridian School Auction.

JanetKlingerPhoto_Sarah Sandford Meridian School Mom

 

JanetKlingerPhoto_Erane Myint, Meridian School Mom

 

JanetKlingerPhoto_Adrian Cunard Meridian School Mom

 

JanetKlingerPhoto_Tenley Prince Meridian Mom

 

JanetKlingerPhoto_Emily Bennett Meridian School Mom

The Meridian School- Is this the School for You Too?

After much contemplation and unanticipated angst choosing a grade school, my husband and I finally chose The Meridian School for our daughter (in 2009). The angst was not caused by Meridian School- we felt immediately comfortable with administration and the parents who warmly welcomed us. The angst was our own; a result of many fine private schools to choose from. (See this past post for a few others great Seattle private school choices.) Saddened by the transitions and chaos (at least during 2009 and 2010) within the Seattle public school system, private school seemed the obvious choice. Sixteen kids per class and academic/ social-emotional focus being equally addressed at Meridian continue to be obvious, if presumptive, advantages.

Meridian students learning math using sets

No-- gambling isn't a part of Meridian's curriculum!

Meridian continues to receive our vote of confidence.
Who might not be best served by Meridian? In my non-expert ( read NON-EXPERT) opinion, Meridian has many socially adjusted kids who range academically from perhaps average up to very high achievers. If tests indicate your child falls at the tippy-top of the 99th percentile, and/or if social impairments are dramatic, schools such as Seattle Country Day, Evergreen, and in the downtown or North ends, Lowell Public School may be a better fit. In downtown and South end, Public School Thurgood Marshall has an excellent academic reputation.
Here are a few moments illustrating life at Meridian School in Seattle including our wonderful park campus and community service focus. Here for more photos, including Community Service Day.

As fun as Meridian School is, Kids must wear shoes!

As fun as Meridian School is, Kids must wear shoes! Parents are nearby.

Janet Klinger_PE teacher Regis leads the pack in Meridian School's adjacent park

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School puts emphasis on building community

Meridian School puts emphasis on building community

Janet Klinger_ Pure joy at Meridian School's adjacent Park

Pure joy at Meridian School's adjacent Park

Meridian School Playground

Janet Klinger_Meridian School Playground

Janet Klinger_Even Meridian School Playground hints at school-wide Spanish emphasis

Meridian School Playground hints at Spanish emphasis

Janet Klinger_Meridian School Playground

Janet Klinger_It's nice to know Meridian Kids are in good hands at the Good Shepherd Center

It's nice to know Meridian Kids are in good hands at the Good Shepherd Center

Janet Klinger_Kindergarten success! A moment at Meridian School

Janet Klinger_Meridian School kindergarteners team up for a math game

Janet Klinger_Meridian School's self-proclaimed "reading maniacs".

Janet Klinger_Ms Saheed acknowledges each child individually

Janet Klinger_One Meridian School "reading maniac" seeks his "just right" book

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School kindergarteners begin by learning math patterns

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School attentive first graders

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School-- full of unique individuals!

Janet Klinger_Seattle Tilth makes Meridian School grounds even more interesting

Sharing a building with Seattle Tilth has lovely advantages

We knew Meridian was for us after visiting the classrooms. There we found attentive students expressing themselves and turning towards each other to give and receive support.

If you have an impression of Meridian School, or any other Seattle school, please add your voice. For other voices search the blog for “Meridian”.

Seattle’s Meridian School Feels Like Home

Seattle is full of excellent grade schools.That makes choosing one very difficult. Once we started exploring private school possibilities we narrowed it down to Meridian School, UCDS, and Bertschi. All of these are fabulous choices. Meridian stood out in several ways for our family. We mattered to them. Both admissions director, Ted Holmes, and Head of School, Ron Waldman, treated us like they wanted us there. Ted recognized us each time we visited . He listened with clear interest to our thoughts, concerns and enthusiasm. For a family who is involved in the community this was one sign glowing brightly in favor of Meridian. We were excited too by the curriculum, teachers and physical environments inside and out. To see other parents input on grade schools or to contribute your own, see my former post on the subject.

Gently this worm was moved during a weeding fest

Gently this worm was moved during a weeding fest

In addition, the families blew us away with their openness. I could see the involved parents and students were an intelligent, warm, welcoming community. Thank goodness we were accepted! The fact Meridian is located within 11 acre Meridian Park doesn’t hurt. (fabulous playground, apple grove, open grassy fields, gardens, large covered shelter, Seattle Tilth is here so the entire park is Pesticide free-something I WISH we could take for granted everywhere.)

Have community, grab a rake

Have community, grab a rake

Once accepted we were introduced to our Buddy Family, who turned out to be yet another excellent match, thanks to Ted Holmes’ intuition. So much fun has been had with their intriguing foursome.

There's our Buddy Family's 1st grader, 3rd from right. We're so lucky!

There's our Buddy Family's 1st grader, 3rd from right. We're so lucky!

Meridian’s social integration also provides play dates all summer, ice cream socials, new family coffee, a skating excursion, movie night, and any activity the classroom Social Coordinator creates. My favorite event occurs each Friday; an all-school gathering to which families are invited to join in song (where Head of School Ron Waldman occasionally plays the guitar), presentations, dance and all Spanish games. Community building and involvement is a family value we build daily, hence Meridian School is It for us.

Yes this is Ron Waldman, Meridian's Head of School. He gets his hands dirty!

Yes this is Ron Waldman, Meridian's Head of School. He gets his hands dirty!

Like any proud parent, we want the best for Ellie. Academically I can already see the zeal with which the many specialist and teachers share their talents. I almost didn’t mention academics, thinking it’s a given priority. Socialization is equally important and harder to come by in a schools mission. Meridian has what we want and need. We’re proud to be part of this extraordinary community.

These photos are from Meridian School’s Community Service Day where parents, teachers, staff and students work together to take care of our neighborhood, including those creatures and plant life we live among daily.

That pesky photographer ASKED us to pose. We WERE working hard before she came along.

That pesky photographer ASKED us to pose. We WERE working hard before she came along.

Oh so carefully

Oh so carefully

Modeling preparedness!

Modeling preparedness!


Taking a close look at nature and neighbor

Taking a close look at nature and neighbor


Playing in order to understand roots in the garden, math, history...

Playing in order to understand roots in the garden, math, history...


Should we really go back inside?

Should we really go back inside?


Scalpel please

Scalpel please


Developing the right tools at Meridian School!

Developing the right tools at Meridian School!


And I thought brushing my teeth was tiring

And I thought brushing my teeth was tiring


Take good care. It will grow

Take good care. It will grow

Parents voice on Grade Schools: Meridian, UCDS, Bertschi

Many people from my “Mom’s group” have requested that I post responses to my request for
input on 3 grade schools: Meridian, UCDS and Bertschi.

To See where our family is now in school, check out this follow up post

If you have further input, please comment below!
(more…)

Surfin Sarfari Success at University Child Development School.

Glad to be a part of the fun at UCDS’s auction which raised nearly $700,000! I’d love to say my photography raised the majority of that, but I actually know the final value. Let’s just say it was less than $600,000. :-)

Congratulations to Dave Miller and Susan Takemoto, the winning bidders for a JKP photo session. I can’t wait to work with you two, officially this time! I’ll be in touch right after this post…
The real winners are the UCDS students. According to Eric S. Sanderson, the auction Chair, the funds help support teacher excellence and financial aid. “Financial aid” is ringing loudly in this Mom’s ears.

UCDS Awesome Auction! Volunteerism at it’s Playful Best

These Moms, Dads and UCDS staff sure know how to roll up their sleeves and have some fun. Clearly much creativity went into planning this playful event. If designed by a parent, Wow! If designed by a professional, Wow! I sure hope she/he has many children left to put through the school. My girl, Ellie, won’t turn 3 until June– after the UCDS cut-off.

OK, I’ve been informed that the creative team was headed by Kenlyn and Tom McQueen. Additionally, Marisha (Mary) Nykiel and Kay Kim  were in charge of the auction displays. This is where the big round of applause comes in!
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A great central spot for displaying my work. Thanks Debra, for all your wonderful help!

donation card design

If you’re interested in a photo session, and can get your hands on one of the few remaining “donation” cards (now at the front desk at UCDS) then 20% of your session will be donated to UCDS if purchased by April 30th. The sessions don’t need to be completed by then, and are guaranteed to remain the pre-paid price for two years from purchase date. What kind of photography do you dream of?


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Clearly, setting up was almost as much fun as the dinner!

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Come in and play!

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So many organized people make for a smooth flowing evening.

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I know what I would have done all night long.

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No she is not wearing this parasol, but they do look good together! Ever been to the Bella Umbrella website? Jodell Egbert both designs parasols and rents vintage umbrellas. Gorgeous.

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Colorful dinning room entrance.

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The Dads were doing their part, naturally! Palm leaves were plentiful, and someone had to tie and hang each one.

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Everything was planned, placed and perfect.

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Fantastic watery world surrounds the video of kids having their say.

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Full of ambiance. From the ceiling to floor and everywhere in between.