Four Tips for Choosing The Right Elementary School For Your Child

While it may seem like this school year just started, late fall and early winter is the time for parents to start thinking where their children will attend school next year. When it comes to choosing the right school for your children, there are many factors to take into account. From core curriculum to after school activities, here are a few pro-tips for choosing the right elementary school for your children.

1. Start With The Basics

When selecting a school for your children, it’s important to ensure the school of choice will meet your children’s’ needs; even if you think you’ve found the perfect school for your child, if that school is on the other side of town and you have no way of getting your child there, that school may not be the best fit. When starting your school search, a few basic factors to start with include:

  • Proximity: Transportation to and from school can be a huge factor in whether or not a school is the right place for your child. Can you easily get your child to their school or is there a school bus they can take to get there? If not, will you be able to workout a carpool or other means of transportation to get the kids to school?
  • Start and end times: Start and end times are another crucial consideration to make when looking into school. Most Seattle and Bellevue schools start between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m., but that can be a big window depending on when you have morning engagements. After school care options should also be on your list of considerations if the school day ends before parents and guardians are available to pick up children.
  • Amenities specific to your child’s needs: If your child has certain needs ranging from specific curriculums to classroom features and more, asking a school representative or finding out online can help determine if this school will meet your child’s needs.

2. Look Beyond The Grade Level Your Child Is Entering

Switching schools can negatively affect a child socially and academically. When choosing an elementary school for your children, it is important to consider not only the grade level they are entering, but also the programs available for multiple grade levels at the school. This can include asking about core subjects, projects older students work on throughout elementary school, extracurricular classes, camps, field trips and more.

3. Consider School Mission and Philosophy

There are many ways to approach education for children. Some parents prefer a hands-on, structured curriculum, while others opt for a more open ended approach where children have more flexibility. Taking the time to find out the schools in your area’s philosophies as well as their approach to various aspects of the curriculum such as communication, approach to homework, and discipline can help you determine if a school is right for your child. Some schools also have curriculums with emphasis on certain areas such as STEAM Education or performing arts, so finding a program that matches your child’s needs and interests can be a strong deciding factor.

4. Think Outside The Classroom

While reading, writing, math, and science and important aspects of education, looking into a school’s extracurricular activities. Some programs have a strong emphasis on camps, nature, and outdoor education, where others might have a big focus on music or sports. Finding a school that has specific enrichment or after school programs catered to your child’s interests or finding a well rounded program where your child can try a number of activities to cultivate new interests can be integral in your school selection process.

Image courtesy of Pexels.com

Five Venues in Bellevue to Hold Your Holiday Party

With Halloween barely past, it may seem like there is still a ton of time to prepare for the holidays. The holidays, however, have a habit of coming faster than planned during the winter months. Whether you are looking for a fun place to hold your company Christmas party, or a new place to hold an annual family event, there are many great places to choose from in Bellevue and Kirkland. Consider booking one of these great event spaces in Bellevue and Kirkland this holiday season.

Bake’s Place

Bake’s Place is a great place for families, companies, and any other group to get together. Their tasty menu includes a variety of european fusion food and their space includes a live music venue. They have two rentable spaces including up to 100 guests in their indoor space and over 100 guests in their exterior. They also offer banquet service for weddings, receptions, birthdays and more, as well as audiovisual equipment and full lighting.

LaVida Dance Studio

If your company or family is hoping to get on the dance floor this holiday season, LaVida Dance Studio’s party venue is the place for you. This space in Bellevue has three studios available with a professional grade sound system, seating and tables, Wifi and more. This venue also comes with the add on option of taking a group dance class with one of LaVida’s expert instructors.

Hotel Bellevue

If you are looking for a high end, stylish space, Hotel Bellevue may be the perfect place for your event this holiday season.  This event space has a number of configurations available, so whether you are hosting an intimate gathering or a large party, this space can accommodate your needs. They also offer full catering service for meals, appetizers, drinks and more.

Bellevue Brewing Company

For beer lovers in Bellevue, Bellevue Brewing Company is the place to host your event this holiday season. This space includes private and semi-private event space for parties and gatherings of all kinds. Their Hospitality Service includes seating options for up to 14, up to 36, and up to 65 people, and can be booked with their special event food menu as well.

Swiftwater Cellars

For groups who love good food and great wine, Swiftwater Cellars should be your holiday party venue. They offer a private space that holds between 20 and 45 guests and semi-private space for larger parties who don’t quite need an entire room. They offer several wine tasting options, as well as starters, salads, entrees and more.

Fourth Annual Outdoor Salsa Marina Dance Party Coming To Kirkland

Get your dancing shoes ready for a night full of salsa and other Latin dancing at the beautiful Kirkland Marina! LaVida Dance Studio is excited to host their fourth annual Outdoor Salsa Marina Dance Party at the Kirkland Marina Park on September 2nd.

This night will begin with a dance lesson for those who are new to salsa starting at 5:15 p.m., followed by a full group dance party going until 10 p.m. The beginner class will cost $5.00 and the dance party cover fee costs $10.00. You’ll find salsa dancers and other dance enthusiasts of all levels under the main gazebo at the Kirkland Marina Park.

This event, now in its fourth year, is a Kirkland favorite for avid salsa dancers and newcomers alike. Natasha Maltseva, founder and artistic director of LaVida Dance Studios says they started the event to make the most of dancing in the summer weather, as well as to grow the salsa community on the Eastside.

“People like dancing outdoors and we decided an event next to the lake would be loved by all,” she said.  “Our major goal was to develop, Eastside Seattle salsa community and fulfill our studio’s mission to nurture a love for dance.”  

Over the last few years, this dance party has grown to be a highlight for the dance community. This event isn’t just for experienced salsa dancers, but for anyone who is interested in learning about the dance style. Maltseva says all levels are welcome, and encourages beginners to take part in the the beginner session at the start of the event, and stay for the dance party to get some practice.

Salsa veterans will enjoy a chance to show off their moves to two local live DJ’s, DJ Yambu and DJ Ache. These DJ’s not only spin salsa music, but also tunes for Bachata, Chacha and Merengue, for anyone interested in participating in a few different Latin dance styles.

“Its tons of fun, you get to meet new people, enjoy family time, and discover a wonderful activity (and stress reliever) everyone can enjoy,” Maltseva said.

To learn more about LaVida Studios, visit their website. To get involved with the salsa community on the Eastside, join The Eastside Salsa Dancing Facebook Group to stay up to date with the latest news and events!

Video from a previous year’s event, courtesy of LaVida Dance Studio.