Finding the right elementary school for your child is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. If you’re looking for top-rated elementary schools in Seattle, this comprehensive guide explores all the options based on academics, enrichment programs, diversity, and more.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Top-ranked Seattle elementary schools include McGilvra, View Ridge, West Woodland, John Stanford International School, and Coe.

Methodology for Ranking Seattle’s Best Elementary Schools

When determining the best elementary schools in Seattle, several key factors are taken into consideration. By evaluating these factors, parents can make informed decisions about which schools may be the best fit for their children. The following criteria are commonly used to rank elementary schools:

Academic Performance

One of the most important factors in ranking elementary schools is academic performance. This includes factors such as standardized test scores, student proficiency in core subjects, and overall academic growth.

Schools that consistently demonstrate high levels of academic achievement are often ranked higher than those with lower performance rates.

Teacher Qualifications

The qualifications and expertise of the teaching staff play a crucial role in a school’s overall success. Highly qualified and experienced teachers can provide students with the necessary guidance and support to excel academically.

When ranking schools, factors such as teacher certification, advanced degrees, and years of experience are taken into account.

Student-Teacher Ratios

The student-teacher ratio is an important consideration when ranking elementary schools. Smaller class sizes allow teachers to provide more individualized attention to each student, resulting in improved academic outcomes.

Schools with lower student-teacher ratios are often favored in rankings as they can offer a more personalized learning experience.


Diversity is another factor that is taken into account when ranking elementary schools. A diverse student body helps foster a rich and inclusive learning environment, exposing students to different cultures, perspectives, and experiences.

Schools that prioritize diversity and create an inclusive atmosphere often receive higher rankings.

Enrichment and Specialty Programs

Enrichment and specialty programs can greatly enhance a student’s educational experience. These programs can include extracurricular activities, arts programs, STEM initiatives, and foreign language instruction.

Schools that offer a wide range of enrichment and specialty programs are often regarded as providing a more well-rounded education and are therefore ranked higher.

It’s important to note that rankings can vary depending on the source and the specific criteria used. Parents should consider their child’s unique needs and preferences when evaluating schools, and visit the schools in person to get a firsthand sense of the learning environment.

Top 5 Elementary Schools in Seattle

McGilvra Elementary

McGilvra Elementary is one of the top elementary schools in Seattle. Located in the Madison Park neighborhood, this school has a strong reputation for its academic excellence and supportive learning environment.

The dedicated teachers at McGilvra Elementary work tirelessly to provide a high-quality education to their students. With a focus on individualized instruction and a well-rounded curriculum, students at McGilvra Elementary are given the tools they need to succeed.

View Ridge Elementary

View Ridge Elementary is another outstanding elementary school in Seattle. Situated in the View Ridge neighborhood, this school offers a nurturing and inclusive learning environment for its students. The teachers at View Ridge Elementary are known for their dedication and commitment to their students’ academic and personal growth.

With a strong emphasis on building a strong foundation in core subjects like math and reading, View Ridge Elementary prepares its students for success in higher grades.

West Woodland Elementary

West Woodland Elementary is a top-rated school located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. This school is known for its innovative teaching methods and commitment to fostering a love of learning in its students.

The dedicated staff at West Woodland Elementary strive to create a supportive and engaging environment where students can thrive academically and personally. With a focus on project-based learning and hands-on activities, students at West Woodland Elementary are encouraged to think critically and creatively.

John Stanford International School

As the name suggests, John Stanford International School is a unique elementary school in Seattle that offers a globally-focused education. With a curriculum that emphasizes cultural diversity and global awareness, this school prepares its students to be citizens of the world.

The teachers at John Stanford International School are highly qualified and dedicated to providing a rigorous education that challenges students academically. Students at this school have the opportunity to learn a second language and participate in cultural exchange programs.

Coe Elementary

Coe Elementary is a highly regarded elementary school located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. This school is known for its strong sense of community and commitment to academic excellence. The teachers at Coe Elementary create a nurturing and inclusive environment where students feel supported and valued.

With a focus on personalized learning and individualized instruction, Coe Elementary ensures that every student receives the attention they need to succeed.

For more information about Seattle’s elementary schools, you can visit the Seattle Public Schools website.

Notable Public Magnet & Alternative Schools

Montlake Elementary

Montlake Elementary is one of the notable public magnet schools in Seattle. Known for its exceptional curriculum and dedicated staff, Montlake Elementary offers a unique learning experience for its students. The school focuses on fostering creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

With an emphasis on STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), students at Montlake Elementary are exposed to a wide range of subjects that prepare them for future success.

The school also offers various extracurricular activities and enrichment programs to further enhance the learning experience. For more information, visit their official website.

Thurgood Marshall Elementary

Thurgood Marshall Elementary is another top public magnet school in Seattle. The school is known for its commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive learning environment. With a strong focus on social justice education, Thurgood Marshall Elementary aims to instill values of equality, empathy, and respect in its students.

The school offers a rigorous curriculum that incorporates project-based learning and community engagement. Students at Thurgood Marshall Elementary have the opportunity to participate in various clubs and activities that promote leadership and civic responsibility.

To learn more about Thurgood Marshall Elementary, visit their official website.

Northgate Elementary

Northgate Elementary is renowned for its innovative approach to education. The school offers a wide range of specialized programs to cater to the diverse needs and interests of its students. From Montessori and dual language programs to a focus on environmental sustainability, Northgate Elementary provides a unique learning experience.

The school also offers a comprehensive arts program, allowing students to explore their creative talents. With a dedicated and passionate staff, Northgate Elementary ensures that each student receives individualized attention and support.

To find out more about Northgate Elementary, visit their official website.

Hazel Wolf K-8

Hazel Wolf K-8 is a highly regarded alternative school in Seattle. Known for its strong sense of community and commitment to environmental sustainability, Hazel Wolf K-8 offers a holistic education to its students.

The school follows an interdisciplinary approach, integrating subjects and encouraging students to make connections across different disciplines. Hazel Wolf K-8 also emphasizes hands-on learning and outdoor education, providing students with opportunities to explore and appreciate the natural world.

The school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including clubs and sports, to promote well-rounded development. For more information about Hazel Wolf K-8, visit their official website.

Top-Rated Private Elementary Schools

University Child Development School

The University Child Development School is one of the best private elementary schools in Seattle. Known for its innovative curriculum and dedication to child development, this school offers a nurturing and stimulating environment for students.

They prioritize hands-on learning experiences, personalized instruction, and small class sizes to ensure every child receives the attention they need to thrive academically and socially. With a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills, students at University Child Development School are well-prepared for future academic success.

For more information, visit their official website:

The Bush School

The Bush School is another top-rated private elementary school in Seattle. With a focus on academic excellence, character development, and community engagement, this school provides a well-rounded education for its students.

The Bush School offers a variety of programs and extracurricular activities to cater to the unique interests and talents of its students. Their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community creates a supportive learning environment for all students.

To learn more about The Bush School, visit their official website:

Hope Lutheran School

Hope Lutheran School is a highly regarded private elementary school in Seattle. With a focus on academic excellence and spiritual growth, this school provides a strong foundation for its students. Hope Lutheran School offers a challenging curriculum that prepares students for future academic endeavors while also nurturing their faith and values.

Small class sizes and dedicated teachers ensure that each student receives individualized attention and support.

For more information about Hope Lutheran School, visit their official website:

Saint Thomas School

Saint Thomas School is renowned for its rigorous academic program and commitment to character development. This private elementary school in Seattle focuses on educating the whole child, emphasizing not only academic achievement but also social-emotional learning and ethical values.

With a strong emphasis on critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, Saint Thomas School prepares students for success in an ever-changing world.

Learn more about Saint Thomas School on their official website:

The Valley School

The Valley School is a highly respected private elementary school that values experiential learning and a sense of community. With a focus on hands-on exploration, critical thinking, and creativity, this school encourages students to be active participants in their own education.

The Valley School’s commitment to fostering a love for learning and a sense of responsibility prepares students for a lifetime of success.

Visit The Valley School’s official website for more information:

Choosing the Best School for Your Child’s Needs

When it comes to choosing the best elementary school for your child in Seattle, there are several factors to consider. Each child has unique needs and preferences, so it’s important to find a school that aligns with their individual requirements.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind during your search:

Location & Commute

The location of the school and the daily commute are important considerations for many parents. It’s beneficial to choose a school that is conveniently located and easily accessible from your home or workplace. A short commute can save valuable time and energy for both you and your child.

Tuition Costs

While public schools in Seattle are free, there are also private elementary schools that offer specialized programs and smaller class sizes. However, these schools often come with a tuition fee. It’s essential to consider your budget and determine if the additional costs are feasible for your family.


Diversity plays a crucial role in providing a well-rounded education. Look for schools that embrace diversity and promote inclusivity. Students benefit greatly from exposure to different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives, fostering a more inclusive and accepting environment.

Specialized Programs

Some elementary schools in Seattle offer specialized programs, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), arts, or language immersion programs. If your child has a particular interest or talent, consider schools that provide opportunities for them to explore and develop their skills in those areas.

Culture & Values

The culture and values of a school can greatly impact your child’s educational experience. Take the time to research the school’s mission statement, educational philosophy, and overall atmosphere. Visit the school, talk to current parents and students, and get a sense of the school’s culture to ensure it aligns with your family’s values.

Remember, choosing the best elementary school for your child is a personal decision that requires careful consideration. Take the time to research and visit different schools, ask questions, and involve your child in the decision-making process.

By considering these factors, you can find a school that meets your child’s needs and sets them up for success.


The Seattle area is home to some of the top-ranked elementary schools in the state, with outstanding public, private, magnet, and alternative options. As you evaluate schools, be sure to look beyond test scores at factors like educational philosophy, enrichment programs, diversity, and school culture to find the best overall fit for your child’s needs and learning style.

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