What does "KapKa" mean?
The name KapKa comes from a Klamath word meaning “young pine.”
What’s your teacher to student ratio?
We cherish the flexibility and freedom provided by smaller classes. We never exceed a 1:14 ratio, and with additional parent volunteers, children receive even more individual attention.
What’s your tuition?
Our 2016-17 tuition is $11,200, which can be paid monthly or broken into one or two payments. The tuition is set in early spring by the KapKa Board and is expected to increase on par with inflation or slightly higher. We offer needs-based financial aid, which is granted independent of admissions decisions.
As a general guideline, families should expect to contribute at least the cost of one month's tuition, which is $1,120, as part of annual fundraising efforts.
What would a typical KapKa day look like?
At 8:25 a.m., students begin arriving at KapKa, which is located south of Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. School officially starts at 8:40 a.m. A day at KapKa incorporates activities that encourage community building and team work, instruction in essential academic subjects and deeper educational dives through project-based learning. Children have significant time for outdoor play at recess, and visit nearby parks and the zoo as part of science or other lessons. KapKa embraces art, music and physical education. School ends at 3:20 p.m., with a 1:20 p.m. dismissal on Fridays for kindergarten to second grade.
Do you have before and after care?
We offer onsite aftercare until 5:30 p.m. with activities including foreign language instruction, yoga and other enrichment areas. We also hold extracurricular classes that have included computer programming, cooking and drama. We do not currently offer before care.
What does it mean to be a cooperative as regards parent involvement?
KapKa families are responsible for one weekly 2 ½-hour classroom work shift if they have one child in the school, or one 4 ½-hour classroom work shift if they have two or more children enrolled. The shift can rotate between parents and grandparents are also welcome to cover the shift. Parent involvement in the classroom is something we value very highly, but we understand this is not always possible for every family. We are open to discussing other options, including taking a second parent job or making a cash contribution, in lieu of a work shift. These arrangements are offered first to current families, and then incoming families on a first come, first served basis.
Parents additionally have a parent job that is independent of regular school hours. There are many parent jobs including fundraising, admissions, marketing, school maintenance, computer-tech support, alumni relations, as well as positions on the school's board (chair, secretary, treasurer, etc.).
What do parents do on work shifts?
Parents help in a variety of ways depending on their interests and the time of their shift. Typical activities include assisting teachers in instructing students, providing supervision at recess and lunch and helping organize books and learning materials. Parents receive a short training at the beginning of the year and are always accompanied by a staff member.
What’s your campus like?
KapKa has an excellent learning environment within a shared building with Emmanuel Bible Church. KapKa is independent of the church and has no religious affiliations. In addition to our academic classrooms and our gathering space, KapKa has a full gymnasium, two libraries, project space and a fenced playground. We make almost daily trips across the street to Woodland Park for outdoor play.
Do students have homework?
There is no homework in kindergarten, first or second grades. We believe the work that younger children do at school is sufficient, and that time outside of school is best spent with family, friends, engaged in extracurricular activities and pursing their other interests. Children in third to fifth grades have some homework, which does not exceed 2 hours a week. The teachers can suggest appropriate learning materials to reinforce their learning, if families would like to extend schoolwork at home.
Do students take tests or receive grades?
Our teachers spend a great deal of time getting to know each child's learning style. We strive to create a deep social and emotional base for each child to build an academic career upon with confidence and ownership.
Students are given assessments throughout the year to evaluate their progress. Because of our small class size, teachers are constantly tracking how the children are learning and identifying areas where they need more support or greater challenges to keep them engaged. Our educators have a detailed rubric defining specific skills and benchmarks that students are expected to reach. These skills are assessed and observed over days or weeks, often without the children's knowledge. Teachers and parents discuss a student's progress at multiple conferences during the year.
There is no standardized testing or grading at KapKa.
What if my child needs extra help, or more challenging work?
KapKa has a literacy specialist to assist children needing more support, and our small class size allows educators to tailor assignments to a student's needs. Part of the instruction occurs in groups that combine grades, so precocious students can work with older children and those needing more work can join younger students.
How much time do students have for recess and lunch?
Students have 45 minutes to an hour each day for recess and 30 minutes for lunch. They also have PE class that is held outside, weather permitting. Kindergarten students spend additional time outside, with 1 to 2 hours each day learning and exploring outdoors.