The people who live, work and play in a community know it best. They’ve raised their families there, and they know the young people and the little things that make it unique.
Before Green Dot Public Schools opens the doors of our southeast Seattle middle school we’ll have spent nearly two years listening and gathering feedback from the residents and organizations that make this area one of the most diverse and thriving communities in the state.
Just as we successfully did in Tacoma at Destiny Middle School, we formed a Community Advisory Team to help guide our journey. As we create a school that truly serves all students in southeast Seattle, we’ve brought together a diverse group of community members including educators and professionals from local businesses and nonprofits.
Natalie Hester, a southeast Seattle resident and charter public school parent was one of our first Community Advisory Team members. Natalie and other team members have helped introduce us to community organizations and leaders and are helping forge partnerships so we can learn from each other on how to best serve and partner with the families and students of southeast Seattle.
“Green Dot has been incredibly engaging with families and organizations in the community,” Natalie said. “This new school is all about bringing the community together to help support our kids to succeed.”
Natalie works in the southeast Seattle community at an economic development organization. She said the new school can bring new opportunities for teachers and other staff and contribute to helping build a neighborhood that both long time residents and new families will thrive in.
Another long time community member that is helping reach out to southeast Seattle residents and students is LeJayah Washington. LeJayah is from Seattle’s Central District and is a political science graduate at the University of Washington. She is the newest member of our student recruitment team. Having someone who is from the area and has a passion for serving students and the community has been invaluable in helping us form meaningful connections with families and students.
“By being from here, I feel families see I’m going to do everything I can in the best interest of their child,” LeJayah said. “This new school will respect all learning styles and give our community’s students the confidence to succeed in middle school, high school, and college.”
Engagement of the community is an ongoing process. Soon, together with founding families,the Community Advisory Team will help us chose the name of the new school and help shape the culture of the school.
“Everyone is a partner in the education of our kids,” Natalie said. “This school can be a place where we listen to each other, support our kids and build a place where they are excited to learn and reach their maximum potential.”
Green Dot’s southeast Seattle middle school is now enrolling current 5th grade students for the 2017-2018 school year. Families can find more information including how to enroll a student by contacting Walter Chen, Founding Principal at 206-305-0646.