Impact | Puget Sound Elementary Opens in Tukwila

First Day of School Marks Launch of Tukwila’s First Charter Public School and Washington’s First “Homegrown” Charter Network

For Immediate Release | Monday, August 27, 2018 | Contact: Maggie Meyers at maggie@wacharters.org or 724-263-9826

 

Tukwila, WA—Today marks the official launch of Impact Public Schools, Washington’s first “homegrown” charter public school network, as Impact | Puget Sound Elementary (PSE) welcomes its 168 founding Kindergarten and first grade students for the very first day of school.

Fully enrolled with 168 students and a long waiting list in its inaugural year, Impact | PSE has already established itself as a desirable public elementary school option for families in and around Tukwila. The school will eventually grow to serve 500 students in grades K-5.

Impact drew families from all over the Puget Sound representing 8 different languages.

“Tukwila is one of the most diverse, and culturally rich cities in Washington state. It is also an area within a region where there exists great need and opportunity for innovative, high-quality public school options for all families,” said Impact founder and CEO Jen Davis Wickens. “As our name suggests, we are preparing a diverse student population to succeed in college and beyond – to raise the next generation of equity-driven, innovative leaders to positively impact our communities, country, and our world.”

Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) CEO Patrick D’Amelio remarked, “Tukwila families, like all families, deserve to have options. We could not be more pleased to be partnering with Impact in its work to deliver a new, high-quality, free, public school option that will cultivate the limitless potential of its young students. As a sector, we are committed to closing opportunity and achievement gaps, and through its academic model – which is equal parts rigor and joy – Impact stands to do just that.”

Representing the diversity of the students they are serving, 50 percent of Impact’s founding teachers identify as people of color, as compared to the average of just 10 percent across traditional public schools statewide, per OSPI. Impact | PSE teachers, who represent a mix of local, national, and international talent, have been immersed in cutting edge professional development since August 6.

As part of its commitment to being rooted in community and academic rigor, Impact | PSE’s faculty participated in a community asset-mapping activity, to identify the organizations and leaders in the surrounding community whose partnership will be critical to the academic success of Impact’s students and the success of the Impact model in the long-term.

In keeping with Impact’s commitment to partnering with parents and families to achieve student goals, faculty conducted home visits to every single family – a practice shown to positively impact student outcomes and family engagement.

Of note, Impact has attracted the country’s strongest math facilitators to lead cognitively guided instruction, an innovative, student-centered practice that is used in many high-performing charter schools nationally and is brand new to Washington. Students benefit from rigorous literacy curriculum, as well as intimate mentor groups, which enable students to experience rich one-to-one and small group environments from their earliest schooling years. Impact’s named core values include: bold ambitions; diversity, equity and inclusion; growth, play, and intention.

Last week, the school’s ribbon cutting drew over 300 students, parents, and community members, including Mayor Allan Ekberg, who spoke in strong support of the school as a positive addition to the Tukwila community.

The building, located at 3438 S. 148th Street in Tukwila, WA, is a permanent facility for Impact | PSE. Twelve new classrooms have been built in the space, which formerly housed the Soka Gakkai Center, to accommodate the growing student body until it reaches 500.

The Impact network will eventually grow to eight charter public schools across the state, with their next charter application submitted this spring for a 2020 opening in the South Puget Sound region.

Impact | PSE will be open to tours for the media and public beginning in October. To schedule a visit, please contact Jen Davis Wickens at jwickens@impactps.org or 206-747-0599.

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