State Commission Authorizes Four New Charter Public Schools

For Immediate Release | May 30, 2019

Contact: Maggie Meyers at or 724.263.9826

New Free, Public Options for King, Kitsap, and Whatcom Communities

Seattle, WA—Today, the Washington State Charter School Commission voted to approve four new charter public schools: Cascade Public Schools in South King County, Catalyst Public Schools in Bremerton, Impact Public Schools | Salish Sea in Seattle, and Whatcom Intergenerational High School (WIHS) in Bellingham.

All four newly approved schools are set to launch in Fall 2020. Cascade, Catalyst, and WIHS are founded and led by fellows from the 2018-19 WA Charters School Leadership and Design Fellowship. Impact: Salish Sea Elementary is the second campus for Impact Public Schools, Washington’s first homegrown network. WA Charters will continue to partner with each of these four grantees as they move into their next development phase, and subsequent phases of launch and long-term operation.

To achieve authorization, each team submitted 700+ page applications, and sufficiently demonstrated their capacity to deliver high-quality models with strong academic, operational and financial components, as well as a clear commitment to partnering with communities and delivering excellent models to systemically underserved students and families.

“We laud the Commission for its decision to authorize four powerful school models that will expand the number of high-quality options available to families in King, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties,” said WA Charters Chief Executive Officer Patrick D’Amelio.

“We know that in Washington, opportunity and results gaps disproportionately impact students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, English language learners, and other systemically underserved students and communities,” said D’Amelio. “Although we know the roots of these gaps extend beyond the walls of schools, great public schools like Cascade, Catalyst, Impact, and WIHS are fundamental to changing the lives of young people and empowering communities.”

About the Schools

Cascade Public Schools

Location: Midway, South King County
Grades served: 9th in 2020-21, expanding to 9th-12th
Co-founders: Scott Canfield and Garth Reeves
The model: interdisciplinary model with project-based learning, mentorship, and internships starting in 9th grade

Catalyst Public Schools

Location: Bremerton
Grades served: K-1st and 5th-6th in 2020-21, expanding to K-8
Co-Founders: Amanda Gardner and Tatiana Epanchin
The model: small group instruction, and a focus on social-emotional learning and leadership development

Impact | Salish Sea Elementary

Location: Seattle
Grades served: K-1st in 2020-21, expanding to K-5th
Co-Founders: Jen Wickens, Kristen McCaw, Baionne Coleman
The model: Personalized, project-based learning and equity-driven leadership development

Whatcom Intergenerational High School

Location: Bellingham
Grades served: 9th in 2020-21, expanding to 9th-12th
Co-founders: Cindy Reuther and Shirley Williams
The model: Phenomenon-based, intergenerational learning, with a focus on critical literacy
To learn more about charter public schools in Washington, visit For images of today’s authorizations, visit us on Twitter at @wa_charters. To be connected with a spokesperson from a specific school, please contact Maggie Meyers at or 724.263.9826.