Four Washington Schools Join Prestigious NewSchools Venture Fund Cohort to Reimagine K-12 Learning

For Immediate Release | Monday, July 1, 2019

CONTACT | Maggie Meyers, or 724.263.9826

NewSchools Funding and management assistance will fuel efforts to launch new, innovative school models

Seattle, WA—The Washington State Charter Schools Association, in partnership with our member schools, is proud to announce that four charter public schools, all on track to open in Fall 2020, were chosen to be part of the Invent cohort at NewSchools Venture Fund.

Cascade Public Schools, Catalyst Public Schools, Impact Public Schools, and Lumen High School represent four of 18 organizations from across the nation selected for the Spring 2019 investment group (see school details and website links below).

Each cohort member is committed to launching a new, innovative school or instructional model designed to meet all students where they are, help them succeed, and inspire them to create a brighter future for us all. In addition to the funding, NewSchools will provide management assistance and create a community of practice for the cohort members.

“We are proud that here in Washington, we are cultivating charter public schools that are among the most innovative, effective, and equity-driven in the nation,” said WA Charters Chief Program Officer Rekha Bhatt. “Together with our partner schools, we are very excited for the launch of these four schools, and for the students, families, and communities who will benefit from them into the future.”

“Too many of today’s schools were built for a different time and purpose,” said Frances Messano, Senior Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund. “We believe schools can be reimagined to better prepare young people for the future. That’s why NewSchools Invent is proud to invest in these teams of educators who are thinking boldly and creating new opportunities to set students up for success, regardless of where they’re from.”

About the Washington 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: South King County
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

Lumen High School

Location: Spokane
Grades served: 9-12
Founder: Shauna Edwards
The model: Personalized learning for pregnant and parenting teens with an onsite early learning center

About NewSchools

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that supports and invests in promising teams of educators, and entrepreneurs, who want to reimagine learning. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the schools, students and educators they serve. We are committed to helping students graduate high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investing, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine PreK-12 education. To learn more, visit

About WA Charters

The Washington State Charter Schools Association is a statewide nonprofit that advocates for and supports high-quality charter public schools that meet the needs of systemically underserved students. To learn more, visit