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Scholars Achieve Excellence at Impact Public Schools

Sep 27, 2019 | Blog

Last month, Impact Public Schools, Washington state’s first “homegrown” charter public school network, released 2018-19 academic results for its flagship elementary school – Impact | Puget Sound Elementary, in Tukwila.

Impact | PSE launched in August 2018, with 178 kindergarten and first grade scholars, and a strong waiting list. Academic and demographic data from the school’s first year provide strong evidence that the school is fulfilling its mission to prepare a diverse student population to succeed in college and impact communities as the next generation of equity-driven, innovative leaders.


Here is a look at the diversity of Impact’s founding students:

  • 71% came from low-income households
  • 81% identified as students of color
  • 39% of scholars were English Learners
  • Impact’s founding families spoke 11 different languages


Impact scholars from all backgrounds made impressive gains in reading and math according to the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Assessment and NWEA MAP Assessment.


The highest performing charter schools in the country expect 4 levels of growth over the course of the Kindergarten year. Impact’s Kindergarten scholars achieved 4.62 levels of growth.

The highest performing charter schools in the country expect 6 levels of growth over the course of the first-grade year. Impact scholars achieved 6.76 levels of growth. This is especially impressive, given that a number of first graders came to Impact as pre-readers, unable to recognize a letter sound. By the end of the year, all first graders were reading.


Impact scholars went from below the national norm at the beginning of the year to well above the national norm at the end of the year, per the NWEA MAP Math assessment.

Developing the Whole Child

In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, Impact developed and implemented a social and emotional learning curriculum, which is woven into the fabric of every school day.

“We are immensely proud of our scholars, families, and school community,” reflected Dallis Fox, a first-grade lead teacher. “In our founding year, scholars grew as whole children—demonstrating strong academic and social-emotional development. We cannot wait to see what we can accomplish as a community in year two!”

A Greater Impact

Now in its second year, Impact | PSE is serving 280 scholars in grades K-2, and will continue grow by one grade level per year until the school serves the full K-5 continuum in 2022. Long wait lists indicate great demand for Impact from parents in the region. The network’s second school, Impact | Salish Sea Elementary, was approved in June 2019 and will open to serve students in Fall 2020.

“It remains crystal clear from our work with families in the South Puget Sound region that the need for more free, high-quality public school options is urgent,” said IPS CEO Jen Wickens. “We remain deeply committed to continuing to build excellent schools across Washington until every single child in Washington state has the choice to attend a high-quality public school that prepares them with the skills, habits, and mindsets to succeed in a four-year college and positively contribute to our community.”

Download the full 2018-19 academic results report here.

To learn more about Impact Public Schools, visit