Projected to Open Fall 2018
There has been a lot of talk about Lakeside expanding their school in Seattle. While demand at Lakeside's original campus continues to be high, the school administration is looking at other way to educate students outside of their traditional school and campus.
I had a very informative phone call with Sue Belcher, Lakeside School's Director of Micro School Research and Development to learn more about this new school model. They refer to their new school as a micro school. Lakeside's micro school will have a different education model, but still keeps to their standards of academic excellence and innovation.
The school is slated to open for the 2018-19 school year and will service grades 9-12 with 160 total students = 40 students across each grade. When the school opens in the Fall of 2018, it will accept only 9th and 10th grade students and (80 students total) grow by a grade each year (adding a new 9th grade class each application year) until reaching capacity and filling out all four grade levels by the 2021-22 school year.
They are currently scouting downtown South Seattle locations and access to light rail is a priority. It will not be a campus school, but instead reside in an office building or like structure with a lease secured by winter 2017. The tuition is currently estimated at $17K per year (vs Lakeside's main campus cost of $32K per year). This cost will make the school more affordable to families looking for a private school and also reflects a no frills school model. They do not anticipate the micro school will pull from the current Lakeside population, but will draw in a new group of students seeking out this style of learning experience at a lower price point. What is a no frills model? No athletics (students will be able to participate at their local public school), PE classes or art electives.
The micro school will integrate the city into the curriculum including required internships. The core curriculum for each grade will be signature to Lakeside and also revolve around a singular learning concept for each grade incorporating history, English and math. The school will teach wellness and art appreciation with the goal of utilizing the city and neighborhood resources. Spanish language will be the only foreign language option. They may also utilize the growing online program, Global Online Academy, to add additional course offerings geared toward the independent student.
I am looking forward to following the development of Lakeside's micro school and will continue to see how other Seattle area schools move forward and introduce new learning models.
It is already application time for independent schools for the 2017-18 school year and I am in the middle of touring many of them. I have 12 tours scheduled over the next month and I am always happy to talk to families about the Seattle independent school scene.