The Central District’s First Place School is set to become one of the state’s first charter schools — and it’s the only elementary school on the list.
First Place School — which will become First Place Scholars Charter School — was founded 25 years ago as a tuition-free private school. When Congress passed the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, First Place changed its mission “to work with children that experienced trauma from severe poverty and/or high mobility and could not succeed in traditional classroom settings,” says Sheri Day, Acting Executive Director at First Place. The school is located at 20th and Spruce in the former Odessa Brown Clinic building. First Place will open with charter status in the fall of 2014.
First Place sent a press release with more information on the school:
First Place has been operating as a tuition free private school for 25 years beginning in partnership with Seattle Public Schools and in response to the need at that time for support for homeless students. As laws changed, First Place worked with children suffering from trauma as a result of severe poverty and to support the whole child, working with the whole family to create stability.
FP Charter is supported by volunteers and community partners – and now public funding – to provide academic enrichment, mentorship, and fundraising supports.
As a very small non-profit, the number of students served has been limited. Becoming a charter will allow First Place Scholars Charter School to serve children throughout their elementary school careers and create even larger long term change in the lives of these children. First Place Scholars Charter School will provide current best practices in education to more students. As a new Charter School, First Place Scholars Charter School looks forward to a long bright future and thanks the commission for affording us this opportunity.